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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
So as we create our armature, we are going to go ahead and select the bone here and then tab into Edit Mode. So as we work with the root bone and then we work our way up to the spine bone. What we want to do is kind of use the mesh that we are rigging for reference, and the way we can do that is come over here and Shift-click on Layer 2 and we are in Wireframe Mode, so we'll be able to see the armature and we can also turn on X-Ray up here like I talked about before.
As we work our way up in the Armature, I want to note a couple of things. One is you want to put the tips of the bones where there are vertex rings, or edge loops, when we modeled the mesh so that the mesh can smoothly deform. From any tip of any bone, you can extrude out another bone to come up here to the chest area. I have created two bones here; one on the waist bone that goes out to his belt buckle and then another one out to his chest.
Bones don't have to be connected to one another and we'll go ahead and scale in here on his hand. Here is his hand bone, and then we have the thumb and the pointer and everything and you can see the names of the bones showing up over here. So we have his pointer and notice now as we get into bilateral creatures, we have an issue because I'm lazy and I only like to do half the amount of work that I have to do. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to put an .L right here and as I come down the ArmHi and the ArmLo, everybody uses different names for the different bones.
So you kind of get a lesson in biology sometimes when you look at somebody else's rigs. But here is the bone, this is connected to the leg bone, shinbone is connected to the leg bone and then we have the foot down here at the bottom. And what I have done is I have a toe bone, so that I can move his toes up and down but then the foot bone is the main bone that I use to position the foot and here is the heel bone just for extra control and just a little extra guiding and positioning when I get into animating.
So now as we have these bones that form the left side of the body, we need to mirror them on the right side. And so we are going to go into Edit Mode and in the Front view, select the bones that make up the half of the body that we want to mirror. So we are going to do B and drag and Shift+Select, then the hip as well as the shoulder. Now, since these bones are over here as the selected bones as list, we just do a quick quality check to make sure they are all .L to mean for the left side.
Now we can Shift+D to duplicate them and click in place and go to Armature > Mirror > X Global. Now what's happened is those bones that I selected and duplicated have now been flipped on the X-axis. I can G+X to move them over and line them up with the other core bones in the center. Click to drop them and now you notice that they are named Shoulder.L.001, which is the standard thing that Blender does whenever you duplicate something.
So what we want to do now is to go Armature > Flip Left & Right Names. Now what Blender has done is it has taken that .L and it has changed it to an .R.So now we have individual bones for each side of the body. We can't just mirror the armature because we want the left arm to be swinging forward while the right arm swinging back as he is walking and things like that. So we need a balanced armature for bilateral creatures. And that's a real quick way on how you can do that.
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