Poser Tutorials


Character Creation: Setup and Rigging

This document covers techniques used in character creation such as: Adding Bones, Editing Joint Parameters, Labels and Limits, Setting Inverse Kinematics (IK), Setting the Default Pose, and Basic .CR2 editing

If you have not already downloaded the support Runtime for this tutorial, get it here.

This tutorial covers the basic steps and techniques used in Rigging a model and making it ready for use in Poser.

Requirements: Poser Pro is required.

Adding Bones

Once you have your grouping done for your character, you are almost ready to enter the setup room to create your bone structure for your character. Before we do, let's quickly recap one important area from the grouping section, the head. In the grouping part of this tutorial, you were shown how to create the head group and add other parts of the character mesh into it, the teeth, gums and tongue. This is very important because when we create the head bone it will need to control all of these pieces when posing. To see the a list of the groups after you have created them, open the grouping tool and click inside the box where the first group name is listed, this will bring up a list of your groups. Looking at the groups that were created in Nathan, we can see all the body parts as well as the original groupings for the teeth, gums, and tongue.

These groups are no longer needed and need to be removed. To do this, select the group you wish to remove and make sure it is shown in the group window, then click the "Delete Group" button. Do this for each other left over groups.

Close the grouping tool. Now, we are ready to enter the SetUp Room. Simply click on the setup tab. You will receive a dialog box that tells you that you are about to turn the figure prop into a figure and it will ask you if you wish to continue. Select "Ok". Once in the Setup Room,  you will see that it looks very similar to the pose room except you can not pose the figure in here. You will also notice a new tool icon on the tools the Bone tool.



This is the tool that we will use to create out bone structure. To see how you are drawing out the bones, you can switch the document style to outline. This way you will be able to see inside the mesh to position your bones better. The first bone we want to create is the hip bone. This is because the hip actor of the character is the root parent which all of the other bones are joined to and spread out from.(HipBone.png).

Simply position your mouse to the area that you want to start the bone and left click and draw out the bone. You will notice that the hip bone is drawn so it is point towards the floor with the wider end of the bone being base and the point being the tip, this is done to ensure that when rotating at the hip the character rotates properly. You can think that your hip is being pulled by gravity and your leg swings out from under you whether you are walking or doing a split so those bones would point down, but when you bend over, your spine bends from an opposite direction so those bones would be drawn pointing up.

There is also another important reason to try and draw you bones in the right direction, the rotation order of the joints. Poser reads this information and lists it according to the direction of the bone. If you draw the bone pointing down or up, then you have set the to YZX, if you draw the bone out to the side you have set the rotation to XYZ, and, if you draw to the front or back, then you have set the rotation to ZYX.  But if during your boning process you accidentally draw the bone in the wrong direction, don't worry, you can change the rotation order in the joint parameter window during the joint parameter process. We will cover this in greater details in the Joint Parameter section of this tutorial. You can name your bones as you create them to keep things a little more organized as you work. To do this, with the bone selected, click on the "Properties" tab on the parameters palette you will see two windows at the top one is the Internal name and the other is the Name. Change both names to match the name you created when doing your grouping. In this case, we are calling this first bone "hip".

Remember to press enter after typing each name so that way the names are written and the bones are automatically grouped into each body part group. Now, we will continue down the leg to build the bone structure for the right leg. When building the bone structure, it is a good idea to change your views by switching the different cameras so that you can get the angles of the bones to roughly follow the structure of the character. After drawing out each new bone for your skeleton, you can move and reposition each bone by simply switching to the Translate tool selecting the bone and moving it, doing this will move any child bone that is attached to it as well.

Another way to adjust your bones, is to move your mouse pointer over either the base or tip of the bone and make your adjustment. You will know when you have selected the base or the tip because your mouse pointer will change from the cross hair cursor to an eye cursor. Click your left mouse button and drag either the tip or base of your bone for your adjustment. This method will help you resize the bone on the Y-axis if you have made it too long or too short. Once you have the right leg boned and named, repeat the process for the left leg.

