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Thread: IKBooster - Info & Gotcha's

  1. #1

    IKBooster - Info & Gotcha's


    Was asked about IKB, and the lacking info on it, so though i should post some info and "gotcha's"


    William's IKB previews >
    IKB Basics -
    IKB Track -
    IKB Octo -
    IKB Dynamics 1 -
    IKB Dynamics 2 -
    Introduction to Bone Dynamics -

    IKBooster documentation > (not 100% complete)

    Ryan's IKB videos >

    Larry's IKB videos >

    Colin's BoosterLink videos >


    Gotcha 1A > Left Button Select
    very important note, if you turn off "left button item select" IKB won't work as it should.
    (i've seen a couple of people running into that problem, not many are aware of it)

    Gotcha 1B > Uncheck Double Click Bone Mode when selecting Bones...

    Gotcha 2 > Pose Saver problem
    IKB has a pose saver, but beware, it only saves bone rotations, noting else.

    Gotcha 3 > LW11 Bug?...!!!

    Gotcha 4 > Unpredictable movement... (see video)

    Gotcha 5 > Translate and Rotate switching
    Switching between Translate and Rotate can become tedious as you have to go through menus to do it.
    (there are at times alternative tricks though, also the Rotate handle has a Translate function, but limited to the point of view, not x,y,z)
    Added Shortcut keys would've been nice.

    Gotcha 6 > Source code
    the programmer (Daisuke Ino from DStorm) that made IKB isn't available to NT, so NT have to edit the IKB code themself, which can be tricky, as it's complicated code as far as i have understood. we've been told to report IKB bugs, but further development to IKB looks to be far away (?)

    Gotcha 7 > Baking
    Binding / Fixing is often needed followed by baking the motion.


    Additional note 1 > IKB works very well for editing mocap inside Lightwave
    (Larry had a DVD on it, ask for him to upload and sell it at

    Additional note 2 > IKB can be applied to parts of a character,
    for example, lower body is a regular rig, upper body is a IKB rig.

    Additional note 3 > IKB works very well for tentacles etc...

    Additional note 4 > Genoma has some rigs that use IKB

    Additional note 5 > IKB handles can also be added to nulls / objects.

    Additional note 6 > Traditional double-clicks are not needed in IKB, just click and drag... Love it :]
    Last edited by erikals; 10-25-2012 at 09:32 PM.
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  2. #2
    Super Member jburford's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Thank you for your wonderful collection of Information and Tips for using IKB in LW. This will be a great asset to many.

  3. #3
    Nice writeup. I am not 100% sure on the pose save only saving rotations though, because later tests I've done did recall positioning. IKB seems really sensitive concerning exactly what you have selected when doing the pose save/load command (IE: it may not save/load XYZ if you don't have the object itself selected, even if you are in ALL mode).

    There are plenty of bugs I'd love to see fixed though. Another "gotcha" is that applying an IKBooster enabled object to another IKBooster enabled object causes either crashing, broken undo, and other unpredictable results (in other words, NEVER DO THIS).
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  4. #4
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
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    Hastings, New Zealand
    Its important to remember that IKB was written for LW7 with a few updates since that time. I think many or most of its quirks or limitations were because of the quirks and limitations of LW itself at that time. Ive emailed Ino a few times since he was let go from NT and he stated to me at that time that he would be interested in working with NT more on IKB. I also recall that Ino actually had other animation tools etc that were never released...
    Many of the so called quirks or limitations are the result of insufficient documentation. Theres a lot of hidden things within IKB that some ppl run into accidentally and eventually this information slowly diffuses out with various people talking to each other. For example if you have the foot or ankle bones FIXED and you wish to move the whole character you can hold down the ctrl key to temporarily unfix or unbind.
    IKBoost was designed for efficiency so that the menus are context based and where they should be. They never get in the way such as when you open the motion panel or dopetrack.
    With respect to the "gotchas"
    Gotcha1: Ive never run into it and didnt know until now that this was an issue.
    Gotcha2: Im with Ryan on this one. Ive had it save postioning information though it can depend on whats selected and the keyframe mode.
    Gotcha3: Im always checking it out and looking for bugs. Ive been recently using IKB extensively for mocap work and have seen few issues if any.
    Gotcha4: Not sure about any unpredictable movements. Ive seen bones wig out due to gimbal lock but this is easily fixed by switching it to quaternian rotations.
    Gotcha5: It can get tedious sometimes but mostly for me it doesnt. You can be in rotate mode but still turn on handles to give more precise movements and there is the user defined axis tool.
    Gotcha6: Ino hasnt been with NT since LW9 days. Surely since that time someone has figured out the code. One thing that was nice about Ino when he was onboard was how quickly he would address and fix reported bugs in any of the dynamics or IKB code. If NT cant find a way to unwravel the code then it would be great to see IKBs FUNCTIONALITY added to and more intimately integrated into LW. Take a look at what Lux is doing with IKinema and Modo which is very similar to IKB.
    Gotcha7: Yes and no.... IF and I say this again, IF I bake its done almost always in the FINALIZING stage of animating. In other words once the animation is aproved and the last thing
    left is cleaning up things like minor foot slippage then I do all that last. I also save our intermediate motion clips from the animation as I progress so that I can easily go back and alter things if need be. Generally once the animation is being finalized its been done and approved and theres very little likelyhood that it will be altered at that stage. I dont really consider this one a gotcha as much as I consider it a workflow decision. I cant recall it ever really causing me any headaches. Ive also found that by the time Im down to animating on 2s or 3s that I dont need to do much baking at all.
    Additional note1: It does work great for editing mocap for a variety of reasons. Im currently redoing the mocap videos to reflect anything new in LW11.X
    Additional note 2: You cannot apply IK to selective parts of a rig UNLESS those parts are other OBJECTS. This means you cant apply IKB to just the upper body bones of a character for example. IKB is applied to the ROOT (object containing the bones). Since bones are children of the root object they automatically get IKB applied as well. ANY ITEMS that get parented to anything in that IKB heirarchy also automatically get IKB added. If youve built something mechanical out of multiple objects and they are parented to each other the same rules apply BUT you can apply IKB to any object in that heirarchy and its children will have it applied as well.
    Addition note3: Yes it does work very well for long chains of bones or other items.
    Addition note4: Im not sure if this is a big deal or not...IKB rigs are designed to be altered on the fly. Changing the rig is very simple to do anyways. Setting up IKB on a rig is far quicker and simpler then setting up a similar rig using the more traditional tools.
    Addition note5: IKB "handles" or nodes are automatically added to ANYTHING that is parented to an existing IKB heirarchy. This can be objects, nulls bones, lights, cameras etc.

