Future of forward/inverse kinematics?


ask izware when the new version will be released, cuz i really got no clue.



Mirai is back…


CS is crap. Its like you’re trying to educate pinokyo against his will. Aminanium and Mirai’s character tools really look cool. But what really blew me off my seat was MB once as I saw it in action and used it myself!

:bounce: Man you hold the “Q” key down and are working instantly on an complete FK skeleton. Put your keys let the key go and there is your skeleton with the IK pinned to wherever it was before…

:bounce: You store poses, paste and mirror paste it with “offsetting from any skeleton part” and boom. Your character comes to life…

:bounce: You mix and edit what and wherever you want with curve editing tools and a neat NLE editor…

:bounce: You get animation data from whichever charachterized character, paste it to another and all data accomodates to the scale and structure of a total different character…

I know I sound like a spokesman of Kaydara here but believe me I just scratched the surface.

I really really hope maya will adopt similar features in the near future. Till then I won’t even bother to spend time on rigging in maya but will improve other skills…


I’ll agree. Trying the demo of MB, it really feels intuitive and well constructed. The constraints, switching FK/IK, real pinning of translate and rotate, the cool blending and warping tools, scripting, real time speed. Sheet…I sound like a kaydara PR as well.
Roll on an overhaul of the maya API so we don’t have to approximate and fake.


have any of you ever used animatium? either the demo or the regular ver. I have the demo and just from a couple of minutes of playing around with it I saw how good it was. the ease of creating complicate movements was just so cool. Now all I want to know is how good it is at exporting rigging and animation to larger commercial packages such as maya, XSI, max and others.


A response to everyone who thinks that Motionbulder is the answer.

I’ve tried MB for a couple of weeks. At a first glance it seems superior. But my experience is that it’s not that good. Full body IK seems like the technical directors wet dream, but it can be the animators worst nightmare. It has to be really well implemented to be a bless.

In Motionbuilder’s case, its not. I couldn’t seem to find a good and fast workflow. All i got was alot of secondary motion. Motion I found it really hard and complicated to control. Maybe MB is a good program if you need to do animations quick or if you don’t know about the basic animation principles. MB’s rig seems to add alot of up’n’down and weight change motion without your approval. Maybe this is a good thing. But I consider it a flaw, since it gives you less control.

This is my impression of MB, but its just my opinion and i’ve only tried it for a couple of weeks.

Altough I think that MB is a great program to deal with motioncapture and animation data. Their unified character makes animation retargeting really easy.

I dont know anything about animanium or mirai. Maybe they work really well. After all I would love a good FK/IK solution!



Full body IK seems like the technical directors wet dream, but it can be the animators worst nightmare. It has to be really well implemented to be a bless.

This is my impression of MB, but its just my opinion and i’ve only tried it for a couple of weeks.

Hi yeah it takes more than a few weeks to get used to the animation system in Motionbuilder.
You can quicky and easily tell the full body system to not afffect other parts of the body at any point, pose all IK pose in FK, mix the two, layer it, bake it down and start over if you needed to. I have used it for years and still find things that are funky but there really is nothing else like it on the market, If you had serious problems with useing the tools then take a few min, write up your wishes/ probelms with a short … this is what would make it better or this is what I expected it to do and did not and email them. They are very open to the right kind of input on the software.

Motionbuilder 6 sound like they have steped up the contorl over the rigs alot and the character programer that created the contorl set is a great guy that just wants to make damn good tools…

No I don’t work for Kaydara but I have used and been a part of the alpha and beta team for years.

There needs to be more programs dealing with character issues and there are very few doing it fast and well… The time of fighting limited contorls and weeks of hacking on a rig to get even close to the speed and interactivity and flexablity of the Motionbuilder contorl rig needs to come to an end and I hope that Alias, XSI and Max step it up as all the character tools are laging.


MB 6 features really look neat.
And now that Kaydara and Alias joined their forces things look even more exciting. IMO this was the most meaningfull aquisition of a company since years in the 3D industry.

I hope though that the development pace of MB will continue and that maya and MB will melt into one superior product in the not so far future.

Of course by keeping MB seamlessly accessible to other apps as well.


maya’s fk/ik blending still requires you to know what you’re doing… and it doesn’t work on feet & hands. it’s fine for arms, but you can’t lock a hand down, or a finger, or a toe, or the ball of the foot and blend in and out of IK w/out setting up a complicated blending system… and w/out having the animator have to keep track of which “mode” they’re in.

The blending in 5.0 is better than it was in 4.5… which, in turn is better than 4.0 and previous versions… but it’s more like a patch on a problem, it’s not a true solution yet.


