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Rope Rig tutorial?


Does one of the existing videos cover this? Saw the mention of it in the The Highway Rat posting.



There’s also a video Miquel made about making tails with the rope tool that you may find helpful.


This isn’t strictly a rope rig! But, perhaps ironically, a rope (tether) was the original inspiration for it.


After finishing my work on the tether rigs for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, I couldn’t help but continue my work from home, expanding on some of the ideas and pushing it just a little further, and this is what I came up with.

Initially made to demonstrate my skills for a job application, it turned into a rather pleasant rig.

In a nutshell, it’s an (1) FK rig driving an (2) nCloth mesh driving another (3) FK rig.

  1. Is what the animator interacts with and exposes control over positions and orientation, as well as dynamic properties of the system
  2. The output of (1) is sent to nCloth for simulation
  3. The output of (2) is converted back into transform nodes, via follicles, and drives a secondary rig for area preservation and ultimately the skeleton that is used to skin the snake geometry.

I made this a few years ago (in 2014) so my memory of exact details is a little fuzzy, but if you have any questions do let me know and I’ll try my best to answer.

Oh, and it’s built entirely using default Maya nodes, with the exception of SoUP for dynamic weightmaps passed into the nConstraint nodes. The rig runs fine without it, minus the ability to animate the position and strength of the constraint that maps (2) back to (1).




@mottosso This demo is really impressive! I remember the movie really well, and the ropes animation got my attention, thinking how the had animated it? Now I know :smile:

Thanks for sharing it here!

Not 100% sure, but provably you can replace the SoUp node with the WegithServer node from SHAPES . EDIT: I was thinking, It is free. But not sure :stuck_out_tongue:


Not 100% sure, but provably you can replace the SoUp node with the WegithServer node from SHAPES .

Possibly, I remember the nComponent node (the one handling the weights) was a little picky about the type of data that goes into it and it just so happened that the one in SoUP was the only node I could find that outputted the same type.


I’m trying to create a Monacle…so it’s an eye piece with a strap that attached to a jacket. I think a rope rig might work but than it has to be hand animated. I was thinking maybe some sort of dynamic curve but not sure that would work either as there would be collisions with the body of the character. I tried a number of cloth sims and things just keep blowing up.


Thanks for all the help and suggestion s on this. Got it working with the Rope rig…better then I expected!


I combined the Maya muscle rig for keep out with the rope rig controllers to allow the rope to drape over and around the surface of the character when the animators were moving the bigger mover controls, worked great.


The videos by Miquel above about the rope tool gives very sweet results, I like the idea mentioned by @bclark to use also a cMuscle keepOut node although I didn’t use them both together for our case here yet… very good workflow & promising results… but its single downside is the many steps required to be done, personally I honestly forget some steps in this process from time to time.