Mech Rig Hydraulic Process

General / 08 March 2019


I thought it would be nice to show off some of the processes I went through to make the mech rig look the way it does.

The model was provided by a professor Doug Magruder. He also provided most of the techniques shown here.

whenever the feet moves or the spine moves, there are hydraulic pistons that move along with it.

Having that function happen would save animation time and also bring realism to the rig.


The first thing I did was make joints on the hydraulics. The swivel side of the hydraulic is the parent joint that the other piston joint follows. I put in an IK handle through it so the two joints stretch and follow each other.

Next, I used the distance tool with locators and parented the top and bottom locators to the joints closest to the piston.

The distance expands when the joints stretch/compress now.  

If we connect the distance shape node to the bottom hydraulic joint, the joints will now follow the expanded distance tool.


Now the hydraulics follow with the foot!