Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Setting up Inverse Kinematics

From: LightWave 10 Essential Training

Video: Setting up Inverse Kinematics

With the simple bone structure like this or with a complex one, sometimes you want to move it around with a little bit more ease. Now this works pretty well just to select one of these bones and press the Y command to rotate it and give this character a little life, but every once in a while you might want a little more control, like you possibly might want to grab the tip of it here and kind of move it around a bit. It might be little easier. So let me show you how to do that with Inverse Kinematics. I am going to select the bottle here and I am just going to move it over. I am going to go to Items and say Add Null and we'll call this Base, something like that, and with that Base object, I am going to go to Setup and Add > Bone.

Setting up Inverse Kinematics

With the simple bone structure like this or with a complex one, sometimes you want to move it around with a little bit more ease. Now this works pretty well just to select one of these bones and press the Y command to rotate it and give this character a little life, but every once in a while you might want a little more control, like you possibly might want to grab the tip of it here and kind of move it around a bit. It might be little easier. So let me show you how to do that with Inverse Kinematics. I am going to select the bottle here and I am just going to move it over. I am going to go to Items and say Add Null and we'll call this Base, something like that, and with that Base object, I am going to go to Setup and Add > Bone.

Easy enough, just like we did earlier for the little bottle. Then I am going to press my Equal key on the keyboard and add a few child bones, just like that. Then I am going to take that last bone and I am going to press the P key and I want to change the Rest Length for this one. The reason being is that all rotations and positions and movements all happen from the base of the bone. So if I want to grab the tip here, well that one bone will be kind of sticking out. I want to be grabbing it from the bottom here, making this one our top bone. So I am going to bring the Rest Length down like that and basically there's not much distinction now between the base or the tip, which is kind of the whole point.

Also with a smaller Rest Length, it's going to have a lot less influence, if any, on an object. Back in Items, I am going to add another Null object and call this Goal and then I am going to move that item all the way to the tip, like that, and that's going to be our control point. Now, if you wanted to give this a little more life as far as visibility, press the P key for that object and you can go to Add Custom Object and you can choose Item Shape and if you double-click this, you'll get a nice little panel that comes up. This panel is visible when you actually created your null object and if you forgot to do it, this is how you get back to it. And with this you can change the shape to maybe something like a pyramid, a diamond, a sphere and so on, and you can change the shape of it and the size.

That helps you really identify where those control handles are when you're setting them up. What I am going to do now is tell these bones that that is the goal. Basically I am going to have this hierarchy and this is what is really important when setting up Inverse Kinematics. Let's open up the classic Scene Editor and notice that I've got the base bone all the way through. I am taking yhis last bone. Here are all the others. This last bone, I am going to goal it. I am going to tell the Inverse Kinematics engine, point to that goal and that then is going to control all the other bones. The way to do that, if you press M for Motion Options for that selected bone, that will be the last one, up under IK and Modifiers there is a section for Goal Object. Well, the goal is that null object we named Goal and you can see a line draw all the way through there.

If I select that object now and I move it, you can see there is a dotted line. So I know something is working, but the bones haven't been told to be set for Inverse Kinematics yet. So what I am doing is I am holding the Shift key and I am selecting all those bones at once and then still under Motion Options for Bones, under Controllers and Limits, there is a Rotation tab. Under Heading Controller change that to Inverse Kinematics. For Pitch same thing and for Bank same thing. And then when I select this and press the T key for move, my bones move.

Now I can grab this whole chain and move it around, just simply by moving this one little control. If your bones are not moving and you've set this up property, make sure that under the Setup tab, under the General category, under More, make sure Enable Inverse Kinematics is on, okay? I've been victim to thinking something is not working because that was off. And what happens now if you think of what I showed you earlier, how the bones deform an object, well, now you have a control handle to move that deformation around. So let's go one step further and take our bottle here and do the same thing.

I want to control it from the very tip. So I am going to select that top bone and I am going to add a child bone. You can even call this a TipBone if you want. I'll press P to get to the Object Properties for that bone and I am going to move that down, just bring that Rest Length all the way down. Close the panel, go to Items, you can add a null object, and we'll call this Goal. And here under Edit, if you open that up, I can change my Shape to maybe a Ball and I can make it a good size if I want.

Draw a line to my Goal if I want, put a label, Goal, and so on. You can select a color and unselect a color, just the nice options for your display. Now my goal is by default right here at the (0,0) axis and my bottle is all the way over here. That's okay because I can just move this and then right-click and move it up. And let's always check it from the Top View just so we know that it's right on the top there. I'll press 2 on my keyboard. I'll press 3 to go to a Side view and then 4 to go back to Perspective. From here I want to take that top bone and set the Goal to that null object.

That's sometimes hard to do because it's such a tiny bone. So what I like to do is select one of the bones I can see and then just press my up or down arrow to cycle through it. Then press the M key on your keyboard to get the Motion Options. Go back to IK and Modifiers and the Goal Object is now the Goal. Don't be confused with our first goal that we did over on the other side there. That's Goal (1). We wanted the Goal (2), which is right there. Then I am going to hold the Shift key and select all these other bones, go to Controllers and Limits, and for the Rotation put on Inverse Kinematics.

