Smart Magnet Rigs: Where to start?

Since the number of new users has exploded after the release of v.6, and many of them are super excited and impatient to start using SMR right away, we thought it would be appropriate to compile a couple of articles that will give quick answers to questions that seem to be common.

One such question asked over and over is:

“What's the best place to start learning about the Smart Magnet Rig system?”

We understand the excitement and impatience, which discovering the wonderful world of Smart Magnet Rigs can cause, esp. to people who have wrestled for years with Adobe's less-than-ideal implementations.



The help file


After installing the tools, first get familiar with the help file that comes with the package.
Go to Commands > 09 EDAPT Help
There are help entries for each and every one of the tools. This is the fastest way of finding what you need.



Have some fun


Then download the Rabbit rig and play with it, trying the magnet snapping, KineFlex and its modifier keys.

Watch this video. Even if you don't understand everything the first time, it will give you a general idea how animation is approached.

Play some more with any of the sample rigs that we provide. Look inside the elements.



RTFM!


Now time has come to actually learn how SMR works and how to use it.

Read the articles on Smart Magnet Rigs. All of them – from Overview to Rigging Process, FK and IK.
Actually read them! Don't skim through the text to only watch the videos.

SMR is a mature and complex system with many interconnected tools and features. The more you know, the more creatively you will be able to use it.

It does not matter if you understand everything from the first read. You will know that such information exists and as you progress and get better, you will be able to come back and find it easily.



Your first character rig


Time has come to rig your own character.

Study the FreeStyle Rigging tool and the Smart Magnet Rig panel.

Do a few tests with rectangles, before attempting to rig an actual character build.
It's much easier to scrap everything and start over when you do it with something you have not invested time into.
Get a good grasp how Magnet Targets and magnet snapping work.

If you don't have much past experience with character builds, look into our step-by-step guide, where we show in great detail how we built EDAPT Rabbit.

Nest the facial features inside the head. Don't attempt to SM Rig them to the facial oval at character level. It will work, but is an awfully bad thing to do and you will regret it later.

Start with a simple design. Get confident that you can handle SMR well and then move onto more complex multi-part rigs.

Use the built-in help and go back to the SMR articles to expand your knowledge and abilities.

Good luck!


 
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