animated cyclist

hi there, i’d like to make my rigged guy ride his bicycle, the bike is not rigged.
what i’ve done is i’ve set a driver to move his wheels and pedals. Is there any way to link/sync this to an animation or do i have to rig the bicycle? and if so, which is the simplest way to do that, i mean after i rig the bicycle how do i sync its animation to my cyclist?
also if you’re aware of any good tutorials about that please link me as i couldn’t find any.

Assuming that this means the bicycle wheels & pedals rotate on their own via the driver (i.e., they are not driven by the character actions), it should be possible to slave the rig to the pedals & the bicycle seat using constraints, so that the bicycle’s motion essentially drives the character motion. Doing things “bass-ackwards” like that is a common animation technique.

For the pedals/feet combination, I would try an IK chain for the legs, with the IK target bone at the ball of the foot, the foot bone is the last bone in the chain, that way the foot can be controlled. Then parent the IK target to a bone that represents the location of the pedal from the crank.

Picture Time:

And the blend file, just press Play to see it working. :spin:

cyclist.blend (565 KB)

This is my first go at it, it may need some refinement in the process, the bones for the crank could be added to your rider’s armature I think.

The next step, should you go this far, is for the pedal movement to become dependant upon the wheel travelling forwards over the ground, I can add this bit if you want, just let me know.

Cheers, Clock.


If you don’t already know, you must enable Autorun Python Scripts in User Prefs for the drivers to work.

Did you mean “ass-backwards” by any chance? Teehee.

Cheers, Clock.

Yes, but I’m dislocksik, dezsleckski, er, I can’t spell too good.

Ha Ha! did you know that DNA stands for the National Dyslexic Association? or Deoxyribonucleic Acid if you went to university and did biology, which I didn’t.

Cheers, Clock.

thank you so much for the replies, i still can’t make it to work, the foot has already an IK on it and perhaps that messes somehow with what i try to add. i’ll keep you informed as i’ve to figure that out…

ok wait i’ve done it :smiley:
got no more time to explain atm but will come back later,
your replies helped me a lot to point at me the direction, thank you again!

Using a constraint to “stick” the legs’ IK targets to the pedals should work even with an existing IK setup, but it’s very dependent on the rig’s details. You know about details, right? Where hide all those devils everyone talks about :D.

chipmasque has the right idea. Instead of manipulating the Ik bones to move the character to move the bike, just constrain the feet to the pedals and then rotate the bike tires and pedals in unison (at the same rate). The feet will follow the rotation of the pedals, and all you need to worry about is rotating the tires/pedals with one simple value. No drivers really needed.

Oops… too late.:o