• Sunday , 19 November 2017

How to Rig an IK/FK Spine in Maya

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Recommended additional research: “Animator Friendly Rigging” by Jason Schleifer. Jason is a world renown artist, animator and creature technical director and has rigged and animated creatures for the likes of Weta Digital, PDI Dreamworks, Animation Mentor and many others. He has a collection of video tutorials for sale on his website (jasonschleifer.com/afr/) and if you’re serious about being an animator or a character TD, you should purchase them. The tutorial I’ve created here is my own take on some of Jason’s teachings with my own custom modifications and approach. There is no single correct way to rig a spine, but this one works really well in most situations and it’s fast, easy and fun to animate with.


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  1. Алексей Казаков
    June 30, 2017 at 17:44

    Hi Michael. Thanks you for the great tutorials.

  2. Adonai
    June 30, 2017 at 17:44

    why didn't you freeze trasformations on the joints in the beginning?

  3. Lorena M
    June 30, 2017 at 17:44

    First of all, thanks for the tutorial! Very easy to understand 🙂 I only have one question: what do I do with jt_fk_spine_01? It is not parented to anything and whenever I move any of the controls it stays in place which kind of annoys me…

  4. Hua Waggui
    June 30, 2017 at 17:44

    Thank you Michael for the awesome tuto. I think you should do more

  5. Clark Ädelheinz
    June 30, 2017 at 17:44

    Beautiful! Thank You!

  6. Jacques Geldenhuys
    June 30, 2017 at 17:44

    Hi Michael. Thank you for the tutorial. I ran into an issue when I was setting up the twist on the spine to work with the Shoulder control curve (23:00) I followed all the steps and made sure my joint orients are correct and my transformations where clean, but my spine is not twisting when I rotate the y-axis on the Control curve. Selecting my ik handle and adjusting the twist manually works perfectly. 

    I was wondering if you had this problem before.

  7. Ronnie Curtis
    June 30, 2017 at 17:44

    Thanks for the tutorial, very clear, easy to follow. Really nice job.

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