View Full Version : In the arms of the giant squid ...

Thomas M.
07-19-2006, 08:59 AM
... is more or less the motto of my upcoming image. Having some experience with an octopus I do remember that my IK bone set up for the arms last time and especially the usage of this setup was something I would describe as "eternal pain". Some scenarios to burn in the flames seemed to be more acceptable than to work with LW and its bones and IK system.

To avoid all this trouble and to lead a happy life in which **** is non existing, I wonder if anybody did have some great ideas of how to animate a squid arm in a nice efficient way. There are about 30 bones in each arm. I thought follower would be great to use (for smooth movement, rotation channels) but unfortunately as far as i can understand right now, bones which use follower can't be used any more or follower won't work. I do want to get some smooth movements when I work with the rig, but it is only for a still. So something which doesn't give me a headache would be great. I also thought of ClothFX and Metalink. Would it be possible to have just a few bones and a rough arm cage which then transformes a high resolution mesh. Important for me is that there is already a low res version of the arm with ClothFX applied to the suckers which move the high resolution suckers if the arm is moving and gravity comes into affect. So there is already a one Metalink going on.

If somebody as an idea or a solution he/she is more than welcome to share his/her thoughts.

With respect

07-19-2006, 09:12 AM
I know someone who recently had to animate an endoscope with 30+ bones in it. What he did was multi-select large sections of bones at a time, rotate them all at once, and keyframe them all at once.

I'd also create selection sets in the Scene Editor and "Favorite" sets in the Graph Editor as you go. Even though these are lost in Load From Scene operations, they're still useful on a scene-by-scene basis as you edit keys.


As an alternative to keying the bones en masse, consider IKBoost, which will also keyframe the bones en masse, but it will give you a nice interface in which to do it. I have only spent five hours of my life so far learning IKB, but I think it is nice for keyframing a pose quickly. This free video tutorial will get you started with the basics:

07-19-2006, 09:56 AM
Look in this thread, I know it's about UV unwrapping, but it also links to some brilliant bone motion modifier plugins. (Castius explains the interface on the 2nd page)
The Curve IK will do exactly what you want. It will curve a chain by using control nulls, and you can even slide the bones along the curve.
It's even blendable on and off.