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Add one single joint using the components


Lets say there is something attached to my character’s mesh. For instance I am rigging a monster which has attached some metal pieces in the legs and back. I don’t want them to deform but I do want them to follow the “flesh” on the point where they are attached. I have been trying with a 1 section chain connected to the closest component but it don’t have enough components in the back so I don’t know where to attach them.
I am starting to learn mGear, I apologize in advance if the whole question is a really simple thing.


I think I would use control01. As far as I remember it has a setting to create a joint.

Attaching it to a vertex is a different matter. Try to google attaching an object with a follicle. Or search for follicle and get one of the free scripts to do this.


Yeah thank you. I tried both.

I tried with a follicle but as soon as I took it into Unreal it stopped working.

control01 has an option for adding a joint indeed, but that took me to realize a new problem. I want to attach the metal pieces to the back of my monster. They are spread around the back, shoulders and butt.
It is really simple to create a control01 attached to the shoulders for the pieces that are close to the shoulder components. My problem is that I don’t know where to attach the control01 in the middle of the back because there is no Components. I have the Spine root and the Spine eff at the beginning and end of the back but nothing in the middle to attach the contorl01’s to.

Any tips for that?

Thank you in advance!


You can’t bring Maya nodes like follicles into a game-engine. Constrain a joint in your skeleton to the follicle. Then bake out any connections and constraints from your skeleton when you go to export, and export only the skeleton.

Also, the way you are describing “component” seems like it could mean a couple things. Are you talking about vertices on the back flesh geometry? Or rigging nodes like joints or controls? You say you are trying to make it follow the flesh, but then it sounds like you are trying to connect it to a controller or joint or effector.


Hi :slight_smile:

With component I mean the components of the Shifter Guide Manager list. What I need is to attach a mesh that I don’t want to deform to the “flesh” of my character that is gonna be deforming because of the skinning.



Sorry, that didn’t make it less confusing. You just said the same thing.

If you want to connect to the flesh, why are you trying to connect to a rig component?

This is how I pin things to my geometry:

  1. I make a nurbs plane and place it at the position. I store this in a group called “custom_rig”, and I connect it to the rig after I’ve built, in a post script.
  2. I attach a follicle to that nurbs. I don’t connect follicles to the mesh, because if the UVs or model changes, then the follicle won’t stay in the same place.
  3. I copy skin weights from the mesh to the nurbs plane. (Note that a bug in Maya means you have to copy directly to the CVs of the nurbs. With polys you can just copy to the transform and it is smart enough to copy weights to the vertices. Not with nurbs.)
  4. Put a joint under the follicle, and skin or constrain your rigid piece of geo to that.

By the way, I no longer use “follicles” because I experienced them flipping. I use matrix connections, like here:

Hope I understood what you are trying to do!


But if you meant you just want it to follow one of the spine joints, and not to follow the flesh at all, I think you just have to do that with a post script, and use a constraint.

Parent Joint Index in the guides make the joints parent to middle joints, but it doesn’t seem to make the controls follow. :frowning: Maybe there is an option I’m missing.



No, I meant the first thing, attaching it to the mesh but without deforming. I cannot use a follicle because I need to take it to Unreal. In the end I just skinned everything together and it’s gonna have a bit of deformation even tho it shouldn’t because I am close to the deadline and I also need to animate it.
But for future projects, if I use matrix connections would that be exportable to a game Engine?


Yes you can use a follicle or matrix or whatever you want. And no you can’t export it. I already answered that. Constrain a joint in your skeleton to the follicle, and then bake the joints before exporting just the skeleton and geo.

It’s the same thing as baking out the mGear nodes. You keep your skeleton separate from the fancy rig nodes.

Good that you found a working solution though! Another way to sort of fake rigid pieces is by using Unify Weights in ngSkinTools. You can easily make all the weights identical on a selection, which is sometimes good enough. I just used it for a pearl necklace yesterday.

With regular Maya skinning, if the geo is a separate poly island, you can sometimes select everything except one vertex and use the Hammer Weights command to make all the weights match that one unselected vert.


ok, thank you so much! :slight_smile:


I think you are very close to getting it to work like you wanted. If you get the follicle working all that is left to do is attaching a Control01 joint to the follicle. And before you export to Unreal (using FBX I assume) you bake animation on the Control01 joint that follows the follicle.

The FBX exporter in Maya has a bake checkbox that will do this. And of course make sure that this extra joint is in the joint hierarchy of the rest of the character. It should be in the hierarchy and parent constrained to the follicle.