Legacy Reference

Rigging Characters

Before you can export a character to and animate it in Lumberyard, it must first be bound to a skeleton of bones and joints for bending and posing in your DCC tool. A character rig consists of this skeleton bound to the 3D character mesh.

For a character rig to work properly, the bones and joints must follow a logical hierarchy, starting with the root joint. Each subsequent joint is connected to the root joint either directly or indirectly through another joint. To help prevent unrealistic movements, we recommend that you set up joint constraints in your DCC tool.

Lumberyard Editor's scene axis is oriented with the z-axis up and the y-axis forward, which matches the orientation in Autodesk 3ds Max. However, Autodesk Maya's axis is oriented with the y-axis up and the z-axis forward by default. One option for using Autodesk Maya is to change the world coordinate setting from y-up axis to z-up axis. To do this in Maya, choose Windows, Preferences, and then choose Settings, World Coordinate System, Up axis. Another option for Maya, if you want to keep the default axis orientation, is to use a SceneRoot node when exporting assets.

The general workflow for rigging a character model character rig using Autodesk 3ds Max or Maya is as follows:

  • Set to zero all transform values for controllers.

  • Orient all joints appropriately.

  • Align a biped skeleton to the character model.

  • Set up the Locator_Locomotion node as needed for animations.

  • Skin your character. For 3ds Max, use Skin modifier. For Maya, use Quaternion skinning.

  • Paint weight intensity values on the character's skin as needed.