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LinkedIn Learning

3ds Max: Character Rigging

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn how to rig your 3D characters for realistic motion and animation with 3ds Max.

3ds Max is a powerful 3D application with great rigging tools. This course covers the complete workflow for rigging characters for realistic motion and animation. Author George Maestri shows how to prep your model, draw a skeleton, and add controls: foot and leg controls, hip and spine controls, and controls that allow the animator to toggle between inverse and forward kinematics (IK/FK). Plus, learn to how to skin your character, and create hand and face rigs that allow for greater control over delicate hand movements and facial expressions.


  • Welcome
  • Using the exercise files
1. Getting Set Up
  • Prepping the model for rigging
  • Setting up layers
  • Naming schemes
2. Creating Skeletons
  • Drawing the leg chain
  • Adding bone fins
  • Mirroring the leg chains with bone tools
  • Positioning the hip bone
  • Drawing the spine
  • Positioning arm bones
  • Creating hand skeletons
  • Mirroring arm skeletons
3. Creating Leg and Foot Controls
  • Positioning the foot control splines
  • Setting up inverse kinematics (IK) chains
  • Rigging the heel and toe controls
  • Rigging the main foot control
  • Controlling knee direction
4. Creating Hip and Spine Controls
  • Configuring the main control
  • Setting up the spine
  • Head and neck controls
  • Creating shoulder controls
5. Creating FK/IK Controls
  • Creating control skeletons for the arm
  • Constraining the control skeletons
  • Setting up the forward kinematics (FK) skeleton controls
  • Setting up the IK skeleton controls
  • Wiring up the FK/IK switch
  • Making controls appear and disappear
6. Rigging Hands
  • Setting up the wrist control
  • Setting up finger FK controls
  • Getting the fingers to curl
  • Creating a control pane using attributes
  • Controlling finger spread
  • Rigging the thumb
7. Skinning Characters
  • Applying the Skin modifier
  • Adjusting envelopes
  • Fine-tuning vertex weights
  • Advanced weighting tools
  • Mirroring weights
8. Face Rigging
  • Understanding morph targets
  • Setting up a single-axis slider
  • Wiring parameters to control blinks
  • Setting up multiple-axis controls
  • Connecting parameters using Reactor
  • Creating a jawbone
  • Skinning the head
  • Controlling the jawbone
  • Controlling eye direction
  • Finalizing the face rig
  • Next steps

Taught by

George Maestri

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