Character Rigging - Blender 2.80 Fundamentals

Character rigs are definitely the most common type of rig. So in this video we'll be going over how to rig this character mesh, you can download this base mesh in the description down below. So to start things off if we want to create a humanoid skeleton for this character, we'll have to think about what bones we need to deform him. Let's see we would need thighs, shins feet, upper arms forearms, heads, a head bone, several spine bones and maybe collar bones. Mmm.

This seems like a lot to keep track. Of if we're doing it from scratch, luckily, blender provides a basic humanoid skeleton for you already let's figure out how to access it. Normally when you add an armature object from the add menu, the only choice you have is the single bone that spawns when you click it. However, we can turn on a native add-on that lets us add an armature like usual, but gives us the option to have the armature come as a premade base human skeleton to do this. All we have to do is go to edit preferences, add-ons from.

Here we can go to the search bar and search rigify is one of blenders auto rigging systems and can be very powerful, but we'll get into that later for now we want to simply turn on rigid feel free to read up on the documentation of any add-on by clicking its respective documentation button. Here, let's close out of our Preferences window and try again to add an armature object. This time you'll notice that we have an additional menu when selecting armature feel free to try all of these out.

Because they're pretty cool, however, for our purposes since our character is a human we're going to be using the human meta rig. Our next step is to simply match the joints with how we want the character mesh to bend in other words, elbows should match with elbows and hands should match with hands, etc. for this we'll need to go into edit mode. Once in edit mode, we're going to want to first match the size of our character right now, it's a bit big so let's scale, it down a bit.

But when we do that it's a.A bit disappointing to have the rig move off the ground when it was already at perfect floor level. So we can simply change our pivot from median to 3d. Cursor hotkey users can press the period key and select it from the PI menu. Now when we scale, we can have the feet stay in place while the rig gets shorter.

Just what we wanted. If this isn't working for you make sure your 3d cursor is in your world origin. You can change that by hitting shift s and selecting cursor to world origin in the PI menu. Let's. Just scale it down until our skeleton fits inside our character, I typically use the collar bones as reference.

We also have a bunch of facial bones that we won't really need for our basic character. So let's delete them, but which ones can we delete and which ones do we require. Truthfully. The only bone you'll need here is the head. So let's, just select everything here with the box, select tool and then deselect the head bone, which is actually labeled spine.

Zero. Zero, six, then delete all the facial. Bones at once from here, our arms are clearly not matching, so I'm going to select the bones and move them where they belong. But you might find this a bit tedious to do for the whole body.

Luckily, however, we only need to do it for half the body, two mirror edits. You make on the bones on one side of your character on two bones on the other side, simply open the right-hand side, menu and go to tool under here. You'll see options where you'll be able to enable x-axis mirror. Now, whenever you move a bone on. The left side, the right side will follow let's continue matching our rig to our mesh for this. It might be easier to turn your pivot point back from 3d cursor to median point. The most important thing about matching your rig to your mesh is that the elbows and other similar joints match for the spine will simply make sure that it follows the general location of where a real spine would be.

And for the head, we just need to make sure the pivot point is good. And it fills the whole head, the collar. Bones should also not be too long or too short so adjust accordingly. Now our character has no fingers except for the.

So we can go ahead and get rid of all the fingers, except for the thumb, the index finger and the pinky, oh. And technically, if your character is male, you can delete the breastbones if you like, or you can leave them in if you plan to use them in some way up to you. But if you do make sure those have proper placement as well now that we've done all of that, let's, parent, our character. Mesh to our rig, we can do this by going back into object mode, selecting our mesh then shift selecting our armature from here. We can right, click and go down to parent hockey users can still press CTRL P for the same menu from this sub menu.

You'll notice, a section labeled armature deform under which we can select with automatic weights from there. We can select our armature and go into pose mode. This will allow us to test the break and see if the mesh is following the bones as intended. Now, if. You're like me, and you forgot to parent the eyes to the armature as well, just select it shift to select the armature and parent it in the same way.

It looks pretty good. If there are any issues with the deformation, make sure to correct the weights by editing the vertex groups of the character mesh, you can learn more about how to do this in the separate vertex groups. Video.

Now, some of you might be wondering why it's called a meta rig. This seems to imply that it's sort of an in-between step for. Something else, well, while the rigid add-on does provide these meta rigs for easy humanoid skeleton, rigging that's, not all. It does, in fact, its main purpose is to automatically generate all the advanced rigging features, an animator might need, including I k, OK custom bone shapes and more. So while we can use the meta rig as an actual rig, just like we did earlier if you wanted to use the meta rig for generating a new advanced rig, instead there's, just one extra step. We need to do to go over the steps.

From the beginning again, simply add the human meta rig or any rigid meta rig, actually to your scene, then adjust the joints in edit mode to match your character, making sure not to delete any vital bones. If you were to the if I generation would not work, you might be asking, how do I know if it's a vital bone? Well, if you're unsure just reference, the basic human meta rig, any bones in this rig save for the breastbones are typically essential for generating a break if I rig now instead of parenting, Your mesh to the armature simply go into the armature data tab denoted by this green stick-figure icon in the properties' editor here, if you scroll down, you should see a large generate button click this and wait until it's done. And there we go, you have just generated an advanced rigid rig with constraints, custom bone shapes and other advanced tools all customized to fit your characters shape and size from here. You can just select your character mesh and shift, select your new rigid armature and. Parent your mesh to your rig as you did before this rig is quite powerful. However, if you want to learn how to set up inverse kinematics or bone layers yourself, we will address these in separate videos.

I hope. This video gives you a good understanding of how character rigging works in blender.

Dated : 01-May-2022

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