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IK Handle: grabbing an object

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Fee FunkIK Handle: grabbing an object
by on Apr 22, 2002 at 10:35:38 pm

OK, so here's what I think is an "easy" one for Maya Animators...

I have a Character with IK handles already animated (translation) and I need it to hold on to an object and grab it.

In Softimage 3D (no flames please) you'd set a Position Constraint and turn it on-off as needed. I tried to do it with a Point Constraint but I guess Maya's IK works differently, since once the handle is constrained there's no way of keying it again, or is it? How would you do this?

I tried using the grabAnim MEL script from Highend3D but I can't get it to work.
Any suggestions, tips or info regarding tutorials would be greatly appreciated!

P.S.- I know you can have the IK handle Point constrained to two objects (or more) and animate the weight so that the IK handle is driven by object A first, then B... but I am lazy and since the handle is already keyframed, I don't want to redo the animation.

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anthony mcgrathRe: IK Handle: grabbing an object
by on Apr 23, 2002 at 1:35:57 pm

you could do an anim export on the ik handle. Remove the animation from it, apply yer constraint, keyfrm the weight, then import your anim back in?

just thinking blindly here...

and as for soft, well let me tell you what I think...
...I actually happen to think that maya is in desperate desperate need of the deform by surface and deform by curve tools that I used till I bled!

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Fee FunkRe: IK Handle: grabbing an object
by on Apr 23, 2002 at 9:18:01 pm

thanks to everyone who suggested work arounds...

I ended up copying the animation of the IK Handle to a locator, although it took some fiddling around with the values since for some reason once I parented the locator to the IK Handle's parent (another locator) it was not in the right spot. Just a few changes in the graph editor and voila!
I needed to have a constraint (compared to an object just parented to the hand) so I could animate the pulling on a heavy object the character would be lifting.

Then, I constrained the Handle to the locator, and to another object and animated the weights. Just to prove that planning does pay off in the end. Being "lazy" or "sloppy" ends up costing you more time and headaches in the end.

Thanks and if there are more ways to do the same thing, I'd like to hear them!

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anthony mcgrathRe: IK Handle: grabbing an object
by on Apr 23, 2002 at 9:49:43 pm

I'm not sure, but I think the reason you were adjusting values as you mentioned in the first paragraph here is to do with whether or not you did a freeze transform on the new locator first. Dont know if I'm on the right track here. maybe sean can shed a bit of light on that one.

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Sean FennellRe: IK Handle: grabbing an object
by on Apr 23, 2002 at 2:36:07 pm

you could simply create a locator, copy the animation from the ik handle to the locator then have the ik handle point constrained to both the locator and the object to lock to. Then animate the weights of the constraint. Not exactly for the lazy but its easier than most other work arounds. Another thing you could do (which has a million and one caveats) is at the frame you want the ik handle to lock, group it to itself then put the constrain on that group. Then just make sure the constraint is keyed off before that frame. I wouldn't actually do this but its an option.

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