One thing to note, if you are building your bones and notice that one of the bones is not connected to it's parent bone by a small line, don't worry, you can parent it to the parent bone. To do this, simply select the bone you wish to parent, click on the properties tab on the palette and select "Set Parent". A hierarchy window will open up. Scroll down until you find the bone you wish use as the parent, select it and then select ok. Now you have your parent/child structure set. After completing both legs, you will probably notice that the bones for each leg are not a mirror copy of the other. Don't worry about this, any differences between the legs will be corrected once we start working on the joint parameters or you can use Poser's symmetry feature found in the Figure menu at the top. This feature will allow you to make one side of the body a mirrored copy of the other.

Continue working on the rest of the body. The hands are a good example of one parent bone having multiple child bones as the thumb and each finger are connected to it. To do this, draw out your bone that will be for the hand and then draw out the first bone or it's child. Once you have done that, go back and select your hand bone and draw out it's next child and continue this process until you have all five children bones of the hand drawn out.

Once you have this done, you can select each of the child bones for the fingers and thumb and continue to draw out the rest of the bones for the rest of your finger joints. The Head area is another unique place when setting up bones for your character. In the head of Nathan two dummy bones were created in between each eye bone and the head bone.

This was done to create a buffer between the child/parent relationship of the eyes and head. The purpose of these additional bones is to break that relationship so that way when you rotate the eyes in posing they won't effect the head. When the parent/child relationship is created in Poser, this allows for a blending of the two joints together for a smooth transition of one body part to the next. Insidethe figure .cr2 child, information is written into the parent body part to allow this transition. For the eyes, that is not something we want, if that relationship were left intact then what would happen when you rotated the eyes is that the eye socket would distort. This is something we don't want so dummy bones are created to separate the eyes from the head. Here's how our character Nathan looks with his bone structure completed.

Before we leave the setup room to begin work on the joint parameters, there is still one more step to take. In Nathan's head, we created the dummy bones between the head bone and each eye bone to break the parent/child relationship, you can now simply delete them by selecting each dummy bone and hitting the delete key. You will notice that each eye bone is still parented to the head but they are independent in movement

Editing Joint Parameters

When setting up joint parameters for your character, there is on key element you must possess, patience. This is not an overly difficult process but it does take time and you will find that you will have to spend more time on certain body parts to get them to bend correctly. Also, during this process remember to save your work often, preferably by saving your character to the character library and also save backups. When you have successfully completed one part of the body, save it under a new name so, if you have to backtrack, you can quickly do so by reloading an alternate version of the character. There is nothing worse or more frustrating than having to redo work all over again.

Now that we have completed the bone structure for Nathan, it's time to move back into the pose room and edit those joints for correct movement. To leave the setup room, simply click on the Pose tab and enter the Pose room. At the top of the Pose window, you will see the name of the figure (in our case it is Nathan) and next to that you will see the name of the current actor selected. To see a list of all your body parts, click on the current actor name and a small menu will appear, then click Body Parts, and a list of all your body parts will appear. You can also click on each body part of your figure in the pose room and the current actor name will change to each of the body parts that is currently selected. One note to make before we start working on the joint parameters (jp's), you can give your character a unique name to help identify it in the select figure menu. To do this, open the Hierarchy editor listed in the Window's menu at the top. Here you can see the hierarchy of your character (the parent/child relationship of your joints ) as well as the names of your figure and body parts.

In the Hierarchy editor, you can re-name your figure as well as re-arrange the order of the body parts listed. I've change the figure's name from Figure1 to Nathan.

When you have your figure renamed you can close the Hierarchy window. We will be using it again later to set up our Inverse Kinematics (Ik) after we have set the joint parameters.

When working with joint parameters. it is best to set your document style to one of the the wire frame modes: Wire, Hidden or Lit Wire and. if you have a hard time seeing the joint parameters. you can change your display from OpenGL Hardware to SreeD Software in your display menu, Display > PreviewDrawing. For this tutorial, I have set the document to Hidden and the display preview to Show. Now, lets select the hip actor by clicking on the hip and open the joint editor. Go to the Windows menu and select the Joint Editor. When the joint editor opens, the first thing we see is the center point window and it's values. Let's take a look at each of these and understand what they mean.

