You’ve probably heard of ICE keywords like “self“, “this” or “this_model“… but did you know about “this_parent“?

It’s not undocumented, but it’s often forgotten.

If you’ve ever seen a Maya rig, you’ve probably seen their joints system which draws “fake” bones. Fake as in that it’s just an OpenGL virtual representation of the hierarchy/parenting, not an actual object. I’m not a big fan, but I do like the concept of being able to sketch out a skeleton by duplicating and reparenting joints, and thanks to “this_parent” we can do the same in ICE!

Check it out! 🙂

Reparenting nulls:

Sketching a hierarchy with ICE

The basic tree looks like this:

ICE: Draw Line To Parent compound

The fancy version has many options:

ICE parent debugging options

Download the compound here: BASIC & FANCY 😉

There does seem to be a small viewport performance hit when you have a lot of objects drawing lines, but since I only use it for sketching I’m not too bothered. If you want to temporarily disable them all you can go to the eyeball menu of the viewport and disable “Display/ICE Attributes“.

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