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This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.
Let's go ahead and set up this character in a simple scene so that way we can animate him. Now I already do have a camera in the scene and if we want, we can just animate to that camera. So if I hit numpad 0, you can see that I have a camera set up, and we can use that to animate to. But I do want to have a couple of viewports open so that way I can see him from the top or the left view, so I am going to go ahead and rearrange my layout here. I am going to left-click on the top corner here, and I am just going to drag out another window here, and we will just make that a regular perspective window.
And then over here on the left side, I am going to go to my top-right corner, drag this down, and we can make this into a top view by hitting 7. So that way I have a couple of different views into my scene and I can still use my camera here in the bottom-left corner to see exactly how the scene looks. So let's go ahead and make this character take one step into the scene and wave to the camera. So we're going to start off with our first, initial pose. So we're going to go ahead and start creating keyframes.
So I'm going to set my first pose here. So I am going to go ahead and grab my IK handle here, my IK_Right, move his foot back just a little bit, and I do want to go ahead and keep this open so I can go ahead and start setting keyframes for this particular node here. I am going to ahead and grab the right one and maybe put his foot forward just a little bit. And again, I am going to hit I just to set some keyframes. And let's go ahead and just turn on Automatic Keyframing so that way it just goes more naturally here.
So I am going to go ahead and turn on Automatic Keyframing. And I'm going to rotate him slightly away from the camera. And then I'm going to take his arms, and I'm going to go into Pose mode, and we're going to start rotating his arms. And I want to make sure I set I just so that I have rotation keys for these objects here. So I am going to go ahead and also pick my waist here and rotate that. And I want to stay in Local mode here so I can see exactly how I'm moving my character.
So now my character is kind of facing away from me on the screen, kind of has his side to the camera, and let's go ahead and fix this arm here. Oops. So I am going to go ahead and fix these arm so we can get him into place here, and there we go. Okay, so now I've got this basic pose, and let's go ahead and make him step into the scene. Now a step for a character really is dependent upon how big the character is and how slow or fast he is, but for this character, I am just going to take it at a 8-frame step. So we are starting at frame 1.
I am going to scrub the Timeline forward to frame 9. And again I'm going to make this character step here, so I am going to grab his IK handle and we're going to move him. So I am going to go ahead and just grab in the top view, and I want to make sure I get that leg somewhere around the other leg. Now notice how this is kind of pointing towards that, but we have to rotate the body to match. So I am going to take this body and then rotate that and maybe even move it just a little bit so that it lines up.
So this is going to be my final footstep pose, and you can see in camera view, it's not quite right, but once I squinch him over just a little bit, you can see how I've got a better pose. And again this is a pose from the camera view. So he is a little forward on his feet. Maybe I can move him back just a little bit. So once I get that, then I can just go ahead and start scrubbing. You can see how already he's turning into the camera. But this isn't really a step; it's more of a foot-slide. We need to actually lift his foot up and also drop his weight a bit because as he lifts up, he is going to have to lean forward and do some other stuff.
So let's go ahead and start with the foot. Let's go ahead and select this IK handle and just lift up his foot. So now he takes a real step, okay. But as he takes a step, he's going to drop down a little bit. Because of his weight he is going to drop to this side and maybe move over, and he also may lean forward just a little bit. So we can actually take that on his spine and we can rotate his spine forward just a little bit here.
So as you can see here in this viewport, he is now kind of leaning into that turn, and then we are going to go ahead and straighten him back up. So now you can see how he comes in and then he just kind of looks at the camera. So, very simple. In fact we can probably give him a little bit more bounce in his vertical direction here, so what I am going to do is as he comes up, I am going to bring him down here, bring him up as he comes up, like this, and then just kind of settle him down into his pose.
So now you can see how he kind of settles in. And then let's just go ahead and make him wave. So going to lean him over, so I am going to go ahead and move forward to, say, about 22 or so. And so he is going to wave with his right hand, so I want to make him lean a little bit more to his right, right-click on there, and bring that arm up.
Now that arm is coming up a little too fast, so I am going to go ahead and rotate it down at frame 14 and then bring that up. And then just kind of bring it back down again into a more natural pose here. And then maybe even straighten him up a little bit at the end.
Then there we go. Very simple. Now if we want, we can also add facial animation on top of this. So I am going to go ahead and deselect my mesh here, and let's go ahead and come out of Pose mode, back in Object mode. And I am going to open up my creature and select him. So I am going to make sure I turn on selection here, make sure that's on, and go ahead and select my creature, and then go over to the panel that has the Shape Keys.
So, we can start off with his mouth close and maybe have him do a little blink and then open his mouth. So we're going to go ahead and start here. We are going to set a keyframe for Mouth Close at value of 1. So we are going to start him with his mouth closed, and then as he comes up he is going to blink when he comes down and then his mouth is going to open. So we are going to send another value here at frame 14 and then as he waves, we are going to go ahead and open his mouth. So there we go. Very simple.
And we can also do the same thing for Blink. So I can again hit I to set a keyframe at the beginning for my blink. And then I want him to start blinking as he turns, so at frame 6 I am going to keep it at a value of 0, frame 10 I'm going to blink his eyes, and then at frame 16 I'm going to open them up. So now he does kind of a blink as he comes in and opens his mouth.
So let's do a quick playback. As you can see, he's pretty animatable. So now let's go ahead into my armature of my character. I am going to go ahead and select his armature again, turn off X-Ray so we don't have to see that, and let's go into our camera view and turn on Textured so we can actually see him in place here. So I am going to go ahead and expand this so we can actually see this window a little bit bigger, and let's go ahead and just hit Play. So there he is.
He is pretty much animating, and he looks pretty good. And so as you can see, rigging isn't rocket science. It's just a bunch of little tools that you can connect together to create a character rig. And go ahead and continue to play with this little character and build your own and create your own creatures in Blender.
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