Rigging is one of the most important steps in creating animations. Rigger contains all the necessary elements for the creation of animator friendly rigs. This documentation will acquaint you with the interface of the plug-in and its main features. These functions are available to users with any experience. With the help of Rigger you can create a skeleton and controllers for characters of any type.
The Rigger interface is designed in such a way that the necessary tools are at hand. FK, IK and IK Spline are 3 basic methods for skeleton animation. To provide the necessary functionality for the rig, these techniques can be combined.
To the right of each element is a button for setting parameters.
Under the settings buttons there are additional tools for rigging: the orientation of the bones, the tool for mass renaming and the button for skinning.
In the very right part of the plugin is an icon for creating menus, allowing you to control the character, the button for updating the initial poses and a button for calling the plugin settings. When you right-click on any icon, a menu with additional tools appears.
At the top of the plugin is a menu for quick access to the necessary elements (Create, Select, Cleanup, Skeleton, Constrain, Skin, Mesh, Help).
The character’s skeleton consists of a hierarchy of bones. Bones can be animated using two methods: FK (Forward kinematics) and IK (Inverse Kinematics).
With the help of Forward kinematics, you move and rotate the bone or controller. This is useful for creating arc movements, for example, using FK, you can easily animate hand movements while walking.
With the help of inverse kinematics, you can move the IK Handle to animate the skeleton. Ik Handle controls all the bones between the root and final bone of the IK chain. This is useful when it is necessary to accurately position one object relative to other objects. Most often IK is used in the legs when walking, or when the hand is fixed at a certain point (for example, when the door is opened).
IK Spline is used to create soft deformations (indispensable for setting the back, tails, etc.).
To create the FK, click ‘FK’ and draw a bone. Move it to the desired position relative to the model and press ‘FK’ again. Rigger automatically marks this bone as a controller, saves the initial pose and adds the ‘Rotate Order’ attribute.
In the FK settings, you can choose one of 3 forward kinematic modes: Classic, Shape and Bone. In Bone mode (default), the bone is marked as a controller and is used later for animation. The color of the controller is determined using the ‘Color’ slider. Shape mode allows you to add a Shape Node to any object. When creating a shape, the ‘Shapes’ attribute is created on the main control (‘rig_ctrl’), which turns on and off the display of the shape curves. Only 5 controller shapes: Square, Circle, Cube, Sphere and Cross. Shape diameter is controlled using the ‘Size’ attribute. In ‘Classic’ mode, an object of type NURBS Curve is created, placed in a group. Depending on the ‘Constraint’ setting, a ‘Parent’, ‘Point’, ‘Orient’ or ‘Scale’ constraint is created for the selected object. For the Classic mode, additional options are also available: ‘World Oriented’ (the controller is oriented to world coordinates), ‘Display Handle’ (creates a minimalistic controller with high priority for selection), ‘Animatable Pivot’ (the bone moves under the controller and attributes are added for animation of the center of rotation), ‘Parent Joint’ (the bone moves under the controller) and ‘Hide Joint’. To create an FK for the entire bone hierarchy, enable the ‘On Hierarchy’ mode.
Lock Rotate, Translate and Scale attributes.
Unlock Rotate, Translate and Scale attributes.
Add Animatable Pivot Attributes
Adds attributes for the ability to change and animate the center of rotation (only works with the ‘Classic’ FK).
Remove Animatable Pivot Attributes
Remove center of rotation attributes.
Squash and stretch constraint
Preservation of volume in tension. To create ‘Squash and Stretch Constraint’, select the bone, right-click on the FK icon and select ‘Squash and Stretch Constraint’.
Allows you to create a wavy effect for a whole chain of bones. The effect is controlled with the help of the attributes ‘Volume’, ‘Position’ and ‘Fallof’ on the root bone.
To create an IK, select one or more bones and click ‘IK’. To switch the kinematics, select the bone or IK Handle and press ‘Select> Switch IK / FK’. You can also change the ‘Ik Blend’ attribute by selecting the IK Handle. Depending on the kinematics, the color of the bones changes (blue by default for FK, yellow for IK). Select IK Handle and press ‘T’. In this way, you can quickly control the attributes ‘Twist’ and ‘Pole Vector’ that are responsible for the rotation.
