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Bone Setup for a Dragon
Bone Setup for a Dragon
sdb1987, added 2005-10-03 13:51:25 UTC 131,475 views  Rating:
(1 rating)
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Hi, welcome back to my tutorial. This time I am going to show you how I setup bone for the dragon in the ready to animate way. Before I write this article, I've been completed a shot animated sequence of the dragon. A lot of mistake I've made during the setup, bind skin and IK. Most of the mistake that I've made only will show up during the animation process. So, we got to learn from the mistake. Although this tutorial is not perfectly done, but I will try my best to share this with you.

Before you start, you will need to plan for the bone's direction to get it into correct hierarchy. In this case, pelvis of the dragon should at the top of the hierarchy, that's mean pelvis is the parent of all bones.

After decided the bone direction, I will start create the pelvis by using joint tool.

Create a new layer and name it "Bone" and label it to different colour. While the 'Bone' layer still selected, switch to Animation mode, go to top menu -> skeleton -> joint tool or select the joint tool icon from the shelf.

While the cursor changed into +, I start click on the pelvis location to create joint. Make a few clicks to
create a tail. Press enters to complete the bone

4.Go to hypergraph to locate the joints that u created, before you forget, renames the first joint to pelvis.
Pelvis should be on the top of the hierarchy.

5.Press Y to return to previous tool, creates joints all the way from pelvis to the head, and beware to locate the neck joint to the right place. You can always adjust the bone later before you create any IK handles.

6.Open the hypergraph and you will notice there are 2 set of joints.

click for larger version

7.Rename the newly created joints to backbone shoulder joint and neck joint accordingly. Then, we have to parent the set 2 of bone to pelvis to become the dragon's backbone structure. To do this, you can either MMB drag the 2nd set of bone into pelvis or from the side view, select backbone structure (child), shift select the pelvis (parent) press P to parent. Either way will do.

click for larger version

8. Now, you should have this in your hypergraph. Pelvis will always stay at the top of the hierarchy. If you not get it, something is wrong and u needs to check it out.

And you should get this in your side view: both sets are connected and the pelvis joint should be the central of them.

click for larger version

10. Go to front view to make sure the bones are at the center on the creature. If not, select the pelvis and press w to translate it. As you can see, by select only the pelvis joint, you will be able to move the whole bone structure; this is because pelvis joint stay at the top of the hierarchy. Get the idea?

click for larger version

11. Ok, I will start create bones for it's torso.

12. Parent the bones to pelvis joint.

13.Using the same method to create it leg. Rename the joints to name like Lt_leg, knee, ankle, and toes - any name you like. Position the left leg's bone structure to the correct location.

14. Mirror the left leg to right side by -> skeleton -> mirror joint option. In this case, I selected mirror across YZ.

click for larger version

15.Then, I will parent the 2 legs to torso joint.

16. By using the same method, you should be able to complete the whole skeleton.