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Tutorial : Creating Bicycle Chain Rig
Posted on June 05, 2012 at 02:51pm IST
Hello Friends In this tutorial we going to learn how to create Bicycle Rig. For understand this tutorial you have some basic knowledge of Maya Rigging.

Step 1)

In Below Picture you can see that we have three objects. One big chain wheel, one small chain wheel and one small piece of chain.
Create a Nurbs Circle in front of big chain wheel. Create -> Nurbs Primitives -> Circle. See below Image.
Step 2

2.1)We have to Rebulid the Circle to increase its vertex points. Select the nurb circle and go to surfaces menu set. Go to Edit curves -> Rebulid curve (option box). See the image for settings.
2.2)Select Nurbs circle.  In Animation menu set  go to deformer -> lettice. You will see the a lattice around the nurbs circle. Select the ffd1Lattice from Outliner and got to Attribute Editor and change the "T Division" and "U Division" to 5 and 7 respectively. Set the lettice by rotating it as you see in below image.
2.3Right click on lattice and choice Littice points, click and Drag the Littice points and change the shape of circle according to the below 2 images.

3.1)Now select the circle try to rotate in X axis if circle comes out of the lattice we have to adjust the ffdBase. See the problem image.
3.2)Now adjust it, select the ffd1Base node from the Outliner and Scale it little bit.
Step 4

4.1)Now we have to create the complete chain out of the small piece which we already model. Select chain piece than nurb circle. See Image below.
4.2) Select Animation menu set Animate menu. Animate menu -> Motion Path -> Attach to Motion Path(option box). In Attach to Motion Path option box Edit -> Reset Setting. For setting see the below image.

4.3)Now select the chain piece and go to Animate menu -> Create Animaton Snapshot (option box). In option box  Edit -> Reset Setting. For setting see the below image.
4.4) You will see something like this. Select all chain pieces and Modify -> Center Pivot.
Step 5

Now select all chain pieces and put it into a layer and hide it. Now we have to create bones on nurbs circle by snapping it with equal distance between two bones. This is little bit Tricky. For this we have to create series of locators with equal distance between two locators which can achieve by the following steps.

5.1)Create a locator. Create menu -> locator. Select the circle than locator and repeat the step 4.2 and 4.3 to create series of locators as we did for chain piece. See below Image.
5.2)Resize locators if it is size is too large. Now go to Skeleton menu -> joint tool. Press "V" and click on locators to snap the bones and end the bone to starting point of joint chain. See the Images below.
5.4) Select motionTrail1Handle from outliner and hide it.

Step 6)

Now we have to create the spline ik Handle for the bone.

6.1)Rename the circle to "chain_spinecurve".

6.2)Go to Skeleton menu -> IK Spline Handle tool (Option box). See the setting in below image.
6.3)Make sure IK Spline Handle tool is selected than go to Outliner select the first joint of the chian , Ctrl click the last joint and at last Ctrl click the "chain_spinecurve " curve. This will create a IK spline Handle.
Step 7)

Now select the "chain_spinecurve" and try to rotate it. If this will create problem like in the below Image, we have the solution.
Follow the following steps to solve this.

7.1)Hide the joints. Select the ffd1Latice and from Attribute Editor Change the value of Envelope to 0. See the image
7.2)As we see in Above image "chain_spinecurve" or circle comes in Original round shape. Select the circle you will see that its Center Pivot is not in the actual center and this is the problem. Select the circle or "chain_spinecurve" and Modify -> Center Pivot. Select the ffd1Latice once again and from Attribute Editor Change the value of Envelope to 1.

7.3) Select the "chain_spinecurve" and rotate it in X axis now bone chain rotating correctly over the two chain wheels.

Step 8)

Now its time to connect the all chain model to joints.

8.1)Select all chain models than select the top joint. Go to Skin menu -> Bind Skin -> Smooth Bind (Option box). See setting in below Image.
8.2) Now Select the "chain_spinecurve" and rotate in X axis and and all chain pieces rotate with the joints.

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