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When you get your armature fitted to the mesh, the next step is to deform the mesh to the armature. So let me show you what I have here in Wireframe mode. You can see I've got this armature here, and I have got basically right and left legs and I also have some extensions here on the spine just to help with deformation of the body itself. And so now that I have all of this in place, I can now deform the mesh using the armature.
So the way that we do that is we select the mesh and then we Shift+Select the armature. So the armature is the last thing selected. Then under Object, we do Parent > Set > Armature Deform, or we can just do it by hitting Ctrl+P, and this will say Armature Deform. Do we want to do it With Empty Groups, Envelope Weights, or Automatic Weights? Envelope Weights uses the weights that surround each bone to deform the mesh.
Automatic just gives it its best guess. For this character, Automatic should work fairly well, so let's go ahead and just select that. And now that we have it, it's pretty much deforming. Now again, once I have this mesh deformed, I don't want to move it. So again, I am going to go ahead and restrict selection in the viewport for that creature. And let's take a look at how this mesh deforms my character. We can go back into Solid mode here, but when we do, we can't see the armature.
We can't see what we're working with. But we can go over to our armature's Object Data panel and scroll down and click on X-Ray, and that allows me to see the armature through the mesh. Now once you have your armature fitted, in Edit mode, we can go to the next mode, which is Pose mode. So we have Object mode, which we are in now. If we hit Tab we would be in Edit mode, which allows us to move the bones around. And then finally we have Pose mode, which allows us to actually post and animate the mesh.
So I can take my meshes here and I can start to rotate them, up and down, back and forth, and see exactly how that mesh works. I can do this either globally or locally. Okay, so it is deforming my character. Now there are parts of the character that you may not want to deform, or there may be bones that you don't want to move.
Like for example, if I have this eye bone here, you can see that yeah, I can do that to deform the head, but I don't really want to move that. So one of the things we can do is we can start to lock down the action of bones so only some bones can rotate and others can't. We can do that in the Transform menu. So we can just select bones and just start locking them off, and you can see how as I lock off my Rotation here, then I can actually move those bones.
So for example, some of these bones in the head I might now want to rotate because I want to rotate the head from down here. Another thing you can do is you can restrict bones to certain axes so that you can only rotate them around a specific axis. This will be good for the elbow for example, which only really moves along one axis. So the next step is to go through and understand how your bones are rotating and restrict those bones that you may not want to accidentally rotate when animating the character.
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