At the top, you will see a box with the word Center, clicking on this will bring up a menu that will allow you to select the different attributes for the joint. Below this box is the Show Deformers with a check next to it, this will turn hide or show the Spherical Falloff Zones which will be discussed later. You can leave this checked. Below are two rows of boxes for the hip joint. The first row is the location in 3d space of the center point for the hip and the second row is the location of the end point for the hip. These values are important because they represent the center of your rotation for the body part, in this case the hip. The next thing to look at is the Orientation, this is where you can set the angle of your center point so that it follows the angle of the body part. The final area to look at is the Rotation order. If you click on the rotation order, you will get a menu that will allow you to select from six different combination of rotations. Here is a list of the body part rotation orders and the rotation labels for each of the body parts that we will be working with through out this tutorial. The labeling of the rotations will come later in this section of the tutorial. You will notice that the list contains more body parts that what we have created for Nathan. These addition body parts could be used for creating a more advanced figure.

For the hip, we will leave the order at YZX. When the joint editor is open, you will see two cross hairs appear on the hip, the green one is the center point and the red one is the end point.

Not all body parts will have both cross hairs, only the ones that don't have child bones attached to them or have multiple children attached: the hip, the hands and the head. Moving your cursor over the center of the cross hair you will see that the cursor changes from a cross hair to an eye. This means that you can now move your center point around to orientate it better to the body part. The green cross hair represents the center of your rotations so it is best to keep it as close to the joint intersection where the joint's movements will begin. Once it is set at the joint intersection, orientate the cross hair so that it centrally located in the central mass of the body part. One other point to make about the location of the center point, for the hip, waist, abdomen, chest, neck and head setting the center point on the x axis to zero is essential to keeping the figure balanced. Since the hip is the root actor of our character, we only need to worry about the set up of the center point. Now, let's move on and begin setting up the jp's for the rest of the body. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will start at the toes and work our way up the leg. We won't be covering all the body parts but the method shown here can be used through out the characters body.

With the joint editor open, select the right toe. The first thing we want to do is make sure the rotation order is correct for the toe. You can refer to the rotation order list that I have provided to make sure that your body parts have the correct rotation. If you find a body part that doesn't have the correct rotation order, simply click on the rotation order and select the correct one from the list. One thing to note, if you change the order of your rotation on a body part such as the feet, legs, arms or eyes you need to need to change the rotations on the opposite body part as well so that they match up. After you have ensured that your rotation is correct, move your center point to the intersection of the foot and toe and align it into the center mass of the mesh, following the center line of the toe so that the center point follows the angle of the toe. Remember to use the orientation dials to rotate the center and end points, the orientation dials will rotate both at once. Then, move the end point so that it is aligned to the center point but just outside the tip of the toe actor.

Feel free to switch your camera settings to get this properly aligned. I find working in the main, left and top cameras best for this. One thing you can do when working in the top camera is to turn off body parts that you aren't working on. You can hide the body parts by opening the Hierarchy editor and clicking on the eye icon next to each of the body parts you wish to hide. After you have the center and end points lined up, go to the joint editor and click on the top box where the Center is labeled.

This will open a menu that will allow you to select the each of the rotation attributes which we will work on.

Select the z rotation. When have done this, you will notice a long line with a handle at opposite ends, one red and the other green in the pose room on the body part.

In the joint editor, you will see controls for this. At the top, you will see under the Show Deformer box, a box labeled Spherical Falloff Zones. If you check this box, Poser will create two spheres: a red one and a green one. For the toe actors, we won't be using them with any of the attributes, but later, for the foot body part, we will be so they will be discussed then. Next, we have the StartTwist and EndTwist.

In these, you will see the numerical value for your rotation. These values will change as you change the attribute. This particular attribute is unique, later on when we label these attributes you will see that the first one will always be the twist attribute regardless of what angle it is. What makes this first attribute unique is that it isn't dependant on the center point, you can adjust either the size and placement of the attribute by moving each handle, this will allow you to adjust just how much or how little of the body part is effected by it. The red handle represents the start of the twist and the green is the end of it. For this rotation to look smooth, you need a smooth transition in the mesh from the end of the twist to the start so to check that turn the zRotate dial in the parameter palette to a relatively high value in both the positive and negative directions and watch the mesh, you may need to change your document style to SmoothLined in order to see this better. Once you are happy with the transition, reset the dial on the parameter palette to 0.

