Expirenced Animators: How does one tweak Quaternion f-curves?

Hi and good day all. I’m working on an animation for this month’s 11 Second Club, (link to the WIP in my signature), and I’m tweaking some f-curves to correct some problems, like foot slippage.

My workflow has been: blocking out the animation using constant f-curves to get the basic poses down, then switching to linear f-curves to further refine the animation. Now, I’ve switched to bezier f-curves and I’m tweaking keyframe’s handles and/or adding extra keyframes as needed.

I started an entry for this last month and realized at some point that the rotations were in blender’s default Quaternions, a 4-axis rotation system. Thinking that a 4-axis rotation curves would be hard to tweak, I switched all control bones to 3-axis Euler before starting this month’s work. At one point, I encountered gimble lock with the hips controller. That took a bit of work to fix…

So my question is: how do experienced animators work with blender’s f-curves? Use Quaternions to avoid gimble lock, (the obvious choice, and blender’s default) and if so, how does one tweak Quaternions f-curves? For example, say one wants to adjust the y-axis rotation f-curve of a bone, do you adjust just the y-axis, or the w & y-axis, or each one separately? How does one deal with 4-axis rotation f-curves?

Thanks for any help,

Yeah, I suppose quaternion is the best choice for character animation. I don’t know the mathemathic side about this matter, but I believe you need always to tweak w axis after tweaking one or more of other axis (generally the curves should be similar).