Inverse Kinematics Tool Properties


The IK tool has a series of different modes available in the Tool Properties view.

Mode Button Description
Bone Selection

Enabled by default, this mode lets you click on any bone in a character and move it without having to select the actual layer.

When you disable this mode, you can not move any bone except the selected one. This allows you to grab and rotate the selected part from many angles and location. You can click completely outside the character and move the pieces.

Simple Chain Mode: this is the default mode and will only allow for the movement of parts attached to a single chain up to the point of intersection. A single chain is a straight line with no secondary chain attached
Direct Chain Mode: this mode will allow the movement of parts up a simple secondary chain to a principle chain as long as translation movement is possible (the principle chain is attached to its own peg), but will ignore all secondary chains. A direct chain is a single chain which goes directly to the core.
All Chain Mode: this mode allows for the movement of all parts attached to all chains in the IK skeleton. All chains are attached and move simultaneously when one part is moved.
IK Manipulation

The main working mode for the Inverse Kinematics tool. Enable this mode when you want to animate and position your puppet.

Ctrl + click (Windows/Linux) or ⌘ + click (Mac OS X) on a body part to select it. You do not need to select a part to be able to move it.

Apply IK Constraints Lets you correct a part's position on a series of frames. For example, if the character's foot is sinking into the floor, you can correct its position and angle over a series of frames.
Bone Editing Lets you fix the bone orientation on extremities such as hands and feet.

IK Options

Parameter Description
IK Keyframe

Used in combination with the IK Constraints mode, this option determines the starting frame of the constraint you will apply.

Ease Shape

While you animate with the IK tool, prior to doing a movement you can set an easing preset so that your motion is not so mechanical.

Before moving your part, select a preset from the Ease Shape menu:

If you select a new preset in the list and move the part again on the same keyframe, the easing will be automatically updated.


Mode Button Description
Enable Translation If Top of Hierarchy

Used only on master pegs. This option is useful when you have a situation such as this: you want the character to do a perfect split (sitting down with the legs at right angles to the body or at the sides with the torso facing forwards), then the hip will need to translate and not just rotate on the spot. And since IK is all about rotation, you would select the hip layer and enable the translation option.

Enable Rotation

This option is enabled by default. The pivot disappear but you can still see the bone.

If you disable this option, the selected part cannot be rotated and will remain in the same position. You can use this option to simulate an arm in a plaster cast.

Exclude from IK

This option lets you exclude certain parts of your puppet from the IK influence, such as the eyes and mouth.

IK Nails These options let you temporarily fix a part of a character to a spot either in translation or rotation.
Stiffness --- When a certain part is selected, you can apply a stiffness value to it. A different stiffness value can be set to each body part individually. The greater the Stiffness value applied, the more difficult it is to make that part rotate, thereby rendering it stiff while the other parts continue to move freely on their joints.