View Full Version : jSchleifer spine workflow

03 March 2003, 11:22 AM
hey everyone,
I've just completed the spine setup which jason schleifer discusses on his char rigginig dvd (thanks jason, its awesome).
I was just wondering what everyone's workflow is when animating the spine.
I'm just getting a little confused with the the amount of controls, there are the IK controls, and the FK torso joints. I guess that the end FK torso joint staying where it is and stretching when you move the IK shoulder control is a little intimidating. Do people try and minimise which controls have keyframes, and use the others for tweaking, or is it more freestyle? ;)

cheers guys


03 March 2003, 12:10 PM
Hi shaunyue,

I try to keep my spine setups to a minimum, i just have 3 controls: hips, chest and both control.


03 March 2003, 03:02 PM
For me it is completely convenient to use the 3 fk controllers that are also set up within jason's spine approach for the main spine movement. That way you are sure that your spine is moving in arcs. It is also nice to have the feature to control the hip and the shoulders independently from the rest of the body.
By translating and rotating those controls you can offset the spine from the main controls just the way you want it.
Just my 2 cents.
:beer: Tom/

03 March 2003, 04:04 PM
Hi Tom,

How does jasons setup actually work, ive heard so many people talk about it, but also sounds similar to my setups.


03 March 2003, 06:02 PM
hey eek
To keep it short.
Jason is using a spline IK to control the bending of the spine. The CVs of the spline are mainly driven by some clusters which are parented under some controlObjects. With that you are able to move/rotate the hip and the shoulders seperately from the rest of the body which also allows some stretching of the spine. You also get a nice twist down the spine if you y-rotate the upperBody/shoulders. On top of that Jason sets up three joints to drive the main rotation of the spine (very important to get arcs in your torso movement).
I think that's basically it.
Personally I like this way of setting up the spine very much. :applause:

03 March 2003, 09:56 AM
Intresting Cavetroll,

How do you keep both rigs together?, i have 3 joint rigs and a complex 6 bones stretchy rig, but dont usually link them.


03 March 2003, 11:11 AM
That should be not that difficult. Just parent or constrain the controls of the stretchy spine rig to your 3-joint-hierarchy. That means the hipCtrl to the root and the shoulderCtrl to topmost joint. All should work nice and clean now. :)

03 March 2003, 11:37 AM
Hi Cavetroll,

I understand now, its how i put my rigs together normally!

thanks again


03 March 2003, 04:16 PM
My DVD just came in the mail! I cant wait to see and implement all of the ideas into my workflow.

The spine setup the Jason shows seems a little intimitadating to me.

04 April 2003, 05:16 PM
where can I get the dvds?

04 April 2003, 08:27 PM
If these links survive the wrap, for "Fast Animation Rigs" here:

and for "Integrating a Creature Animation Rig within a Production Pipeline" here:


04 April 2003, 04:29 AM
It all comes down to the animator you're rigging for. I love Jason's back setup; I use a modified version of it myself. Our animators here however prefer a simplified FK back. In fact, most animators I talk to don't seem to care how complicated I can get, they just want their good 'ol FK...just makes my job easier ;)



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