Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Rigging the spine and IK Spline Handle

With both legs done, the next stage was to create the root joint and the joints that constitue the back, neck and head directly from that.
For this particular stage, I decided to stick to the tutorial by the letter, mainly because the upper chest, along with the right arm caused some problems the first time that I attempted rigging.  I will need to look out and see what I did wrong and how I could correct it.

After I put in the joints including the root, hip, back, chest, neck and head, I added an IK Spline Handle, a handle which functions similarly to an IK handle, but with the main difference being that it has points all along the handle that control the curve of the joints.  Whereas an IK handle will only allow joints to bend or curve in one consistent shape, a spline handle allows there to be variation.
In order to manipulate these joints, it would not be practical to adjust every tiny point on the spline handle and indeed not the joints themselves, so for each of the points on the IK Spline Handle, I created clusters, which I then translated out against along the back.  This meant that I could manipulate the shape of the spine by controlling these clusters along the back.
Lastly, I parented these clusters to the root joint so that I could move the whole rig by the root joint.  I then parented the two legs to the hip joint so that the entire rig was intact.  Here is how the whole alien rig looks now.
Here is a video to demonstrate what I can do with this rig after everything that I have done so far.

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