Tag Archives: animation

Maya Full Body IK

After the rigging a few characters using IK chains in maya, its hard not to wonder when maya would have a equivalent of 3d studio max’s Biped. Well it happens that Maya HAS one, and due to my ignorance I had only just discovered the cool FBIK.

Full Body IK (FBIK Solver) was a feature from Kaydara MotionBuilder that got integrated into Maya when Alias bought Kaydara. It simulates complex real body kinematics that is hard to achieve using manual IK. An example would be having your character reaching down to pick up an apple from the ground. With FBIK, the whole body follows the hand movement, creating realistic bending of shoulder, spine, hips and knees. With traditional IK, you’d probably need to key all the aforementioned handlers by hand.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any good tutorials online, the closest I could find was Mastering Maya 8.5 on google books. However a detailed explanation and tutorial can be found on Maya’s help, although a tad more difficult to follow, nonetheless provides all the information you need to get a working rig.

I’ll post my adventure with FBIK when I have time during the holidays.

Some tools to help you work with FBIK

FBIK CharacterControl – simulates Motion Builder’s native character control UI
BipedFactory – Helps you build your skeleton in minutes

Another Tutorial on how to setup a FBIK

Kungfu Panda opening sequence

For those who have not seen the movie Kungfu Panda, it’s a 3D animated feature about a panda dreaming of kungfu greatness and eventually realizing his potential after going through various humiliation and training. While the film was undoubtedly high in standard, as expected from the producer of Shrek, I was surprised by its well executed opening sequence, which was done in traditional 2D animation.

Barely two and a half minutes long, the audience is treated to a fast paced action sequence with superb timing, color, character, staging, sound effects and narration, and did I mention timing? I feel that although the rest of the elements worked great together, it was the timing and pacing which managed to pack so much back to back action and effects into the 2 minutes yet allowing enough time for the audience to take it all in. Every motion had a purpose and was well planned to carry on the story and pace.

You can download the piece in quicktime format at Art of the Title, and enjoy it frame by frame.