View Full Version : Rotation handles pointing in wrong direction

05-25-2005, 03:42 AM
well im still working my way through a character rigging tutorial and getting as confused as ever.

For some reason some of my rotation handles are pointing in the wrong direction (see image). Im sure this is a simple question but having virtually no experience in character set ups ive no idea how to correct this.

The banking should be in line with the leg and the heading should point forwards. It makes no difference if I set the coordinate system to parent or local.


Matt P

05-25-2005, 04:39 AM
When you create skellegons in modeler depending on the viewport your bones when converted in Layout will be off +/-90 on the bank, thus setting your bone in the Gimbal Lock you have there.

Gimbal lock is when you have any one rotation at 90 degrees the other two are switched and the rotations lock up. In the case of bones in layout it sets the rotations off, which can lead to confusion while animating.

Rotating pivot points can help but it is not 100 percent reliable. And the bank handles in modeler are apparently not realiable either - so I have read.

A more reliable solution is to simply go to each bone, look at the rotations and fix them before you set the rest positon and record rotations.

Folow these simple steps:

0) make your object invisible with the scene editor so you can see just the bones.

1) Go though each bone and those that are rotated 90 degrees or more on the bank, set them to 0. This will throw off the rotation of the child bone(s).

2) on the child bone(s) you can sometimes just swap the heading and pitch and it will line back up. Otherwise just do it by sight. (or you can just clone your object and use those bones as a reference)

3) After all is at bank 0 and lined up, then go in and shift P each bone to record the rotations. This will set everything at 0 but leave them in the same positions.

4) then go in and cycle through each bone hitting r on the keyboard to set the rest position which will make the bone active.

Now this is oversimplified and I have left out plenty but this should get you on the right track. In the end just use this information and your common sense as to what needs correcting and how as far as the rotations to get things line up correctly.

In the future you can try to create your skelegons in the top and front viewports in modeler to prevent this this from happening. I think it is the side viewports that create the problem.

Also it's a good idea NOT to have weight maps applied at this stage wich makes things even more confusing. Do that as a separate step once you have the bones all lined up in layout and have set the rest positions. If you have weight maps already just go through and select "none" for each bone in the properties panel.

05-25-2005, 04:45 AM
Thank you for that thorough reply. Ill give it a try.

Matt p

05-25-2005, 04:53 AM
No problem.

If you want a better step by step with theory and a great rig solution check out Tmothy Albee's Character Animation. Wordware has it.

09-21-2007, 03:54 AM
Following this process seems to have sorted out any problems ive had with orientation of skelegons once converted into bones in layout.
I had a problem with the tiny leg joints not being orientated correctly (thus throwing the whole leg out of wack) when i brought the character into layout. I had spent alot of time checking i had drawn the skelegons in the correct viewport, which i had but i was always getting some skelegons (usually the legs for some reason) that would not be correctly orientated once id brought the model over to Layout and converted skelegons to bones.

Saying that i didnt find the process completly straight forward and had to mess about with the process untill id got it working, hmm i nearly gave up on it.
i think i used bone twist first to correctly align my first leg bone pivot, then shift P that bone and then all child bones i want to re-orientate and then r to rest bones. Now my legs move properly:)

Oh yea, im on MAC , LW 9.2 BTW:)

Skelegons did seem to be problematic in this process (ive been stuggling with getting my rig correctly orientated on and off for over a week and its been doing me head in) and i can see why people would just create the bones in layout. But rest assured, follow this process set out by Surrealist and you should find that a characters bones are orientated correctly.

Well at least i think so, i want to set up IK/FK so ill see how that works out.