How to rig a tank in Maya - Part 1

This is the first of a 4 part video tutorial series geared to teach you how to rig a tank in Maya to a professional level. Please keep in mind that this rig is not easy to achieve so be sure to know the rigging basics before watching. In this video, “How to rig a tank in Maya – part 1”, I will be creating a clean joint based tread system where each tread piece moves in sync with one another along a given curve path. The next video will setup the wheels and treads so that they move correctly in any direction and distance.

Follow along with the exact Maya file used in the video:

Download the Maya file. (45kb)


About the Author
Senior 3D Technical Artist/Animator
  1. Marc Woodall Reply

    Hi Simon,

    Would you be able to take a look at a project file to possibly help resolve an issue I am facing? The distance between treads is appropriate according to your equation/results.

    • smills Reply

      yes!, send me the scene file and I will take a look.

      • Weidong Chen Reply

        I have finished the tutorial, thank you very much. And I got some problems while following the tutorial step-by-step.when i use ‘recoil’ ,treads cannot lift correct , how wheels associated with the treads ,can you help resolve the issue?

  2. smills Reply

    Thanks for your email Weidong, From your image it looks like you are missing a connection for sure. Assuming your treads are moving correctly when you use your “Hull Ctrl”, The solution would be here: Double check that you have orient constrained the “hull_jt” to both the “Hull Ctrl” and the “Hull Recoil Pt” If so, then double check the switch setup. The error should be resolved in this section

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