Displaying Chain Elements

There are many ways in which you can control the display of chain elements. You can hide them, like any other object in Softimage or choose to display just certain parts of a chain.

 

If the skeleton is enveloped, you can use XRay shading display options to see and select the bones within the envelope. See the Display Options tab in the Camera Display Property Editor [Properties Reference] for more information.

Displaying or Hiding Chain Elements

There are a few ways of displaying chains in viewports.

To display or hide chain elements

Do any of the following:

• Click the eye icon in a viewport’s title bar and choose Chains (this is on by default) to see chains in that viewport.

or

• Choose Display > Chains from the main menu bar to toggle chain visibility in all viewports.

or

• Click the eye icon and choose Visibility Options in a viewport’s menu bar (or press Shift+S) to open the Camera Visibility Property editor. On the Objects page, toggle the Chain Roots, Bones, and Effectors options (these are on by default).

Displaying Bones Using the Viewports Display Mode

You can display chain bones and their shadow bones using the current display mode that is set in the viewport. This allows you to display the bones and their shadows in Shaded, Constant, DepthCue, or Hidden Line mode, as well as Wireframe. This is a visual reference only — the bones are not rendered.

To use the viewport display mode for bones

1. Select one or more chain bones and press Enter to open the Chain Bone property editor. You can change all selected chain bones at once this way in a multi-element property editor.

2. Select the Use Display Mode option in the Bone Display and/or the Shadow Display groups in the property editor.

For information on shadow bones, see Creating Shadows for Chain Elements.

 

 

Bones with Standard shape in Shaded display mode.

Bones with Wedge shape in Constant display mode.

 

 

If you have the XRay Mode active, the shaded bones are displayed if you select Transparent as the XRay Display Type — see the Display Options tab in the Camera Display Property Editor [Properties Reference].

Displaying the Joint Circles

By default, the joints between the bones are not displayed as circles because they can clutter the limited space on a chain. However, if you need to display them, do any of the following.

 

To display the joint circles

1. Click the eye icon in a viewport’s title bar and choose Visibility Options in a viewport’s menu bar (or press Shift+S) to open the Camera Visibility Property editor.

2. On the Attributes page, select Chain Joint Rotation Limits.

Displaying Critical Zones for IK Chains

Around the root is an area called the critical zone, represented by a double-cone shaped icon. If the effector is translated into the critical zone, the general orientation of the chain will flip.

 

To display the critical zone

1. Click the eye icon in a viewport’s title bar and choose Visibility Options in a viewport’s menu bar (or press Shift+S) to open the Camera Visibility Property editor.

2. On the Attributes page, select Chain Critical Zone.

The critical zone is blue when the default preferred axis of rotation is used or when a preferred axis constraint is applied to the chain. The critical zone is green when an up-vector constraint is applied to the chain.



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