"It's Alive"
Work Journal

Skeletons in the closet

June 28th, 2002
week 5

This week we began building skeletons, learning heirarchy, joint placement, labeling, good houskeeping skills and stuff like that. The physical skeleton is not that difficult to make, the tough part is telling it what it can and can't do. That's where the wonderful world of kinetics, pole vectors, control boxes, set driven key, splines, iK and fK all comes in.

If it sounds like I'm some kind of expert at this stuff, I'm not... not yet, anyway. I just know the names of these things and generally what they do at this point. We spent the entire week building these suckers and putting all those neat sounding things into them but I just can't seem to get it right. There's always something that goes wrong somewhere and it's really frustrating me. I think I'm gonna go nuts. If you miss just one piece of information somewhere, something's not going to work properly later on.

Our instructor, Mark Schmidt has been great at giving us all the information we need and in helping me find all my mistakes. At first I wasn't really very verbal in class, I'd just sit there and follow along. As this stuff gets more and more complex, I simply decided to start asking as many questions as I need to. Mark goes back over the stuff again so it really begins to sink in.

I spent the entire weekend at the school going back over Mark's whole process several times and finally came up with a basic recipe that gets me a complete skeleton. It's only 5 pages long with about 200 steps..

I still haven't got a full understanding of this yet but it's starting to get easier. I'll just have to keep on practicing.

Next entry - Creating the sets

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