View Full Version : Rigging still S#%ks!

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 04:02 PM
I have read every single rigging tut I can find, It seems so easy when you watch a tutorial, but every time I try to do the same thing it NEVER works right. This rig is modeled after the tut on this site by Chris Olson (Thanks Chris it's nice to see the SOMEBODY is making tuts that partian to rigging) however I have spent the last three days trying to rig a leg! I am frusterated to say the least. I also tried using the IK boost tool but its just too weird, it seems you can only animate the character with IK Boost tool after its set up and you cant seem to move 'target' bones on one axis or maybe I just dont get it.

Anyhoot here is the rig test I have been working on if any body can shed some light on the subject, or explain why it don't work, it would be greatly appreciated.;)

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 04:07 PM
P.S. What happened to parent in place?

06-10-2004, 04:13 PM
It's in the general options.

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 04:15 PM
Thanks, I just could'nt find it in the 'Help' system, so I thought it might be gone.

06-10-2004, 04:17 PM
Parent in place is still in general options, you can reinstall it into the toolbar manually.

What don't you like about your rig? The IK jumpiness is all I noticed - how much rigging experience do you have?

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 04:28 PM
I have been working with Lightwave for about six years now (since LW 5.6) and have rigged about 10 - 15 characters ranging from people to dragons to robots, and I'm not happy with any of them! And my main prob with the rig is the jumping! I can not use this rig like that! If you notice at time the toe bone goes above the ankle bone, I dont even want to think of what the foot would look like on the character im rigging it for.

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 04:33 PM
Also if you look at the tut (http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/tutorials/animation/rigging/index.html) you will find that Chris's bones don't jump around and that the foot bone rotates around the 'ball' null correctly ( Do you think that maybe it's cause he rigged it in 7.5?)

06-10-2004, 05:22 PM
Well first I would say, draw up your skeleton so there's a slight bend in the knee, this will probably correct the jumpiness. LW's Ik likes to know the preference of which way the bone should bend, you do this by making sure it's just slightly bent before setting up IK.

As far as I know LW 8 is no different to 7.5 in terms of the normal IK. I've never had a problem since I learned how to use it, but that took a little experimenting and reading up. Now I really like LW's rigging, especially with 8 and it's bone tools.

06-10-2004, 05:28 PM
I'm sure the jumpiness can be dealt with, I'm sure I've seen / played with rigs that don't twitch. I'll look at the scene some more -

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 05:35 PM
Dodgy, this has been done, it's not that much of a bend, but it will solve the IK correctly without the constraint.

06-10-2004, 05:50 PM
Yeah, I very rarely have to use a constraint if the leg is pre bent. I've done the same kind of setup myself with a prebend and it works fine. Here it is:

06-10-2004, 07:19 PM
I've rigged a few dinosaurs and humanoids with no jumping problems...
You just have to make sure your rig is setup correctly. I put about a 60 degree angle in the knee bend. You should also work with stiffness on differant joints. It took me months of constant rigging and re-rigging and rigging again to figure out "most" of the bugs... Its a long learning process.. just keep it up and find as many tuts as you can.

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 07:20 PM
Thanks Dodgy, I think I like your bone structure better, it seems to work alot better. Ill try something along those lines.

Digital Junkie
06-10-2004, 10:41 PM
OK I tried setting up my rig similar to Dodgy's, this is what I came up with. I still don't understand the problem, does anybody rig with skelegons? I'm begining to wonder if skelegons just don't work the same as bones created in Layout. Anyhoot three days of rigging a f'n leg and this is all I got to show for it, oh well I'll try again later.:confused:

06-11-2004, 02:54 AM
If you're using skelegons, there are a few things to remember.

When drawing them out, use one of the view planes which is perpendicular to the plane of the rotation you want the Pitch to be in. So if you want the pitch to be in the normal direction, in the YZ plane, then draw out your skelegon in the top or right view.

This pitch is right if you use local axes in Layout, but Layout calculates everything in Parent axes, so the parent of the bone is important where the pitch orientation of a bone is concerned. You can change this by using rest rotation on the bones, but I very rarely have to do this if I'm careful.

Using skelegons is easy once you get your head round these two rules. Try drawing out just a couple of bones and converting them to see what happens. Mostly I draw out my bones in layout now unless I need real precision.

I notice the thigh (and hip) is rotating forward and back using the heading, which I very rarely do. I prefer the pitch, like with your knee.

06-11-2004, 08:00 AM
Seems like this is all I post anymore, but the tutorials at www.digiwonk.com have really helped me understand rigging alot better. It's all done in 7.5c, but I followed along in 8 and it worked fine. I didin't use the new IK features at all, just did it old skewl the way he does in 7.5. Now I've begun playing with the new rigging tools in 8 with a much better understanding of the basics.

06-11-2004, 08:46 AM
Unfortunalty the tuts are not on the digiwonk site, it's on some not-working-unable-to-register-NOT-FREE-download site...

keep triying to get those tuts though...

06-11-2004, 09:17 AM
You mean 3d-palace.com? That's where I got them from. I had to register with a user name and an email address (same as any forum) but I didn't have to pay.

At any rate, Digiwonk says they'll be hosting the files themselves soon.

They're definitely worth the download! Sometimes I'm just amazed at the things people give us for free... :D


06-11-2004, 11:40 AM
Those tuts aren't just located on a foriegn site. There is another place you can get them. You just need to goto the forum and read the posts:


well, it was there, heheh. Maybe the link will work again some day. But he also has some useful plugins that he linked to also.

