Multi-Chain IK… How did I miss this?

June 26th, 2007

If you’re a rigger like me, you’ve probably over-looked this much-needed IK option for many years. “Multi-Chain IK”.  I’m starting to wonder what I can do with it. I like tentacles a lot. so here’s “Multi-Chain IK”:
multi chain IK
It doesn’t appear in the IK Handle tool and barely appears at all in the documentation. To have it as an option in the IK Handle tool you have to enter this code into the script editor:
createNode ikMCsolver;
then you’ll see “ikMCsolver1″ pop up in the IK Solvers option. With this, you can FK animate a series of joints in the chain AND an IK handle at the same time and blend them so you can have a tentacle wrap around something. I’m going to do some tests. Where the hell has this been? Why don’t people use this? There’s got to be a reason***. Must investigate.

***UPDATE: I spoke with a guy named Marcel at Autodesk. He says, “in a nutshell, avoid using this IK solver.” He says this is a hold over from the Power Animator days and that it’s a “true 3D” solver. as such is unpredicable where the rotation of your middle joints will end up. Conversely, RP and SK IK solvers occur on a plane so they’re really 2D solvers and that makes them faster and predictable. With RP IK, you get to control the solving plane with the pole vector/twist control. In, SC IK the plane is an assumed one.

Entry Filed under: MEL, Rigging General


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