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Rigging a Winged Animal in Maya

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn how to rig a bird for animation in Maya.

Learn how to rig an entire bird character from start to finish in Maya. Jason Baskin takes you through the complete process, starting with a virtual skeleton—positioning joints and orienting them so that they behave predictably. You'll add controls so an animator can later keyframe and pose the character, concentrating on the wings and then moving to the feet and back. Then you'll establish the feather behavior, adding controls and attributes that allow the wing to be shaped for flight or rest. Jason even shows how to create squash, stretch, and bend deformations for more cartoonish animation styles. Finally, you'll bind the mesh to the skeleton and take your bird for a test flight.


  • Welcome
  • What you should know before watching this course
  • Using the exercise files
1. Creating the Basic Body Rig
  • Creating the skeleton
  • Rigging the primary wing joints
  • Getting started with the legs and feet
  • Completing the legs and feet
  • Rigging the back
  • Dealing with secondary appendages
2. Incorporating Advanced Body Deformers
  • Primary feathers overview
  • Working with the outer feathers
  • Working with the inner feathers
  • Shaping the feathers with wire deformers
  • Addressing the wing "tuck"
  • Making the back "stretchy"
  • Adding a Squash/Stretch/Bend deformer to the head
  • Tying the rig elements together
3. Attaching the Skin
  • Smooth binding the mesh to the skeleton
  • Refining skin weights
  • Testing the rig
  • Next steps

Taught by

Jason Baskin

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