How to characterize the skeleton into an IK rig

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When you open up an .fbx animation in MotionBuilder, it will be keyed in FK only. You can “characterize” the skeleton into an IK enabled rig in MotionBuilder to make some edits to the animation.

1) From the Asset Browser, find the naming template file. Drag it into the scene and select FBX Merge > No Animation.

2) A new character will be created in your Navigator. Double click on it to open up its characterization settings.

3) Now, go to the schematic view (ctrl-w) select all of the bones in the animation skeleton. Hold down X and drag the selected bones down to the Navigator, in the “Mapping List” column. This should fill up all the left columns with the appropriate bone names.

4) Click on “Characterize”. The figure must be facing +Z to characterize. If it is facing -Z, you can parent Bip01 to a null node, and then rotate the null node to 180 in Y. This must be done in the schematic view. To go to schematic view, hit Ctrl-W. To add a null element, go to Templates > Elements in the Asset Browser and drag in a Null from the list to the schematic view.

5) Then parent it to Bip01 (make the null Bip01's parent). To do this, hit P to go into Parent mode, select Bip01 and drag it to Null. It will create a parent/child relationship. Hit 'W' to go back into move mode.

6) In move mode, select the null element (you can name it whatever you'd like) and then go to the Fcurves tab in the Navigator. In the left column, you can rotate null to 180 in Y and it will properly face -Z. Now you can Characterize.

7) In the Navigator, go to the Character Settings tab. Click on Plot Character... and select Control Rig. Then select FK/IK. Then click Plot.

8) Your animation has now been retargeted to MotionBuilder's IK/FK rig. You can now adjust the motion in layers or directly on the keyframes.

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