Trying to get Hip sway, need some help.

Hello all, like the topic says, I am having trouble understanding how to get some hip sway. I come from Motionbuilder and HumanIK and there I could simply click body part and just rotate and move a singular bone instead of the whole chain, and that is precisely the difficulty I am having. I want to rotate the “hips” bone without affecting the children of it or any other bone.

Ellie.blend (2.15 MB)

Blendfile attached to this post: All credits goes to Anders Hedström for the model+textures.

Thanks for any help!

Best regards


Edit: Woops realized this was in the wrong section.

Moved from “Artwork > Animations” to “Support > Animation and Rigging”

A lot of ways to do this. Here is a simple way to rerig and keep most of what you have rigged. The animation will need to be done over. Duplicate your last spine bone you have called hips. Bring up your specials menu W and switch the direction of your new bone. Call it something like hips controller.
Disable the deform properties on the new bone.
Select your original hips bone and parent it to your hips controller and keep offset.
Select your spine bone and disable inherit rotation and scale on it in the bone tab.
Add a root bone.
Parent the following to your root bone. Both IK arm controllers, both IK foot controllers and your hips controller. Parent your spine bone to your hip controller.

You have just changed your rigged to work as expected.

Now use your hips controller to control the hips and the root bone to move your character in mass.

This is just one way to do this setup so you can swivel your hips and still keep your IK. I’m sure that someone can suggest better ways.

Thanks! I will give it a swirl later tonight :slight_smile:

Also, now whilst I have a thread open anyways, I see a lot of people who animate in place and then after they are done they move the character forward. How do people do this without getting a lot of foot sliding? Do they just correct and plant the feet after they have done that or is it something else I am missing?

So this is what I came up with thus far, any critique on the rig now whilst I have the chance to change it before proceeding?

I intend to do walks, runs and jumps later on.

Also, the way to animate with a root bone (something I have never done before) what is the proper way to go about doing it?

Right now I assume that I move it forward linearly and then just animate along that like normal? It will be a bit finicky making the feet planted but I guess I could make it work.

Ellie.blend (2.06 MB)

Best regards


Edit: Also, how can I make it so the rig will handle not clipping through the floor automatically? I assume some kind of IK, but not sure what the best approach is, especially to get it working in-game later on.

Use an offset animation cycle if you are doing film.

You shouldn’t have foot slippage. It might help to know what you are using this for. Is it a film? Is it a game? Is it mocap?
Long walk? Short walk? Just moving around in a small space? It is really hard to answer if I don’t know what your application is or your experience level.

Same technique different author you can find with a copy of Tradigital Blender by Hess or Blender Character Animation Cookbook by
Vasconcelos. An additional resource for you is Blender Cookie. They have excellent excises. Good Luck.

It is animations intended for games, I am a little bit confused about how he was able to just move his rootbone without the character following along. Consider me a scrub at this ^^

Ellie.blend (2.1 MB)

What I did now was moving the root forward linearly and then animated along that, and adjusted the curves to prevent the feet from slipping around.

I intend to use the root bone in Unity so the character keeps moving forward, just like how he offset his character.

I apologize if I seem ignorant, this is a totally new area for me (animating with roots among other thing)

Thanks for taking your time! I really appreciate it!

Edit: Nvm his root does move with the character.

I am a little bit confused about how he was able to just move his rootbone without the character following along.

well actually he was moving the character… but the way in which he did his walk cycle loop he had the character actually walk a bit of distance away from the Root bone… instead of the way alot of guys do it which is to do the walk cycle in one place… so if you will go back and watch the video again you will see he is playing around with the cycle loop while he is moving that Root bone around… so it may appear as if the character did not move when in fact the character did move… but he just moved the walk cycle back and forth from the 1st frame to the last frame to the 1st frame to the last frame etc…
if you jump over to around 3:20 or so in the video and kind of watch an lissen to what he is saying you start to understand what is going on… also once you start playing around in the NLA and using Actions and stuff I will become much clearer…

Yes I edited my post after I realized that, sorry for the inconvenience!

Yes I edited my post after I realized that, sorry for the inconvenience!

Not a problem… just glad your picking it up a bit… 3D is such a huge subject… we all struggle constantly to keep up with it all…

That’s pretty much the way I create a sequence. I don’t use the root (master) bone to drive the motion. I use the hip. That way I don’t get the feet picking up any offset from being parented to the root. Otherwise I’d have to keep making adjustments to counter the dreaded food-skate. :slight_smile:

I generally use the master to alter the angle of the sequence on the first frame. As in when I need a character to move along a 45 degree angle. Or, as in my case, while I prefer to animate the sequence with forward/backward/left/right motion, the game engine I’m working with needs the loops to be “zeroed out”. Essentially walking on the spot.The master bone comes in handy for this.

I know the obvious question is, “why not do that in the first place?”. Animating “in place” can look fine until you actually get the whole rig moving. Because I like working by eye, this usually results in a small amount of foot-skate. So I get it working the way I want, and then use the root bone to reverse the motion of the hip on the relative axes. Not as awkward as it sounds.

Most of the motion I create comes from the hip bone.

Good question about hips… I was wondering myself. This is what I came up with:

  • new “hip” bone below spine
  • hip & legs parented to spine
  • hip controls pelvic tilt & rotation independently

Not entirely realistic, but convenient for those subtle hip motions. Probably good for shoulders too.

FWIW (Blender noob) I liked what I saw in Ali Arango’s videos. Make a “root” bone between the feet, and parent your spine and IK controllers to it. Feet should not be connected to shins/legs in Bone tab > Relations. This way you can move the spine down to squat, move the legs independently, and use root to move everything.

Alternatively, in a game engine without IK, I’ve used a bounding box (of bone vertices) to calculate the “feet” elevation. Even works if the character is standing on its head. :slight_smile:

Yeah, lots of struggling over here :eek: But after many years of doing a little bit here and there, I decided I want to focus on animation primarily, find it fun and technical and it suits me since I am not overly artistic (I like to dig around with particle systems, shaders and curves)

Yeah, currently with the way I am animating at the moment I feel it irritating to constantly adjust the curves to fix the sliding whenever I make changes here and there, feels like I am working against myself. I assume using Unitys root motion won’t particularly work without a root bone moving along the animation?

Interesting way to make sure the feet remains planted to the ground despite different elevations! I only ever heard of doing it through IK blendings.

Thanks all for the help so far! It is a little bit clearer to me now, though I am still unsure if I am really working in the most effective way to get root motion working in games. (Kind of weird that there aren’t any specific tutorials for that, not that I found any at least)

Like, look at this guy:

At 6m45s

The “root” thing he got is automatic and he isn’t forced to constantly fix foot slides with curves when doing stuff with root motion in mind. I really want to know how to do this, because it makes it more fun and intuitive to animate.