Alongside working on tutorial workshops I did a lot of rigging work today. To minimuse the number of moments of glitching geometry I decided to rig the model first before skinning it, save for the tongue which was rigged and skinned as it was relatively basic.
This isn't the final state however. I would look to consider locators or perhaps universal manipulators to help when positioning the limbs. The largest hurdle to this has so far been the use of digitigrade feet, which adds an extra section to the limb
As well as the tongue I also connected up the eyes. However I might upgrade this to using a locator rather than being tied to the XYZ rotation of a NURBS circle as shown above. As this would grant a little more freedom for positioning the eyes, and perhaps streamlining the animation workload. The alternative is to preposition the pivot of the NURBS circle so that it orbits around the eye. It's been a year since I modeled eyes in the Maya workshops but I do recall the use of locators.
Each of these vertebrae controls are linked to the vertebrae by controlling the pivot angle and are parented to the control node down the chain which leads from the head or the toes to the hip, where the creature's core is..