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Essential Skills in Character Rigging by Nicholas B. Zeman

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Chapter 6

Inverse Kinematics

6.1 What Is Inverse Kinematics?

Kinematics is an interesting word. It means the science of geometry of motion, and indeed it’s vital in determining how things move both in the real world and in the 3D world, where we are trying to mimic that real world as best we can. In Chapters 1 and 2 we learned about hierarchies and joints. We touched on Kinematics briefly, in the sense that it is when the rotation of the Parent controls the translation of the Child object in an arc around that parent’s pivot. This, as we learned, is known as Forward Kinematics or FK for short.

Forward kinematics is how your body would move if it were free-floating in space or mostly how we move when we are swimming. That is to say, your brain ...

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