How to animate hands quickly?

I’ve just rigged my first hand. Everything is great but I feel like it would take too much time to animate 30 bones to animate (2 hands * 5 fingers * 3 bones for each finger). I know that I can use drivers and IK but I still don’t know what’s the standard (most common or the easy-to-animate) method. What does the big companies do when they animate their hands?

  1. Should I make IK for each finger then a single driver for the 5 IKs.
  2. Should I use drivers directly without IK? Or should I use IKs only without drivers?

I already set up constraints to make the animation process easier but I’m still confused.

You could give a Copy Rotation constraint to your second and third phalanx with the first phalanx as Target, this way you only need to rotate the first phalanxes to close the fingers

1 Like

usualy, animation studios make rigs where you control each individual phalanx with a Fk controller.
but they add a whole bunch of pre-made poses that you can access through custom can make theses poses with action constraints. look up for tuts on this it’s quite simple and powerful.
They also add palm offset controls that allow you to move the palm without affecting the fingers position. you often need this when you have the hand lying on a table and other situations.
In blender you’ll see a lot of rig where you have a single controller per finger. which rotates the first phallanx with rotation and rotates the two last phallanx with scale. again with action constraint.

Though, what they have in studios that you don’t have is an army of fix-anim employees. who basically do all the boring stuff of tweaking and adjusting penetration of fingers and a whole bunch of other issues for the character animators to focus on acting.

1 Like