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Thread: Humanoid Rig Setup & IKBooster - Purpose ?

  1. #1

    Humanoid Rig Setup & IKBooster - Purpose ?

    My first character animation in Lightwave followed a pose-to-pose process , just stacking the movements and switching from Stepped/Linear/Tcb .

    While i was deciding on the animation process on this one(IK on arms & legs), my curiosity for IKBoost sparked again and left me with a few questions hopefully some of you could help with .

    a) In SplineGods tutorial on IKBoost Walkcycle i notice he needs to 'bake' the feet in order to prevent the feet from sliding , this is done manually keyframed without IKBoost ?

    b) Have brushed through the Info's and Gotcha's thread but im not too familiar with it it too figure out when too use it wisely on a humanoid rig where i am aiming for detail in movements and timing ?

    c) Also a sidenote is it possible to blend walkcycles , from walking to running ?



  2. #2
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    The thing with IK booster is that it doesnt feature any actual IK... it gives an Ik style pose system for laying down FK keys... thats where things like the foot slide and bake process to fix it come from. This is fine when u just need a really quick n dirty piece of animation, but useless and a real hindrance if you wanna get more down into detailing motions out, modifying and adjusting timings, etc.

    Basically... Id just plain avoid IKB if its manual hand animation you're after... If you're wanting editing/blending of locked/baked down animation data (like mocap)... its great, otherwise its more hurt than help.
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  4. #4
    As a full time animator, I can tell you IKbooster cuts your animation work to a fraction of what you'd need to do otherwise, and it is one of the best tools in Lightwave for that purpose.

    My recommendation:

    -Use IKBooster for the upper body of your character, and normal IK for the legs.
    -Use quaternion booster for the upper and lower arms. This makes positioning the character's limbs very easy.

    I disagree with lower body IKBooster setups... because in most cases, a character's feet are always interacting with the ground to some capacity. I'd rather leave baking for things that only need "sticking" part of the time.

    The whole big advantage with a part-time IK system like IKBooster is that you have the option to stick your character/object's limbs in place temporarily without creating a rig that is complicated or sluggish to operate, and without cornering yourself into a rig you can't change. Why have active IK on your character that slows down your scene when they are only using it part of the time? IK slows down Lightwave's interface, and having to disable/enable IK is annoying to do (what if you need to see IK on multiple characters? Well, you're screwed unless you MDD bake it).

    Check out my fix tutorial for how "sticking" hands to a surface works:

    I have various other IKBooster tutorials on my channel that you may find handy:

    Explore the tool... even if you decide not to use it for animation (it isn't everyone's cup of tea), its keyframe management tools are what I consider vital for the average animator's workflow.

    Oh, concerning blending, your best bet is motion mixer. I only recommend that tool if you're dealing with a lot of looping cycles though. Usually it is just faster (and better looking) to hand-animate or pre-animate the transition.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 02-06-2013 at 09:03 AM.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
    Plugin Developer: RR Tools for Lightwave

  5. #5
    Wow , thanks for the write up .

    Loved the Boosterlink function !


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