Future of forward/inverse kinematics?


Awesome video Ambient-Whisper :thumbsup:

Hurry up and get this working in Maya!! :wink:


That video is shockingly cool. I don’t know how Mirai never beat out all the other packages back in 99. Hell, it still impresses me just looking at that vid now. Its a real shame that Mirai dropped out of the race considering how great it looked. I never even had heard about it until I saw Martins posts over at highend3d.

I just hope that those guys are programming tools in the basement of one of the other major 3d rivals out there. It would be enough for me to switch :wink:

Mike R


Oooh, that video is awesome ambient-whisper. One thing that pops into mind when seeing it though. It seams kind of awkward to do the skeleton. looks like you have to pick each joint from a menu instead of just drawing them. But the animation possibilities are awesome!

The SEGA video was also very cool, Jason. These two videos really show the way I want to work. I’ve been doing some rigs with Character Studio in mind, but as we all know Maya won’t let you do certain things. Let’s hope A/W takes this into consideration. If they picked up just some of these ideas Maya would be a dream to work with…


Ive just seen the sega video, its simply what i dream of for animation, a “pupett master” tool
If there is a project for adding this way of working to maya , id like to help it ^^

it reminds me when i was playing with my GI.JOE toys lol


Oh , i just remember that link:



If you want these ideas to be implemented in Maya vote on this site:

(Jason already put these ideas there ; see Future FK/IK interaction ; currently 242 votes)



:buttrock: Just saw the mirai’s video, this soft is really amazing, Nichimen did a GREAT work, the “muscle” deformation is really easy to setup, and the bone chain manipulation is wonderfull. I just wonder why Nichimen stopped developpement of mirai :surprised
and what happened to mirai developpers???


If understand what Jason is talking about Motion Builder does exactly what he is wanting it to do at least with the pinning anyway. And it performs all in REAL time and I do mean REAL time. Oh the sweet goodness of no more play blasts.

You can get a PLE Mac version for $100 bucks and its fully functional and you can use it to make money as a freelancer for a year. Then after year you can get a permanant license for another $100. Check it out and let us know what you think.


I’m not entirely sure that Jason needs freelancer work at the moment… :wink:

If you can get hold of the June issue of DIGIT Magazine, it has the freelancer edition with it (although to upgrade that to the permanent license costs $200, and you don’t get the manuals that way)


Originally posted by Graf Orlok
Oooh, that video is awesome ambient-whisper. One thing that pops into mind when seeing it though. It seams kind of awkward to do the skeleton. looks like you have to pick each joint from a menu instead of just drawing them. But the animation possibilities are awesome!

actually i really like the setup of bone creation in mirai. the reason i say this is because it doesnt feel like your drawing bones but rather feels like modelling.

what you can do…( err what i do is… i dont pick each bone from a menu but rather make one large bone. this will either be my spine… or arm… etc. then i can split that into a number of bones which i can position correctly.

the reason i like this method is because i know right off the bat what my rotation axes for each bone will be. drawing can often flip the facing direction/rotation axis of a bone. which is why i dont “draw” them. :slight_smile:


YES! I would love to see a Mirai-like option in Maya. The thing that’s difficult to show is all the right-click menus. If they could capture the simplicity and still leave you access to all the motion curves that would be great.

You can just draw bones (say from an ortho view) or sculpt them in Mirai.


Coming from a 2D background I really dig the notion to animate without technical aspects bogging down your mind.

I have had a chance on several occasions with my last employer to play with Mirai’s animation tools. I liked the pinning aspects and I LOVE animating POSE to POSE when I can…so I really look forward to something coming out of this discussion in a tangible way within Maya.

Shamus Culhane, in his book “Animation: From Script to Screen”, had a wonderful piece of advice. He used to put his eraser away when he animated and worked through a scene…so he could not erase and rework his initial premonition of the drawing…he was feeling the motion and not fighting with volumes, line quality, etc…similar to the kinds of technical hurdles we all face as CG animators. He was letting art happen…


Ambient-Whisper - Breathtaking video… awesome stuff!


Wow, I´m amazed about these things happen here, only one question, will be SEGA´s software available for production?


