Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Animation in Blender is one of my favorite things to do, and in this week's tips, tricks, and techniques, we're going to go over a handful of things that I like to do in Blender to make my animation go faster. Now we're going to be using Hilary from some of our previous courses. One of the things I like to do, is to set on Auto Key, and turn on a keen set of location rotation scale. Now we can zoom out a little bit, and let's just hit the Play button, and move my character.
You'll see little yellow dots happening on the bottom. See that? That means the Blender is actually recording my animation as I'm moving around. It's not the best way to animate, but if you quickly need to rough something out, it actually works pretty well. Okay, so let's undo that. Let's play with a few more things. Another thing that I like to do a lot, is copying poses from one side to the other.
So let's say I had this hand here, and I made a quick fist. Now, sure, I could always just grab this controller and just make a quick fist too, but sometimes those poses can be really complex. So instead what I'm going to do, is select the controller that I made my fist on, and click this little Copy button, and then Paste Opposite button, and if you look over here, I now have a fist on the opposite side. This works for not just fists, but everything.
Like rotation, translation, even scale. Look at that, isn't that pretty cool? Okay, let's zero out her scales a little bit, there we go. Pretty cool. Now let's just give her a neat little pose really quick. Let's just say she was like, ah, about to punch you, or something like that, right? Now what if you really liked this pose, and you wanted to save it? Well, there's one easy trick to use.
It's called the Pose Library. So let's select all of the controls, click on my little Arm-er-ture tab, and you'll see a new thing called Pose Library. Just click on New. Now in here, you'll see a brand new menu come up, and you can click the Plus button, and add a new pose. You can rename it, so let's just call it "Punch Start." Okay, and we'll just key everything, just to be safe, and if you're tired of seeing this menu come up, just come down here, and go to Lock Rot Scale, and heck, why not even Auto Key.
Okay, let's come a little later, and let's just grab this hand, and move it forward. Now that's an intense punch, so we're going to come over here, select all the controls, and hit the Plus sign, add New from Current Frame, and we'll call this "Punch Finish." Okay. Now let's go to another frame. Click on Punch Start, and hit this weird icon.
I really don't know what this is, but you can see, it starts to reset the pose. If I go a little further, hit it again, cool! So now we have a punching animation. Awesome! This pose library is actually really handy, so I save this file really quick, and I wanted to load it in another scene, all I have to do is go to File, Link, find that file that I saved the pose library in, go to Action, and hey, check that out! Pose Lib is right there.
If I click on this, it will add all of the poses that I made in the previous scene, to my new one. Now a couple of other tricks I like to use. One of my favorites is the break downer, the shortcut is Shift E, so let's just get right here, and we can say, for example, this is position A, this is position B, and I'm going to go right down the middle and hit Shift E. Now what's happening is I'm favoring either the previous or the next pose. But if I go beyond this little menu, you'll start to see that I overfavor it, that is, that I overshoot it.
It's actually a neat little trick to do, if you ever want to add a little bit of extra life to your animation. Another thing you can do is also calculate motion paths, if you would just click on this, and then go to Heads, because that will usually be the top of the control, and let's just type in, say, 30, and hit OK. That's going to generate this punching motion. That looks pretty cool, and you can see how my punch goes over time, with all these little white dots, and they're pretty responsive, so if I move up the fists, the dots will follow.
Now that's pretty cool. Okay, let's look at a few other things that we can do. Now, another thing I like to use is the Anim-all Add-on, so go to File, User Preferences, and type in "Anim All." You'll see this, and you can make sure that it's checked on so we can use it, and go to Save User Settings. Now, how do we use Anim All? Well let's say you had this cube, and you wanted to animate just the vertices. On the left of Anim All turned on, you'll see a new little tab under the animation menu.
The first thing you want to do is check on what you want to animate. In my case, I just want the points, or the vertices. Click on insert, and then let's go into Edit mode really quick, and let's go over here, and let's have some fun, let's just move all of these vertices all around. Cool! Now select all of them. And insert, and go back into Object mode. Now if I scrub my timeline, my vertices are animating.
Super cool. Between the Anim All Add-On, and the pose tools here in the Pose Menu, you can do quite a bit of cool stuff inside of Blender. I highly recommend you also play around with the Graph Editor, and check out some of the key and channel options, or the modifiers that you can add to your controls. You can even add a little bit of noise, so you get a little bit of jitter in your characters. It's really nifty. With just a little bit of patience, you too can be an animation pro inside of Blender.