Blender Design Figurine Part 1: Character Modelling. White, ball-headed figurines are popular with designers as they can be used to illustrate any concept. In this 6-part step-by-step Blender tutorial, you will learn how to model the figurine, rig it with an armature, create a library of poses, and animate a simple walk cycle. Please note Blender 2.75 or greater is required, because we use the Symmetrize feature that is new in this version.
Part 1: Character Modelling - Model the body of the figurine.
Part 2: Hand Modelling - Model the hand, and join it with the body to complete the figurine.
Part 3: Armature Rigging - Rig the figurine with an armature. Two scripts are offered to automate repetitive tasks:
Assigns empty vertex groups to the mesh, appropriately named for rigging.
Names armature bones, Symmetrizes the rig, sets up rotation constraints and IK limits.
Part 4: Posing & IK Targets - Pose the hands, creating a library of standard poses. Set up IK targets (Inverse Kinematics) on the legs.
Part 5: Walk Cycle - Animate a simple walk cycle.
Part 6: NLA Editor Actions - Combine the walk cycle with starting and ending actions in NLA Editor for a complete animation.
This tutorial is only the beginning, many improvements and further developments are possible. The first that can be suggested is to the Fist and Grasping hand poses. Fingers could be fattened, to fully close the gaps between them:
1. Complete all parts of the tutorial, following the suggestions, including the use of the LocRot keying set in animation.
2. In Pose mode, apply the Grasping or Fist pose to a hand, as shown in the tutorial.
3. Select the Base bones of Index, Middle, Ring and Pinky fingers on the hand.
4. Set Pivot Point to Individual Origins.
5. Press S to scale, followed by Shift-YY, enter 1.1.
6. Repeat for the Mid bones of the fingers if needed.
7. Press Shift-G, choose Group, to select the whole hand group.
8. With the pose name selected in the library, click the Plus button and choose Replace Existing, then the pose name from the menu that pops up.
9. To use the new poses in an animation that includes scaling changes, switch the LocRot keying set to LocRotScale.
10. Depending on usage, curves may need to be adjusted on scaling keyframes, similar to location and rotation adjustments in the tutorial.
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