Let's select the next rotation attribute in the joint editor, for the toe it will be the yRotate attribute. Later, we will name this attribute Side-Side, but, in some of the other body parts, it will have a different label. We see in the joint editor a new set of controls:

Below the Spherical Falloff Zones are the Exclusion: Static A, Static D and Inclusion: Dynamic B and Dynamic C values. And lastly the Bulge settings. Presently, the Apply Bulge is uncheck and there are no values on the dials. After we have set the rotation, we may apply this control. In the pose room, the Inclusion and Exclusion values are represented by four angled lines, two red (the exclusion values) and two green (the inclusion values). Adjusting each of these will change the numeric values labeled in the joint editor. The polygons that are in between the two green lines are the ones that will be directly affected by the rotation and the polygons between the two red lines will not be effected by the rotation. The area between each of the green-red lines is your blending area and those polygons will give you a smooth transition from the inclusion zone and the exclusion zone.

To adjust the areas, let's go again to the parameter palette and apply a positive value to the y rotation dial, a value of 25 is good. Next, lets first adjust the inclusion polygons by moving the cursor over the ends of each green angle line. When the cursor turns from a crosshair to an eye, you can move the angle of the line either further out or in to change the amount of polygons that are directly effected by the rotations. Adjust each green line until you are happy with the results. Now, do the same thing for each of the red angle lines. Remember that when you make your adjustments to either include or exclude polygons you will either increase or decrease the blending area. When you are happy with your adjustments, return to the parameter palette and apply a negative value to the y rotation dial and check your results. You may have to make some more adjustments to your angle lines if you are not happy with the new results. Remember, when you are adjusting body parts, to test them in both directions for the attributes. What looks good in one direction, may not look good in the other so it is a balancing act to find a set of angle values that works for both directions. You will probably have to go back and forth until you have achieved a good balance in both directions. Now that we have the angles set on Nathan's toes, we can see that there are some small issues with bulging and creasing so we will use the apply bulge control in the joint editor.

To apply the bulge setting in the joint editor, put a check next to the Apply Bulges. Now you can use the dials below to adjust the mesh to smooth out the crease and bulge in Nathan's toe. The four dials are labeled right neg, left neg, right pos and left pos. The right and left negative dials will adjust the mesh when the rotation dial on the parameter palette has a negative value on it and, conversely, the right and left positive dials will adjust the mesh when the rotation dial has a positive value on it. What value to use on these dials is up to the discretion of the character creator but I should point out that the density of the mesh should be taken into account as well. A lower density mesh would allow for higher values on the bulge dials while a higher density mesh would only require a small value for adjustment. If you use too high of values, you will either balloon or collapse the mesh. Putting a negative value in the bulge dials, will cause the mesh to compress inwards and a positive value will expand the mesh outwards. For Nathan's toe, you can see that the values used where not that high.

For the next rotation attribute, the x rotation you will see that the controls in the joint editor look identical to those from the previous rotation attribute so the only thing that needs to be said here is to repeat the process for the last joint attribute until you are satisfied with the rotation of the body part.

Now that you have the joint parameters set up for the right toe, the next thing you want to do is copy them over to the left toe. Before you can do this, select the left toe and make sure it has the same rotation order as the right one. When you have done this, go to the Figure menu and select Symmetry then select Right to Left, Figure > Symmetry > Right to Left. You will see a message dialog asking if you want to copy the joint zone's setup also. Select yes. You have now mirrored the right toe over to the left. You can verify this by selecting the left toe and looking at all the rotation attributes. Let's move on to the foot now.

The method for setting up the joint parameters in the toes is the same method used in setting all the joint parameters throughout the body so I won't be repeating any of the steps here. Instead, what I will be covering is the use of the Spherical Falloff Zones and pointing out that the rotation order for the foot is different from that of the toes, but the same as those in the shins and thighs. Again, refer to the rotation order list to verify that you have the right rotation orders for the different parts of the body. You will also notice that there no end point in the foot, that is because the foot is not an end joint and has only one child bone attached to it.