In the IK settings, you can enable ‘Auto Stretch’. The attribute ‘Limit Length’ and ‘Auto Stretch’ is added to IK Handle. With ‘Auto Stretch’ enabled, the length of the IK chain is determined by the distance between the root bone and IK Handle. ‘Limit Length’ does not allow the IK chain to be shorter than its original length (suitable for arms and legs). The ‘Save Volume’ option automatically creates a ‘Squash and Stretch Constraint’ for the IK chain, allowing you to save the volume when compressing and stretching. On the ‘Color Settings’ tab, you can change the color of the IK and FK modes.
Create IK for Each Joint Selected
Allows you to create an IK for all selected bones.
Make IK Stretchy
Adds the ‘Limit Length’ and ‘Auto Stretch’ attributes to the IK Handle, allowing you to stretch the IK chain while preserving the volume.
Connect to IK / FK
Associates the selected object with the IK Handle. Now you can switch kinematics without selecting IK Handle.
Create additional IK algorithms: Two-Bone Solver, Multi-Chain Solver, Spring Solver.
To create an IK Spline, select one or more bones and click ‘IK Spline’. The original bone will be divided into seven parts and two FK controllers will be added to control the orientation of the IK Spline. When IK Spline is created on a bone with an existing IK, the source bone will not be changed and will control the orientation of the IK Spline.
IK Spline Settings
In the IK Spline settings, you can change the number of bones that will be used in IK Spline. The ‘Auto Stretch’ and ‘Save Volume’ attributes are similar to the settings in the IK settings window and are responsible for the automatic compression and stretching of the IK Spline chain. On the ‘Color Settings’ tab, you can change the bone color of IK Spline, the color of the FK mode. The ‘Create FK Controllers’ attribute allows you to automatically create Classic FK controls for IK Spline. The Color attribute changes the color of the controllers. Shape: the shape of the controls. Size: size of controls. Animatable Pivot: create controls with an animated rotation center. Display Handle: Create minimalistic controllers with high selection priority.
Make IK Stretchy
Adds the attributes ‘Limit Length’ and ‘Auto Stretch’ to the IK Spline Handle, allowing you to stretch the IK Spline chain while maintaining volume.
Add Middle Controller
Adds an additional FK controller to change the central shape of the IK Spline.
Delete Middle Controller
Removes the middle controller from IK Spline.
Binds an IK Spline curve to bind joints.
Detaches the IK Spline curve from the bind joints, allowing you to change their position and center of rotation.
Delete IK Spline
If nothing is selected, clicking on the ‘Orient Joint’ icon opens the orientation settings window. If a bone is selected, then the bone is oriented, in accordance with the parameters of the Orient Joint window.
When the ‘Orient Joint to World’ option is turned on, all bones are oriented in accordance with the world axes. ‘Primary Axis’ allows you to specify the primary local axis for the bone. This is the axis that determines the direction of the bone. ‘Secondary Axis’ allows you to specify which axis will be used as the secondary orientation of the bone. The ‘Reverse’ option inverts the World Axis. When the ‘Hierarchy’ option is turned on, all the bones in the selected bone hierarchy are oriented. The ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons let you fine tune the orientation on X. The ‘Toggle Axis’ button turns on and off the display of the local axes of the hierarchy of bones. The last bone in the hierarchy is automatically oriented in accordance with the selected parameters.
‘Split Joint’ allows you to split a bone into several bones. The number of divisions can be changed in the Split Joint Settings window.
A window with the list of nodes such as condition, multipleDivide, reverse, plusMinusAverage, distanceBetween and remapValue.
In the ‘Colors’ window, you can change the color of the selected controllers.
Grouping an object with the center of rotation preserved.
Convert to Geo Group
Moves the selected group to ‘rig_ctrl’ and renames it to ‘geo’.
Create root group
Create master controller ‘rig_ctrl’.
Create double transform
Create an additional dual controller.
