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Character Rigging Joint Placement

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

Tips on Biped character Joint Placement


Scene and Character Mesh Preparation

Set up the Asset scene

  • Set up with texture and lighting

  • Clean the outliner: toolbar>windows> outliner

  • Merge the character mesh to one: Mesh>combine

  • Delete the history of the combined mesh: Select the mesh > edit> delete all by type

  • Naming convention: Charactername_Geo

  • Make sure the character sit exactly in the center on the (0,0,0)

  • Adjust Pivot point (0,0,0) Hold down the D key to adjust the pivot point and snap it to the grid

  • Zero out the transformation: Modify> Freeze transformation

  • Check symmetrical.

  • Save Geo as a separate fold, then reference into the rigging scene


Joint Placement

  • turn on x-ray joint and wireframe on shade to help place the joints

  • When placing joints think about skin weight, which verts will be effect by the joint, keep the joint in the center of those verts/mass

  • for those joints on the center, keep x transform 0

  • Joint orientation is very important when placing the joint, in simple turn, all the joints' XYZ is pointed in the right direction. (Skeleton>orient joint tool)

  • joint rotate order:

    • for example, when the rotate order is xyz that mean x rotate itself, y rotate x and y, z rotate x, y, z

    • game-engine tend to use xyz

    • plan your joint rotation order around what types of movement your character is doing

  • Gimble lock

Pelvis Joint

Upper leg

Knees joints

Ankle joints

(make sure you ankle joint is at least a bit behind the knee joint)

(Use aim constraint to help leg, knees, ankle joint aim to each other)

Foot joints

Chest ,spine 1 and spine 2 joint






Neck and head

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