Prepare a skeleton for SkiNNer

Documentation for preparing an Autodesk Maya skeleton structure for the SkiNNer plugin.

Note: Currently, only Autodesk's HumanIK skeleton structure is supported. In the future, SKiNNer will support a larger variety of skeleton structures.


Option 1: Preparing a skeleton for SkiNNer from scratch (easiest option)
Option 2: Modifying an existing skeleton structure


Option 1: Setting up your rig from scratch

If you don't have a skeleton attached to your character, The simplest method to create a SkiNNer compatible skeleton for you character is to

1. Display the Autodesk HumanIK skeleton construction tool:

Windows -> Animation Editors -> HumanIK

Autodesk Maya HumanIK Screen
Autodesk Maya HumanIK Screen

2. Create the Skeleton with HumanIK

Select "Create Skeleton" from the HumanIK menu.

Create Skeleton button in the HumanIK window
Create Skeleton

3. Verify the skeleton configuration

The default skeleton structure should provide you with the correct number of bones for your mesh. Additionally, the tool will correctly name your rig's bones. Verify that your skeleton settings are the same as below.

The HumanIK skeleton configuration options to verify
SkiNNer compatible HumanIK configuration

4. Scale the newly created skeleton structure to fit your mesh

A small skeleton below a larger humanoid mesh
Autodesk HumanIK will likely not fit your mesh and requires manual scaling

Manually modify your skeleton structure to fit your mesh.

Your mesh is ready to be used with the Artimatic SkiNNer plugin.


Modifying an existing rig

Modification of an existing skeleton structure to work with SkiNNer requires that the bone structure conforms to the HumanIK bone structure.

1. Verify that you have 62 joints in your skeleton

A SkiNNer-compatible skeleton structure requires the following:

  • 1 control joint that also functions as the hips

  • 2 left leg joints

  • 2 left foot joints

  • 2 right leg joints

  • 2 right foot joints

  • 3 spine joints

  • 21 joints in the right hand

  • 21 joints in the left hand

  • 3 right arm joints

  • 3 left arm joints

  • 1 neck joint

  • 1 head joint

2. Verify the names of your joints

There are two options for naming of joints:

  1. "characterName_jointName"

  2. "jointName"

The "characterName_jointName" format is shown in the image in part 3 of this section. As long as your character's name does not have underscores in it, any character name can be combined with the joint name

Warning: Character names must not contain the underscore character ( "_" ). If your character name does contain an underscore, then use the "jointName" naming format.

The "jointName" format works by only containing the default joint name with no prefix.

For example, if your character's name is "Character1" you can either name its LeftArm joint "Character1_LeftArm" OR "LeftArm".

See the image in the part below for the exact names of the skeleton joints.

3. Verify that your outliner looks like the following

A fully expanded SkiNNer-compatible skeleton structure

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