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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Setting up inverse kinematics


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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Setting up inverse kinematics

When you create a basic armature, the bones manipulate the character by rotating, and this is called forward kinematics. But there are times when you'll need inverse kinematics, which will stick a bone to an actual object or position in the scene. This is particularly useful in the feet of the character. You want the feet to stay planted on the ground, but you may want to move the hips of the character or the rest of the character around to position them above the feet. So let's take a quick look at how to set up inverse kinematics.
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    5. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 44m 15s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    6. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    7. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    8. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    9. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 51m 48s
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    4. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    5. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    6. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    7. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    8. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    9. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Blender 2.6 Essential Training
7h 26m Beginner Dec 21, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.

Topics include:
  • Navigating in 3D space
  • Selecting, rotating, and scaling objects
  • Using Snap to move objects precisely
  • Creating mesh primitives and extrusions
  • Subdividing meshes
  • Creating a simple creature
  • Joining mesh objects and stitching vertices
  • Organizing a scene with layers, groups, and hierarchies
  • Assigning glossy and reflective materials to objects
  • Creating bump maps
  • Creating sky and ambient light
  • Understanding ambient occlusion
  • Adding motion blur and depth of field
  • Editing animation in the Graph Editor
  • Building and animating a simple character
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Blender
Author:
George Maestri

Setting up inverse kinematics

When you create a basic armature, the bones manipulate the character by rotating, and this is called forward kinematics. But there are times when you'll need inverse kinematics, which will stick a bone to an actual object or position in the scene. This is particularly useful in the feet of the character. You want the feet to stay planted on the ground, but you may want to move the hips of the character or the rest of the character around to position them above the feet. So let's take a quick look at how to set up inverse kinematics.

Now I have my character here, and I am just going to put him into Wireframe mode so we can kind of see what we're doing with him. And I want to take the legs and put an inverse-kinematics chain at the ankle so that way I can keep the feet planted on the ground. So we are going to do this by going into Pose mode. Now we are going to do this by creating an object to use as our end effector for the inverse kinematics. So I'm going to add in just an empty object.

And this is just an object that doesn't render, and we can use this as our end point of our IK chain. Now I am going to go ahead and rename this. We are going to call this IK_Right, so it's the right side IK, so I am going to move it under that ankle there. And this is a little big, so I am just going to go ahead and scale it down so it's a little bit more proportional to my character. And I just want to make sure that it is underneath that ankle or is close to that ankle bone as I can make it. So now once I have that placed, I can right- click to select my armature and go into Pose mode.

Now what I want is I want this bone here to point to this object. And that way, when I move the object, it will control the chain. So we can create IK by using a constraint. Bones in Pose mode have an additional tab in their Properties panel, and that's called Bone Constraints. You will not see this in Edit mode. So if I go into Edit mode, that disappears, so we have to be in Pose mode. Select the bone with a little chain on it and we hit Add Constraint > inverse kinematics.

And now it's going to ask you for two things. One is what is the Target? And that's going to be IK_Right, and notice how when I do this it snaps to that object. The other one is called the Pole Target, and that basically just controls where the knee is pointed. Because this character has such tiny, little knees, we probably won't need to worry about that. Now once I have this in place, you can see how a little line shows up. And this basically controls the entire chain. So I have my IK actually goes not just from my ankle to my hip, but actually to the center of the character.

So if I right-click on IK_Right, you can see how when I move that, it's actually moving this character at the hip, which really is not what I want to do. So I am going to go ahead and select this bone, and make sure I'm still in Pose mode, and then under the Bone panel, you will see we have a rollout here for Inverse Kinematics. And what we can do is we can actually just turn off inverse kinematics for this bone, so I am just going to go ahead and lock this down in all three directions, and notice how that kind of just goes right back into place.

And then when I move this bone, it will just move these two bones rather than the entire chain. So this now allows me to position and move the character. So if I were to go back into Object mode here, I can move my entire character and his feet will still stick to those objects.

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