Join Ron Friedman for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing the mesh and setup of the scene environment, part of Rigging a Humanoid Character with Blender.
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- In this lesson, we're going to set up our Blender scene and import in our mesh so that we can begin rigging our character. So one of the things you'll notice is that the default Blender scene contains this cube. We don't really need that cube. So I'm going to select it and right mouse click and choose Delete, because we don't need it to be part of a scene. Another issue is that, because Blender saves all user preferences directly in the scene file, is that any changes you would like to have be there all the time are a good idea to set up right away.
For example, if you hit the control alt Q shortcut, you will see that that will bring you into toggling the Quad view. You'll notice that, if I go over the Front Ortho view and hit the shortcut again, that it goes right back to user preferences. But if, for some reason, I wanted to be able to have it focus in on the other window as my selection, then what I would need to do is change the lock on the Quad view. The way to do that is by turning on Quad view again.
If I select n, you'll notice that that brings up the preferences. I can now choose Display, and under Toggle Quad View is a Lock button. By unchecking that, and hitting n again to get rid of the Preferences window, I can now, by hitting that same shortcut, if my cursor's over this view, go directly to that view instead, or to this view, et cetera. Now, it does change my Top Ortho view. But that's not a problem because no matter what view I'm in, if I now hit the 5 key to change it from Orthographic to Perspective, and then orbit around in the Viewport, I'm now back to the same setup I had initially, as we can see here.
And because I would like my scenes to start this way, I can go here under File and select Save Startup File. And by clicking OK, any time I now start Blender, this will be the scene that opens, with these settings. So now we can bring in our character. I'm going to go to File, Import, Autodesk FBX, because our mesh is set up as that kind of file. I have a shortcut here for Lynda. I'm gonna to to Rigging, Resources, and there's our Robot_Mesh file. And select Import.
Now you'll notice when I import it that it seems kind of small for the world. And I'd like to make it larger. One of the easiest ways to do that is if I group all the mesh underneath a single controller. That will make it easier for me to manipulate the entire object instead of doing it piece by piece. So in order to do that, I'm going to click and expand this out. And I am going to hit the b key, which allows me to Marquee select objects.
I'm going to select all the objects here, scroll down, hit b again, Marquee select everything except for that lamp, because that's our light in the scene, scroll down again, hit b, and select the rest of the objects until I reach the bottom of the list. I'm now going to click on Group 1 so that that is the last thing selected, and right mouse click and choose Select. I can now go to Object, Parent, Object, Object (Keep Transform).
And when I do that, you'll see now that all of the rest of the mesh is now grouped underneath, as children of Group 1. This allows me to select just Group 1, and I can now adjust the scale. I can go ahead and scale this up, to something that feels more appropriate for the size of the environment, maybe someone like so. Once I've done that, the other thing that I can do is that, if go go here to the Object panel and see these rollouts, you can also see that, if we check the Front view, we can see that the character's actually facing in the wrong direction.
So we want the rotation of the group, instead of being 180 degrees, we want it to be zeroed out. And now the character's flipped back around. Another thing is that if we scroll in and look here, we can see that the character isn't quite flush to the ground plane. So I'm gonna move it down just a little bit so it's closer to the ground, like so. And we now have other gradients and values. So if I scroll out here to the left, you can see that there are values here that we don't necessarily want there to be.
We want it to be clean. So one way we can clean that up is by going to Object, Apply, Location. That zeroes out all the Location values. And by doing it again, Apply, Rotation & Scale, this zeroes out the Rotation and Scale values, so that we have 0.00 and 0.00 and then a Scale of an even 1.00. Now that we have this, I'm going to go to File and select Save As, and I'm going to name this file Rigging_001 ImportedMesh.
The reason I'm using this naming protocol is, rigging is what this exercise is. By naming it 001 at the beginning after that, any file that I do after this will be called 002, 003, 004, et cetera. By naming it that way, it ensures that the naming convention will always list the files in the order that they were completed. But by putting the note after those numbers, I'm able to also know what I had accomplished at the stage that I had saved it. I'm gonna click Save As Blender File.
And now that I have this file saved, we can move on to the next section, where we'll begin bringing in and setting up our bones.
- Importing the mesh
- Creating the root and spine bones
- Building the foot bones
- Making the arms and hands
- Creating custom controller shapes
- Weighting the mesh of the body to the bones