Stage Guide > Toon Boom Harmony 10 Stage User Guide > Chapter 17: Cut-out Animation > Animating using Inverse Kinematics > Setting up the Character to use IK
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Setting up the Character to use IK

The first time you display the character's skeleton, you will notice a series of bones on the extremities which are out of place, and there may also be some elements that you would like to exclude from the Inverse Kinematics chain.

You should setup the skeleton before starting your animation. There are three things to do to setup the character:

Connecting any Hierarchy Chain
Excluding Extra Elements from IK
Setting Up the Bones for the Extremities

Connecting any Hierarchy Chain

Before fixing any bones, or excluding layers from the IK, it is important that you make sure all the elements you want to be parented in a chain are setup.

You do not need to have a chain all over the body. It can be on the legs and arms. If the body is not completely rigged in hierarchy, the skeleton will look a bit more messy, but the IK tool will still work without any problem.

Excluding Extra Elements from IK

When working with the IK tool, you will probably want to move the main parts around, but not necessarily the small ones such as the nose or ears. In this case, you can select some elements on your character and exclude them from the skeleton.

To exclude elements from the skeleton:

1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Inverse Kinematics tool or press [Alt] + [8].
2. In the Tool Properties view, make sure the IK Manipulation Mode is enabled.
3. In the Camera view, [Ctrl] + click (Windows/Linux) or [⌘] + click (Mac OS X) on the part to exclude from the IK.

4. In the Tool Properties view, click on the Exclude from IK button.

5. Repeat the process for every part to be excluded from the IK.

Setting Up the Bones for the Extremities

Once you remove the extra elements from your skeleton, you will want to set the bone orientation for the extremity parts. By default they are oriented horizontally towards the right. This orientation often works for the feet but not necessarily for the hair or hands,

To set the bone orientation:

1. In the Tools toolbar, select the Inverse Kinematics tool or press [Alt] + [8].
2. In the Tool Properties view, enable the Bone Editing mode.
3. In the Camera view, click on the pivot belonging to the part you whose bone you want to reposition, then pull the pivot in the direction you want the bone to be.

4. Repeat this process for each bone you want to position.
This command will only work on the extremities.

Related Topics 

Animating using Inverse Kinematics