The first rotation attribute that will use the spherical falloff zones is the z rotation. After you have set your center point properly and are satisfied with your y rotation attribute, select the z rotation attribute to open it's joint editor controls. Now, put a check next to the Spherical Falloff Zones.

You instantly see that Poser has created two sphere in the center of the pose room, a green one and a red one. The green sphere acts identically to the green angles of the rotation attributes in that everything within the green sphere is effected directly by the rotation-inclusion, and everything outside the red sphere is left un-effected by the rotation- exclusion. The area inside the red sphere but outside the green sphere is your blending area.

You will also see that the spheres come in at a very large size. Don't worry, you can adjust the size of them to fit the needs of the body part. First, move each sphere so that it is located centrally encompassing the body part i.e. the right foot. To do this, select each sphere and either drag it across the screen with your mouse or use the x, y, or z trans dials on the parameter palette to move them into position. Now that you have them positioned where you want them, adjust the size of each using the four scaling dials on the parameter palette. You can change the preview of the spheres by selecting each and then changing the "element" style by going to the display menu and selecting Element Style and selecting a solid preview to ensure that the sphere are completely covering the body part. You can then change the preview back to outline afterwards. You will also find that, after scaling, you will have to reposition each sphere again to encompass the foot. Because the toe is the child of the foot you want to make sure the green inclusion sphere encompasses that as well, if you don't, then when you rotate the foot your toe will not move along with the foot properly.

I should point out that, while you should encompass the toe actor within the green inclusion sphere, that is not going to be the case for every body part that you use the spherical falloff zone. It is not necessary to have the red outer sphere completely encompass the green one. The purpose of the red sphere is to act as a barrier to the joint parameter while at the same time creating a blending zone for the green inner sphere. Once you have the spherical falloff zones sized and positioned around the foot, you can adjust the rotation attributes as before until you are happy with how the foot poses in the z rotation. Now, repeat the process for the x rotation attribute of the foot.

While working on your character, you will find that you may not get the sphericals set up properly on the first or second try, two major areas where this will be the case are the thighs and collars of the character. In the thigh, you have a very tight area in the crease where the thigh joins the hip as well as the buttock area and in the collar you have a large amount of mesh but not all of it needs to be affected by the rotation. These areas also have the greatest range of motion so be patient and don't be afraid to experiment with the sphericals in size and placement. Sometimes what you think may not work will be what succeeds and also remember to test your joints in both directions as you are working with the joint attributes and spherical falloff zones.

There is a fourth attribute in the joint editor that you will need to be concerned with because this helps you scale body parts to change the proportions if you desire. This attribute looks similar to the attribute that controls the twist rotation except the long center line is red.

Moving the green or red handles will adjust where and how much of the mesh the scaling effects. This attribute is always one that you, the character creator, should experiment with to get the desired effect.

In some body parts, you won't have to worry about setting all three of the rotation attributes because the human body skeletal system restricts the movement in those areas. The shins and forearms are good examples of areas that only need to have two of the three rotations set. The eyes are another exception but those will be talked about later. For the shin, you only need to worry about the Y and X rotation, the forearm only needs the X and Y rotations. While you can still rotate the body parts on the unneeded rotation axis, the figure would look un-natural unless this is what you intend for your character.

When working on your joints, you may notice that they flatten out, I call this the "Table Effect". What causes this is when one of your inclusion or exclusion angles is too close to the mesh and that causes the flattening out.

You can correct this by moving the angles away from the mesh and by applying bulges in the joint editor for the rotation attribute.

It is up to you, the character creator, to decide what works best for your character. In the beginning of this tutorial, it was mentioned that in joints that have alot of movement you should build up the density of the mesh to prevent the mesh from becoming blocky. As you can see in Nathan's knee, this was done and the knee has a very smooth bend to it.

Another situation you may encounter when working with joint parameters is "pinching", when the mesh compresses in on itself.

If you think about your skin and how it reacts when you bend your joints, it does compress on itself and pinches so this may be acceptable to you. Again, it is subjective. You can keep adjusting your inclusion/exclusion angles and sphericals to lessen this if you don't want this effect.