When I select that goal in Layout and press the T key for move, not only am I deforming my object, but I'm controlling all of the bones with one movement. So Inverse Kinematics is not that difficult to set up once you have your bones and your deformation in place. That being said, you don't have to use bones to use Inverse Kinematics. If you have a series of objects like a simple lamp or a robotic arm, those objects in the hierarchy can also work with IK.

You can put a base object and parent to that as the middle object like an arm, parent to that is a hand, and then from there you can set up an IK goal with a null object just like this and have a very nice workable controllable object. Inverse Kinematics are good for very simple objects like robotic arms in a factory or very complex objects like full rigged character with arms and legs and a head and eyeballs and everything else. You can take it from a very simple object to a very complex object all with the same tools in LightWave 3D.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for LightWave 10 Essential Training
LightWave 10 Essential Training

83 video lessons · 5142 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 22s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Working with projects and setting the content directory
      2m 3s
  2. 46m 20s
    1. Understanding the LightWave 3D interfaces
      1m 50s
    2. Exploring the Hub
      1m 54s
    3. Understanding 3D space
      1m 13s
    4. Working in Modeler
      6m 49s
    5. Working in Layout
      4m 48s
    6. Selecting elements
      5m 31s
    7. Identifying the elements of a 3D model
      5m 26s
    8. Using the Numeric panel
      3m 10s
    9. Using layers
      8m 38s
    10. Using the Statistics panel
      2m 52s
    11. Working with menu and keyboard configurations
      4m 9s
  3. 22m 49s
    1. Working with geometric shapes
      4m 21s
    2. Using Extrude
      5m 11s
    3. Building with Bevel
      3m 47s
    4. Working with Polygon Bevel
      6m 4s
    5. Editing polygons
      3m 26s
  4. 34m 37s
    1. Understanding subdivisional surfaces in LightWave
      3m 20s
    2. Comparing Subpatch with Catmull-Clark subdivisions
      2m 18s
    3. Creating a basic model
      4m 27s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      3m 50s
    5. Adding detail to models
      6m 39s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 13s
    7. Recapping subdivisions
      6m 50s
  5. 48m 42s
    1. Working with EPS files
      3m 24s
    2. Correcting EPS errors
      6m 13s
    3. Creating 3D text objects
      8m 1s
    4. Building objects with curves
      10m 6s
    5. Exploring Rail Clone methods and uses
      5m 13s
    6. Exploring Rail Extrude methods and uses
      2m 49s
    7. Modeling with Array
      4m 42s
    8. Using Symmetry
      8m 14s
  6. 56m 24s
    1. Understanding the Surface Editor
      10m 56s
    2. Comparing the Surface Editor and the Node Editor
      5m 12s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      5m 11s
    4. Editing surfaces
      4m 39s
    5. Understanding the Texture Editor
      6m 22s
    6. Looking at image map textures
      4m 29s
    7. Using procedural texture options
      7m 40s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      4m 39s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      2m 43s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      4m 33s
  7. 42m 2s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      1m 26s
    2. Importing, loading, and working with objects
      8m 29s
    3. Organizing a 3D scene
      8m 48s
    4. Working with different light types
      9m 25s
    5. Lighting a 3D scene
      6m 39s
    6. Employing environmental lighting
      7m 15s
  8. 22m 27s
    1. Understanding LightWave cameras
      8m 25s
    2. Setting up a camera in a scene
      7m 6s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      3m 27s
    4. Animating cameras and camera elements
      3m 29s
  9. 38m 23s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      3m 9s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      6m 9s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 44s
    4. Using motion plug-ins to enhance keyframes
      5m 15s
    5. Animating textures
      7m 37s
    6. Enhancing scene animation with displacement maps
      7m 29s
  10. 36m 58s
    1. Introducing particles
      7m 29s
    2. Creating a particle animation
      7m 21s
    3. Working with Hypervoxels
      9m 6s
    4. Going a step beyond with particle animation
      8m 8s
    5. Replacing particles with items
      4m 54s
  11. 21m 58s
    1. Understanding dynamics in LightWave
      1m 27s
    2. Setting up a dynamic scene
      4m 21s
    3. Animating cloth
      2m 39s
    4. Building collisions
      6m 16s
    5. Creating a hard dynamic scene
      7m 15s
  12. 27m 30s
    1. Understanding bones
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding skelegons and when to use both skelegons and bones
      4m 4s
    3. Placing bones in an object
      6m 10s
    4. Fine-tuning bone placement and activating bones
      3m 51s
    5. Setting up Inverse Kinematics
      6m 37s
    6. Working with rigged characters
      3m 34s
  13. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      2m 21s
    2. Setting up a render project
      6m 50s
    3. Determining the proper anti-aliasing filter
      4m 24s
    4. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      7m 57s
  14. 4m 8s
    1. Exporting an object
      2m 13s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      1m 55s
  15. 1m 0s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 0s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed LightWave 10 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.