Reference Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Character Menu Joint Tool
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D
Joint

Options

Bone

Defines where bones are drawn when you create new joint objects. Three modes are available: Axis, From Parent and To Child. For information on these modes, please refer to the Bone entry in the Joint Object section.

IK Chain

Defines whether an IK chain is created automatically as you add the joints, and if so, how.

None

Means no IK chain will be created automatically as you add joints.

2D
3D

In these modes, an IK tag is added automatically to the first joint. Once you have finished working on the hierarchy, either by starting a new hierarchy or by choosing another tool, the last joint’s position is assigned to a goal object. The goal is placed on the same hierarchy level as the first joint and is assigned automatically to the IK tag. The chain is ready to animate.

Choosing the 2D or 3D mode also sets the IK Solver in the IK tag to either 2D or 3D. For more information on these modes, please refer to the IK tag section.

Spline

If Spline is selected, an IK chain is still created automatically except that an IK Spline tag is used instead of an IK tag. Again, the tag is added to the first joint in the hierarchy. Once you have finished creating the joint hierarchy, a spline is created automatically that contains a point for each joint in the hierarchy. The spline is placed on the same hierarchy level as the first joint in the hierarchy and is automatically assigned to the IK Spline tag.

Make sure that the Spline object is created after the tool has been deselected (you should also not save prior to this).

Size

Defines the thickness of the bone. This corresponds to the Size parameter for joints on their Object Properties tab. The following options are available:

Length

Makes the thickness of each bone dependent on the bone’s length. This is the same behavior as with the old bones system.

Custom

Lets you set the thickness of the bones using the Custom numerical text box. Each bone’s thickness no longer depends on its length.

Custom [0..+∞m]

This parameter is only available when Size is set to Custom. It defines the bone thickness.

Root Null

Creates a null object and makes the joint hierarchy a child of the null.

Pole Null

This option is only available when IK Chain is set to 2D. It adds a null object to the IK chain as a pole vector and assigns the pole vector to the IK tag.

Align Axis

Automatically rotates each joint object so that its Z axis points at the next joint object. This ensures that the joints’ Z axes are aligned along the length of the bones. If the option is disabled, the joints’ axes point in the same directions as the world axes.

Projection

Enabling Projection will approximate the volume of any object you wish to draw joints within and place those joints in the middle (depth-wise) of the object. This option works from any viewport projection type and will place the Joints at the correct depth automatically.

This option will only work with polygonal objects.

 Display

These settings highlight a bone automatically when you move the mouse pointer over the bone in the viewport. This helps you to tell which bone will be edited when you use the tool.

Highlight

Makes the bone brighter when the mouse pointer is over the bone.

Bounding Box

Displays an orange bounding box surrounding the bone when the mouse pointer is over the bone.

 Symmetry

Suppose you want to create the joints for a character’s left arm. Using the Symmetry settings, you can have the joints for the right arm created automatically as mirrored copies of the left arm’s joints. In this way, you can create both sides for the character at the same time.

Symmetry

Controls whether, and if so, how, the joints are mirrored. The following modes are available:

None

Switches off mirroring.

Draw

Mirrors each new joint you create. You can also move or split a mirrored joint or its bone and the same change is applied automatically to the other side of the symmetry provided the joint tool is still active. You can make the change to the original joint or to the mirrored copy. Either way, the change is applied automatically to the other side.

Keep in mind that the mirroring is temporary. If you switch to a different tool then reselect the joint tool, the symmetry is no longer active. You can then edit the original points independently of the copied joints and vice versa.

Link

This option is similar to Draw except the mirroring is more permanent and you can still edit the joints symmetrically after exiting the joint tool. It links the copy to the joint it mirrors using the copy's Symmetry tab. This option is also the easiest way to proceed if you want to set the Symmetry tab for multiple joint objects.

Plane

Defines which two axes of the selected Origin are used to form the mirror plane. The following options are available:

World-XY

Uses the world's X and Y axes to form the mirror plane.

World-XZ

Uses the world's X and Z axes to form the mirror plane.

World-YZ

Uses the world's Y and Z axes to form the mirror plane.

Local-XY

Uses the X and Y axes of the object defined by Origin to form the mirror plane.

Local-XZ

Uses the X and Z axes of the object defined by Origin to form the mirror plane.

Local-YZ

Uses the Y and Z axes of the object defined by Origin to form the mirror plane.

Origin

Defines the position of the mirror plane in the viewport. The following options are available:

World

Places the mirror plane at the world origin.

Root

Places the mirror plane at the position of the top joint in the hierarchy.

Hub

Places the mirror plane at the position of the first parent object in the hierarchy whose Hub option is enabled on the Symmetry tab.

Parent

Places the mirror plane at the position of the selected object’s parent object.

Object

Places the mirror plane at the position of the object selected in the Object link field.

Object

To place the mirror plane at the position of any object in your scene, Drag & drop the object into this box and set Origin to Object.

 Modifiers

Here you can control how the joint tool behaves when used with and without a modifier key held down.

Default

Defines the joint tool’s action when used without a modifier key. The following options are available:

Draw

Creates a new joint and makes it a child of the object selected in the Object Manager. The joint is placed at the point where you click. Using this mode, you can quickly create a chain of joints. Simply select a new object in the Object Manager to start a new chain.

If Root Null is also enabled, a null is created automatically when you draw the first joint in the chain and the joint is made a child of the null. This is the default mode when using the joint tool with Ctrl/Cmd held down.

Move

Lets you drag to move joints or bones without moving their children. This is the most frequently used mode, hence it is the default when using the joint tool without a modifier key.

Move Chain

Moves the joint or bone you drag including its children. This gives the same result as using Cinema 4D's move tool. The advantage of using the mode here is that you can carry on working with the joint tool still selected.

Split

Splits the bone into two bones at the point where you click. This mode can be useful when sketching out the character with just a few joints instead of the full joints. Then, when you later want to add in the rest of the joints, the Split mode is the ideal option. This is the default mode when using the joint tool with Shift held down.

Draw Aligned

Lets you draw joints in a straight line. After you've drawn the first two joints, an imaginary line is drawn between these joints and beyond them. All new joints added are placed onto this line.

Draw Quantized

Draws the joints in such a way that the bones between them are either parallel or at an angle of 45° to the viewport's X and Y axes.

Note
You can run into problems when using the IK tag with the Draw Aligned mode, Draw Quantized mode or the joint tool's snap settings. This is because the IK tag needs the bones to be at least slightly bent in order to be able to calculate how they should bend to reach the goal. If the bones are completely straight, although the chain will still reach for the goal, it won't bend as it does so. Therefore, to avoid this problem, bend the joints slightly in the direction you want the chain to bend. Spline IK is not affected by this problem.

Control

Defines the joint tool’s action when used with Ctrl/Cmd held down. The options available are the same as those described for the Default mode.

Shift

Defines the joint tool’s action when used with Shift held down. The options available are the same as those described for the Default mode.