What is Leg?

Spent a lot of time today experimenting with the foot. I first went through this weeks tutorial on setting up a grouped IK foot. Then started fiddling with the part of the foot/claw that sticks out the back (the spur?) trying to get it to move the way I wanted.

After experimenting with having an IK spur, constraints, groupings I ended up going back to one of the first things I had tried which was to have an aim constraint on the spur joint and a locator placed on the spur nub. I edited the constraint so it only affected the vertical motion of the joint. This gave me the natural looking relaxation of the spur when the heel lifts but unfortunately the locator has to be repositioned if the animator wants to use the toe twist.

After spending so long messing with the leg and ankle, as often happens with words, they lost all meaning. I started having to reconsturct from first principles what the pupose of a leg was and how an animator would expect it to move.

The video show a number of different ways I could have the animator manipulate the foot. Using the rotation of controll shapes, the translation of controll shapes, and custom attributes.

Controll shapes feel more intuitive to me, and having their rotation controll the rotation of the joint seems logical. The problem is if there is a controll shape for the toe, ball, heel, spur and ankle things start to feel cluttered and most of the time these addional controlls aren’t needed. I feel like this is something i’m going to have to revisit multiple times to find the balance between simplicity and functonality.

I also decided to move the knee controll shape up the hirearchy and use a parent constraint so it moves between the hips and knees, that was niceā€¦