What are AutoPosing Controllers

AutoPosing is a dedicated intellectual system for controlling characters. 

AutoPosing controllers look like green and blue points connected by lines. 

Blue points are active controllers. Their positions are set by the animator.

Green points are non-active controllers. Their positions are calculated by the machine.

So an animator only has to move active controllers, setting positions for the main body parts, while every other part would assume an appropriate position automatically. This saves a lot of time and makes working with poses that much easier.

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Controlling Leg Points

By default, an AutoPosing setup initially has only two active controllers, that being controllers at the feet.

  • On the Samples tab, open any of the sample scenes with a humanoid character - such as Standard model, for example.
  • Select the Translate manipulator.
  • Select the blue point at the character’s foot.
  • Move the foot along various axes and see how other body parts change their positions as you move it.

It’s easy to notice how the character moves lower when the legs are spread wider, how the torso rotates following the foot, and how the weight is placed on the fulcrum leg if the other one leaves the ground. 

This makes sense, because the computer only looks at the active points. And it has to guess the position of the green dots! If both legs are turned to one side, then most likely the whole body is turned to the same side. If one leg is up, then the body must be shifted toward the supporting leg.

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Controlling Body Rotation

Often, however, we’d like to be able to have direct control over how the character’s body rotates. For this, we’ll have to activate the direction controller.

  • Select the big point at the center of the character’s body: this is the direction controller.
  • Move this direction controller to rotate the body to the opposite direction.
  • See how the controller point is now colored blue. This means that the controller has been activated, and now it can influence positions of the other parts of the body. 
  • Move the foot point once again.

The foot no longer affects body rotation, because now it is the direction controller that is used to define how the body should rotate.


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How to make a controller inactive once again

The controller becomes active after a manipulator is applied to it! You can also activate the controller by pressing the Shift + Z hotkey!

Working with a large number of activated controllers is not always convenient. So there might be times where you’ll need to return some of them back to inactive state.

  • Once again select the activated direction controller.
  • Click the button on the Toolbar, or press the Shift + Z hotkey to deactivate the controller.
Once you do this, the controller should be deactivated, and the position of this body part will be recalculated based on the positions of other - active - controllers.

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Controlling the Character’s Body

By moving controllers at the character’s neck or pelvis, you can control the entirety of the torso.

  • Activate the neck controller.
  • Move this controller to see how the rest of the body parts would react.
If you activate both the neck and the pelvis controller simultaneously, moving one of them would affect how the body is tilted, and how the spine is bent.
  • Activate the controller at the character’s pelvis as well.
  • Move either the neck or the pelvis controller to tilt the character’s torso or to bend the spine.
You can also select several points at one and use the Rotate manipulator.
  • Hold the Shift key and select both the pelvis and the neck controllers.
  • Select the Rotate manipulator.
  • Rotate the character’s body.

Now Auto Posing has more information to set the pose! The points of the neck and pelvis determine the position of the body. The other points will still be guessed automatically!

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Rotating the Limbs

Sometimes, it might be more convenient to use the Rotate manipulator for setting up the pose. For one, it can be used to rotate the character’s arm from the shoulders.

  • Select the Rotate manipulator.
  • Select the main point at the arm.
  • Use the right mouse button to move the pivot to the neck point.
  • Rotate the arm. This way, the shoulder would also be affected by the rotation.

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Controlling knee and elbow rotation

Positions of the knees and elbows depend on how the feet and hands are rotated.

  • Select every controller at the foot by double-clicking the main foot point.
  • Select the Rotate manipulator.
  • Rotate the foot and see how doing this affects the position of the knee.
  • You can also rotate the character’s hands, which would affect the elbows in the same way.

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How to fix AutoPosing controllers

Much like with regular Point Controllers, you can fix AutoPosing controllers in the scene space. 

  • Select a point
  • Press the R hotkey to fix the point
  • Press the R hotkey again to release the fixation
The fixed points will also become active! But unlike just the blue dots, the fixed dots will not move at all when you change the position of other controllers.

Warning! If you fix regular Point Controllers that do not directly correspond to any of the AutoPosing controllers, you won’t be able to use AutoPosing.

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The order of working with AutoPosing

To make working with AutoPosing more convenient, we recommend adhering to a specific working process.

A good way to start would be by setting positions for the bigger controllers. Fine-tune positions for arms and legs by rotating all the points at the feet or hands.

Activate new controllers as you need them. Use AutoPosing at the first stage of creating the animation. This way, you could easily create sketches for the poses you need.

Then you can switch to the Point Controller mode if you’d like to add some more details to these poses.

AutoPosing is intended to position some of the points automatically. And what this means is that if you try and use AutoPosing on an existing pose you’ve set with Point Controllers, it will change this pose.

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Auto Posing in a scene with two characters

If there are two characters in the scene, you will first have to turn on the Auto Posing tool for one of them (or for each of them separately).

  • Switch to the point controllers mode
  • Select all the points of the character
  • Press the Enable Autoposing Tool button

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