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Old 07-13-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
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Cologne, Germany
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//Why dont using JUST FK

Hello there,

This one is something that I thought about a lot of times, And I just would love to discuss with you out there. I was often in situations where i did the whole projekt on my own. This could be related to working at small shops or doing my own stuff...
The topic I want to talk about is the rigging phase...This is one of the most technical parts, and I guess one of most challengings too. At least for me.
Something that I find really intresting was the way I animate since I used to do it more traditionally (since I used to think about it). This commen kind of animtion starts with thinking, blocking and easy pose to pose stuff, which then ends with Keys on every second Frame.
So why stuggling with riggs and wasting time if you know what you want and know how to animate it. To be clear I am not talking about just a simple leg setup and foot systems etc.... its more about technical aspekts that are connected to this solutions and can cause heavy problems. (Twisty spine riggs, tail-systems, rotations connections which tend to break after more than 180 degree, solid squeeze and stretch solutions...IK poppings....).

What are your suggestions? Are there any people who just animate the hell out of the timeline without worring about heavy rigg systems?

Old 07-15-2012, 09:07 PM   #2
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Michael Duffy
Prog. Dept. Manager
McKinney, USA
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 761
When it makes sense, sometimes you do just want to go with an FK solution to everything. But Euler angles aren't the easiest to control for all positions, and having spline or controller based solutions makes limbs both easier and quicker to pose. For example, if you have a tentacle snaking up around a character like a corkscrew, then you will get much faster and smoother results if your bones are constrained to a spline than if you were hand-keying each joint in the chain. Also with feet, a good solution that solves between the hip and the ankle (doesn't have to be IK) allows you to adjust the body and hips without having to go back and re-animate the feet.

If you have a performance where the parent always controls the child, then FK can be the way to go. But when the end of the chain has to interact with something that isn't in the chain (feet on floor, hand on desk, hanging from trapeze) or has a ton of joints (straps, chains, ropes, long tails, snakes, tentacles) then is is faster and easier to invest in a good rig than trying to FK your way through it.

That said, sometimes riggers will over-use an FK solution. For example, if you have an ant leg which has two "elbow" joints instead of one, sometimes riggers will try to use an IK solution to solve the three-segmented limb. But the animator will have more control over how the leg bends if the leg is rigged with two overlapping simple solvers, rather than an IK solution that is trying to get everything in one go. Always give animators a rig that is easy to use, but also always give manual control over anything you have automated as well.

Old 07-16-2012, 12:34 AM   #3
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Giancarlo Ng
Quezon City, Philippines
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Our rigs came in multiple versions and one of them had FK only. It depends on which ones each animator wants or which scene is better for which.

Mostly the variation for IK vs FK powered rigs were for the arms and upper botdy though. Legs and feet, most everyone agrees with Reverse Foot Rig and IK for those.

There is no hard and fast rule for anything when it comes to animation.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
Old 07-17-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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Bruce Lin
Radar Studios
Arlington Heights, USA
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 169
Most at work here agree that the whole point of good rig is to make animator's job easier. So we usually do one generic IF/FK rig and multi custom rigs for the shots that need it. One good rig make multiple animators happy, and one bad rig make many animators hate you.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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