    I hope that NT either updates IKB or adds the same or better functionality into LW. Either its doable or if not then perhaps they should rehire Ino or find someone who can do it. It seems a shame to look such a great piece of technolog lie fallow or die off.

  5. #5
    You are welcome jburford :]

    Thank you Ryan and Larry, you guys are IKB Kings and i really appreciate you guys chiming in here :]

    If time allows, i hope to make some LW IKB Basics videos, just to make sure people don't fall into a IKB trap.
    Like written, there are a couple of things, not many, but a couple of things that a IKB newbie have to know about before starting using IKB, and i though this thread could be a good start to clear out some gaps. (Ryan also covered a couple of them in his IKB Basics video). What does the newbie need to be aware of, where is the newbie most likely to crash into a wall.

    Things take time though, but maybe this thread can be a "heads-up" for newbies for the moment... a place to start...
    but are there any other Gotcha's that i didn't cover?

    again, i really appreciate all info you Ryan and you Larry have dedicated to the IKB features and shared with us.


    Additional note 6 > Traditional double-clicks are gone in IKB, just click and drag handles... :]

    LALWUG videos >
    Last edited by erikals; 10-25-2012 at 10:21 PM.
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  6. #6
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for posting these links! It's about time somebody did this. This is very useful information.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    ...Genoma has some rigs that use IKB
    If I remember correctly, the use of IK Boost in the Genoma demo shown at Siggraph last summer was explained as a temporary solution for controlling the spine, and that a different solution was in the works for the final release. I don't know if this is still the case but I'm pretty sure that's what Lino said.


  7. #7
    Yeah, thought it would be good to post some "Beware" notes :]
    it's not to put IKB down, but it's important to know just what is happening when using IKB / to show what can occur...

    Gotcha 8 > Object IKB Handles are placed on pivot location by default
    this can cause confusion at times. you might think you're selecting one object when in fact selecting another. also, if the pivot is not in the center of the object, it can be tricky to select the IKB Handle for the object.
    Last edited by erikals; 10-26-2012 at 12:13 AM.
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  8. #8
    One of those "Hell if I know why, but it works" moments:

    In IKB mode, if your rig has some animation/keyframes applied to it, closing the dope track can boost playback quite noticably (timeline scrubbing). Note that even if you close the dope track, you can still manipulate keyframes just the same via the boostertrack... just make sure your selection/modes reflect what you want to change.

    Try it out!
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  9. #9
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
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    Gotcha 8: IKB allows you to edit the location of the nodes or handles for this reason. They can be moved to any location relative to the pivot point OR the
    controllers can be FLOATED to anywere on the viewport and stay in that position no matter what the camera angle. These positions can be reset or changed at any time.
    Also the dopesheet slowdown issue isnt an IKB issue but a LW issue. Lots of visible keys in the dopetrack slow things down period. Also have motion paths visible can also slow things down.

  10. #10
    Good timing on a thread to dig up all of the IKB resources. I was looking for some stuff a while ago and had not had too much luck finding some of the old gems. Thanks for doing this.
    Last edited by Surrealist.; 10-26-2012 at 10:03 PM.

  11. #11

    btw, if you're gonna make some CA anims, also be sure to check out Ryan's thread for tricks on how to maintain Layout speed >
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  12. #12
    That mocap-IKBOOSTER video was part of the DVD about IKBOOSTER by Larry?

    I have it but I only see one video title about mocap (not in deep) and I don't remember any other in that DVD

  13. #13
    i think it was another one, not sold anymore, but he is working on a new one now...

    Quote Originally Posted by SplineGod View Post
    Additional note1: It does work great for editing mocap for a variety of reasons. Im currently redoing the mocap videos to reflect anything new in LW11.X
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  14. #14
    mucho mojo nikfaulkner's Avatar
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    do you know the title of the dvd with the mocap/ikbooster stuff? larry?
    yeah alright.... we won a BAFTA

  15. #15
    the old one was called > LightWave 3D 9 Importing Mo Cap Data with Larry Shultz
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