Animation Class Blog

Adding “Handlers” to Certain Joints to Help the IK in Blender

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Certain joints, like the knees and the elbows, won’t work exactly the way you might want them to in Blender unless you do a little “trick.” You need to add an additional bone to the joint and set up another IK modifier to help you to control how the joint works. It’s pretty easy to set up, but a very powerful trick.

Adding Inverse Kinematics to the Bone Structure in Blender

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Once you have the bones set up in Blender, it’s time to add the Inverse Kinematics to the bones so that you can pose your character by simply grabbing the hand or the foot. In this video, I go over how to set up the IK using an arm:

Iron Man 3 SFX Reel

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This is just a really cool sizzle-reel of Iron Man 3 Animations and SFX. REALLY cool.

Adding Bones to Your Character

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In this demonstration (the first of a few on this subject), I go over how to add bones to your character. There are a few things to keep in mind as you go through this process:

  • Make sure your object is aligned along the x axis properly
  • Apply the mirror modifier if you have it, and then save the file with a new name (v2, etc) so that you keep your original object, just in case
  • Once you add the bone object, you need to be in “Edit Mode” to add more bones. You do this by clicking on the “tail” of the bone and “extruding” (e-key) out from there. Every time you want a new bone, you extrude a new one from the last one in your bone chain.
  • The first bone should be located in the core of your character. Usually, in animation, this is the pelvis.
  • You can also add bones that are not part of the original chain by pressing “shift-a” on the keyboard. This will place a new bone where ever the cursor crosshair is. This is useful for shoulders, legs, etc.

Parent-Child Relationships in Blender

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In Blender, we can give objects (and other things, as you will learn soon) something that is called a Parent-Child relationship. What that does and how to do it are explained in this short demo:

Giving Certain Areas of Your Object a Different Color in Blender

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Sometimes, you might want only a specific section of your object to get a certain material in Blender. In this demo, I show you how to assign a material to s specific set of vertices, as well as assign vertices to a group for easy selection.

How to Give Your Objects Basic Textures in Blender

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We don’t want your character in Blender to remain a simple, dull, flat grey color. So we’re going to add some colors and textures to our characters using the “Materials” in Blender:

Animated Short “RUIN”

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I saw this short today on Youtube, and I thought is was REALLY cool. Simple storyline, but very nice visuals, and great animation. I hear it has also now been optioned by Hollywood to be a full-length feature animation sometime in the near future!

Modeling an Object by Starting with a 2D Shape

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Sometimes, if you have a complex shape, it is easier to start the modeling process by just starting with a flat 2D plane, and thenextruding that outline into a 3D shape. In the following demo, I demonstrate this method while making a simple key.

Modeling Basics – Making a Toaster

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In this demonstration, I start making a simple toaster. In doing so, I go over the following modeling techniques:

  • Modeling with the Mirror Modifier
  • Using the “Loop Cut and Slide” tool in edit mode
  • Using “Extrude” to add vertices and edges
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