Space switching at the head,neck or a mixture?


I posted this on my blog too - Most rigs i build and have seen have isolation at the head i.e switching the orientation space between the chest, torso and world. And also with position space too.

I recently saw a rig that pushed the isolation to the neck instead and was wondering if its the right way to go? If isolation is at the neck how does positional space switching work for the head?

And example of isolation at the neck:

And at the head: (skip a little)

A giraffe for example has an incredibly strong neck, its able to lock on a target but also flex around.

Giraffe fighting:

A chicken on the other head is pretty much like a steadicam (isolation at the head) insane!:


I think you answered your own question: it depends on the character. Generally speaking, the character work I deal with wouldn’t benefit that much from neck isolation. If I were animating a particularly long necked creature, then I could definitely see the benefits. So unless you’re trying to create a universal rigging solution, seems like it should be context sensitive.


I think thats pretty much true, - i think there also maybe a relationship between the length of the neck and how isolation is treated. With the giraffe running, the lower half of the neck gets a huge amount of influence from the chest - with the head trying to compensate. With a chicken the head is pretty close to the chest and seemingly allows for much great control of isolation at the head.

It maybe in fact the longer the neck the less steadicam-ness of the head and more influence of the neck in isolation. But this maybe determined by the weight of the head itself?

Could a good/ostrich have position isolation of the head? Compared to a say rhino’s huge head - my hunch is the head to neck weight ratio plays a role in the isolation.

Position isolation also for a long necked creature i can see being particularly painful if the orientation isolation is at the neck and the position isolation at the head.


Why not both Neck and Head. Give the animator the option. :stuck_out_tongue:


Hehe thats exactly what i was thinking :slight_smile:


Glad to see we are on the same page. I was told once, that if you think for a split second, “which should I…” then do both.


I do both usually Charles. I will also do a 50/50 split for the neck that can be turned off. For the Giraffe it would be a nice blend up the neck so that each bones tappers off a little more.

Great footage, chicken is really cool.


I was thinking that too - a blend between the neck and head. I think there’s also a relationship for horizontal animals - a rhino’s neck muscles must be incredibly strong to support the weight of the head. I can’t imagine a t-rex!

Leading with the head becomes a interesting thing for large creatures as I think only rotation can come from the head and gross direction from the chest/neck.


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.