Custom Pick-Walking

Date:Jan 31, 2019
Author:Jeremy Ernst

You can setup custom pick-walking between controls in your rig. To do this, open the Pick-Walking tool under the ARTv2 menu, found here:

../_images/pick_walk_menu.png

Pick-walk Interface Overview

../_images/pickWalkUI.png
../_images/pick_walk_tools.png

The left side of the UI features some tools for module control visibility and settings.

Number Description
1 If you have multiple characters, choose which one whose modules you want to view here.
2 List of modules for the character (#1)
3 With modules selected, you can use this to select the settings node for those modules.
4 With modules selected, you can use this to hide the controls of those modules.
5 With modules selected, you can use this to show the controls of those modules.
../_images/pick_walk_setup.png

The right side of the UI contains the widgets used for creating the pick-walking relationships.

Number Description
1 The source control. Select a control and click this button to load the selection as the source control. This is the control that you will be setting pick-walking up on.
2 The pick-walk up object. With a selection, click this button to load that selection as the pick-walk up object for the source control.
3 The pick-walk down object. With a selection, click this button to load that selection as the pick-walk down object for the source control.
4 The pick-walk left object. With a selection, click this button to load that selection as the pick-walk left object for the source control.
5 The pick-walk right object. With a selection, click this button to load that selection as the pick-walk right object for the source control.

Setting up Pick-Walking

Select a control you want to set pick-walking up on, and click on the middle button. Controls get built with some amount of pick-walking setup by default. If a control has any pick-walking setup already, you should see other button’s text change to the name of those pick-walk controls.

For example, if I load the fk_upperarm control, you will see the top and bottom buttons populate, showing you that if you pick-walk up, you will move to the fk_clavicle control, and if you pick-walk down, you will move to the fk_lowerarm_control.

../_images/populate_pickwalk_source.gif

Loading the FK upperarm control, we can see the default pick-walk relationships that are setup.

To add or change a pick-walking relationship, select the control you want to pick-walk to, and then click on the button that corresponds to that direction.

../_images/populate_pickwalk_targets.gif

In this example, I want to have pick-walking down while the FK hand control is selected move to my IK hand control. I can also change an existing relationship in the same way. Here, I change the pick-walk right control to be the top pinky finger joint, and then add a pick-walk left for the top thumb joint.

Note

Setting up pick-walking up to another control does not automatically setup pick-walking for that control’s opposite direction to go back to that original control. These assumptions are not made, and if you want that behavior, you must explicitly create it for both controls.

Saving and Loading Pick-Walk Templates

In the pick-walk interface, under the File menu, you will find the ability to save and load templates. Saving is rather straight forward, but loading has some options to cover.

../_images/load_pick_walk_template.png

Load pick-walk template options.

Number Description
1 The pickwalk file to load (*.pickWalk)
2 If the pickWalk file was saved out from a referenced rig, the file will have namespaces in it. If it does, check “Strip Namespaces” if you are loading them onto a different character, or a character with no namespaces. Usually this will not be the case, and this can be left unchecked.
3 The character you want to load the pickWalk template onto.

Using the Pick-Walking

You will notice that by default, using Maya’s built in pick-walk hotkeys do not recognize these relationships you’ve setup. To actually use the pick-walking, you must use the ARTv2 Hotkey Editor, and assign keys to the rig pick-walking functions.

Start by opening the Hotkey Editor:

../_images/hotkey_editor_menu.png

Navigate to the Rig Pick-Walking section, and then assign keys as you see fit. If you simply want to overwrite Maya’s pick-walking, just assign the arrow keys accordingly. If you want to preserve Maya’s default pick-walking, you could add a modifier, like CTRL, to the rig pick-walking.

../_images/pick_walk_hotkeys.png

Note

Append pick-walking is adding the pick-walked control to your current selection. For example, in a typical FK arm setup, if I append pick-walk down from the FK upperarm, instead of just selecting the FK lowerarm control, it will add that control to my selection, so that I have both the upperarm and lowerarm selected. This is very useful when dealing with chains, like fingers!