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(previously named “PowerPose”)

ActivePose was built with workflow in mind. All too often, when a user composites a scene he is forced position each bone on a figure. This is a tedious process that tends to consume time and patience. While almost any compositing program allows you to drag and position bones on a figure within the viewport window, most are inaccurate. In addition, their processes tend to take just as long as using parameter dials, sliders, or other similar methods.


ActivePose was built to be different, by combining two desirable actions:

  • The speed of positioning a figure with the mouse directly within a viewport.
  • The ability to have the figure bend intelligently when manipulating it, while obeying intentional limits.

Some may confuse using ActivePose with traditional Inverse Kinematics (IK). However, it is important to point out that ActivePose takes a different approach. Inverse Kinematics is typically limited in nature and scope, because it causes other bones in a predefined IK chain to rotate and move in response to the part that you directly move. In traditional IK this chain of movement stops at the root bone of the figure. By way of example, when you apply traditional IK to the legs or feet of a figure and then try to move the chest, movement is limited to the bones between the chest and the root bone (typically the Hip). If you try to move the shin, only the shin and thigh move while the hip and feet remain unchanged.

ActivePose by contrast calculates movement of all bones in a figure between any pinned bones and the bone being moved. With ActivePose, you can pin any bone, and then move all bones between the bone that is pinned and the bone that is dragged, including the figure’s root bone.

The ActivePose Tool

(previously named “PowerPose”)

ActivePose, once installed, is already waiting within the Tools Toolbar (see image below.) To deactivate ActivePose, all you need to is select another means of manipulation on the toolbar (Rotate, Translate, Scale or Surface Selection, etc.)


To fine-tune or change the conditions under which ActivePose operates, let’s look at the ActivePose Tool tab. Click on View > Tabs > Tool to bring up the Tool tab, which displays the following options for the ActivePose tab.

The PowerPose Pane

(previously named “Pantomime”)

The PowerPose pane consists of one Body sub-tab where, when a poseable figure is selected in your scene, displays the shape of a human figure with a series of dots (and sometimes triangles) arranged on it. These dots and triangles represent the parts of the body that you can pose.