space switching

Space Switching workflow

By Charles-Arthur BOURGET

In this tutorial we show you how to set up Space Switching ie. a Dynamic Parenting constraint in akeytsu. This will be illustrated for a classic juggling act making use of the akeytsu toolset. 

Space Switching also called Dynamic Parenting in other software packages lets you link a joint to another so that they behave as if they had a parent-child relationship. In other words the object that is space switched becomes related to the object that is defined as Space Origin. Move, Rotate and Scale transforms of the targeted objects (Joint, IK, RF...) are inherited from MRS values of the assigned Space or Dynamic Parent object.

Contrary to hierarchy structure, this constraint is dynamic and can evolve in time by keying new Spaces on a  dedicated layer. This is a precious tool when animating a character interacting with props.

Credits : Maewenn  modelled by Etienne "Vexod14" Beschet
Version : 2020.3.1


  • Introduction - 00:00
  • Rigging set-up - 00:20
  • Creating Space Switching layer - 00:42
  • Transition to another Space (Wrist_R to Character) - 02:34
  • Transition to another Space (Character to Wrist_L) - 03:56
  • Animation Editing - 04:52
  • Retiming Space Switched keys - 05:47
  • Conclusion - 06:25

Beta notice : Space switching is flagged as Beta for now. We delivered something permissive and flexible that can be easily used but we anticipate workflow and UI improvements early 2021 to improve user experience.


In rigging mode, access Bind Pose in Character Bank and define which objects can be used as Spaces (Joints, IK, RF...). To do this click the chain icon opposite to an object name. Defining all objects as potential Spaces ie. Dynamic Parents is possible but not recommended as this would clutter your interface without purpose.
When adding a Space Switch layer you will be prompted to declare which object you want to use as first Space.

Each Space Switching key needs to be added over at least one corresponding MRS key including the targeted object. In the below example the Healing Potion is the target object and we have extracted ait into a specific layer. We then create a new Space Switching layer with Potion_Healing selected in the Picker and choose right wrist as new Space ie. Dynamic Parent.
More importantly when creating another Space Switching key on the Timebar, make sure it is always placed over another MRS key including the targeted object. This is the rule to follow to avoid getting into trouble.
When selecting a Space Switching key (from Stacker or Timebar), its assigned Space ie. Dynamic Parent is displayed in the transform panel and can be changed.
When retiming Space Switching keys, make sure MRS keys constrained by Space Switching do not change space as this can create undesired effects . A warning is displayed in Timebar when that happens.

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