Idle pondering - IK for head?

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  12 December 2002
Idle pondering - IK for head?

I've noticed that many of the most subtle and complex (read 'hard to FK') neck movements in humans are simply counteracting torso/body-movements, trying to keep the skull from swinging around and changing orientation too much. So wouldn't a switchable IK/FK setup be better for the head, rather than the usual straight FK?
I don't know, I've never tried this, anyone?
  12 December 2002
Here's a simple thing I just made to illustrate how I make the head setup. It's done in XSI, but you can apply it to any other application.

Basicly the effector of the head bone is position constraint to the sphere, and to control the direction (where the head is "looking") I have a upvector constraint to the cube (called pole vector I think in maya.. not sure though). Also, the Hip controller is the parent of the chest, and the chest is the parent of the head controller.
In XSI the switch between IK/FK is built in so it's easy to switch between it. I personally rarely use FK for the head.

I like using IK for the head. When I first started doing that I found that my "head animation" became better and it was faster to pose the head correctly.

Just my $0.02, I'm sure you'll find other comments on this.

best regards

.stefan andersson
Attached Images
File Type: jpg headsetup.jpg (35.7 KB, 151 views)
  12 December 2002
Hm, I thought so.
I'm using the Detached Foot method for the feet, which I really like... maybe that would work for the head too?
edit: it's here
under 'Animation'

Last edited by Stahlberg : 12 December 2002 at 04:11 AM.
  12 December 2002
It probably could work. But I don't see what kind of benefit it would have. Probably more complex than it needs to be.

best regards

.stefan andersson
  12 December 2002
As of late, Ive been using a straight up sc IK for the head and neck. quick and dirty, it consists of one IK for the neck and one for the head. both get parented underneath the control. the control is used as both a position and rotation. It works out for good side to side "chicken head" type stuff..

I think it's the same as StefanA's method. I scoped it in the aw master class this siggraph with Cid newman. Cool. It's fast though. I've adopted it.
  01 January 2006
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