Getting arms to hang by sides

Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2017 Jan 15, 2017

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Hi guys. I'm creating a bunch of human puppets. Setting up my source files I have the arms sticking out at 45 degree angles, which I saw in a bunch of the tutorials. The problem is that I don't actually want the arms sticking out in the performance - I want them hanging straight down. I can sort of do this by holding down the dragger handles down for the entire performance, one hand at a time. But this is annoying and also results in some awkward looking arms. Is there a way to set up a "rest position" with the arms by the sides, or is the rest position always the way the Illustrator document is set up?

Also, is there a way to keep the arms from stretching in length? I don't want them to elongate like Mr. Fantastic - I want them to follow the mouse but stop at full arm extension. Thanks!

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Guru ,
Jan 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017

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I don't know of any way to keep the arms from stretching when using the dragger to move them. And changing the arm position to straight down generally causes the body to distort when dragging the arms. There are, however, alternative ways to move the arms (or legs) to prevent distortion. I sometimes make the arms a separate puppet and position it in the scene with a body puppet. Then I can use the transform controls on the arms to rotate or scale. You could also use arm cycles as another way to move arms without distorting.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017

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Under Dragger on the right you can change the arms to "Hold in Place" instead of the default "Return to Rest" for them to stick. You could drag them both down, record one second, then extend the takes by dragging the right side of the bars in the timeline.

No way to limit dragger bending (yet).

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017

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Thanks a lot!

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Explorer ,
Sep 12, 2020 Sep 12, 2020

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Any updates on this?  I created my character with arms pointed down and outward at about a 45 degree angle for better deformations.  But for the rest pose, I want him to have his arms dangling down by his sides.  If I use the "Return to rest" after move feature, there doesn't seem to be a way to change the rest pose.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 12, 2020 Sep 12, 2020

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I think the advice is still sound - don't use return to rest, use hold in position and drag hands next to body if that is where you want them.

 

Two new features since this thread was created;

- There are now 'replays' so you could record a replay of hands next to body

- ik arm behavior can help with arms stretching etc

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