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Chapter 3. Character Skeleton Setup > Increasing Rig Functionality

Increasing Rig Functionality

You can animate the basic rig you created in the preceding section as it is, but it would lack efficiency. You would have to manually animate every control, and some skeletons and IK handles would still not have easily selectable control icons associated with them. The backbone joints, for instance, must be selected and animated individually. In this section, you refine the basic rig that you created in the preceding section, and add new controls that make it easier for you to animate your character. This process primarily involves connecting channels using constraints, mathematical expressions, and setting driven keys.

Using Constraints to Create Eye Controls

One of the few body parts of your character that won’t be bound to skeletons is the eye geometry. Eyeballs usually don’t deform much and need to be able to move around freely in their sockets. Even on a cartoon character that squashes and stretches, the eyeballs should be deformed with a lattice rather than skeletons. This is because skeletons lock the transforms of the geometry bound to them. So if you bind your eyeballs, you won’t be able to move them around to make your character look in different directions. Instead, you should parent the eyeballs into your rig hierarchy, and use constraints to make controls for moving your character’s eyes around.


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