Duplicates selected bones.
Create select set
Allows you to create a Select Set for selected objects.
Create Controllers Select Set
Allows you to create a Select Set for all controllers (*_ctrl).
Create RotateX Offset Node
Create a node with an inverted Rotate X value for the selected bone. Sometimes necessary to create an IK Spline on mirrored bones.
A tool for mass renaming of bones. Allows you to change the name, add a prefix and postfix to the hierarchy, or only for selected objects.
Mark as Controller
Add postfix “_ctrl”.
Unmark as Controller
Deleting postfix “_ctrl”.
Mark as Left
Adding the prefix “l_”.
Unmark as Left
Delete the postfix “l_”.
Mark as Skin Helper
Adding the “_skinHelper” postfix.
Unmark as Skin Helper
Removing the postfix “_skinHelper”.
Search and rename duplicate object names.
Here are the main presets for quickly renaming the body parts of the character. Only the prefix “l_” is used, since the skeleton for the right side of the character is usually mirrored on the left side.
Smart bind skin
The first press remembers the selected geometry and skin it to the bones marked as ‘Skin Joints’. When pressed again without selection, it detach the geometry. The next time you press it, it will re-skin. Thus, you can quickly edit the position of the bones without wasting time on skinning.
If nothing is selected, clicking on the ‘Bind Skin’ icon opens the Bind Skin settings window. If the bones and geometry are selected, then the objects are skinned, according to the parameters of the Bind Skin window.
Unbind the geometry.
Add extra bone to the skin cluster.
Remove bone from skin cluster.
Mark as skin joint
Mark bone as ‘Skin Joint’.
Unmark as skin joint
Remove the label ‘Skin Joint’.
Show Skin Joint Labels
Show all Skin Joint Labels.
Hide Skin Joint Labels
Hide all Skin Joint Labels.
Create skin helper
Create an additional joint influence parented to the selected bone.
Show skin helpers
Show bones marked as Skin Helpers
Hide skin helpers
The Initial Pose nodes allow you to store the values of the Translate, Rotate and Scale attributes. Thus, you can return objects to their original position even if the initial values of the attributes are different from zero (for example, in bones).
Save Initial Pose
Save the initial position of the controller.
Update All Initial Poses
Delete all the initial positions and recreate them for all controllers in the scene.
Delete Initial Pose
Delete the initial position of the controller.
Delete All Initial Pose
Return the controller to its original position.
IK / FK
Seamless kinematics switching. To switch kinematics, highlight the IK Handle or the bones of the IK chain and press ‘Switch IK / Fk’.
Select master controller (rig_ctrl).
Select all controllers (* _ctrl)
Create Character Menu
Create a character menu. Allows you to access the character management functions when the HUD is on. This menu can be saved with a scene and used by animators that do not have the Rigger plug-in.
Delete Character Menu
Select Skin Joints
Selecting of all bones marked as ‘Skin Joint’.
Select Skin Cluster Joints
Allows you to select all the bones to which the selected geometry is skinned.
Select Skin Helpers
Select all objects marked as “_skinHelper”.
Selection of the last bones in the chain (* _tip).
Selecting of all bones.
Select all Ik Handles.
Ik Spline Handles
Select all Ik Spline Handles.
Delete the history of the creation of the object.
Delete Non-Deformer History
Removing the history of creating an object, leaving the deformers.
Zeroing the Translate, Rotate, and Scale attributes.
Delete Unused Nodes
Removing nodes not used in the rig.
Delete Unknown Nodes
An unknown node may be created by a plug-in that is not supported on the operating system, or by a third-party plug-in that is not loaded in the scene.
Find Joints with non Zero Rotations
Finds bones in the scene whose rotation values are non-zero.
Centering the center of rotation of an object.
Center Pivot to World
Moving the center of rotation of an object to the origin of world coordinates.
Reset Viewport Settings
The name of the root object.
Postfix for groups.
Postfix for controllers.
Mark Controllers Automatically
Creating a ready-to-animate rig.
Combine body parts and update the initial poses.
In the settings, you can change the detail of individual parts of the body.