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How to do an expanding jack?

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Thomas MaCoyHow to do an expanding jack?
by on Feb 4, 2009 at 4:40:54 am

Not sure where to begin, so I'll start with the specific: is there any way to link/group/join bones from two separate chains so they move together? And since that question seems counter-intuitive to the whole nature of bones, here's why. As roughly illustrated below, I'm trying to animate one of those expanding jacks like you'd see behind a cartoon boxing glove. I figured it would be much easier if I worked though a bones system rather than doing each joint's rotation and forward motion by hand; ideally with IK I can even just grab the "glove" at the end of the jack, pull forward, and the jack follows. Hours later I'm having second thoughts...
So is it possible to rig it so the center joints of the two chains (shown below) are "stuck" together in anyway? Or is this just not a problem one can solve with bones? Or has anyone seen a tutorial for such an animation anywhere? I don't even know what to call the boxing glove jacky thing to look for further advice. Or is there a stupidly simple solution I'm overlooking cause I haven't used Max in a while? (I'm on 8.) Any thoughts at all would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Thomas MaCoyRe: How to do an expanding jack?
by on Feb 4, 2009 at 9:40:02 am

Course not long after posting I come up with a workable way to animate it regularly via constraints and wire parameters, but if anyone knows a good way to do it with bones I'm all ears, as that feels like a more natural way to animate this kind of thing. Thanks.

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Naren NavaleRe: How to do an expanding jack?
by on Feb 13, 2009 at 1:46:35 am

Hi man,

with bones this should be easy infact! I guess you used HI solver...its better but less with controls. You use HD solver instead which gives control over every axis's sliding and rotation. Mainly what I found wrong in your structure of bones is, u made two different chains breaking from centre....instead make a single chain on both sides crossing each others at centres......this is a trick!

I guess you will understand. some critical tricks are required to be screen captured only.......difficult to explain in text.

I hope this works!

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