GIRAFFE BIPED – MODEL & MANUAL RIG

 

This page provides a step-by-step guide for creating a simple biped character and manually rigging it in Maya using Zoo Tools and free third-party scripts.

At the end of the series, we will create an animation of the character featuring five simple static poses.

Some of the videos here assume that students have attended the UTS university lectures that accompany this series. If you do not have access to the lectures, we will attempt to upload a later series that covers similar theory in more detail at a later stage.

Please download the Scene Project Files (Maya 2024) for this page if you would like to follow along.


 
 

CONTENTS

 

MODELLING VIDEOS & LIGHT

1. Block The Model (91 mins)
2. Join the Model (51 mins)
3. Face Detail & Render (70 mins)

BODY RIGGING

4. Rig Introduction & Cleaning (17 mins)
5. Build the Skeleton (29 mins)
6. Rough Skin Weights (29 mins)
7. Build Skin Cage Sock (35 mins)
8. High Quality Skinning (72 mins)
9. Create Upper Body Controls (48 mins)
10. Ik Legs & Body Polish (36 mins)

FACE RIGGING

11. Face Joints & Skin Mouth (58 mins)
12. Inner Mouth Rigging (31 mins)
13. Blend Shapes Workflow (36 mins)
14. All Blendshapes Explained (9 mins)
15. Connect Shapes To Controls (15 mins)

ANIMATION POSES

16. Animation Pose Setup (25 mins)
17. Playblast The Animation (8 mins)
18. Optional Render Setup (7 mins)


 
 

1. BLOCK THE MODEL

In this video we block out the giraffe following the image plane reference.


 
 

2. JOIN THE MODEL

This video walks through the joining of the character where appropriate.


 
 

3. DETAIL THE FACE

In this tutorial you’ll see how to detail the face with Maya’s Quad Draw tool.


 
 

4. RIG INTRODUCTION & CLEAN MODEL

This tutorial is an introduction to the rigging series and we cleaning the model.


 
 

5. BUILDING THE SKELETON

See how to build the skeleton and correctly orient the joints.


 
 

6. QUICK ROUGH SKIN WEIGHTS

This video shows how to roughly weight a character with a fast skin weight workflow.


 
 

7. CREATE A SKIN CAGE PROXY

In this video you’ll see how to model a skin cage in preparation for the next video “high quality skin weights”.


 
 

8. HIGH QUALITY SKIN WEIGHTS

See how to weight high quality skin weights with the skin cage and a transfer skin weights workflow.

See our third party scripts page for instructions on how to download Skin Wrangler and Brave Rabbit’s Smooth Skin Weights tools.


 
 

9. CREATE THE UPPER CONTROLS

See how to create all the upper body controls in this video.


 
 

10. SETUP THE IK LEGS

In this video you’ll see how to setup the Ik legs.


 
 

11. CREATE FACE JOINTS

This video walks through setting up the face joints and skinning the mouth.


 
 

12. MODEL & RIG THE INNER MOUTH

Now you’ll see how to model the teeth and tongue and rig the inner mouth.


 
 

13. BLENDSHAPE WORKFLOW

This tutorial shows how to create a left and right smile blendshapes and how to create in-between shapes for the eye blinks.


 
 

14. ALL BLENDSHAPES EXPLAINED

This video walks through the finished blendshapes and how they work.


 
 

15. CONNECT SHAPES TO CONTROLS

See how to connect the blendshapes to the controls.


 
 

16. ANIMATION POSE SCENE SETUP

Now that the rig is done, lets setup a scene for the animation poses.


 
 

17. PLAYBLAST THE ANIMATION

See how to playblast your animation and convert the frames to a H264 MP4 codec.


 
 

18. RENDER SETUP

We have also included a render scene in the download pack. In this video you can see how to import your character into the scene and render an image sequence.

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