Tag Archives: Rigging

Recovering lost animation on referenced characterSets in Maya 2011

A friend recently lost all of his animation on a referenced character rig. The file still opens without Maya complaining, but the keys just went missing. A quick check of the .ma in a text editor confirmed that the animCurve nodes were still present.

Feeling adventurous, I fired up notepad++ and did a text comparison of a working file containing the same referenced rig and the problematic file. Sure enough, the animCurve nodes seem to be connected to the wrong .phl (placeHolderList) of the reference file, or were not Continue reading

Maya Full Body IK

After the rigging a few characters using IK chains in maya, its hard not to wonder when maya would have a equivalent of 3d studio max’s Biped. Well it happens that Maya HAS one, and due to my ignorance I had only just discovered the cool FBIK.

Full Body IK (FBIK Solver) was a feature from Kaydara MotionBuilder that got integrated into Maya when Alias bought Kaydara. It simulates complex real body kinematics that is hard to achieve using manual IK. An example would be having your character reaching down to pick up an apple from the ground. With FBIK, the whole body follows the hand movement, creating realistic bending of shoulder, spine, hips and knees. With traditional IK, you’d probably need to key all the aforementioned handlers by hand.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any good tutorials online, the closest I could find was Mastering Maya 8.5 on google books. However a detailed explanation and tutorial can be found on Maya’s help, although a tad more difficult to follow, nonetheless provides all the information you need to get a working rig.

I’ll post my adventure with FBIK when I have time during the holidays.

Some tools to help you work with FBIK

FBIK CharacterControl – simulates Motion Builder’s native character control UI
BipedFactory – Helps you build your skeleton in minutes

Another Tutorial on how to setup a FBIK