Control rigs, effectors, and pivots

Keyframing Control rigs

Keyframing a character’s Control rig involves selecting many effectors and their properties. In the HumainIK window, you can select the keying mode buttons in the Controls tab toolbar to quickly set whether you want to manipulate and key single effectors (Selection), logical groups of effectors (Body Part), or all effectors at once (Full Body). See also Controls tab toolbar. As you keyframe the Control rig, you can quickly set keys on a logical group of effectors, based on the current keying mode and your selection. Once keyed, you can view and manipulate the keying group in the Graph Editor, Dope Sheet and Time Slider.

Effector pinning

When you are manipulating a character with a Control rig, you can pin down the effectors to restrict body movement and influence how other joints behave relative to the pinned effector. This lets you selectively manipulate parts of your character without affecting the entire hierarchy.

For example, if you pin both wrists and ankles in translation and rotation, you can see that no matter how you move the character’s body, the wrist remains in the same position.

Auxiliary and pivot effectors

You can add auxiliary objects to a character’s Control rig effectors to provide another level of IK control over your character. There are two types of auxiliary object, effectors and pivots.

Auxiliary effectors can provide an additional level of IK control in several situations, for example:

Pivot effectors let you quickly define and animate multiple rotation pivot points for IK Control rig effectors. You can use pivots for any character animation, and they are particularly useful if you want to manipulate the feet or hands of a character using more than one rotational point.

By creating multiple pivot effectors for an IK effector in a character’s foot, for example, the feet can rotate around multiple independent pivot points in order to create natural-looking walk cycles. As you set keyframes, you can switch between pivots, making the foot rotate around the ankle, the heel, the base of the toes, the tip of the toes, and even the sides of the foot.

Pivot effectors are based on the position of the IK effector they are created for, so they do not have an independent position in the scene. You can think of them as sub-controls that let you manipulate the IK effector from different vantage points. Rotating any pivot also affects the effector, just as if the effector itself is manipulated.

See also Add auxiliary and pivot effectors.

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