A) CREATE BIPED:
In the Create/Systems panel, choose Biped. In the front view, position the mouse pointer to (0,0) at your mesh's feet, click and drag up to create a model about the height of your character mesh.
Select the entire biped, open the Layer Manager, and create a new layer. The selected biped bones will automatically get placed into this new layer. Name the layer "biped." Look under the "0 Default" layer to find the hidden biped bits, select them and move them to the "biped" layer. Move the checkmark back up to "0 Default."
C) SET UP RIG:
In the Motion panel, with a bone selected, turn on Figure Mode in order to set the structure, binding pose, position, and bone size to match your mesh:
1. Structure: Under the Structure rolldown:
- Set the number of toes and toelinks for your character (NOTE: adjustments done to leg may be lost if toe number is reset AFTER scaling bones, so do it before). If the foot mesh has no visible toes (wearing shoes), then set the toe and toelinks numbers = 1.
- Typically set spine links=3 (creates two spine controls and one chest control).
- Set the number of fingers and fingerlinks (usually 5 and 3).
- If the character has a tail or pony tails, set the appropriate number of links.
- If the character has wings, create new boxes that are rotated and parameter-sized into position (do NOT use non-uniform scale on object-level of boxes!), link to each other and to the chest bone. A dress can similarly use a few thin boxes linked to the pelvis. Place wings into their own layer called "bipedWings" (move checkmark back to "0 Default").
2. Pelvis: Use the COM Track Controls (horizontal vertical, and circular arrows) to position the pelvis accurately. Choose the Scale tool and set the pivot control to Local. Non-uniform scale the pelvis until the biped legs' hip joints are centered in the mesh legs.
3. Legs: Non-uniform scale a leg so the knee is the correct height in the mesh and slightly bent, the foot bottom is a fraction lower than the bottom of the foot mesh, and the upper and lower leg bones are wide enough to just fit inside the mesh. If the foot mesh has toes, position and scale each toe bone to fit. If the foot mesh has shoes, scale the foot and single toe bone to equally share the length and width of the foot, for good foot bend.
In the motion panel, under "Copy/Paste," hit the "Create Collection" star-button in the upper left to enable copying limbs. Double click the upper leg to select the entire leg hierarchy (all the bones below it), hit the "Copy" button and then hit "Paste Opposite." If your character mesh is symmetrical both legs will now be done.
4. Spine: Non-uniform scale the spine links up so the shoulder bones sit in the center of the arm mesh. Non-uniform scale the spine links out in Front and Side views so they fit inside the mesh.
5. Arms: Non-uniform scale a shoulder bone to fit the height and depth of the mesh and so the arm joint stays deeper inside the shoulder mesh than you think it should be (for a good armpit crease when it is animated). Move the hand and scale the arm bones to fit the length of the arm-mesh: the elbow bone should be correctly positioned and slightly bent and the bone-width should fit inside the mesh (not poke out much).
Position and scale the hand and each finger bone inside the mesh.
NOTE: selecting the first finger bone allows it to be moved, not just rotated (This is also true of the shoulder bone). Double clicking the first finger bone will select the whole finger, and the rotate tool will then rotate all finger links at once.
Double click the shoulder bone to select the entire arm hierarchy, hit "Copy" and then hit "Paste Opposite." Both arms should now be posed correctly.
6. Neck/Head: Scale the neck bone up to raise the head into position and out to fit the mesh. Scale the head to poke slightly outside of the character head mesh in all directions.
7. Other: Position, rotate and scale any tail or ponytail bones to fit the mesh.