I think that’s one of the few features I like about character studio… well to tell the truth what I don’t like about it is the way that you edit your curves :rolleyes:

Speaking about MB. I think I will have to try that one some day


Still, Animanium seems like a better solution for character animation, because of it’s simplicity and ease of use - which leads to speed and quality, because quality depends on feedback and flexibility.

Just like I presume Marionette at Pixar is built, the ideal animation tool should allow you to build poses really fast and lock anything anywhere. Period.

There is such a thing called… hm, hm,… “High Level Animation”. If anybody has ever seen good quality animation done this way, let me know.

So first there are these companies like Alias or Avid advertising all those fancy tools… that only they are dreaming about, allowing “High Level” stuff, which is not at all “High Level” in the first place because if it would really be that “High”, you wouldn’t have to fight it and curse its lack of integration, and everybody would say “God bless you computer dear for you give me such perfect inbetweens”.

And on the other hand you have the animator, the poor soul that has to use them in a tight production environment…

My point is that, in the end, the animator has to set 100000001 keys anyway, so basically you build a ton of poses, and the more you build within a timeframe, the better the animation - and that’s the only thing that matters, because when you let the computer inbetween… oy vey!

So, Alias, give us a pose-to-pose system that works like Animanium, but within Maya!!! Please!!!


I just purchased Animanium at Turbosquid.com for $595. It looks simple, but very powerful. They have converters that works with many packages out there. I am currently using Character Studio and it works great. The time I am saving is worth the cost. It does wonders for creating great looking pose quickly. I am using it for my current project. It is a great companion tool.

You can get is at


graphicslok and all,

when i saw animanium … i thought it will solve the animtor problems in posing the character the right way … but after testing the demo version … i found it very diffecult for posing … first reason … when u drag with the mouse … the body part doesnt follow in the same speed … ( i tried to change the settings of draging) … second reason … there is only one Undo … and thats makes it very hard … third reason … its viewport dependend (i know that this is a plus from animanuim viewpoint) but in not real world … we need to be able to drag on Y-axis or Z-axis only … and animanium doesnt allow that :frowning:

so… the best thing is to create similler rig inside maya … its not easy … but possible.

graphicslok, if u success in using animanuim as u said … please post the your feed back in details … i would love to c some animations … and hope animanuim people will improve it more.



I don’t have anything I can post openly to the public. In regards to your difficulties with poses, see the tutorial and experiment with FK/IK. It took sometime to get use to, because it is so much “simpler” and it takes little learning to get use to. You have to think like an animator not like an engineer…

I recently went to the web-site and down-loaded all the tutorial material.

Good luck…


thankx for reply graphicsloki,
of course i gave sometime to learn the software… and i’ll give it more since you have said that it worth … and this software realy has golden features that i didnt see before…

but all my 3 comments about animanuim, came from me (engineer! ) and the cell animator in the company(he is good keyframer in maya) … we both were searching for something that solves his problems and speed his work…

again … i would like to said that animanuim can be pushed one step to, and it will be the dream for any animator.


I KNEW it was their 2B pencils …

… bastards.



Pinning any part of a skeleton, that would be awesome!

I was sold on the idea when Jason mentioned it, but then he used the whole fall and roll analogy, offsetting the pins so you get all the parts touching…

That would be SO painful with Maya’s current FK-IK setup. I’m all for being able to pin something down on a whim. I can just see it… a little option box comes up when I select a joint to pin it and it asks me (pin to object or pin to world?)… mmm… so nice.

If you could define in a skeleton the relationship, both translation, distance, rotations, and all that jazz between each other upon creation and say lock those down, it would be fantastic. Say I pin and arm, and I want to move the body, but since joint creation was started at the hip I’ll be just translating the body if I try to translate it around and not rotate it around the arm. However, if I could tell it that there are limits to the distance between the joints in the torso, then it will translate and rotate up to those limits. Weird… I think I just confused myself. Anyways…

If MAYA advanced the way it handles FK - IK interaction it would help make it the program to beat. Right now I feel like they’re just adding plugins and not improving the heart of the beast. Oh, and imho, the new referencing in 6.5 is flakey at best. Our studio is staying with 6.0 because 6.5’s is a mess to deal with for what we’re doing.

  • C.Squirrel


You are right, pinning any part would be great in Maya. I just got a job at Sony Computer Entertainment and have switched to Maya from MAX. At my old job we used MAX’s older IK system. Not the newer one with the IK handles, etc. but the one where the IK was “baked” into your skeleton. This older IK system allowed you to bind down any joint you want in your skeleton at any time, without the need to IK/FK blend. Even though it doesn’t totally lock the bone down like this “newer IK”, it’s damn close. It’s such a useful feature and I’m really scratching my head as to why other programs(MAX in particular) aren’t using this in their IK systems.


Ok people. This is a helluva thread. But I just got one small question…What is pinning? What do you mean by pinning down the elbow, etc.?