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Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook

Book Description

With this highly focused book you’ll learn how to bring your characters to life using Blender, employing everything from realistic movement to refined eye control. Written in a user-friendly manner, it’s the only guide dedicated to this subject.

  • Learn how to create efficient and easy to use character rigs

  • Understand and make your characters , so that your audience believes they're alive

  • See common approaches when animating your characters in real world situations

  • Learn the techniques needed to achieve various setups, from IK-FK blending to corrective shape keys and eyes controllers

  • The only book to cover advanced aspects of working with character animation in Blender.

  • In Detail

    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

    1. Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook
      1. Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook
      2. Credits
      3. About the Author
      4. Acknowledgements
      5. About the Reviewers
      6. www.PacktPub.com
        1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
          1. Why Subscribe?
          2. Free Access for Packt account holders
      7. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. Who this book is for
        3. Conventions
        4. Reader feedback
        5. Customer support
          1. Downloading the example code
          2. Downloading the color images of this book
          3. Errata
          4. Piracy
          5. Questions
      8. 1. Get Rigging
        1. Introduction
        2. Defining good orientations for your bones
          1. Getting ready
          2. How to do it...
          3. How it works...
          4. There's more...
            1. Correcting the orientation
            2. Axis conventions
            3. Rigify
          5. See also
        3. Using separate bone chains for different tasks
          1. Getting ready
          2. How to do it...
          3. How it works...
          4. There's more
            1. Don't get tied up on those chains
          5. See also
        4. Customizing shapes and colors for your bones
          1. Getting ready
          2. How to do it...
          3. How it works...
          4. There's more
            1. Pay attention to the Outliner
          5. See also
        5. Using corrective shape keys
          1. Getting ready
          2. How to do it...
          3. How it works...
          4. There's more
            1. Drivers
          5. See also
        6. Making an IK-FK switcher
          1. Getting ready
          2. How to do it...
          3. How it works...
          4. There's more
            1. Custom interfaces
            2. Stretching
          5. See also
        7. Tips on weight painting your character
          1. Getting ready
          2. How to do it...
          3. How it works...
          4. There's more
            1. Brush hardness
          5. See also
      9. 2. Rigging the Torso
        1. Introduction
        2. How to create a stretchy spine
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        3. Rigging the pelvis
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more
            1. Stretching the pelvis
          4. See also
        4. Making your character breathe
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more
            1. Stacking constraints
          4. See also
        5. Controlling the neck and head
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more
            1. Not just the neck and head
          4. See also
      10. 3. Eying Animation
        1. Introduction
        2. How to control where your characters look at
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        3. The eyelids controllers
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
            1. More control to the eyelids
          4. See also
        4. Controlling the pupils
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
      11. 4. Poker Face? Facial Rigging
        1. Introduction
        2. Adding expressions using Shape Keys
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        3. Face controls with lattices
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        4. Creating the jaw controller
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        5. Controlling your tongue
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
      12. 5. Hands Down! The Limbs Controllers
        1. Introduction
        2. Controlling fingers
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        3. Creating IK legs with a three-pivot foot
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        4. Stretch those limbs!
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        5. Setting up the shoulders
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        6. Cartoon bending for arms and legs
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        7. Different spaces for IK hands
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
      13. 6. Blending with the Animation Workflow
        1. Introduction
        2. Animating in layers
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        3. Changing between FK and IK in a shot
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        4. Grasping and throwing objects
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        5. Silhouette and mirrored rendering
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        6. Tracking animation arcs
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        7. Using video for background reference
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        8. Working with linked assets and characters
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        9. Non-linear animation
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
      14. 7. Easy to Say, Hard to Do: Mastering the Basics
        1. Introduction
        2. Adjusting and tracking the timing
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        3. Spacing: favoring and easing poses
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        4. Anticipating an action
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        5. Using squash and stretch
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        6. Breaking the symmetry
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
      15. 8. Shake That Body: The Mechanics of Body Movement
        1. Introduction
        2. Animating a tennis serve
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        3. Heavy metal
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        4. Glory for your team: kicking the ball
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        5. Run, Forrest! (in cycles)
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
      16. 9. Spicing it Up: Animation Refinement
        1. Introduction
        2. It's time for secondary actions
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        3. Hold, but not still: using moving holds
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        4. Animating characters with appendages
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        5. Like clay: refining with the AniSculpt technique
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
      17. 10. Drama King: Acting in Animation
        1. Introduction
        2. In the blink of an eye
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. There's more...
          4. See also
        3. Walking with style
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
        4. Talking heads (and bodies)
          1. How to do it...
          2. How it works...
          3. See also
      18. A. Planning Your Animation
        1. Introduction
        2. Creating thumbnails with Grease Pencil
        3. Naming conventions
        4. Extremes, Breakdowns, Inbetweens, ones and twos