Adding and Placing Modules

Date:Jan 31, 2019
Author:Jeremy Ernst

When you first launch the Rig Creator, two things will happen. A UI will appear and there will be a control object in your viewport. This control object is the root module of the rig, and every rig needs to have this, so it is automatically created. During this phase, you will be adding modules to define your character, as well as placing them.

See Rig Creation Tools to get a more in-depth explanation of the tools of the Rig Creator.

Adding a Module

To add a module, click on the desired module button in the “Rig Modules” section.

../_images/rig_modules.gif

This will bring up a new dialog for settings the parent bone of this module, as well as giving the module an optional prefix and/or suffix. Some modules, like the arms and legs, have additional options.

../_images/addModule.png

The Add Module UI.

# Description
1 optional: adds a prefix to the module
2 optional: adds a suffix to the module
3 preview of the module name
4 Extra options that may appear for certain modules.
5 Create button: Adds the module with the current settings.
6 Search for a particular joint in the list of potential parent joints.
7 List of all potential parent joints based off installed modules.

Once you have the information filled out, add the module by clicking “Create”.

Note

You can change these settings in the “Installed Modules” section of the UI at any time.

Placing a Module

As soon as a module has been added, nodes will be added to the scene, and a widget will be added to the UI under the “Installed Modules” section. Each module comes with a simple rig, which will be referred to as Joint Movers. Each module also comes with proxy geometry, which can be used for quickly prototyping characters without having a model.

There are two types of joint movers: Global and Offset. What you see when you first add a module, are the global movers. These are the yellow controls.

Global movers act like normal FK. Manipulating one will also affect any children of that “joint”.

Note

At this stage, there are not any actual joints, just representations. The skeleton gets built after this phase.

../_images/global_movers.gif

Global movers can be translated, rotated, and scaled. Scaling is the fastest way to change the bone lengths, rather than trying to translate each global mover.

Offset movers are the light blue controls, and can be viewed by toggling their visibility in the toolbar.

../_images/toggle_offset.gif

Visibility Toggles on the Rig Creator toolbar.

Icon Description
../_images/globalMover.png Global Mover visibility toggle
../_images/offsetMover.png Offset Mover visibility toggle
../_images/meshMover.png Mesh Mover visibility toggle

Offset movers only affect their joint. No children of that joint are affected. Offset movers are good for fine-tuning a joint’s position. I usually get my global movers roughed in first, then use offset movers to finesse the position of the joint.

../_images/offset_movers.gif

Note

If “Aim Mode” is on, which it is by default, moving an offset mover will orient the parent so that it stays aligned properly. See Rig Creation Tools to learn more about aim mode.

There is a third type of mover, but it does not affect joints. The pink controls are called Mesh Movers, and only affect the proxy geometry. These can be used to thin or thicken a proxy mesh to better represent the character ( as well as be re-positioned if needed). These are found by toggling their visibility on the toolbar.

../_images/mesh_movers.gif

See also

Rig Creation Tools to learn about tools that help with module placement.

Editing a Module’s Settings

Whenever a module is added, a widget for that module will appear in the UI, which can be used to change any settings the module has. This includes changing what the parent joint is, as well as changing the module name. Some modules, like the arm, have many settings that can be adjusted.

../_images/module_settings.gif

Click on the arrow at the top left to expand that module’s widget, and begin editing settings.

Some settings will not take effect until you click on “Apply Settings”. These are usually settings that add or remove joints in the module.

../_images/apply_changes.gif

Note

The right-click context menu on the settings widget has options for copying, pasting, and resetting settings as well.

Mirroring a Module

The easiest way to mirror a module is by right clicking on the module’s settings widget, and choosing “Create Mirror of this Module”.

../_images/mirror_a_module.png

This will bring up a dialog to add a prefix and suffix to the new module, and then automatically create the module with the same settings as the source, and mirror transformations over. It will also figure out the correct parent bone for the mirrored module.

../_images/mirroring_module.gif

When a module is mirrored, a link is made between the two modules. This allows the system to know that these modules can mirror transformations. You will also note that the mirror module is specified in the settings widget:

../_images/mirror_module_widget.png

When two modules are linked as mirrors, a new right-click option is available. You can right click on a module to mirror its transformations over to its mirror module.

../_images/mirror_transformations_menu.png

You can also create a module as normal, and manually specify the mirror module, by using the settings widget.

../_images/mirror_module_manual.png

Click on the “Mirror Module” button to specify a mirror for this module.

Duplicating a Module

To duplicate a module, right click on the module’s settings widget, and choose “Duplicate this Module”:

../_images/duplicate_module.png

This is very useful when using chain or joint modules.

../_images/duplicating_example.gif

In this example, I’ve created a joint for one of the pouches. I then duplicate that module to quickly place the next joint for the pouch. If I wanted to mirror these pouches to the other side, I could then create mirrors from the duplicates.

Deleting a Module

To delete a module, right click on the module’s settings widget, and choose “Delete Module”.

../_images/delete_module.png

Note

If there were modules parented under a bone within the deleted module, they will be reparented to the root.

Physique Editor

If using the proxy geometry to prototype characters is something you wish to do, there is a tool called the Physique Editor that can alter the proxy geometry to better fit the type of character you’re building.

This tool can be found under the menu bar, under the Tools menu:

../_images/physique_editor_menu.png

See Rig Creation Tools to learn more about the Physique Editor.