Human IK animation retargeting and characterization from FBX help needed


Hi there,

I hope it’s ok for me to post this question here, as I can’t seem to find an answer to my issue anywhere, and I am hoping someone can help me!

My problem is this:

I am using Maya 2020.

I have a rig with animation baked into the joints that I want to save and not have to re-animate, however I do not have access to the controllers or the original file as it is an FBX export.

My new rig, which is the same joint set up with the exact same naming conventions has a controller set up and is more ready for my needs, however does not have the animation applied.

When I import the original FBX animated joints into the scene with my new control rig, the same named joints merge and the animation comes across to the joints, however the new constraints prevent these joints from moving properly. Therefore I need the animation to come onto the controllers instead.

My solution so far has been to set up the new control rig as a custom human IK, and bring the FBX in as a new source so the animation can be brought across. The problem is the original FBX isn’t characterized and therefore does not show up in the source list. I can apply various other data such as Maya examples as they have already been characterized but I need a way to bring across the animation data from the above mentioned FBX.

If anyone has any ideas or solutions, I would be greatly appreciative!

Thanks in advance!


You should be able to bring in the FBX and then characterize the imported skeleton in Human IK. Then just use this as your source. I have done this several times with motion capture and it works perfectly. Just make sure you use namespaces when you import the FBX so the incoming bones do not replace your existing, identically named bones.


Hi, Thankyou so much for your reply!

However I am still having issues. As the imported FBX does not have the controllers, I cannot include these in the characterization and the constrained controllers on my new rig are still preventing movement.

Secondly, is it the case that I would have to characterize each and every version of the animation I imported even though the skeleton is the same? Or is there a way around this?

I apologize if I am missing something obvious, or not explaining efficiently!

Thanks again for any responses and help!