Chapter Twelve: Arms, elbows and clavicles. 1 chain, 3 chain with wrist twist (SDK or Cluster)

Is that the longest chapter name you ever saw?  In finalizing this chapter last night – I got quite the giggle. Rigging arms has always bugged me because they can be so different. One method works if the arms are completely straight – but once you stray from a straightened arm —things start going all wonky.  I remember going on a total arm rigging bender once, while teaching a graduate advanced rigging class. I tried to come up with as many variations as I could on how to do a wrist twist and how to do an IK/FK switch.

This chapter is a journey through those methods. We don’t just learn one method. We really look at what the main reasons for problems can be in each step of rigging an IK/FK arm. If you look at the chapter example files and rig the arm a few difference ways yourself – you can be come an invisible arm rigger!! Oh, and in this case the arm is a wing. Yet, it is the same amount and pattern of bones found in a human arm. From the very long title, obviously, we learn one chain method of rigging an IK/FK appendage. (Inverse Kinematic and Forward Kinematic, for the uninitiated.) We also look at what a three chain IK/FK appendage looks like and then look at many ways to accomplish a wrist twist.  That part is pretty easy.  We use Set Drive Key (SDK) mostly, but look at clusters and talk about multiply/divide nodes. That was a very fun chapter.  You’ll also note that I chose to use a icon for the switch between IK and FK. We talk about that in the chapter – there are other methods to use that are even less cluttered looking, however, I had found in class with 20 new students having the visual icon made it easier for the concepts to sink in.





Only about seven more chapters to finalize.  I can’t wait to see how the next chapters turn out.

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