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INSTALL Rig Plug-in


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#1 NancyGormezano

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 12:35 PM

A question came up in the new users forum as to what the Install Rig Plug-in does.

The InstallRig plugin is explained in the video tutorial I put together a few years ago...here (it explains how to build a rig that uses the plugin and what it will do).


The video referenced does address the plug-in, but it also addresses a simple "squetching scheme" first, and then eventually demonstrates creating a complicated INSTALL rig. For my own purposes, after watching, I decided to document what I gleaned from the video, because I ...well...uh...forget...if I don't write it down.

So in case this summary might be useful for others, I offer it here. Please David, Mark, correct any mistakes in my description, or add info:


One uses the INSTALL RIG plugin usually when when one wants to install an already existing (usually complicated) generic rig, in multiple models. The generic rig has specially named bones that conform to the syntax assumed by the INSTALL Rig plug-in. So far, I am aware of only the 2008, Squetch generic rigs that use this convention. One doesn't normally use the plug-in when creating a rig from scratch.

The existing generic rigs (aka install rigs) will have geometry bones named with convention: bonename_geom & name_INSTALL bones (that act like commands to the plug-in) with syntax:

[+ ] anyname_INSTALL [bone_in_model [ /another_bone_in_model [ (attached_to_parent)][/...]] ]
+ more bones


where [] =optional

The bone_in_model name is the same name as some bone in the new model or the install rig model, eg Hips, Head, etc. If there is no bone_in_model named, the bones will be inserted in place (only the INSTALL bone will be deleted). One can also optionally indicate if the bone, when re-parented should be attached to it's parent.

How to use plug-in:

1) Import the generic INSTALL rig into specific model (generic rig may or may not include poses). The new bones come in unparented, at top level of hierarchy. Usually parts are isolated, so as to make the next step easier to:
2) Position, orient the geometry & control bones of the generic rig bones to line up with the geometry of the specific model, usually by positioning, orienting the INSTALL bones (but not limited to)
3) Then in bones mode: right click in window or on model in PWS/plug-in/wizards/Install rig.

The Plug-in will parent the bones according to the INSTALL command bones, delete all the INSTALL bones, unhide any bones with the string Geom (not case sensitive) in their name and hide all other bones in Bones Mode.

If you have your own generic rig, you could create your own INSTALL rig or do it all by hand (with your own naming conventions):
1) import (or drag) your already existing rig into any other model, and 2) resize, reorient, reparent geometry bones, control bones and 3) hide/unhide by hand.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1InstallRigPlug.jpg
  • 2InstallRigPlug.jpg
  • 3InstallRigPlug.jpg

Edited by NancyGormezano, 06 July 2012 - 08:35 AM.


#2 itsjustme

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:17 PM

The only thing I would add is that any bone with "geom" in the name will be unhidden in Bones Mode (all other bones will be hidden) after running the InstallRig plugin.

#3 NancyGormezano

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:47 AM

Thanks David! I modified my original post.

#4 robcat2075

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:46 AM

I'm wanting to understand this so i can make some use of it in NewTaoA:M...

1) Import the generic INSTALL rig into specific model (generic rig may or may not include poses). The new bones come in unparented, at top level of hierarchy. Usually parts are isolated, so as to make the next step easier to:


Do they have to be unparented? So you can't just scale a whole hand at once, you have to scale and reposition every finger bone?


And where do the constraints that make everything all work come from?

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#5 robcat2075

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:40 AM

Hold off on your answers. I'm going to try a run-through with the Lite rig on Thom and see what i learn.

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#6 NancyGormezano

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:50 AM

Hold off on your answers. I'm going to try a run-through with the Lite rig on Thom and see what i learn.


The LiteRig does not make use of the INSTALL rig plugin, as far as I remember. It is only the 2008, and Squetch rig installation process that does.

That is, unless you are modifying the LiteRIG installation process?

