I'm trying to find a quick reference to match Mixamos rigging hierarchy. I'm confused over which bones are 'root' and how many bones in the spine/pelvis/chest etc. I want my characters I make in Maya to be fully supported by Mixamo library of animations as well as my own keyframe style animations I intend to make in Maya.

I'm really struggling to make a fully human IK rig for my characters. I found this on Unity Documentation: https://docs.unity3d.com/2017.3/Documentation/Manual/Preparingacharacterfromscratch.html

It states: Possible structures for the hierarchy might be:-

  • HIPS - spine - chest - shoulders - arm - forearm - hand
  • HIPS - spine - chest - neck - head
  • HIPS - UpLeg - Leg - foot - toe - toe_end

But in other examples and guides I read and watched (including the official Maya documentation) the HIPS are not the root.

This is how I understood the hierarchy to be:

  • BACK_ROOT - pelvis - hip - knee - ankle - foot - toes
  • BACK_ROOT - lower_back - upper_back - lower_neck - upper_neck - head upper_back - arm_root - shoulder - elbow - wrist

I am quite sure I have it wrong but have tried many variations of parenting the bones together, and indeed have tried different amounts of bones as some tutorials differ.

I've had multiple problems with my rig mainly from the fact I can't get the Human IK to work fully in Maya (adding IKHandle to leg or arm can work, but the root just moves the character and there is no way for me to make him crouch automatically as I move the body downwards).

Now I'm lost and not sure even how many bones I need and where.

I already posted a question here and Maya Forums about the similar issue. I got this response on Maya Forums (https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/maya-animation-and-rigging/ik-handle-for-back-bones-allowing-me-to-move-body-downwards-and/m-p/10321981) but I didnt understand what he meant and when i tried adding what he suggested it failed with orange in the HIK view and said it was not alighed to X-axis (It was aligned but the elbows where bent out just slightly as per the maya docs tutorial and others I had seen)

I done another attempt and the arms look aligned to me: enter image description here

If someone knows of a text guide showing in exactly what a good hierarchy of joints looks like, please be kind enough to post it. I try searching the web but all i can see is tutorial videos and text I have already seen.


1 Answer 1


OK well no sooner than posting the question I had a brainwave. I loaded Unity and found a project where I'd imported an auto-rigged character from Mixamo. Here is the screen of the hierarchy. Not quite in text format, but might serve as a good reference seeing as I was unable to find this online.

Hopefully this is a correct hierarchy, although I still haven't fixed my problem on making my own human IK rig in Maya.

enter image description here


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