Animanium for production? I sure hope so – looks like they’ve been using it in house and in Japan for a while now.

It’ll be shown at E3 and I’ll be posting info on what’s there…

More info and some video samples here (check out the last one for animating speed):

I also have a 45Mb video at higher res that’s quite a bit longer than those samples. Email me if you want it.

Apparently there’s already an existing connection for Max – will find out about Maya, LW & others, too…



For more than 10 years I’ve been looking at gamecompanies and always wondered if they worked with off the shelve software. As it almost always turned out they made there own tools, leveldesign tools, animations tools, audio tools. ( a bit like in the movie industrie ).
I never worked for a Japanese gamecompany so I never had any contact with those highly specialized custom built tools. This made me as a student think; what tools should I learn if most of them are not availble to the general public. I wanted to learn how to make games, the graphics and the interactions and animations.

Besides the photoshops & after effects, the shakes , the fusions, and the combustions, there where very little 2d computer animation tools that I new off. Most of them where compositing tools.So I figured the best way to go 2d is to stay offline ( pen and paper :buttrock: ) and do post processing on the computer.

Now that I’m learning 3d animation, I found out that it is for a single person very time-consuming to work out all the technical details. It kind of distracts me from putting all my creative energy in animation.

Now I’m very happy to see that gamecompanies are releasing tools for general use. I cant even begin to think how it would change the possibilties for smaller gamecompanies and animators, if companies like Nintendo, Sega, Namco, Capcom and Konami would begin to sell their inhouse tools

And on a personal note of interest; I would love to see tools as maya integrate a game toolset, for designing animations and interactions. And then with the press of a export button play the game on pc, or console.

Ah I think I talk a bit to much off topic, sorry got carried away
:love: I’m so happy thinking of all these great / ik/fk/pose/ blending options being standard in future software

---------- :wavey: -------

A quick Question to Jason Schleifer :
Are you interested in doing work for gamecompanies ?

I read today that John Woo is setting up its own gamestudios. I just wonder if there will be a new trend here : movie directors/animators getting in the videogames industrie.
I think it would be great. Real time 3d Is getting so much better every year. And even Steven Spielberg used the unreal game engine to previz some of his movie scenes. And he worked with Lucas Arts on the game:The Dig.

Well I’m interested in the outcome of this dream of getting all the inhouse gamecompany tools :stuck_out_tongue:

Lars Steenhoff


Originally posted by gametech

A quick Question to Jason Schleifer :
Are you interested in doing work for gamecompanies ?

Sure, why not? I have no allegiance to the film industry… it just allows me tohelp tell the kind of stories I like to tell (well, one really big story so far :).

If a game company offered the same type of experience, I’d be happy to do game work… or short films… or commercials… whatever. Everything you do helps you learn.



After lookin and lookin this video about animanium …
I ask myself one thing : HOW ^___^ t f did they code this soft?

pull one bone , al the body follows the right way @_@

Is there some paper about the theory of these manipulation tools ?


It shouldn’t be all that difficult to code this kind of behavior if you build the IK chains on the fly. Rather than setting up IK before hand, you just set up the angle constraints and dampening on each of your joints. Then when you solve, you try just a couple of bones out in every direction from your selected pieces and see if you can find a solution. If there isn’t a close enough solution within a given number of iterations, you expand the chain longer and try again. So if you grab the wrist and move it, first you try solving with just the elbow. If you can’t find a solution, try with the elbow and shoulder. If you still can’t find a solution, try with the elbow, shoulder, and chest. Add to that the ability to define any node as a termination of the IK chain search (pinning it down), and you should be able to get the same behavior of Animanium.

Who knows, you may even be able to write a MEL script that dynamically creates bones and IK chains, reads dampening values off of attributes on nodes in your rig, and then attaches the rig to the dynamically created IK chains. Your biggest restriction would be that apparently multi-chain IK in Maya doesn’t solve very well.

Just a thought,
Michael Duffy


l have seen the vids of ambiant_whisper and if Jason you can convinced Alias to develop that kind of setup for maya thats will be onsane man its just AMAZING and so a time saver u can surely do like 2 time more speedy ur animation with that.
I croos my finguer for ya man
BTw good wrok Ambiant_Whisper