HIVE – FOUNDATIONS

 

This page contains a series of videos explaining the fundamentals of Hive Auto-Rigger for Autodesk’s Maya. Hive is included in Zoo Tools Pro .

Hive is a modular rig builder that allows you to create rigs from individual components such as legs, arms, spines, FK, and heads.

Various types of rigs can be created by arranging components in different ways, including bipeds, quadrupeds, dinosaurs, mechs, insects, and props.

This page explains the basics of using Hive and how to use the auto-rigger.

This tutorial series is not yet complete, and we will release videos as they become available.

 
 

CONTENTS

 

OVERVIEW & UI

1. Components Templates Introduction
2. Build Edit & Save Templates
3. Hive UI & Complex Scenes
4. Reverse Engineer The Demo Scenes
5. Parenting Custom Rigs To Hive (coming)

 

QUICK START

6. Biped Workflow Quick Start (coming)
7. Quadraped Workflow Quick Start (coming)

 

HIVE FOR ANIMATORS

8. Hive For Animators Overview (coming)
9. Hive Animation Marking Menus (coming)
10. Zoo Selection Sets (coming)
11. Associated Animator Tools (coming)

 

PLACING HIVE GUIDES

12. Placing Hive Guides Overview (coming)

 

ALIGNMENT

13. Understanding Hive Alignment (coming)
14. FK Orient Workflow Explained
15. Orient Fingers Workflow
16. Rigging Hair
17. Guide Align And Mirror Tool (coming)

 

CURVE CONTROLS

18. Adjusting Curve Controls (coming)

 

SKINNING AND DEFORMATION

19. Skinning And Deformation Overview (coming)
20. Skinning Toolbox (coming)
21. Recommend Third Party Scripts (coming)
22. Fast Skin Cage Proxies (planned)
23. Corrective Blendshapes With Hive

 

FACIAL RIGGING

24. Facial Rigging Overview (planned)
25. Jaw & Mouth Shapes

 

PARENT USER MADE RIGS TO HIVE

26. Parent Custom Rigs To Hive

 

CONVERTING RIGS

27. Converting Existing Rigs To Hive (planned)

 

MOTION CAPTURE

28. Motion Capture – Preparation (Mixamo)
29. Motion Capture – Transfer To Hive
30. Motion Capture – Lock Feet And Hands

 

ENGINE EXPORT

31. FBX Export Tool (coming)

 

REFERENCING MODELS

32. Hive Reference Model Skeleton (coming)

 

HIVE SETTINGS

33. Hive General Settings (coming)
34. Hive Containers Mode (coming)

 

ARTIST SCRIPTING

35. Build Scripting For Artists (coming)
36. Build Scripting Selection Sets (coming)

 

HIVE NAMING

37. Naming Convention Tool (coming)
38. Easy Naming With Build Scripts (coming)

 

DEVELOPER INFORMATION

39. Hive API Information (coming)
40. Developer Build Scripting (coming)

 

RELATED HIVE TOOLS

41. Related Zoo Tools (coming)


 
 

1. COMPONENTS & TEMPLATES

In this video, you will learn about Components and Templates.

Components, also known as modules, are individual parts of a rig that can be arranged to create complex structures in Hive.

Templates are pre-made rigs consisting of multiple components that are arranged and parented together in order to create a more complex rig. These templates can be saved and reused in other scenes.

Templates can be added to a rig or used as a starting blueprint.


 
 

2. BUILD & SAVE TEMPLATES

In this video, you will learn how to create, modify, and save templates from scratch.

In this example, we will create the rig from the beginning rather than starting from a template.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to build templates and use the Hive UI effectively.


 
 

3. HIVE UI & COMPLEXITY

In this video, you will learn how to manage complex rigs using the Hive UI.

This video covers several additional UI tips.

You’ll also learn how to use FK branches to minimize rig components.

We are currently working on this page and adding more videos soon. Please check back later for updates.


 
 

4. REVERSE ENGINEER THE DEMO SCENES

The Maya Scenes pack is a great resource that includes official Zoo Tools demo rigs that you can open up and pull apart as Hive examples.

Download the rigs by clicking the “Maya Scenes” button on the Zoo Tools Pro install page. The Maya Scenes pack is a larger download than Zoo Tools Pro, so it needs to be downloaded separately.

This video demonstrates how to open and deconstruct Hive’s demo scenes, allowing you to interact with our rigs and study the settings in guides mode.

