IK not working

So I’ve got my model almost ready. The problem is, I can’t set up any IK constraints or bones because blender isn’t recognizing the bone as a bone. It says I have to have a bone selected to add the constraint, but I have the bone selected, just like I’ve been shown to, and it still wont do it. I’ve selected other bones and it still doesn’t recognize the bones as bones.
WTF!?!?!? (yes, I’m getting frustrated. can you tell?)

Are you in pose mode and adding a bone constraint

Show us something - screenshots and supply blend file etc

I had the same problem until I realized you need to be in pose mode to create the constraint.

that being said… Does anyone know the reason why constraints need to be made when in pose mode? It seems more intuitive to me that you would do the setup of constraints in edit or object mode, since that’s where you set up other things regarding the bones. But I’m sure there is a reason why then must be done in pose mode.

EDIT mode is about creating the bones.

OBJECT mode is about positioning and manipulating the whole armature.

POSE mode is about posing and defining the movement of the bones, hence that is where the movement constraints are to be found as they are single bone specific.

That’s my simple explanation and what I work to, it’s not official Blender policy, but it helped me in my early days.

Cheers, Clock.

Thanks @clockmender, I assumed it was something like that. One reason why that struck me as confusing at first was that I was thinking about it from a pipeline perspective, where you would normally want to split rigging and setup from movement. So the rigger would set up the bone and armature information, and the animator would animate it. I would never want the animator to have access to modify the Ik constraints, since that could break the rig.

i guess in my dreams there would be an animate mode that would only allow the animator to have access to select certain controls, and not be able to modify anything I don’t want them to. It keeps them focused, and ensures extreme efficiency… And also keeps the rigs safe. :slight_smile:

something like this this may be possible already - but I’ve just started learning blender so I may not have gotten to that part of the toolset yet. :slight_smile:

Don’t forget you can put bones on separate armature layers and then assign these layers as protected/visible or not, but this does not stop an animator gaining access to the bits they should leave alone, it just drops hints to that effect. I don’t think you could ever stop an animator changing the constraints and breaking the rig - there are threads in here that prove my point where people have broken prebuilt rigs, e.g. MakeHuman meshes with Rigify rigs!

This system allows the rigger to make the rig in its entirety, including all the constraints. The rigger can then test the rig and hand it to the animator, with the proviso that “if you break it - you fix it”. For me I do the mesh building, rigging and animation myself, but then I am only a part time “hobby” user, I don’t work in the industry or do this for a living.

Cheers, Clock.

I used to think this way as well, until I got serious about learning animation, then I realized how foolish it is to limit the animator. In a big studio that has dedicated riggers and dedicated animators, yes, this is probably how it’s done. For a smaller studio or the hobbyist, limiting the rig or access to certain controls isn’t a good idea, it’s limiting what the animator wants to create.

Let me just say this, I always have to adjust the rigging of a character to get the effect I want. Sometimes you have to break the rig to get the results you want. I was searching for a specific video that would show what I mean, but I can’t find it. I did find this little gem instead, that I think explains what I mean.

In it, the animator is stretching a bowling ball & fingers to achieve a look. If finger scale was locked, because in real life, fingers don’t scale, so the rigger locked their scale, then you couldn’t do that. There really is nothing wrong with breaking a rig, for a couple of frames as long at it snaps back again.

Just my thoughts,

Hi randy!

of course, the rig must be able to handle everything the animator wants to do… Without allowing them to do things they shouldn’t do. We have always worked really hard to make that possible, and it’s why you spend a lot of time figuring out the requirements before starting production.

vreaking the skeletal structure of a rig is an absolute necessity… But accidentally deleting a key part of the rig without meaning to is what we want to try and stop :slight_smile:

Hey Jason, thank you again for your last email! really instructive!

On this thing about the different mode and where to put the constraint, I agree with you, at first I was lost, and sometimes it’s a bit confusing!
one thing that took me a while to figure out was also the poleVector… as soon as you create one (on a chain), you will have a pop between the edit mode and the pose mode (or at least 95% of the time). So the trick is with the armature selected, in the pose mode, Ctrl+A and Apply Pose as Rest Pose. (the danger is that it applies it to the full rig)

But again, this function is kind of funny, because if the animator does that… well that would break the rig so bad!!!


This is why I love proxies for production animation :D. I usually don’t delete bones when I animate but I do hide certain bones if they are in my way at that time. This is only if they aren’t in separate layers.