Glossary - Inverse Kinematics

Inverse kinematics is the recovery of a real-world object’s movement from a data source through the use of mathematical processes. A good example is video coverage of the real-world movements under consideration, which is filmed by a camera that also performs the same movements. Two fields in which inverse kinematics is crucial are film animation and robotics. In robotics, for instance, kinematic equations are used to calculate the joint parameters needed to achieve the desired position for each of the end-effectors of the robot. This process in robotics is called motion planning, and it is used to specify the movement of a robot such that it achieves a particular task through its end-effectors.

Application of Inverse Kinematics

Through inverse kinematics, the motion plan of the robot is transformed into joint actuator trajectories. These are the types of the formula used to calculate the skeleton positions of an animated character that has to make a particular movement. Cameras in moving vehicles are also used similarly to determine inverse kinematics. Once they can pinpoint the motion of a vehicle, the constantly changing of the camera can be known for purposes of generating objects and imagery assets in the same landscape through CGI. As complex as these may mean, inverse kinematics simply the process through mathematical calculations.

3D Animation

Inverse kinematics is essential for 3D animation and game programming. In these two instances, developers use it to game characters to the physical world and determine how the two interact. For example, your feet can land firmly on the ground through this application in 3D game programming. To achieve this, programmers model an animated figure, which as a skeleton with rigid segments linked to each other by joints known as kinematic chains.