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Introducing character animation with blender pdf

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Introducing Character Animation with Blender, 2nd Edition is inspiring as well as educational. A color insert includes sample characters and frames from. I've had a lot of requests for an easy-to-download version of the Blender Summer of Documentation tutorial, “Introduction to Character Animation”. So I made a. Introducing. Character. Animation with Blender. Tony Mullen. Introduction. • About me. • About the book. • Some general thoughts on. Blender related publishing.


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Introducing Character Animation with Blender TONY MULLEN WILEY PUBLISHING, INC. Introducing Character Animation with Blender TONY MULLEN. Blender Character Animation Cookbook 50 great recipes for giving soul to your characters by building high-quality r Character Animation With. Blender 3D- Introducing Character soundofheaven.info - Ebook download as PDF File ( .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online.

Looking at a selection of finished chapters now. Be sure to do the next steps in the side view window. Because you will begin modeling with a mirror modifier, the model will be perfectly symmetrical. I wish everyone a lot of pleasure reading this book! The remainder of the head can be constructed simply by extruding edges and filling in faces to create the structure seen in Figure 2. The contexts and their subcontexts are as follows: DPReview Digital Photography.

You can also use the Layer Figure 1. The Edit Methods panel allows you to adjust your levels of undo. A Data Browser window opens. Here is another place to be aware of the differ- ence between objects and object type datablocks. Most of them are self-explanatory. Groups themselves can then be treated as an object type when appending. There are several ways to access datablocks between separate files in Blender.

User Preferences At present. Most of the other preferences panels are not of direct interest to you for the purposes of this book. Animation projects can quickly get far too big to want to store in single. If you want to append a Mesh object from another file. To append a datablock from another file. Link- ing can be done similarly to appending.

Groups Objects can be collected together into named groups using the Add to Group button in the Object Buttons area. Interface and Objects Accessing Data from Different Files It is often necessary to have access to objects or datablocks from other files. The auto-keyframing option can also be accessed here it will be discussed in more detail in the animation section of this book.

The Themes button allows you to select button from two button shape options and create a color scheme for your Blender desktop. Another approach to using data across separate files is by linking the datablocks. The first and simplest way is to use append. Enter the appropriate type directory. For the rest of this book.

Blender with character introducing pdf animation

From that point on. If you start up Blender ordinarily and find something amiss each time you start up. On my system. If you say yes to this. To return everything to its default state. You are prompted to Save User Defaults. Perhaps because of this. At the time of this writing. If you prefer to skip these mod- eling tutorials and get straight to the next step. Two of the main methods of character animation. Bezier curves. Although the cube now looks a lot smoother than it did before.

To change this. Working with Meshes Polygons and Subsurfacing Polygon modeling refers to modeling shapes defined as collections of vertices connected by straight edges. Because it requires a very large number of flat polygons and straight edges to give the illusion of rounded. Higher values for these fields are unnecessary and can lead to serious slowdowns and even freeze your computer.

Cube and Cone. These shapes are called meshes. Optimal values for subsurfacing are 2 for the Levels field and 3 for the Render Levels field. A couple of things are worth noting. In the Levels field on the subsurf modifier panel. First of all. In the Modifiers tab in the Buttons window.

Select the Cube object. If you have too many vertices. You now have a subsurfaced Cone shape. Subsurfacing is done in Blender by adding a subsurface modifier to a mesh object. Figure 2. Editing a mesh involves adding. The subsurf modifier acts on the mesh object and therefore swapping in new mesh data will not change the subsurfacing.

The time it takes the computer to calculate 3D information about a mesh depends pri- marily on the number of vertices verts in the mesh. Subsurfacing in this manner involves breaking each polygon in the mesh into smaller component polygons—subdivisions—to greatly increase the appearance of smoothness of the surface.

Do this on the Cube object and you will see how much smoother it appears. There is also another reason to do this: Now you have something that begins to resemble a sphere. As you can see. Blender uses another method of calculating the sur- face of a mesh based on its polygon structure. This means subsurfacing will be smoother when you actually render. The calculations are simple enough that the computer can do them on the fly much more quickly than it would take it to keep track of an equivalent number of real vertices.

Lattice This modifier associates a mesh with a lattice object. As for the use of other n-sided polygons. Blender Modifier System As you just saw in the case of subsurfacing. At any rate. Mirror This modifier displays a virtual mirror image of the mesh across a selected axis the default is X.