I found for my own modified installations, and to be able to make installations modular (eg I mix arms from literig, legs from 2008, facerig from my own scheme) that I have a top level bone that I name with INSTALL as part of it - eg "INSTALL right leg", of whose sole purpose is for positioning the entire hierarchy (all geom bones and control bones, nulls associated with right leg), and nothing else. I find I don't run the plug-in, and leave the INSTALL bones, because it also helps me to easily, visually identify sections of the bone hierarchy. I could have named those top level bones with some other keyword, eg Module, to help me see the structure

E.G:

Legs Module
+Right leg Module
+Left leg Module
++Left Leg Geometry
++Left Left Controls

#7 robcat2075

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:30 AM

So... the Install plugin DOES create constraints in the new model or it DOESN'T? Is it just for positioning bones?

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#8 NancyGormezano

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:42 AM

So... the Install plugin DOES create constraints in the new model or it DOESN'T? Is it just for positioning bones?


As far as I can tell - it's just to aid in positioning bones, both in the bone hierarchy, as well as "physically". No unfortunately, it doesn't really help with zeroing, setting offsets for constraints.

Usually the steps involved to get constraints (and control structure) for installing literig, 2008, maybe squetch (don't remember) - was similar to

1) import geometry bones into your mesh model. Position, orient geometry bones.

2) then I forget which it is, or which rig install does what, but essentially you import a control structure model that has control bones, nulls, relationships into your model (the one that has the geometry bones positioned correctly) and/or you use a premade action that has action objects which have the constraint structures.

3) In the action, you turn some poses OFF, others ON (usually the ones to position the control bones automatically so they align with the geometry) and then

4) export that model from the action.

THEN Open this newly exported model, set poses ON/OFF, delete some Poses (that were only useful for positioning control bones,nulls), save model

#9 itsjustme

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:30 PM

I have a tutorial on making an installation rig in A:M:Films...it's here.

The plug-in just deletes any bone with "INSTALL" in the name, parents bones according to the hierarchy following "INSTALL" in the name (which also includes the ability to set "attached to parent") and unhides any bones with "geom" in their name. For the Squetch Rig, the installation rig positions the rig, that gets exported from an Action, the installation Poses are deleted and then the appropriate "FINAL_IMPORT" model is imported to install the character controls. It is slightly different in the 2008 Rig and LiteRig.

Hope that helps Robert.

#10 robcat2075

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:34 PM

Is the "FINAL IMPORT" model the one that gets the contraints in? I will give the video a watch.

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#11 itsjustme

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:43 PM

Is the "FINAL IMPORT" model the one that gets the contraints in?

I will give the video a watch.


In the Squetch Rig...yes. The 2008 Rig has a slightly different installation method. I'm only really sure about how the Squetch Rig is set up, any specifics about the other rigs I would have to refresh my memory.

#12 robcat2075

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:37 PM

There wasn't any "Final Import" in the video, are the constraints in the install rig?

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#13 robcat2075

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:39 PM

I watched the video but I don't quite understand what's going on or why. You start with some rigged set of bones that is working on its own. Is the squetch stuff addition needed for this installer scheme to work or is that a nonessential detour? Then you add a bunch of other bones that will somehow cause the Installer Plugin to make other bones but... the original bones are the ones that have the necessary constraints on them, right?

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#14 itsjustme

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:48 PM

There wasn't any "Final Import" in the video, are the constraints in the install rig?


I was just showing how to set up a hierarchy that the InstallRig plugin could use...the Poses to position a rig or animate a rig are another issue.


You start with some rigged set of bones that is working on its own.


Yes, I first built a functioning rig that I could break down into an installation rig.

Is the squetch stuff addition needed for this installer scheme to work or is that a nonessential detour?


The squetch stuff isn't necessary, I was trying to answer questions about the plugin and putting some squetch capabilities into a rig at the same time...I had gotten a lot of questions about both at the time.

Then you add a bunch of other bones that will somehow cause the Installer Plugin to make other bones but... the original bones are the ones that have the necessary constraints on them, right?


