Rigging Lowman'

I’ve recently signed up myself for animation school…of which they use maya.
So to prep myself I bought a few training dvd’s, one of which recommends using a character called lowman created by Miguel Gonzalez Vine.

Unfortunately the provided links were dead, so I was forced to used a posed version from the dvd.

Seeing as how blender gave me my start in this crazy 3D world, it seemed fitting to give something back.

So Lowman is on it’s way to being a blender rig.
Of course the original creator will be contacted before I post the finished product.


Image Link: http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg94/Braschko/Lowman.jpg

Lowman So far!!!

Work was having networking problems for about an hour so I plunked out a base skeleton.

The controls will probably be finished during my lunch break.

Image Link: http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg94/Braschko/Lowman_Bones.jpg

This looks really nice. The model is quite accurate. Looking for your rigging progress.

If you make this and it turns out nicely, I will love you :slight_smile:

By the way, did you sign up for Animation Mentor?

Lol, what an odd coincidence!!

yes I did.
have another degree as well = I am broke

Some people might not like the idea of an online school.
But I’ve talked to a few people from that establishment, of which they gave me very honest answers regarding job placement…percentages and what they teach.

I need to finish my financial papers today then everything is a go.

If you are thinking about applying yourself go and buy the two books they recommend and read up ahead of time.

The Disney one is HUGE…has to weight at least 5 pounds.

For anyone else there are a few site that can be of help that I frequently use for stuffs’.

(sorry to sound like an add, but being helpfull isn’t a bad thing)


I’m having an issue with the rigs right now in terms of making an elbow conrtoller, but will get to that later

Thank you for your enthusiasm!!!

There are a lot of schools out there that have an animation degree.

But I didn’t want to take extra classes so this was a good fit.
art history…economics…blah blah…
( Been there done that )

The best thing to remember is with any school, its better if you have the passion; which will earn you a place in the industry. Guarantees are hard to find.

At least that’s how it seems to be.

Not like you need someone telling you that (you crazy blender people you) :smiley:

And probing your neighbor for their tricks ninja mwahahahahaha!

Here is my dilemma so far.

I’ve been trying to devise a way to control the pivot of this character elbow by using a control that rotates and ik bone out in space (that control of which moves with the characters elbow). *See #2

That ik setup ( one ik bone ) is a similar configuration seen on some of blenders simple rigs like Red_Nelb for example. *see #1

So one would think adding an extra bone in wouldn’t change much…it is for me.

If this doesn’t make any sense i’ll post another image.


And you are correct on the book titles: Illusion of Life and the Animator’s Survival Kit

in Blender this is called the Pole Target, and is an ik like an empty, except placed at the elbow the ik chain solver will try to keep the chain oriented toward it.

in Blender this is called the Pole Target, and is an ik like an empty, except placed at the elbow the ik chain solver will try to keep the chain oriented toward it.
Would you mind explaining this pole target concept? Excuse any ignorance on my part but aside from a few aspects I am still new to rigging.

I perused the help docs after you mentioned it, but applying it is another story.

A nice example of setting up a pole target for an elbow can be found in the bunny rig from BBB. The elbow target is parented to the character’s neck, there is a elbow “rod” that is the child of the forearm and has a stretch to the target. The forearm, which has an IK constraint, is set up like so: under target, OB - armature, BO is the IK hand. Under pole target, OB - armature, BO - target. the arm usually gets all goofy, you need to set the pole offset to straighten it out, it also helps to have the elbow slightly bent in edit mode.

I downloaded the rabbit from BBB and will dissect the rig tonight.

But in the meantime I may have or be close to the desired result…
But from my current understanding of blenders rigging concepts I am stumped on how to fix the dependency loop.

you have multiple armatures here, the wrist and elbow are both is separate armatures, you need to join them to the Lowman armature by selecting the bone, then the lowman armature, ctrl j. then you should parent them to the proper bones, the elbow to the forearm and the target to the neck. Also, you have multiple IK constraints, delete them and create one with the hand bone to the forearm with a chain length of 2, or whatever. I highly recommend looking at the bunny, it is all right there, plus a ik/fk switching system too. Takes notes on it, it is good. Actually, there is a basic biped rig made by Cessen in the finished projects section, that may be easier to dissect. Remember, this is fun!

But of course!! notes are good. :yes:

Well I tried, and failed miserably.

Even at that simplicity level ( Cessen rig ) I still don’t understand the reasoning behind the separations nor the duplicate bones in the same area.

Granted they are for ik/fk…but for right now I only know how to apply knowledge to IK.

I did change the ik targets like what was mentioned above… but still do not have an idea as how to control the target ik bone out in space with the small bone called elbow_Base.

This seems like I should be reading up on manuals…but given their sparseness in this matter, they have yet to help me completly.

Though am still trying to analyze the simple rig from Cessen; it uses auto ik…
which might be a problem for me.

Just a quick update.

Am messing around with getting the right shade of blue.
I’m not one for lighting though…so excuse my mess of things.

( The shinyness’ is overwhelming @_@ )

Enjoy!: http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg94/Braschko/Color.jpg

I’ve been slowly adding controls to parts of lowman that I understand how to rig.

Things have been going smoothly from how far my knowledge extends; yet when recalculating bone roll angles…my arms and so on do not level out.

I’m not entirely certain, but it might be the problem ( bone roll ) causing my hand control to be facing forward. (forehead slap if obvious)


Another issue is my pole target for the elbows seems to rotate at an off angle to the actual elbow joint.

Ignore my random hotkey presses at the end of the video…my fingers decided to do their own thing.

Video: http://s246.photobucket.com/albums/gg94/Braschko/?action=view&current=Armature.flv

*Attached file has the current armature.


Lowman.blend (213 KB)

Nice progress. I have corrected you off rolls on left hand. It was caused by some bones (edit) axes roll as well as incorrect pole offset angel.


Do you know where the original Maya Lowman rig could be downloaded, please? The link you have provided does not seem to work

Thank you very much

Unfortunately I do not, the model source was part winging it and part what I could export from a purchased training dvd.

There are a few derivatives out there that look similar to Lowman…but as far as I know he is off the grid. /cry :frowning:

Eventually I will post the completed rig and model after I get permission from the creator; if needed. But since his website hasn’t been updated since 2006…I’m not certain for a response. Cross your fingers.

And thank you for the changes, I will look at them closely!!

Update: http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg94/Braschko/Rig_Update.jpg

Beauty Shot ( well…so far ): http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg94/Braschko/Beauty_Shot.jpg

OK, another issue has arisen which doesn’t make any sense.

I have a jaw bone parented with the scull, no ik constraints or driven keys control the jaw.

The problem lies in whenever I move the character either for a certain length of time, or some random bone…the jaw bone flies out into the middle of nowhere.


Any takers?


Just_Bones.blend (284 KB)

You had Armature modifier activated for your mesh shapes (jaw and head) that you are using for bones visualisation. This is why you had your multiple transformation.

I have also switched on Do not inherit scale from parent option for your second tongue bone so the tongue will scale/stretch to correctly towards tongue controlling bone.

Corrected blend here: