Advanced character rigging

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Advanced Character Rigging with Maya 7.0

by ascottk


Skip to Advanced Character Rigging - Part Two

Skip to Advanced Character Rigging - Part Three

For a brief overview of getting animated characters into Doom 3, go here: Getting_Characters_and_their_Anims_into_Doom (you'll find the Maya 7 plugin here)


Behold! I bring you life, cretin!

Maya is a beast of a modeling program & it has a big learning curve. When you get used it, you'll find that the work flow can be pretty quick. Turning your Maya mesh into an animated Doom 3 model will require a lot of patience & a lot of work because of the fine tuning the weights of an animated rig. Unforeseen consequences, . . . ahem . . . like submeshes clipping through another submesh and unintentional rigging of joints you don't want, can be frustrating but those are the reasons for this tutorial!

First of all, here's a list of useful hotkeys:

  • Alt + Left Mouse Button - Rotate the view port ("Tumble")
  • Alt + Middle Mouse Button - Pan in the view port ("Track")
  • Alt + Right Mouse Button - Zoom in the view port ("Dolly")
  • F1 - Maya help (opens in a web broswer)
  • F2 - Animation specific menus
  • F3 - Modeling specific menus
  • F4 - Dynamics specific menus (not very useful for Doom 3)
  • F5 - Rendering specific menus (rendering current frames, texturing/lighting, etc.)

Need to know tools in Maya:



Attribute Editor


Paint Skin Weights Tool referred to occasionally as weight painter . . .


This tool is the one you'll want to familiarize yourself with, especially the Replace, Add and Smooth functions in the "Paint Weights" rollout.

Of course we'll need a mesh to rig.

Enter Diego's Thug character:


& now we'll need a skeleton to rig the mesh to:

The current skeleton shared among AI is on SVN in the model_src/ai_parts_mb svn folder called "tdm_rig_base.mb".


Now that we have all we need to start, let's go on to Part Two:

Advanced Character Rigging - Part Two