When setting up the joint parameters for the eyes, there are two things that you really need to do here. The first is to get the center points aligned to the center mass of the eye. The eyes and hip are the only two body parts that should have the center point located dead center. The next thing to do is to turn off the bend for the eyes. To do this, select each eye and open the properties on the parameter palette and uncheck the Bend box.

You have now turned the eyes into free floating body parts and don't need to adjust the rotation attributes. Just make sure your center point is positioned in the center of the eye. As mentioned earlier, the eyes will only be using two of the three rotation angles, X and Y. At the end of this joint parameter section, I will show you how to hide the Z rotation inside the character file so that it won't show up on the parameter palette.

Another important area to talk about is the thumb joints. The first thumb joint uses the twist attribute in a unique way by moving the thumb into a cupping position. The attribute runs parallel to the joint instead of down the center of it. Setting up the rotation axis and it's handles is very important so that all the mesh outside the green handle will have the full twist effect. The mesh outside the red handle will not be effected with the axis line being the blending area. This, along with the placements of the spherical falloff zones, is what allows the first thumb joint to rotate into that cup.

Labels and Limits

Now that you have the joints completed for your character, it's time to label the rotation dials and set the limits for each joint of your character. The labeling of the dials is just an easy way for the user to identify which directions that dial controls. See the rotation and label list that I provided in the joint parameter setup section to see how you should label each dial for each body part. When using limits inside of Poser, the program restricts the rotations of the body parts to they don't ever go beyond the values that you give. The helps prevent your character from seeming unnatural in it's movements. When deciding what values you should use for your limitations, think about your own body. Each of us have different ranges of flexibility. Athletes are far more flexible than the average person and there are also people that have the ability to wrap themselves up like a pretzel. For example, you can set the z rotation of the hand to a range of -75 to 70. This is a pretty typical range of motion for hand movement. Remember, when dealing with body parts that have opposites, the values that you give on the rotations will be mirror opposites for the other side. Again, in the hand the z rotation for the right hand could be -75 to 70 but for the left hand that range would be -70 to 75. As you go through these ranges, you can verify what values should be given mirror opposites by moving the rotation dials. On any body part that has a restricted movement such as the shin, with the z rotation, use the values of 0 and 0 and, when using limitations, Poser will effectively lock those dials so, even though you can move the dials, the body parts won't move. Now that you understand what the labeling and limits do, let's go ahead and actually set some up. First, select the rToe actor on your character, then double click on the zRotate dial in the parameters palette. This will open your parameter settings dialog box.

In this dialog, you will see the first box labeled Value and this should have a value of zero. We will leave this alone. The next box below is your Minimum Limit, this will always be a negative value, so let's set it to -10. Next is the Maximum Limit. This will always be a positive value, change the value to 20. Then in the Name box you see zRotate from the rotation list above you see that for the rToe the z rotation has the label of Twist so change the name to Twist. The last box is labeled Sensitivity. This box tells Poser how fast or how slow to move the dial when the user rotates it. Leave this value at one. When you have made your changes, they should look like the changes I have made.

Select ok to close the dialog box. Looking at the parameter palette, you will now see that the zRotate for the rToe is now labeled Twist. Repeat this process for each body part. When you get to the eyes, do not label the zRotate dial. Later, I will show you have to do basic .cr2 editing to hide that unused dial. One thing to note is that the symmetry feature in Poser will not allow you to mirror your limit values over from one side of the body to the other. You will have to manually do each body part which is why I mentioned that each opposing sides will have mirror opposite values. The one body part that won't have any labels or limits is the Hip actor. This is because the hip is the root parent for the entire body and using it's rotations will rotate the entire body. Save your work when you have finished.

Setting Inverse Kinematics (IK)

Poser's Inverse Kinematics aids you in creating natural poses and animations and are very easy to set up. An IK is a chain of body parts with a goal or end part of the chain. In the legs, the goal would be the feet and in the arms the goal would be the hands. When using IK's, you can select the feet or hands and move them and the rest of the body parts in the chain will move along with them. I've created a list of body parts associated with each IK chain in the figures body.

To set up each IK, open the Hierarchy Editor. Scroll to the bottom of the window until you see IK Chains. Select it, you will then see the "Create IK Chain" button become active.

