Clavicles / shoulder area

Does anyone have any good tips for rigging clavicle joints? Most of what I know works well enough for skinny characters but big character with huge shoulders are another story… typically causing huge dimples when raising the arm etc. Some of the references I have looked at seem a tad complicated… not that I mind complex, though I’m not after “per muscle” kind of detail; just preserving shoulder shape.

Am making my own setups, but was wondering if others here have ideas they would like to share?

For big characters I think the general idea is to use the meshdeformer. That’s where it shines - in dealing with bulge. This was used on Big Buck Bunny, and he has shoulders, so I would suggest taking a look at him if you haven’t already.

Another way to deal with the bulge would be to create a separate layer of bones to deal with the bulk, which cancel the rotations of the clavicle using constraints. However this can become very complicated very fast, but it is an option.

I have seen a clavicle made in conjunction with a scapula where the scapula rotation was halved using an expression (in Maya). It could possibly be done with a pyConstraint? I have not had a chance to experiment with this mechanism myself, but when I do a big character I definitely will, and will post the results in the rigging thread found in my siggy. :slight_smile:

I would encourage you to look into shape keys to get the correct shape down for the shoulders. There are many options, but vertex transforms like this would be best because of the fact that it is interpolated based on the movement.