Better Managing Pole Vectors on an IK Chain in Maya

Ever have an issue when setting up pole vectors in Maya? If you have had IK joints that seem to snap out of place when setting the pole vector constraint, you are not alone. Rooster Teeth’s Rigging Artist, Giovanna Coutinho is right there with you. She has run in to this problem a few times.

A pole vector in Maya is meant to confine an IK chain so that it moves and follows the position of a control object. In character rigging, the pole vectors of an IK helps so the china doesn’t unexpectedly flip when you are animating.

Watch Giovanna demonstrate how to set up an ideal joint chain for IK handles. After watching you should be able to avoid rotations on a joint chain that is not on a single plane.