More than 3 joints...

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Old 07 July 2003   #1
More than 3 joints...


I'm a newbie who wants to make a simply modeled but very flexible character. How do I go about making an IK handle that has more than 3 joints? I don't exactly want the spline effect. Actually what I want to achieve is a leg just like a human, that moves normally speaking just like a human's leg. But then I want an additional joint in the middle of the thigh and an additional joint in the calf, so that I can manually and arbritarily adjust these at times. But then I still want the IK joint that animates from the heel and bends at the knee - like a normal leg, but not normal.

Old 07 July 2003   #2

One way to do this, which might seems a little bit hard at first, is to create 2 skeletons. On skeleton has a pelvis joint, a knee joint and an ankle joint. The other skeleton has all those same joints plus the additional ones you mentioned. Then you use the first skeleton for IK's and the second one with the extra joints must be orient constrained to its respective joints on the ik skeleton. This way, the skeleton with all the joints will be controlled by a simpler IK skeleton.

Let me know if this is not clear are you dont know how to do this.

Old 07 July 2003   #3
Hi, this does seem clear but i do not know how to do this...i mean i know how to make the two skeletons. i've actually already made two skeletons just trying things out. but to attach them...i think this is ideally what i am looking for.

in fact now all of a sudden my skeleton is actually allowing me to create an IK handle over 5 joints. i don't know why it wasn't working before...anyway the result is that i get one long bend in the joint when i move the handle. This may actually be desirable, but i have to play with it a little more and compare the version without where i get a more defined knee...

Actually i can just tell you what i'm doing. It's a Stick Man. and i want to make him do amazing things, and maybe one day have his own feature film. Since I'm a newb i need an animation mentor...

2 questions how do i get a picture to attach within the text of my do i get an avatar?

Thanks for your help.
Old 07 July 2003   #4

To post pics here, you must have a site that hosts the image and the just use the insert image button when creating a post. To change your Avatar, you must do that under your profile and then edit options.

In order to get the one skeleton to control the other, you must orient constrain the joints from the bind skeleton to the ik skeleton. So you would select the IK thigh, then select the bind thigh and do an orient constrain. Now it should follow it perfectly. Do the same for the knee joint.

If you are a beginner, I'd really recommend doing some basic tutorials and doing some standard rigging before you get into more advanced stuff. Try just rigging a standard biped and get a better idea of what all the tools do and how to use them.

Feel free to ask more questions

Old 07 July 2003   #5
This is a test of me being able to post an image...

Old 07 July 2003   #6
Ha, ha! yeah boy! Whoop, there it is!!!

Hello world, here I come. Avatar flying and all, woohooo!! Loked out man, thanks! You've got to mentor me now man, nothing can stop us!!!!!
Old 07 July 2003   #7
No problem, me and you against the world

glad it worked.


Old 07 July 2003   #8
Yes, thanks to you the multiple skeleton dealie is working as well. Now I just have to see how much of difference in render time, if at all, this creates, to figure if it's worth it. The whole angle on this Stick project is a lean, mean, speedy scene machine.

Next problem is deformation. You've seen the character, and now also where he deforms improperly. There are quite a few different techniques for deformation control, but can you suggest the most effective option in the case of Stick and possibly some good tutorials online where i can read up and then put it into action with Stick?

Old 07 July 2003   #9
That extra skeleton really shouldn't slow your scene down at all, especially not with a stick man. I really dont think the whole 2 skeleton thing is really necessary with such a basic character. It's up to you though, but a stick man will work fine with a basic rig.

For deformation, if you are using smooth skin, then you can fix most of your deformation problem's with influence objects or blendshapes. Either way, both must be driven by the rotation of your joints. Once again this is a really simple character, so those things really dont need to be too complex.

If it's rigid binding, then you'll probably go with lattices to fix deformation. There are always several ways to do things, just experiment and find what works for you

Old 07 July 2003   #10
Ok, cool at least that helps me rule out painting weights...i'll get back when i have a worthy update. Cheers!
Old 07 July 2003   #11
hey Loked, I went back to a simple skeleton like you suggested, but i'm having problems man. Any chance you could take a look at my character and walk me through the best process to rig this bad boy up?

Here's a screenshot of Stick with a ball as a reference object...

and a render of that deformer not at work...

Old 07 July 2003   #12
Email me your rig and let me take a look at it. My email address is

I'll fix somethings up and send it back to you and you can learn from taking it apart. You can also ask me questions on whatever I did and I'll explain it to you. Does that suit you?

Oh yeah, make sure it is in 4.5 and 5.

Let me know.
Old 07 July 2003   #13
It'll be with you in about 10 hours, as soon as i finish my 8-hour gig today and have enough time to ride the train home and get back to my computer...
Old 01 January 2006   #14
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