STEP BY STEP SET UP THE CONTROLLER NODES
01TO DEFINE YOUR CONTROLLERS
get started all you need to do is tag your icons as actual Controllers, so Maya knows what they are and when they are being used. To do this simply go to the Control menu under the Rigging menu set. Here you will find two options at the top: Tag As Controller and Parent Controller. You can tag each control individually, or you can simply select them all and choose Tag As Controller.
02 THE CONTROLLER NODE
What this will do is add a new ‘tag’ node to the controller, taking the original name and adding ‘_tag’ to make them easy to identify and find in the outliner. This is where all the information is stored and it offers a few extra options for you when it comes to dictating how your pickwalking works. You will also notice that there currently isn’t a parent defined for each node, so nothing will happen yet.
03 DICTATE THE HIERARCHY
With the controllers defined you can now dictate the hierarchy so that Maya knows where to go when you use the arrow keys. If we use an arm as an example: first select the hand control, then the elbow and click Parent Controller. Now select the elbow control and then the shoulder, and click it again. You can now use the up and down arrow keys to quickly navigate the arm controls.
04 AUTOMATICALLY ADJUST VISIBILITY
If you’re lucky enough to have Maya 2018 you will also have the ability to change a control’s visibility based on the location of the mouse pointer. This can seem strange to begin with, as when loaded the character will appear to have no controls. To activate this feature simply go to the tag node and select ‘Show on mouse proximity’ from the Visibility dropdown.