Bone Chain Configuration


Core Configuration and Creation

Name:

Sets the Selected Bone Chain Name property. The Bone Chain Name can be freely changed during the Skeleton Creation process and working with the Skeleton Controls. The Name is also relied upon for Mirroring and Flipping sets of Bone Chains. The Name can freely be changed at any point through Character Rigging and Animation. Users should be aware that if object names have been manually changed in the Scene, changing this property will override those names. Changes after a Bone Chain has been created in the Maya Scene may take some time to complete.


Only ASCII characters can be used in the Name, and if incorrect characters are added, it will immediately undo the change.

Direction:

Configures the Selected Bone Chain Direction for initial Chain Creation. If the Direction is changed after Chain Creation, the Chain will not change Direction until a Bone Chain refresh is invoked through one of the following property changes: Bone Count, Base Bone, Stretch Type, and Ignore Parent. Changes to the property will update the Bone Chain Nodes Mirror Configuration and update the Bone Chain Nodes names with the new Direction.

Colour:

Set the colour of the selected bone chain colours.


Bone Chain Mirroring


Mirror:

Configures the Mirror direction for the Selected Bone Chain for the Mirroring and Flipping controls. Changes to the property will update the Bone Chain Nodes Mirror Configuration and update the Bone Chain Nodes names with the new Direction.


For mirroring Komotion chains, at least two Bone Chains in the Selected Skeleton must have:

  • Identical Bone Chain names
  • Matching 'Mirror Order' values
  • Differing Mirror Directions values (e.g. Left and Right), with neither set as Neutral

Mirror Order:

Used to configure sets of Bone Chains for use with the Mirroring and Flipping controls. Bone Chains must be setup with identical Bone Chain Names and identical Mirror and Direction properties for creating these sets.



Bone Chain Creation


The created Chain will have a key set for nearly every object to allow for instant auto-keying when necessary.


Bones:

Set the Bone Count for the Selected Bone Chain.

These values can be changed before and after Chain Creation. Changes will be visible in the Viewport if the Chain exists in the Scene.

Controllers:

When the value is set, the Selected Bone Chain is created in the Maya Scene. If the Selected Bone Chain exists in the scene and the Bone Count value changes, the Chain in the scene is immediately updated. Setting the value back to 0 will remove the chain from the Maya Scene.


For example, setting ‘Bones’ to ‘10’ and ‘Controllers’ to ‘30’ will configure the resulting ‘Bone Count’ as ‘300’. A chain multiplies together the ‘Bones’ and ‘Controllers’ values for the total bone count (10 x 30 = 300).


Bone chain created with - Bones: 5 - Controllers: 1

Bone chain created with - Bones: 1 - Controllers: 5


Configuration

NOTE: These properties should only be changed during the Skeleton Creation/Rigging process.

Panel: Pos. and Rot. Locks


Lock Position and Lock Rotation

Locks the local ‘Rotation’ and 'Position' attributes of the selected bone chain in the X, Y and Z axes. One key use is for configuring a Bone Chain for use as a Human Leg. This property causes Kinematic controls to have their local axis properties (attributes) changed.

Panel: Sizes


Bone - Sizing bone segments for the selected Chain.

Skin - Sizing for the selected Chain skins.

Controller - Sizing for the selected Chain Controllers.

Base Chain - Sizing elements for the selected Chain base.


Ignore Parent: Rotation

Configures the Bone Chain to ignore parent chain rotations, with one use cases being a humanoid or creature's foot. This configures the Kinematic Matrix (Node) to have no orientation constraint to the current parent chain.


Stretch Type: Uniform

Configures the Bone Chain 'Path Objects' to have non-parametric (uniform) bone stretching. By default, it is unchecked for Parametric (non-uniform) stretch.


When this property changes with the Bone Chain existing in the scene, the bone chain will be deleted, re-calculated and refreshed. During this process, any manual modifications or links to the chain created by the user will be removed. The path is re-calculated and refreshed, and Child Chains will be rendered useless.


Curve Type: Apply


Change the chain spline to a Bezier type. The 'curve' property Degree changes from '1' to '3'.


When this property changes with the Bone Chain existing in the scene, the bone chain will be deleted, re-calculated and refreshed. During this process, any manual modifications or links to the chain created by the user will be removed. The path is re-calculated and refreshed, and Child Chains will be rendered useless.


Chain Twists

Set bone segments between controllers to twist more naturally. Useful for wrist deformations and more.


Corrective Joints

Smooth out deformations such as elbows and more. Often needed when corrective blend shapes are too expensive (such as for game engines), and in general a quick way for obtaining relatively smooth joint deformations.


Head Bone

The Head Bone references the end bone in the chain. An example use case is for a head joint.


Base Bone

Causes the chain 'IK' to start on the Second Bone Segment of the chain. By default, it starts on Bone Segment One. One use case is for a Spine which needs a stable Pelvis.


The Bone Chain IK property (Attribute) ‘Start Joint’ changes from Bone Segment One to Bone Segment Two. During this process, any modifications or links to the Bone Chain created by the user will be removed. The first 'IK/FK' object will only interact with FK translation.




Bone Chain Dynamic Configuration


These configurations are passive, and they are only applied during the Bone Chain Creation process (when the Controllers value is changed). They are not linked to the Selected Rigs and Bone Chains, or any others. These should only be changed during the Skeleton Creation/Rigging process, and before modifying the Bone Chain in the scene with Manual Edits.


Maintain Chain:

This Passive Configuration option will result in Bone Chains maintaining their current offset in World Space, on Chain Creation and Chain Refresh events.


Parent To: Node




+ To Position

This Passive Configuration option changes the chains position to the new parent object when 'Node' pressed.


The ‘Node’ Button with '+To Pos' unchecked will parent the Selected Bone Chain to another selected chain or object within the scene.


The 'Node' Button with ‘+To Pos’ checked will parent and position the Bone Chain on the new parent object.


When the chain is parented to an object, a new torus object will be created and acts as the Chain's controller. The User can edit the torus size. When the Chain is parented to a Komotion Chain, no torus will be added, and if a torus already exists, it will be deleted.


Currently child chains orient themselves locally to parent objects during normal chain creation and parent button methods.