Adding Bones

Adding Bones

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Add Bones to Maya Objects



Once you have created your modeling masterpiece, you need to bring it to life. A series of bones are added and connected to the object. The skeleton is animated and the object mesh follows.


Step One

Add a polygon cube to the workspace (Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube). In the options set the Height to 12 units and Height Divisions to 36.

Step Two

Select the Joint Tool (Skeleton > Joint Tool) from the Animation menu set. In the front view start by clicking at the bottom of the cube. Click four more times to add a total of four bones.

Step Three

Verify that the skeleton runs through the middle of the object by checking the top and side views. Open the Outliner (Window > Outliner) and select the entire joint hierarchy (by clicking the name), then shift select the cube object.

Step Four

To connect the two, choose Skin > Bind Skin > Smooth Bind from the Animation menu set.

Step Five

Return to the Outliner and select one of the middle joints and choose the Rotate Tool (e key).

Step Six

Rotate the joint and notice that the geometry follows. Try selecting and rotating the other joints.

Setting Joint Keyframes

To set keyframes for the joints, select the joint and press the s key. You can also press Shift/e to set a keyframe for the object's rotation only.