Click the Create IK Chain button. A dialog box will open prompting you to give your IK chain a name. Label it LeftLeg. Repeat this three more times for the RightLeg, LeftHand and Right Hand IK chains, remember to select the IK Chain label in the hierarchy each time before clicking the create IK chain button.

Now we have blank IK Chains, we need to tell them what body parts are in them. To do this, first click on the arrow next to Nathan's waist, this will collapse the hierarchy for all the body parts parented to the waist actor, this will make things easy to work on when creating the IK chains for the legs. Next, select the Left Thigh from the hierarchy list and while holding the left mouse button drag it down to and over the LeftLeg label in your IK Chain list then release the mouse button. You will get a message telling you that this action can not be undone. Do you wish to continue? Select ok. Now you will see that the left thigh is listed under the leftleg ik chain with the word goal in parentheses. Don't worry about that, the thigh isn't the goal, the foot is but Poser will always label the last body part in the chain as the goal and since right now you only have the thigh poser has labeled that as the goal.

Select the Left Shin and repeat the same process and again for the Left Foot. When you are done, you should have the left thigh listed first, then the left shin and lastly the left foot as the goal.

If you make a mistake in this process, you will have to delete the character out of the scene and reload him and try again. This is why it is always good to save your work in increments. If you do make a mistake, you won't have to redo a lot of work. So save often and save after each IK chain is created! Repeat this process for each of the remaining three IK chains until you have each build.

Once you have your IK Chains created you can close the Hierarchy Editor.


Setting The Default Pose and Memorizing the Character.

Now that you have your IK Chains created, you need to set a default pose for your character. The default pose will consist of posing your characters legs in such a way so that when you have your IK's turn on and move the figure's hips the legs will move in a natural fashion and not buckle or bend in odd ways. The best way to do this is to go to the Figure menu select "Use Inverse Kinematics" and put a check next to the left and right legs.

Now, with the Translate/Pull Tool selected select your character's hip actor and pull it towards the ground and watch how your character's legs bend. Most likely, they will bend backwards in an unnatural fashion.

This tells us that the legs have to be posed slightly bent forwards and, because the knees buckled towards the center, you may have to twist the legs outwards as well and probably pose them to the sides. You will find that you will need to pose the thighs, shins, and feet to properly obtain your default pose. To make your adjustments, go to Figure > Use Inverse Kinematics and uncheck both legs, this will allow you to pose your body parts separately. When you have one leg posed, you can use the symmetry feature to mirror it over to the other leg. Test your pose by turning on the IK for the legs and pull down on the hip. You may have to do this a few times until you get the legs bending naturally with the IKs on. After you have found your default pose, make sure you have the IKs turned on. Now it is time to memorize your figure. This is so, that if after posing your figure, you decide you do not like the pose, you can very quickly restore him back to the default position. To do this, simply go to the Edit menu select Memorize then select Figure. Now save your work again.

Basic .CR2 Editing

Now that we have our figure completed, we still need to hide the zRotate dial in each of the eyes. We are going to do this because that rotation dial is not needed. There are a few .cr2 editing programs available for free download but, for this tutorial, we will be using a simple text editor. I like to use NotePad2, it is also a free download. Launch your text editor program and open your character's .cr2 file by going to open and directing it to where that file is located. Make sure you have the file type set to "All Files". Next go to Edit > Find and type in lefteye and hit the find button twice, this will bring you to the actual left eye actor and all it's information.

Now, in the find dialog, type in zrot and hit the Find button twice. This will take you to the information for the zRotate dial.

Five lines below the words rotatez zrot, you will see the word hidden with a zero next to it. Change that zero to a one. What this does is tell Poser that this dial is hidden and not to be shown on the parameter palette. Repeat the process for the right eye. After you have hidden the zrotate dial in both eyes, save your .cr2 under a new name just for testing. Go to File > Save As > "Newfilename".cr2, make sure you save the file with the extension of .cr2. This will ensure that poser reads the file correctly and you can load the figure into the scene. Make sure you have "All files" set in the File type box, then select Save. Now, load your new figure into the scene and select each eye. You will see that now the z rotation dial is hidden from the parameter palette.


Once you have correctly setup and rigged the character you should proceed to creating morph targets.

Get the latest News, Deals and Updates!