About IK Setup

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

It is highly recommended to set up the skeleton before starting your animation.

Before fixing any bones, or excluding layers from the IK skeleton, make sure all the elements you want to be parented in a chain are set up.

You do not need to have hierarchy chains all over the body. They could exist only 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 properly.

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. To do this, you can select some elements on your character and exclude them from the skeleton.

Once you remove the extra elements from the skeleton, 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.

Harmony allows you to set a minimum and maximum angle constraint on certain joints, such as the knees or elbows. When using the Inverse Kinematics tool or even the Forward Kinematics (Transform tool), it is possible that some joints will bend in the wrong direction.

If you plan to animate a lot with the Inverse Kinematics tool, it's a good idea to try the angle constraints. The angle constraints can be set by the character builder or by the animator in particular scenes where it's needed.


It is recommended to use the minimum and maximum angles only if the character does not change view within the same layers. For example, if a character is facing the camera and has some angle limitations enabled, it could be problematic if the character switches to side or quarter view since the joints won't bend the same way.

Use the minimum and maximum angle constraints if your character's views are in different templates or layers. If the character's views are in the same layers, then it's better not to use the angle constraints.