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Advanced IK Setups
Added on: Thu Aug 03 2000
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 


Expressions and IK = Slow :) Just a rule of thumb for you Max users. But expressions can be very helpful.

The following scene uses an expression to position the hip, or root of the skeleton based on the movement of feet. If you step forward the hips move forward, if you side step, the hips move sideways.

Type 2 with expressions example - (3D-Studio Max 3.0 Only)

I wish i could take credit for this expression, but it's from Fred Ruff's expression example.
This expression is fairly simple and if you're familiar with expressions than this expression is as easy as pie to understand. Therefore you should have no problem recreating it. I myself like the expressions for interactivity when i'm posing, but i dont like what it does to animation when i'm working with it. So i generally dont use an expression for the hip position.

IK Advice

Heres some IK advice:

  • The Up-Vector Fake does not work exactly like an upvector because its using a Look at controller. A real up-vector constraint works only on 1 plane of rotation. But a Look at controller works on 2 planes of rotation. So when animating it is important to move your fake up-vector constraint dummies UP and DOWN as well as LEFT and RIGHT because the IK bone will take into account 2 rotation planes!!!

  • Under Motion panel (with an IK bone selected) Change the iteration value to 200 for final rendering, and about 20-50 for interactivity. For position rotation accuracy put 0.0 in both feilds. Doing this will slow down the IK in viewport. So be sure to turn on "fast mode" for interactive update, when animating.

  • Beware of the start and end frame value under the IK solver menu in the motion panel. Sometimes you'll forget that your IK solver was only set to 0 to 100 frames and then you sit there wondering why your IK is falling appart at frame 200... The answer is.. The solver isnt on! :)

  • Mixing IK and expressions slows things down even more

  • Set your Joint limits wisely. In General always set a very wide range of motion for the limit because max's IK cripples itself when a joint moves past a limit. So becareful when posing aswell.

  • Sometimes you dont need all 3 Degrees of Freedom, so turn the ones that you dont need OFF instead of limiting them

  • Hide Joint limits for clarity.

  • Use Biped ;) In all seriousness, Biped is an incredible tool that gets a bad rap sometimes because people think of it as a Footstep only tool. When in reality Footsteps is just another tool that biped has. People that have given Biped a fair look, have found it impressive to say the least. Those that have animated with it, know its true power. Bipeds real strength is in its freeform animation through seamless FK and IK intergration.

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