You’ll find other Hive tips in these scenes such as adding user-made custom parts and build scripting.

Also see how to brighten the default rigs in the viewport in 2024 and above.


 
 

23. CORRECTIVE BLENDSHAPES WITH HIVE

This tutorial demonstrates how to add and create corrective blend shapes using Hive and Pose Interpolator using the SHAPES Plugin (free for evaluation).

Pose Interpolator is included inside Maya, so any rig you create will work without Zoo Tools or SHAPES installed.

The pose interpolator solver helps prevent gimbal flipping, which is a common issue that occurs when using set-driven key/angle-based workflows.

Alternatively you could use the Pose Editor window in Maya to create your correctives. The Hive workflow remains the same.

In the video, you will learn the following:

– 1. What are RBF solvers, and how to use Maya’s Pose Editor.
– 2. How to add corrective blendshapes with the Hive.
– 3. Create and setup corrective blendshapes.
– 4. Edit and mirror corrective blendshapes.
– 5. Transfer the body mesh blendshapes to the shirt mesh.

Download the SHAPES evaluation version here .


 
 

14. FK ORIENTATION WORKFLOW EXPLAINED

This video demonstrates how to orient both FK and finger components using joints created through the Joint Tool Window.


 
 

16. ORIENTING FINGERS IN THE A-POSE

This video demonstrates an effective workflow for positioning fingers in a challenging A-Pose orientation.

You will learn how to use the Joint Tool to create temporary joint chains. Then, you can easily orient and align the Hive finger components.


 
 

17. RIGGING HAIR

This tutorial demonstrates creating FK hair controls using the Joint Tool to build joints and convert them to Hive using the Joints To Hive Guides .

You will learn how to create multi-joint chains, set their orientation with the joint tool window and perform the Hive conversion.

Key steps covered include:

– 1. Establishing the guide pivots.
– 2. Generating joints using the Joint Tool.
– 3. Aligning the joints appropriately.
– 4. Converting joints into Hive FK Components.
– 5. Positioning the controls.


 
 

25. JAW & MOUTH SHAPES

Hive’s Jaw component can be combined with blendshapes to create an effective mouth rig.

In this example you’ll see how to use the SHAPES Plugin to create the blendshapes, but you can use Maya’s Shape Editor instead.

In the video, you will learn the following:

– 1. How the jaw component works, and how to use it.
– 2. Animation key blendshapes.
– 3. How combination shapes work.
– 4. How to connect corrective shapes.

See our legacy training SHAPES: Facial for more information on how to create blendshapes. Although the SHAPES: Facial page is outdated the same principles still apply.

Download the SHAPES evaluation version here .


 
 

26. PARENT CUSTOM RIGS TO HIVE

It can be important to add your own custom rigs to the Hive Autorigger if you have specific requirements that are not included in Hive.

In this video, you will learn about parenting and constraining your own rigs to Hive so they are compatible with rig rebuilds.

Its best to avoid parenting objects to Hive controls as they are deleted while rebuilding.

In the last section, you will see how to add custom joints to the skeleton for FBX Exporting to other programs, such as game engines.

Note: Two new tools are featured in this demo and will only be available in Zoo 2.8.5 and above.
– Add Custom Rig Group
– Match And Bake Anim


 
 

28. MOTION CAPTURE – PREPARATION (MIXAMO)

This video shows how to download and prepare the scene for motion capture using Adobe Mixamo .

Principles apply to other motion capture sources.

Tools used in this demo are:
Match And Bake Anim
Constraint Toolbox


 
 

29. MOTION CAPTURE – TRANSFER

This video shows how to transfer motion capture onto the Hive rig from Adobe Mixamo skeletal animation.

Principles apply to other motion capture sources.

Tools used in this demo are:
Match And Bake Anim


 
 

30. MOTION CAPTURE – LOCK FEET/HANDS

This video shows how to lock feet and hands more accurately to the source skeleton.

You’ll see how to:

– Bake out the animation so its no longer constrained to the Mixamo skeleton.
– Transfer the animation of the Hive rig from FK to IK.
– Space-switch-match the IK to parent space from world space for the timeline.
– Use constraints to lock the feet and hands to the original motion.
– Use the Zoo Bake Tool to bake out constraints after changes.
– Use animation layers to move the whole body up and down.

Tools used in this demo are:
Match And Bake Anim
Constraint Toolbox
Bake Animation

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