Rigging help needed

After learning how to rig characters in Maya. I am now trying to learn to create a rig from scratch in the Blender program however am coming across a few technical difficulties with the IK rig.

The problem is mainly with the foot and tail bones. They don’t seem to want to follow the bones with the IK setup on them and parenting is very tricky.

*The tail is attached to a spline ik yet I want it to follow the hips with the center of gravity.

*The feet work for the most part, however if I drag my body upwards the feet get left behind. Need a way to parent the feet to follow the rig.

I always parent the feet control and the body to a Armature for a main control. So you can have it both ways. When you walk with the feet following the body you get some slipping on ice look but there is nothing wrong with that. I see it on Pixar.
Is the tail a separate armature?
It will help if you post a blend file. Here is a easy to use site if you do not already know about it.http://www.pasteall.org/

Here is my rig setup. The tail is connected to the hip bone as with the legs. I tried using another bone and parenting it to the hip bone to control the transform of the feet using drivers however this didn’t work.


The parenting in the foot is all over the place. The bone sticking out the back of the ankle should be your IK target, not your foot bone. The foot bone should be parented to the lower leg bone. Then the foot will follow the leg and the leg will follow the target.

Next…spline IK…ughh. It’s not worth it. Don’t do that to yourself. Here’s a much easier tail rig to deal with.

Also corrected a few misnamed bones so that x-axis mirroring will work properly. Your lower leg bones, for instance, didn’t match left to right.

Rig_troubleshooting.blend (649 KB)

Edit: updated with a few more fixes. It’s usually best to have a non-deforming Master/Root bone. I usually keep it down between the feet and parent some of the IK targets and the hip to it. If you parent the foot IK targets to this bone, you can drop the hips and the feet will stay in place, making the knees bend. Very convenient. Also changed a few other IK target parents and flipped the foot bones the right way around (it won’t be obvious since I’ve changed the armature to B-Bones to make the tail deform nicely, but you can switch the display mode back and forth and see what I did.

Thank you K. Horseman. I appreciate your help especially with the tail as it just didn’t want to work right with that spline. I still don’t quite understand the new setup as far as hierarchy but will rebuilding the rig to further my understanding. I thank you again as I was finding myself stuck and over complicating things.

I also thank kazinger for the link to post blend files. : ).

Each bone in the tail chain is parented to the last, just like any FK chain. There are four bones. The base of the tail is parented to the hip. There is an IK target between each of them, all parented to the hip also. In the bone data tab, you know the checkbox for Deform? Open that whole pane and you’ll find a section titled Curved Bones. The number of segments for all of the tail bones is 3, but you can set it higher for smoother curves. It means each bone will bend along its length to follow your poses, in this case in three sections. Each of those bones has an IK constraint with a Chain Length of 1, meaning only it is part of its own IK chain. The adjacent bones merely curve to follow its motions until you pose them with their own IK targets.

That’s it!

Thank you Horeseman for the changes and explanation of what you did . This may help me with a lizard that I’m working on.

@ kazinger: Thank you for the link. I may need to use it.