Cinema 4D / BodyPaint 3D Program Documentation Tutorials Character Builder Tutorial
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Adjusting the Rig

If you do not want to use the file from the previous section you can open an updated file here:


The next step is to adjust the rig so it fits our mesh. Since I have modeled my character in a different T-pose than the template rig, we will need to match each part of the rig to the mesh manually.

Select any component and switch to the Adjust tab. The adjust mode is a bit special, as your Viewport display will change and show Handles which were defined in the template file. Handles are basically specific objects/controllers that are attached to other objects through selection and constraints rules defined by the template creator. This process is totally transparent for the user of the template. You simply have to drag the handles in the Viewport. The Character object will take care of the rest (it will align all necessary controllers, objects and joints properly).

We will start by dragging the Spine and Pelvis handles into place. Switch to the front view, select the Spine handle and drag its Z axis until both Pelvis and Spine are placed properly on the character (the Pelvis handle will follow the Spine handle automatically).

Now select the L_Leg handles (Hip, Knee and Ankle Tip handles) and drag them into place in the front view. You will notice that both leg handles move simultaneously because Symmetry is activated in the Adjust tab. You can disable symmetry at any time if your mesh is asymmetrical.

Now switch to the side view and adjust the leg handles so the skeleton fits your mesh. You will also need to adjust the Ball and Heel handles of the leg components so that the ball handle is aligned with the ball of the foot's edge loop, and the Heel handle placed near the mesh's heel (dragging the Ankle handle should place most feet handles properly. However, you will need to tweak their position).

Tip:
You can hide components from the view if needed, as any other object. For better selection from the side view in this Project you can hide everything except the leg components.

Once this is done we will need to adjust the orientation of the knees. Here, we can adjust the leg Pole Vectors, which control the orientation of the knees, so that the knees bend forward and not sideways when we lift the feet. You can display the rig controllers by switching the Objects mode to Controllers, in the Adjust tab. This will have no impact on the orientation of the knee when in Adjust mode, though, as all expressions are disabled, and the pole vector position will just be set to a new starting position without actually affecting the knee orientation.

When using the Advanced Biped template you will need to switch to Animate mode to activate all expressions, then place your Knee controllers from there to reorient the IK planes (and subsequently the knees). Switch to Animate mode and adjust the position of each knee's pole vector/controller by dragging them into the Viewport or by using the Coordinates Manager. Symmetry is disabled when using the Animate mode, so simply move each controller using symmetrical values on the world X axis (40 cm and -40 cm from the World origin in this case).

Tip:
At any time during the adjustment process you can switch to Animate mode to check if the rig behaves properly when you drag its controllers around (useful to check if pole vectors are aligned properly, for example). Once your check has been performed, you can switch back to Adjust mode and continue adjusting the rest of the rig.

You can now switch back to Components mode, in the Objects option of the Adjust tab and unhide the rest of the components.

We will then adjust the position of the arms. Drag the arms handles (Collar, Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist handles) in place from the front, side and top views and make sure everything fits properly (properly also means that handles need to be placed near edge loops, as these are your axes of rotation for each joint). Feel free to move and/or rotate your handles, as the hierarchies are treated as forward kinematic, so Parent objects will affect Child objects, too.

Tip:
As with any other objects within a hierarchy, you can hold the 7 hotkey to move a Parent object independently of its Child objects. This is a good way to make minor adjustments without losing the orientation and placement of the objects placed as a Child of the handle you are trying to adjust. Keep in mind that it won't work on a few specific handles, depending on the rig, because the parenting might have been done through constraints instead of simple nested objects.

Now we will adjust the fingers. Depending on the template used and your mesh, you will notice that sometimes the handles obstruct your mesh so much that you cannot place or select them properly. To solve this issue, simply select any component and in the Display tab adjust the Size at 100% for this project, although we have enough breathing room to adjust the handles already.

Note that handle sizes can be set to World or Screen space. In Screen space, the handle size will stay relative to the level of zoom, so no matter how close or far you are from the handles, they will always appear the same relative size. Screen space has a clamp built in that prevents handles from being drawn too small, so don't worry if you don't notice any difference between small percentage sizes.

If you really need small handles, switch to World space and adjust as needed. The drawback to this method is that you will probably not be able to select handles when zoomed out, or get too big handles when zoomed in, as their sizes will stay fixed to the world coordinates.

Adjust all of the fingers’ handles. This part is a bit more tedious, as there are a lot of details and handles, but shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Use the Rotate tool to make your life easier and also make sure you align all handles with the corresponding middle edge loop of each knuckle, as these handles will be used as the axis of rotation for each finger - It might be easier to use a shading mode (e.g., Gouraud Shading (Lines)with lines in the Viewport (to see the mesh wireframe and edge loops more easily), and a disabled Subdivision Surface object to adjust these types of handles.

Next, move the Spine, Head, Neck and Jaw handles into position from the side view. For ease of access in the Viewport, hide everything except the Spine component.

In addition to the joints, the character controls can also be adjusted. To do so, select Controllers in the Character object's Adjust tab. The nodes can be used to adjust the controllers' position, scale and rotation.

Using the spline controllers and scale each of them so they are clearly visible over the character's mesh.

Once done, you can unhide all components and switch the Character object to Animate mode (in the Object tab) and check if the rig behaves properly. Here is the final, adjusted rig ready to be bound to the meshes.

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