Maya Using Constraints for Rig Ctrls

I’ve been rigging for a long time and have always used group nodes for ctrls to match a joints orientation before connecting a constraint. But I have notice some rigs ctrls using a constraints maintain offset option which leaves the ctrls group nodes at world orientation. I thought this is bad practice due to the constraint has to work harder to calculate these offset (not matching orientations) especially if your using the controller to space switch to other controllers.

Any thoughts from others would be beneficial ! Thanks

It sounds like bad practice to me, If I understand what you are describing
If I am constraining a joint to a CTRL, if I find my self needing to main offsets, I pause and ask my self if I am setting things up correctly/wisely.

parenting CTRLs under groups /nulls/ etc, matched to the joint transform, is done to create a hierarchy buffer, a space that is just for that control, in its default orientation. That way setting the CTRL channels to zero results in the ‘default’ pose. It simplifies many things.

There may be circumstantial reasons to use a different approach, I suppose.

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The offsetParentMatrix (new since Maya 2020)…does away with the need for offset groups, and is fairly straightforward to setup. I’ve not run across issues that made me want to revert to offset group nodes in any of my testing


Thanks WeatherMan for the update! :slightly_smiling_face:
I wasn’t aware of this feature. This will be useful to use. Thanks!

Hi Mambo4,

I do the same as you. As from your quote below:

Let me make myself clear to what I meant earlier. I’ve seen riggers connect a controller to a joint and use maintain offset within the constraint settings so they don’t need to match the controllers orientations to the joint. They still use a group node as a parent to the controller which is used to translate the controllers position in world space. So that the controllers translate values are clean

Creating offsets and especially scale values is still bad Juju in rigging. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks once again for your feedback.

I think the offset group method is simpler and doesn’t require any modifications to the joints.