Rigging Robotic Characters With Rigid Mechanical Parts

So I am rigging a robotic character, and most of the joints only rotate in one axis, in some areas, there are multiple joints with different axis’s of rotation. Now what I need help with is creating rig controls that will control these as simple and as easy as with a organic character. I have an IK chain for the leg, there are five bones in the leg that are IK locked to only rotate on one axis, the chain works in some poses, but in others it goes all weird, and if I set rotation limits, sometimes the bone will pop, and rotate all the way around. I was wondering if anyone had experience rigging such kinds of things, and could offer any help or advice. Thank you.

good question, avoid pose limits.

Lock your IK targets to an axis, make sure that you bones are lined up perfectly in line with the target. And curve them slightly to the direction you need them to bend. Much like mancandys’ fingers. When the bone axis are locked, and they are a child of the parent bone, say the shoulder or hips, then It should work perfectly.

I think it would work better to post a blender file, check out my rig, and see what you think, the controls for the leg are on bone layer 2. The Main problems I have are when positioning the foot far out to the side. But I’m thinking I should include IK/FK switching, and use FK for if I want to animate him kicking or something. I’m pretty satisfied with the rig, but it isn’t 100% like I want it.

I consider myself an advanced rigger, but I will have to look at this one and think.

First, when I move the leg, the foot shouldn’t move at all, it should stay in place, then second, I would get rid of extra bones that don’t need to be there if they aren’t deforming anything.

Your foot rig has good functionality, but way to many bones, same with your leg connection to pelvis.

My hat goes off to your fine modeling.

Give me some time to dissect this, and come up with a good solution, in the meantime, would anyone else on this awesome forum care to give any ideas?

Set the bone layer to layer two, and it only has the control bones. The vertical one, think it’s called Foot.L moves the foot around while keeping it flat, but if you move it out in front view, the foot will rotate with the leg, but it still keeps level with the ground. I agree, there are a lot of bones. But I think I might need that many bones. Thank you, modeling is my strongpoint when it comes to 3d animation.

I would like to apologize for never replying to your message. I was looking at some old posts I had made, and found this one.