The Hierarchy of Joints and Bones


Index to all 30 lessons in this Milkshape tutorial

There is a distinct thing about bones and joint that you should know. A skeleton is built step by step and each step is the child of the step before it. Take a look at this:

Open Up a model

Pull down the file menu and open up the model called: valve_skeleton. It is in the root Milkshape folder and you may have to browse up one level to find it. It looks like this:

Now let's select a joint.

In the Control Panel select the "Models" tab

Now press the "Select" button

Then down below under select options press the "joint" button.

Now left click on the joint at the wrist of the model. After selection it looks like this:

Notice how the hand turned green but the forearm didn't. This is because selecting a joint only activates the children of that joint.

Now select the joint at the elbow and see what happens.

Now the forearm, wrist and hand are all green and all selected. These are the children of this joint.

This is important because these are all the parts that will move! If you tell the elbow joint to move all its children joints will move too. Seems straight forward but if you select a joint in the torso of the model you can see lots of children will move!

Experiment with this and try clicking on different joints to see what happens. With a humanoid model you can pretty much guess what will happen but when you are creating things and creatures this is something you have to pay close attention to. Just remember that there are children and parents of joints.

Continue with the animation tutorial


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