Book Image

Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook

Book Image

Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook

Overview of this book

Blender is an open source 3D graphics application that can be used for modeling, rigging, animating, rendering and thousands of other things. While modeling characters isn't the biggest of your worries, animating them to make them feel as-good-as alive is what differentiates a professional from an amateur. This book offers clear, illustrative, and easy-to-follow recipes to create character rigs and animations for common situations. Bring your characters to life by understanding the principles, techniques and approaches involved in creating rigs and animations, you'll be able to adapt them to your own characters and films. The book offers clear step-by-step tutorials, with detailed explanations, screenshots and support files to help you understand the principles behind each topic. Each recipe covers a logical step of the complete creation of a character rig and animation, so you're not overwhelmed with too much information at once. You'll see numerous examples and screenshots that guide to achieve various rigging and animation tasks, logically separated so you can understand each in detail. The rigging topics are divided by each region of the body (torso, limbs, face, eyes), and further separated by the specific topic (neck, fingers, mouth, eyelids, etc) for clarity. All rigging tasks are accomplished with the built-in tools in Blender, without the complexity of coding custom Python behaviors or user interface elements. The animation topics deal with common situations found in real world productions, showing good practices to understand and overcome the challenges.
Table of Contents (19 chapters)
Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers


This book offers clear, illustrative, and easy-to-follow recipes to create character rigs and animations for common situations. Bring your characters to life by understanding the principles, techniques, and approaches involved in creating rigs and animations; you'll be able to adapt them to your own characters and films.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Get Rigging—It's about the essential concepts and recipes you need to know before creating the controllers for your character. Master them and you'll avoid lots of headaches in the future.

Chapter 2, Rigging the Torso—Here we'll begin rigging our character's torso. It's a crucial set of recipes where you'll learn how to control things such as the pelvis, the neck, and how to stretch them in a cartoony way.

Chapter 3, Eyeing Animation—Here's a chapter dedicated to controlling our character's eyes. The eyes are what our audience looks at the most, so we have to carefully create good controllers for that part of the body.

Chapter 4, Poker Face? Facial Rigging—This chapter is dedicated to teaching you how to enable our characters to talk and express their feelings through facial expressions.

Chapter 5, Hands Down! The Limbs Controllers—In this chapter, we'll see how to create all kinds of controllers for arms, legs, feet, fingers, and shoulders.

Chapter 6, Blending with the Animation Workflow—It's time for animation, and in this chapter we'll see some important concepts and techniques to get started on the right foot and work efficiently.

Chapter 7, Easy to Say, Hard to Do: Mastering the Basics—Here we'll see some very important principles of animation applied to our characters. These principles are crucial for virtually every piece of animation you'll need to create.

Chapter 8, Shake That Body: The Mechanics of Body Movement—In this chapter we'll mix everything we've learned until here and apply them to real world situations.

Chapter 9, Spicing it Up: Animation Refinement—Now that we have achieved proper movement in our characters, it's time to take them to the next level with refinements.

Chapter 10, Drama King: Acting in Animation—Animators don't just move puppets around; they make you believe the characters are alive. Here we'll see some recipes about why our characters move, instead of how.

Appendix, Planning Your Animation—The Appendix talks a bit more about some concepts related to animation and how you can prepare yourself to make the perfect shot.

Who this book is for

This book will be handy for those Blender users who already know the basics of adding, modeling, and rendering objects within the program, but are eager to learn how to turn a character's mesh into a more life like entity.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "Select your entire bone, open the Specials menu (press the W key), and choose Subdivide."

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "Open the file 001-Orientation.blend from this book's support files."


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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Downloading the example code

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Downloading the color images of this book

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The author also maintains a copy of the graphics as well as the other code files from this book at


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