Rigging a basic leg

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Using the modelling techniques I used to make the coke can I constructed a basic model of a leg using a combination of spheres, cylinders and cubes I was able to remodel the mesh to look more like a leg. I did this by making a basic foot model using two sets of squares from the ankle and the toes end of the foot. Furthermore by creating some cylinder shapes for the legs I was able to use the edge loop tool to adjust the mesh to have a more cone shape. I did this by going to Mesh>Insert edge loop which allowed me to add an extra edge to the mesh, for me to adjust the vertexes using the scale tool. But making a cone shape at the top of the cylinder allowed me to make a sphere for the knee joint to add the cone shape to the bottom of the sphere to help make the model look like a leg. But this was also the same for the top of the leg allowing me to adjust the leg to make it look like a robotic leg.

I also made a cylinder tilted sideways allowing me to help the connect both the two cubes for the feet together providing me with a nice robotic looking joint. Furthermore I have been able to use the vertex tool to adjust the cubes to make a foot looking shape by using the move and scale tool to help the foot look less like a cube and more like a foot. Anyway the main process of making this foot was using the rigging toolkit in Maya. Doing this task I was able to learn how to use the skeleton tool (joint tool) which allowed me to create the joints (bones) for the leg. To start this you need to go into the rigging menu, then go to Skeleton> Joint tool which allowed me to make the connections. I made it so that I connected the joints from the hip above the cylinder to the foot.

As it is seen above in the slideshow, which were all joints except for the last joint. Anyway making sure the joints were in the right place was to press 4 on the keypad to make the mesh in wireframe mode. This allows me to see through the mesh, so that I can adjust the position of the joints. This is done by simply pressing the mouse button to put the joint down. Plus by selecting the Ctrl key and right mouse you can make the dummy, the dummy is a joint that is the end of the joint connection meaning no other joint can be connected. However connecting the joint to leg to make it move is simple, by selecting the Joint and the specific parts of the mesh you press P this parents the mesh to the joints allowing you to move the mesh and joints at the same time. Unfortunately you cannot move the joints as you can click on them without selecting the mesh this is why we make controls.

However I can make controls using the NURBS curves which allows me to help make the curves for the controls so you go NURBS curves> Circle. This allows me to make circular curves which can then be attached/ parented to the controls. This is achieved by making all the curves attach to each of the joints in the leg so; the hip, upper leg, knee, and ankle all of these with a curve allow me to move the leg with the controls. By having the mesh still in wireframe mode, you can parent the joints to the curves, from bottom to top, allowing me to have each of the parts connected to the specific leg parts in the rig. All of these parts of the rig allow me to rotate each part of the leg so that is easier to animate later on.

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