Thanks BennyK, that video you linked to certainly taught me a few things I didn't know about creating a skeleton. But I was after something that would explain the controls such as ik handle/spline. Not to worry, I've got a basic rig set up and working now, and I've added rotational constraints on a lot of the joints so that it moves as I'd imagine a real mouse skeleton moves.
I've also began work on skinning my mouse. I couldn't find anywhere that clearly explained how to go about painting weights onto the mesh, so I just jumped right in and started playing around and now its actually going fairly well! Perhaps not the best way to learn, but it seems to do the trick. But I'm having a problem trying to mirror the weights to the other side of my model. I've only been working on painting the weights for the right side of my model so far. Is there a simple way I can mirror these weights to the opposite side? So for example, I'd like the weights I've painted for the joint for the right elbow to mirrow over and automatically fill in the weights for the left elbow. Is this possible?
I've attached the scene that I'm working from, and it would be great if somebody could take the time to have a look and give me some advice about what I have done wrong, what I could improve etc, with regards to the overall rigging and skinning that I've done so far. I just don't want to start developing any bad habits if I can avoid it! Thank you so much for any help.
EDIT: Slightly off topic.....but I'd really like to buy a book to have as a reference for this kind of thing. I've looked on amazon.co.uk and found two books by Michael McKinley that I like the look of: "The Game Animators Guide to Maya
" and "The Game Artists Guide to Maya
". They look fairly similar to me though judging by their descriptions....is it worth buying both of these or just one of them? Can anyone recommend any other books on this topic? Thanks again!