When you animate characters
(whether humanoid or otherwise), mechanical assemblies, or complex
motion, you can simplify the process by linking objects together
to form a
chain. In a linked chain, the animation of one member can affect
some or all of the others, making it possible to animate a number
of objects or bones at once.
the movement or animation of the chain. There are two types of kinematics:
kinematics (FK) , you transform a parent
object to move its descendants (its children, their children, etc.).
inverse kinematics (IK),
you transform a child object to move its ancestors (its parent and
so on up the chain). You can also use IK to make an object “stick”
to the ground or another surface, while allowing the chain to rotate
off the pivot of that object.
Forward kinematics is
the most straightforward method for animating hierarchies. Inverse
kinematics requires more setup than forward kinematics, but is more
intuitive for complex tasks such as character animation or intricate
One of the most useful
tools in producing computer animation is the ability to link objects
together to form a chain. By linking one object to
another, you create a parent-child relationship. Transforms applied
to the parent are also transmitted to child objects. A chain is
also referred to as a hierarchy.
- Animating with Forward Kinematics
The default method of
manipulating a hierarchy uses a technique called
- Inverse Kinematics (IK)
Inverse kinematics (
is a method of animating that reverses the direction of the chain
manipulation. Rather than work from the root of the tree, it works from
- Hierarchy Panel Commands
Once you have set up
a hierarchy using the
and Link command or a system such as
you can manage it using the Hierarchy panel.