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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Fitting an armature to a creature


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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Fitting an armature to a creature

Once you understand the basics of armatures, you can start creating an armature for your character. We're going to create an armature for this little creature here, and I'm going to go ahead and select him. And let's go into Wireframe mode. And you'll notice that he is actually pretty dense in his wireframe, and that's because I have a Subdivision Surface modifier. I'm going to go ahead and delete this so that he looks a little bit simpler. Then let's go ahead and just click here and restrict selection so that way I don't accidentally select him.
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    5. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 44m 15s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    6. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    7. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    8. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    9. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 51m 48s
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    4. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    5. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    6. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    7. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    8. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    9. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Blender 2.6 Essential Training
7h 26m Beginner Dec 21, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Navigating in 3D space
  • Selecting, rotating, and scaling objects
  • Using Snap to move objects precisely
  • Creating mesh primitives and extrusions
  • Subdividing meshes
  • Creating a simple creature
  • Joining mesh objects and stitching vertices
  • Organizing a scene with layers, groups, and hierarchies
  • Assigning glossy and reflective materials to objects
  • Creating bump maps
  • Creating sky and ambient light
  • Understanding ambient occlusion
  • Adding motion blur and depth of field
  • Editing animation in the Graph Editor
  • Building and animating a simple character
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Blender
Author:
George Maestri

Fitting an armature to a creature

Once you understand the basics of armatures, you can start creating an armature for your character. We're going to create an armature for this little creature here, and I'm going to go ahead and select him. And let's go into Wireframe mode. And you'll notice that he is actually pretty dense in his wireframe, and that's because I have a Subdivision Surface modifier. I'm going to go ahead and delete this so that he looks a little bit simpler. Then let's go ahead and just click here and restrict selection so that way I don't accidentally select him.

Now probably the easiest way to build an armature is in a quad view, so let's go ahead and do Toggle Quad View so we can see our character. And I'm going to go ahead and get him centered here. And let's go ahead and add in an armature. So when we add in an armature, we really only have one option, Single Bone, and that brings it in at our 3D cursor. And the first thing we want to do is leave it in Object mode and position the base of that armature. So I'm going to position it right about here.

Now what I'm trying to do here is get this aligned to edge loops of the character. Now if you think about it, his hips are going to be right around here and the bottom of his belly is here, so I really want to try and get that first bone placed properly. And then let's go ahead and start positioning and adding in new bones. So I do that by going into Edit mode. I can just hit Tab and that puts us into Edit mode. And I can select individual bones, move them around, or I can just select the tips or the bases of the bones.

So I'm going to go ahead and select the tip of this bone and scale it down so that it's pretty much even with this edge loop towards the middle of his waist, so right around here, and this will be the start of what we're going to use to deform that part of the body. So next we need to add more bones, and probably the easiest way to do that is under Modeling, and we can just hit Extrude. I'm going to right-click off of that and just use my Move option here to move it into place.

And another way that extrude is just to use you're the hotkey E for Extrude. So I'm going to position this bone right about here, and again I'm looking at the edge loops of this character. And before I go too far, I need to start giving everything descriptive names. So if we go into our Outliner here, you'll see under Armature we have the armature itself and then there are bones. So that first bone can be renamed, and then we have a second bone, so let's go ahead and rename this.

I'm going to hit Ctrl+Left-click to activate Rename and let's just call this one Spine.01. And the second one, we're going to just call that Spine.02. And as we start creating bones, I want to keep in mind that I want to name them, so that way I have to go back through and rename them all at once. And if we want, we can go into our armature and display the names so that way we know exactly which bones we have. So let's go ahead and add in another bone.

I'm going to hit E for Extrude, and I'm going to extrude this next bone. And because I've been naming these .01, .02 it gives me a .003 in my name, which is actually nice, because it's kind of automatically naming it. So now once I've got this spine, I can start creating my branches. I can go up into my head or I can create my arm. Let's go ahead and do the arm first. So again I'm going to extrude, and this time I want to place this right around where that shoulder is going to be.

So if you think about it, your shoulder is just above and outside of the armpit, so somewhere around here. So if you think about proper placement of these bones, think about it anatomically, because this arm is going to rotate around this point, so I want to make sure I get this aligned properly. And again, you want it slightly to the outside of that armpit; otherwise, you're going to get your armpit going into the body and it's going to look unnatural. So once I have that--let's go ahead and expand that out and I can't quite see this I'm going to have to squish this down. And let's go ahead and rename this Shoulder.L. And let's go ahead and keep extruding.

So I'm going to hit Extrude again, and this time I'm creating my bicep and my elbow, so I want to make sure I place my elbow bone here. And let's go ahead and rename that Bicep.Left, and you can see how we're doing this. I'm just going to go ahead and create the rest of the bones, so that way it's pretty easy. So I'm going to select this, E for Extrude, create the wrist, E for Extrude again, and create the tip of the finger. Now I have my character aligned very precisely along the zero points of each axis, so I'm pretty confident that when I draw these bones they're going through the center of the character.

So that's the basics for the arm structure. Let's take a look at how to do the leg structure as well. So again, we can just click on this bottom bone here and extrude again, and this is going to be our hip. And I'm not going to name these right now, because I want to go ahead and go through this really quickly, create a knee, an ankle. And if we want it depends on the character and the character type, but we may want to create a foot bone, so I'm going to go ahead and do that, just create a little bone here and that represents his foot, even though it doesn't really have a foot, but I'll just go ahead and make that small.

So those are some of the basics of creating the armature. Now another thing you may want to do is create additional bones to help with the deformation of the character. So if, for example, we have this character, he is pretty chubby, so we may need additional bones to get the effect of the spine out to the edge of his belly. If we were to bend, for example, this arm, you can see that the spine and the elbow are almost equidistant from the edge of his hip.

So if want this to be defined by the spine then we need to create a bone to do that. So we can basically just zoom in, select this area, and again E for Extrude, and extrude a bone out for that side, middle again, E Extrude, another bone for this side, and we can also do it front and back. So again, select this, Extrude, and one more for the back, and we can continue to do that around his body.

Now, when you get to his head you may want to create ones that specifically deformed his eyes, so that way his eyes move along with the head. But those are some of the basics for how to position your armature bones to the mesh. Now go through your character and make a full skeleton, and then we'll come back and learn how to use that skeleton to deform a character.

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