IK Pole Angle symmetrizes quite badly

Baby alligator here has suffered greatly as I throw armature after armature at him! I’m at a still more advanced rig with IK and look forward to seeing the envelopes and influence - 2.79, mostly Ctrl+N to “Recalculate Roll” nicely on Global +Y, but IK targets and poles have been fishy…

Using values pictured corrects the original left side but symmetry kicks the joints out of whack. I could certainly just apply new values but I suspect there’s better practice! Any advice welcomed.

I have similar issue. Would like to know how to fix it too! Normally when i create IK chain and add pole target i just enter something like 90 and it fits well. But with my last rig i had to “find” angle by hands and got something like 81.4 degrees. And still got little movement when toggle rest position.

To place an IK pole, best is to first snap an empty to the shoulder (in the case of an IK arm), then add a copy location at 50% targeted to the end of chain ie the wrist (50% or whichever value makes it line up nicely with the elbow…), and finally a tracking constraint towards the elbow itself. Then apply visual transform and delete constraints, and move the empty on the axis that point towards the elbow until it reaches what you consider a nice place for a pole vector to be. Finally, snap your pole bone to the empty and you should be set.

I appreciate this - it’s something I’ll step into very carefully and slowly.

When I finally commit to symmetrizing, tweaking that pole angle actually combines with the original to bring me to 180-degrees or -180-degrees when the two values are taken together. Does that make sense?

Sorry, combines with the original ? What do you mean ?

My mistake for the confusion - if I set an elbow with a pole angle of 77.4, I mirror by Symmetrize and the resulting elbow’s pole angle isn’t 77.4 (as is the “original” elbow’s). Instead, to make it look correctly mirrored, I have to enter 102.6. The difference of 77.4 from 180

Ah, yes. That is normal behaviour afaik. Symmetrized bones are not oriented the same (obviously) this is where the difference comes from.