Book Image

3D Character Rigging in Blender

By : Jaime Kelly
Book Image

3D Character Rigging in Blender

By: Jaime Kelly

Overview of this book

In the intricate world of 3D character rigging with Blender, aspiring artists often find themselves grappling with the daunting challenge of achieving results akin to seasoned professionals. This book is your guide to overcoming that very challenge, providing you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this complex art form. As you embark on this creative journey, this book will guide you through a carefully crafted flow. Beginning with the basics, the first part of the book will teach you how to add structure to an empty canvas and master the art of weight painting in Blender. You'll delve into the intricacies of rigging humanoid characters, gain a deep understanding of the essential buttons and techniques, and discover invaluable success-boosting tips. Starting with simple mesh deformation using a single bone, you'll progress steadily toward the mastery of fully rigging a human character, all while comprehending the reasons behind each step in the process. Furthermore, the book leaves you with a selection of advanced techniques, fully explained, paving the way for a natural progression in your artistic journey and allowing you to continuously refine and enhance your skills. By the end of the book, you'll excel at crafting character rigs, seamlessly meeting professional pipeline demands in diverse teams and studios.
Table of Contents (14 chapters)
Free Chapter
Part 1: An Introduction
Part 2: Rigging
Part 3: Advanced Techniques

Introducing shape keys

Shape keys are an exceptionally powerful and infinitely versatile system that stores the local position of every vertex. Shape keys are essentially a stored shape that a mesh can take using the current set of vertices.

A shape key consists of two elements, a base and the shape we want to morph into. Shape keys are relative to the base shape, meaning that instead of holding a specific shape, they hold a delta (i.e., the difference) from the base to the target shape.

This idea of shape keys being deltas might sound strange at first, but it’s this very trait that gives them their power. It means we can start from a base shape, add a shape key, then add another one on top, or even subtract shape keys. This means any part of the mesh can be modified by multiple shape keys, with each shape key adding or subtracting its own shape to produce an almost procedural result.

How can we use them? In the form of corrective shape keys. Corrective shape keys allow...