Digital Junkie
06-11-2004, 11:42 AM
Well I went to 3d-palace.com and registered, but it seems I can download everything but the rigging tuts. Go figgure.

Dodgy thanks for the suggestions, I dont think I have ever rigged a character by creating the bones in Layout, it just seems more natural for me to creat skelegons in Modeler. However I think I'm going to try re-rigging this useing Layout's bones, Hopefully this will grant me a better understanding of how these things work.

06-11-2004, 09:12 PM
I hate websites that make you register just to gain access to some files that are supposedly free anyway. Facist sons of bitches.

06-12-2004, 02:33 PM
Digital Junkie, I have all the zip files for the DigiWonk tutorial. If you're interested I can attach them. I don't know how to attach multiple zips so it might take a number of posts (about 24). Attached is the first in the lesson series. Just say if you want the rest.

06-12-2004, 07:38 PM
I was just taking a look at that zombie scene and rig. I'm not sure if that's the best rig to learn for someone who doesn't have a good grip on what rigging is all about. It's a very automated rig (like the hips are autocentered - pretty good for walk cycles but not much good in a lot of other situations). That kind of rig does take a lot of control away from the animator.

Digital Junkie, have you seen Timothy Albee's book Inside Lightwave 7 character animation? It's very good at explaining the rigging process and helped me tremendously when I started.

Digital Junkie
06-13-2004, 07:38 PM
Hey guys just got back from a camping trip, so I've had time to clear my head and I think I'm going to to have another whack at it. Thanks for the post Grace but I just tried to DL them agian and it seems to work now. hrgiger, I also had a look at the zombie rig and all it did was confuse me, it's a pretty cool looking rig but it's just too much for me to comprehend right now. Also I'll see if I can check out that book and see if it helps. Don't get me wrong, I have had a decent amount of rigging expeirience but most of my rigs work great for still images and are'nt that great for animation, Ii'm just at that point know where I want to have good animatable rigs. Anyway thanks for the adivice, I'll post some screen shots when I get somewhere with this project.

06-14-2004, 11:54 AM
Actually, if you watch the entire series of tutorials, the automated stuff like autocentering hips is only added at the very end as optional "bonus" steps. DW actually makes a point of going through the whole process of basics before adding the additional craziness...


06-14-2004, 01:09 PM
No, I hear what you're saying Digital Junkie, if you haven't been doing much character animation in the whole time you've been using 3D, a lot of that stuff will be pretty new and not easy to grasp at first. There's still a lot I don't understand but Timothy's book really jumped me quite ahead in my understanding of how rigging works in Lightwave. I learned enough from the book to come up with my own ideas for riggging.

06-15-2004, 02:04 AM

I've also had problems trying to download Froggyplat's Complete Rigging Tutorial from 3dPalace this weekend.
But yesterday I managed to download them all and I'm not a sponsor, just registered.
Only part4 of the tut was missing on 3dPalace, but digiwonk has uploaded some of the missing parts.
Check out digiwonk's forum on the character rigging tut.

If I managed to get the tut, so does everyone else.

Go get 'em ...

06-15-2004, 02:57 AM
have a look at this great IK rig, simplicity and function combined beautifully - well I dont know about rigging much, but this is the easiest rig to pose I have used yet. The deformation is very natural (probably also due to expert weight-mapping and bone settings), and its very hard to break.

(look for attachment by jeanphi, and read all posts for more info on the rig)

Im still trying to pull this one apart to get a better understanding of it... infact jeanphi has sent me his rigging notes. and in return Im going to HTMLize them and host them for him... as soon as I can get them translated from French :)

06-15-2004, 05:10 AM
Hey omeone , if I can be of any help with the translation, just let me know cause french and english are no problem for me. :)

06-15-2004, 05:30 AM
thanks for the offer eeroLux - the generosity of the LW community rears its head again :) , I should have mentioned that jeanphi and Kvaleen are working on it. And it is jeanphi's baby, so I wouldn't really be in a position to say...

In truth, I write badly in English (pronounced inarticulate), and jeanphi is not too confident with his, so at the moment Im hoping Kvaleen can find the time :)

anyway, here's the original thread on this forum, maybe you could contact jeanphi on there...


06-15-2004, 08:33 AM
Digital junkie, I recommend you Timothy Albee's book "Lightwave 3d 7 - Character Animation". It helped me a lot. I haven't been using much LW, just for six months now. With Timothy's book I could learn basic rigging just in days! I have made few characters with tips from the book and it works. Before I purchased the book I tried looking for different tutorials how to rig correctly. Everyone have different styles. It got very confused because I didn't know the basics. But now it's easier to move on, study rigging other artists have made and really learn from them! I'm not marketing the book, just telling my opinion.

Digital Junkie
06-15-2004, 05:00 PM
O.K.! Well I managed to DL all the Froggyplat's Complete Rigging Tutorials (except for #4 wich came down as an avi that does'nt seem to work) and I have had revelations! I believe #4 is all about setting up the leg, but I kinda elaborated on the concept and came up with something I kinda like, and it works! A lot of my problem was the 'little' things like zeroing out the bones, then pre-bending them. Thanks for the advice all! I'm still going to check out Timothy's book first chance I get. I'm almost done with the character I'm working on, then i'll do a short test animation and post it if anybody wants to check it out. Thanks again.:D

06-16-2004, 01:51 AM
You can download the correct part4 of the tut on:


06-16-2004, 04:59 PM
Or you can just rename it from .avi to .zip (don't ask what made me think of trying that, but it works!)