The plugin won't make any bones, it will just delete the bones I added for making an installation rig (the ones with "INSTALL" in their name), parent bones according to the hierarchy following "INSTALL" in the name (which also includes the ability to set "attached to parent") and unhide any bones with "geom" in their name. The constraints on that leg would be for the rig once it's installed...you would have to make some Poses for the actual installation.

It probably isn't the world's greatest tutorial...I don't remember how much time I actually spent making it, but it didn't take very long to do. Hopefully, Mark and I can make up for the shortcomings of the tute.

#15 robcat2075

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:04 PM

The plugin won't make any bones, it will just delete the bones I added for making an installation rig...


I guess i don't get it. What do all these extra bones facilitate?

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#16 itsjustme

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:34 PM

The plugin won't make any bones, it will just delete the bones I added for making an installation rig...


I guess i don't get it. What do all these extra bones facilitate?


Very strange...Mark's response disappeared for some reason.

The hierarchy of something like the Squetch Rig is a lot different...there are sets of bones for IK, FK, geometry, etc which are co-located, but independent. In order to move and resize them together, you would need to re-parent them to an installation rig.

#17 robcat2075

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:17 PM

Tell me if I have this right... 1- you have some simple set of bones that can be scaled and turned to fit any character and you do that. 2- this simple set of bones carries (hidden?) children that are named with a convention that that causes the install plugin to create more bones that are in some desirable heirarchy. 3- the constraints that make these new, desirable bones work must still be imported or created somehow

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#18 itsjustme

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:36 PM

1- you have some simple set of bones that can be scaled and turned to fit any character and you do that.


No. You have the entire skeleton which has been reparented to a set of installation bones for easy positioning (the opposite of TSM2).

2- this simple set of bones carries (hidden?) children that are named with a convention that that causes the install plugin to create more bones that are in some desirable heirarchy.


The added positioning bones are named with a convention that causes the install plugin to delete them and reparent the bones for the actual rig.

3- the constraints that make these new, desirable bones work must still be imported or created somehow


Once the plugin deletes the installation bones, constraints for installation need to be deleted, then the constraints for the actual rig imported.

#19 mtpeak2

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:40 PM

Very strange...Mark's response disappeared for some reason.

My replies were deleted purposely.
2008 Rig updated 04/20/2011

#20 NancyGormezano

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:43 PM

Tell me if I have this right...

1- you have some simple set of bones that can be scaled and turned to fit any character and you do that.

2- this simple set of bones carries (hidden?) children that are named with a convention that that causes the install plugin to create more bones that are in some desirable heirarchy.

3- the constraints that make these new, desirable bones work must still be imported or created somehow


1) yes

2) WRONG - the INSTALL bones are not hidden they just contain INSTALL as part of their name. When you run the Install plug-in - it deletes those bones, and inserts their children into the proper place in the hierarchy

Go to this post (first in this thread). Check out images #1 and 3 in particular - 1 is the bone structure before running plugin, 3 is the result. The install bones are gone, and the children were moved to their proper place. One could have done this manually. The install bones are primarily, initially used for positioning it's children, and specifying where the children will end up in the hierarchy. The install bones are the throwaway bones.

Simple case:

If I had a bone hierarchy where first bone was called myfake INSTALL Hips, which had bone pelvis as a child (which also had children), then the install bone would be used to position, orient the pelvis bone (and it's children into place). The Install plug in would delete this bone and move the pelvis bone and it's children to under the hip bone in the hierarchy.

It only makes sense to use this plug-in if you have a complicated rig to install to begin with - like the 1000+ bones of Squetch, where the geom bones and control bones are mixed like crazy. I install parts of the 2008 rig by hand and do not use the plug-in, even tho, Marks instructions do include it's use.

3) The install plugin has nothing to do with constraints. But Constraints/relationships are typically dealt with in a different step (depending on rig).

#21 itsjustme

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:07 PM

Very strange...Mark's response disappeared for some reason.

My replies were deleted purposely.


I thought the forum might have hiccuped or something.




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