# why does my pole target need 180 degrees to work right?

Rigging beginner here:

It looks like that i don't understand the pole target.

I have this very simple rig setup:

The cross is my IK Target, the sphere is my pole target.

If i now move my cross...nothing happens.

If i now give bone1 an angle...it doesn't use the pole target...

Ok, i just found out, if i set the pole angle to 180 degrees, it works, as i would have expected.

Can somebody explain me why it need 180 degrees? is there a hidden logic?

i bend the 2nd bone to the left, and i hoped it would "correct" that because the sphere is on the right. But it didn't do that.

• It's not clear how you bend Bone.001 and what you were trying to do. It's the IK bone (here Bone.00) that will point towards the pole target. Also, once you switch to Pose mode it may rotate the wrong way, in that case you need to correct the Pole Angle Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 10:59
• i updated my answer, sorry for the confusion. Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 11:03

If you make some "initial" rotation in +X direction, it will correspond to 0 pole rotate.

Armature can contain more than 2 bones. For example, one points forward, second - backwards. And the pole will rotate the whole structure:

• although it's a bit confusing that the "first" move decides, how the pole target is influencing the behaviour. For beginners (like me) it would be easier, if it just bends to the pole target. And depending on the pole angle it could rotate. But...what do i know? ;) Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 13:20
• It can contain more than 2 bones. For example, one points forward, second - backwards. And the pole will rotate the whole structure. Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 13:23
• Thanks! Now it makes sense to me! Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 13:41

It always helped me to think of the pole vector as defining a plane. This plane defined by a triangle of

• the first joint
• the IK target
• and the pole vector

You can imagine that plane swinging through space as the pole vector moves and you can predictably position, say, knees and elbows on a character when using IK on a limb.