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Setting up the robot's main neck plates
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Let's begin rigging the robots main neck plates. By the end of this, we'll have the smaller neck panels slide around as the head translates. So, that's going to be really neat. To do this, we'll use joint chains that are tied down by IK systems. And then we'll make sure we connect each IK so that it follows our head rig. To get started, what we're going to want to do is go in and hide the character's head and also hide the neck panels at the back. Feel free to use the Hypershade. You can go ahead and load those objects in there. That way you can quickly get back to all of these once the neck is finished. I'll go through and grab the character's head group. Let's go ahead and load up the Hypershade, head over to Graph and choose Add Selected, and go ahead and turn that off. And now we can go ahead and grab the plates at the base. Careful not to accidentally select anything else. You don't want to hide the wheel, just want to grab the plates. If you need to, just go to your Pivot Mode and double-check to make sure that only those objects were selected. There are few more at the back that we may need to be deselect. OK, great. So, just double checking everything. I'm going to grab this last piece and load these in. Now we can go ahead and turn off the visibility of these. If you would like, you can create a bookmark just in case you close out your Hypershade. But I'm going to go ahead and minimize this. In order to create the joints, well, we can use our CJNT tool. We'll create a joint at the base, a joint at the top. Then we can reorient them and get them parented together. As far as renaming them, we can actually use these plates. And we'll take a look at a script we can use to rename these joints a little bit faster. So, let's say we go ahead and get started with this. We'll want to go to Component Mode. Then, next, we'll go to Edge Mode. I'll select one of the edges. Go ahead and frame it, select the adjacent edge. And then we'll run CJNT. Notice we have a joint right at the center. We can go to the top and do the same thing. Run the tool. So, that's the process for the rest of these plates. Let's go ahead and do that for the others. Again, we grab the panel, grab the two edges, run CJNT. Let's make sure we do that for the top and bottom. And then once that's done, we can work on renaming these objects. OK, so all of our joints should have been created. Now, one thing I'd like to point out with CJNT is that you may have a tweak node added because of the cluster that we used to create these joints. It's not a big deal at all. But if you'd like to remove the tweak node, it's just a matter of going through and selecting each of the pieces that we've used CJNT on. Then, you could just go ahead and Delete History. But, again, it's not going to harm the rig at all. But, again, with all of these selected, it's just a matter of choosing Delete History, and that will clean all of those up. So, feel free to do that for these others if you'd like. But what we do need to worry about is having these joints renamed. We don't want to go one by one and do that. So, a faster way is to just have the joint named with the mesh it has been created from. We have a script that will rename the joint by our first selection. What we do is grab the panel first, followed by the joint, and rename it that way. Let's go ahead and take a look at that. I've opened up the Script Editor. We can go ahead and load that script in. That's going to be the Rename Joint Tool. There it is. Let's go ahead and open that up. We just find our selection. And then we use the tokenize command to rename the joint to the object's name without the name space. Let's go ahead and highlight everything, add it to our shelf, choose Edit. And we'll rename this to the Rename Joint Tool. Go ahead and copy that, paste. That's going to be first. Select Target, then Source. And the label will be RJNT. We did talk about organizing things on our shelves. So, if you wanted to, you can add this right next to CJNT. But here's how this works. We grab our panel. We grab the joint, run the tool. You'll notice now, the joint has been renamed. So we just want to go through and take care of all of our joints. And that will be the end of the lesson. And then in the next lesson, we can work on orienting these. So, again, grab the mesh, grab the joint to rename, and run the tool. So, let's go ahead and take care of that, and move on to the next lesson where we'll go ahead and get all of these orientations fixed. And we can get these all parented together.
In this tutorial, we will learn the methods that were used to rig the transforming robot. Throughout these lessons, we will learn the tools and techniques used in the setup process of both our robot and truck. The goal is to break this complex idea down into a simple, and manageable form. We'll cover the rigging process in its entirety, and along this journey, we'll be introduced to several tools that will help make this all come together efficiently. By the end of the course, you'll have the set of skills needed to rig your own transforming robot.