Chapter 9, Part I

Chapter 9, Rigging

Part I, Creating the Armature

I’m not going to lie. I despise rigging, and need to get this off my chest. (…) it’s enough to make me want to throw my computer through the window and run screaming into the forest to spend the rest of my mortal years with the raccoons and groundhogs.

But that’s not going to happen to you. Honest.

Bahahaha, that’s the second paragraph in the chapter – imagine my face when I read that after mentioning, on the previous post, that I was really looking forward to rigging ;)

But now that I’ve worked my way through the armature I can totally see where he’s coming from. This is a lot of work, even more work to get it right, and apparently the rig described is “relatively simple”. There are a lot of concepts involved that must really be understood before applying, relationships that must make sense, extra bones outside the body that actually do the whole work unlike our own bones, a lot of voodoo like constraints and drivers… so it’s really not just adding bones and moving them around.

Anyhow as always the instructions were clear and precise, so although I’m sure I’ll have to revisit this whenever I feel like creating a new armature, the end result for the character worked as expected. Here’s the complete armature before we start skinning (actually applying the armature to our character’s mesh):

"Get this thing OFF of me!!"

If you’re thinking “that looks simple enough”, here’s a close-up of the hand:

"Oh hey, these you can leave on. Cool stuff."

If you’re still thinking it looks simple enough, well, sorry to disappoint. I will get to your level one day though, you’ll see.

If you really liked building this hand, then congratulations. You might have what it takes to be a good rigger. If not, don’t feel bad. There are lots of great pre-built rigs available, and there is absolutely no shame in using them.

Where do I stand? To be honest I don’t know. Each time I got something working I was really excited, and I’m really proud of the end result, but I’m not sure that’s enough. That’s probably because I’m still feeling a bit intimidated by all the intricacies, so I wouldn’t be surprised if in about an hour I decide to rebuild the whole thing from scratch to make sure I understand the concepts.

In any case, next up is skinning, and that’s where I’ll find out how well this whole mess behaves!

———-

This post is part of a series on the book Blender Foundations.
You can find the base post of the series here.

Next post on the series: Chapter 9 (Rigging), Part II
Previous post on the series: Chapter 8 (Sculpting)

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