Chapter 9 - Further Animation Practices - 03/13/2009
Skeletons and Kinematics - The Block Man - pages 360 thru 373

  1. Here are the Maya version 8 files if you have trouble with opening Maya version 2008 files with your Maya PLE (Personal Learning Edition).
  2. What is the difference between Forward Kinematics and Inverse Kinematics? FK and IK are two different approaches to animating a rig, to animating a skeletal system.
  3. This lesson uses Forward Kinematics to animate the Block Man's walking action. Later in the chapter there will be more complicated animation that demonstrates IK, and how to apply it to make a smoother walking motion.
  4. Know the concepts of Hierarchy. Root, parent, child, sibling. All of the joints in the skeleton will be part of one hierarchy.
  5. Carefully read the material on the Pelvis being the Root and how that is traditionally the basis of all biped rigging, whether it be a Kung Fu Panda that seems to be more of a biped than a quadriped or a person or a character like Donald Duck.
  6. Skeleton menu, Joint tool.
  7. What is pick walking? What does the up arrow key do? What does the down arrow key do? What will the left arrow and the right arrow do?
  8. How do you attach a piece of geometry to a skeleton you have created?
  9. Notice that r_foot is a child of rt_ankle and is a sibling of rt_foot. r_foot is geometry (NURBS or POLYGON). rt_ankle and rt_foot are both joints and part of the skeleton hierarchy. There is a bone from rt_ankle joint to rt_foot joint. Study the following two diagrams very carefully here and in the textbook and in MAYA as work with these examples.
  10. Handout on Friday, March 13th will cover only pages 360 to 366. The Block Man: Walk Cycle will NOT be handed out until after spring break.

Download and practice files: The Block Man scene files (for Maya PLE version 8)