View Full Version : Trouble animating character's head while he walks

04-27-2007, 12:30 PM
Hi all,

in the process of completing a walk cycle. Got things the way I want apart from one thing - when the characters upper spine bone rotates, so does his neck bone, because it is parented to it. I thought I would be able to unparent the neck bone, then make the neck bone a follower of the upper spine bone on all of its co-ordinates, but not its rotation. That way I could have rotated the spine slightly as he moved but kept him facing front.

I can't in fact unparent the neck bone - I am told that "Bones must remain under the object they belong to".

Can I fix this, or do I have to re-think my whole rig?



04-27-2007, 03:41 PM
The way to "unparent" a bone would be to parent it to the object it's effecting, then there is no transform that affects it.

You probably want to do a "point at target" setup with the head though

04-27-2007, 03:55 PM
The way my rig is net up is like this:

Spine 1
(Parented fo Root)
Spine 2
(Parented to Spine 1)
Spine 3
(Parented to spine 2)

All these bones are FK.

(Parented to Spine 3)
Neck bone is locked, ghosted and never animated directly.

It is set to IK for heading and pitch.

Head Bone is parented to Root and located at the exact tip of the neck bone.

There is a null parented to the head bone and aslo located at the exact tip of the neck bone. (neck bone is positioned exactly in modeler by welding the skellegon points of the neck to the head bone)

There is a neck puller bone - no inffluence, locked, ghosted - who's sole purpose is to pull the neck. It's goal object is the null parented to the head bone.

You can then animate the walk or any other poses with spine rotations and the head will float. When you move the head bone it causes the neck bone to rotate and follow with IK.

This is only part of the power and simplicity of the Timothy Albee Rig Available through his book Character Animation.

I have been looking at other rigging techniques lately and I see a tremendous amount of complexity with additional null objects expressions and so on.

My belief is that you should keep it simple. I can do just about anything with this rig farily easily and quickly. It is a time tested rig that he is also using currently for television which is a very fast turn around.

Timothy's Book is well worth it.

But don't take my word.

Also look at other rigs and decide for yourself.

I think a very compelling discussion and techniques are going on here:


using a combination of LW IK and PLG plugins.

You have to move toward the end to get some of the videos that had disappeared earlier in the thread.

04-28-2007, 08:17 AM
Thanks for the advice guys, I'll try out those methods (and bear them in mind when rigging in the future).


04-30-2007, 12:31 PM
You may also try turning on 'Parent in Place' under options, then parenting the bone you do not wish to move to a root or main bone (a bone that does not have a parent).