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Please bear with me, I am very new to rigging and obviously need some help.
Just as I was about to move on into the enveloping section of the course, I found something terribly wrong with my rig. To my horror as I was checking the rotations of my control objects, the bones, helpers and controls were being severely skewed. The X axis on some controls worked fine, oddly. In addition to that, some helpers were separating as I rotated.
I have somewhat of a mess on my hands, but solving this issue would help me to become a better rigger. I wouldn't mind starting over but would rather know where I goofed, and why my rig is shot.
Thank you for reading my post, maybe you have some thoughts to share...
I may have some bad news for you...
This generally means that somewhere in the hierarchy, you've scaled an object non-uniformly. This is a huge pain in the butt when rigging, if only the root is the problem, you can unlink your rig from it and create a new root, but chances are it has happened on multiple items (perhaps you only did it once, then cloned/mirrored the object!). Unfortunately, this usually means a re-rig. Whenever possible, apply an XForm modifier, and scale using its gizmo.
you MIGHT be able to get away with selecting the offending objects then in the hierarchy tab, click reset scale button. but i cant guarantee it!
here is a brief quote from the 3dtotal staff.. sort of explains why it happens:
This occurs because you used "scale" at some point on only one axis (or a few axes instead of all 3). The way 3dsMax handles scaling is by applying a scalar to the vectors that store every vertex. What does this mean? It means that if you change the pivot point/geometry in ways that cause a mis-alignment of these scalar-vector combos; it will skew your geometry by appling the scalar somewhere you don't want it.
Try this; grab the pivot point of an object that has this problem. Use free rotate (Grey part of the rotate gizmo) and wiggle it all around. The object should practically freak out because the scalars are being applied in bizzare ways.
I hope that youve found a different solution, let me know if you do!