As you can see in Figure 2. Blender makes the choice easy. In addition to the subsurf modifier. Because of the nature of the subsurfacing calcu- Figure 2. Armature This modifier associates a mesh object with an armature object for figure posing. This is often used for distorting the shape of a mesh in unrealistic ways. This is an illustration of the problem that one often hears about with regard to triangles and subsurfacing.

A variety of modifiers are available to create special effects. Quads and triangles are the only polygons that Blender supports.

This is very useful for modeling symmetrical objects such as faces and bodies. Copy simply means to create an identical modifier at the same place in the modifier stack as the origi- nal. You can toggle the display of the modified form of the mesh with these buttons.

NURBS modeling has fallen from favor some- what for character modeling purposes. The leftmost button toggles the display of the modified mesh in the rendered view. Working with Meshes Modifiers all share certain options. Precision meas- urement in general is not a strong suit of Blender. Apply deletes the modifier and applies its effects to the mesh. Care should be taken with this option. The tools available for modeling with NURBS are largely analogous to those available for mesh modeling although there are far fewer.

It is usually not necessary to apply a subsurface modifier. Even if such improvements are made. For now. Set the levels at 2. This button toggles the application of the modifier to the edit cage.

To the left of these arrows in some modifiers is a gray circle. To see an example of how the resulting mesh can differ according to the order in which the modifiers are applied. D the mesh with the modifiers applied C D. Do this by clicking the up arrow on the subsurface modifier or the down arrow on the mirror modifier. You will look more closely at the various modifiers and their uses later in the book. C the cube subsurfaced A B and then mirrored. A a mirrored cube. In the Modifiers tab.

Move the entire cube one Blender unit BU to the right along the X axis. The up and down arrow buttons on the modifier panel allow the modifier to be moved up or down in the stack. When you have moved the cube one BU. You should end up with the peanut-like shape you see in Figure 2. B the cube mir- rored and then sub- surfaced. If you want to subsurface the original cube and mirror-modify the resultant mesh. Now enter Edit mode. Select all vertices by pressing the A key.

The resulting modified mesh. Note now that if you go ahead and apply both of these modi- fiers you must apply modifiers in top-down order. As you move the cube to the right. In extrusion modeling. The first thing you need to do is set up the work areas so that you can see the back- ground images you want to use to guide your modeling.

You will now load the front view image and the right side view image you have into the corresponding viewports. In the right area. All polygon modeling makes use of extrusion and subdivision. These approaches are not mutually exclusive. Broadly speaking. To load a background image. Click the file icon highlighted in the image to select an image. Working with Meshes Extrusion Modeling and Box Modeling Although there is a fairly fixed set of basic tools used in polygon modeling.

Because the two methods differ in the emphasis they place on various tools. Clicking on this opens a widget with a Loading the back. If you click this button. In this example. In box modeling. The File Browser is relatively.

This puts you in the position of viewing along the Y axis and the X axis. Modeling a Human Head with Extrusion Modeling Although it is necessary to keep in mind how the geometry will develop.

In the left window. Non-symmetrical modeling has to be done later. Real faces are not perfectly symmetrical. Your 3D cursor should still be in the center of both views. While editing with a mirror modifier. Select and delete the vertical edge furthest from the center. You will load the image front. The location of the 3D cursor deter- mines where newly created objects will be. The P parent directory button is used to move up in the directory hierarchy.

To get a better view of the reference image. The button directly below the P button. Do this by pressing G followed by X to constrain the translation to the X axis. On the accompanying DVD. This process also ensures that overlaps do not occur when you scale or extrude portions of the mesh. If you plan to create your own background images.

Your work area should look like the one in Figure 2. To create the plane. Now that you have the background image in place and the views organized. The best thing is to crop your background image in an image manipulation program such as Gimp or Photoshop in such a way that the eye line. The default is zero. In the Background Image widget for the front view. There will always be inconsistencies in the view caused by perspective and slight shifts in the position of the subject. Because you will begin modeling with a mirror modifier.

Clicking on the double dot entry in the directory listing itself has the same effect.

Working with Meshes Figure 2. In the front view outline. When you are extruding the lip outline. Be sure to do the next steps in the side view window. First move the edge forward G. If this is the case. Create the profile of the face see Figure 2.

You can also extrude with the E key. Y until it is in the vicinity of the front of the face and then extrude from its end points.

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Note that if you do not have any vertex selected. Pressing the Z key shows the wire frame model properly mirrored. Connect the last two verts by selecting them both and pressing F to create an edge between them. Continue to extrude and move verts until you have a shape like.

After you finish. Select the two verts on the edge of the mouth outline. It should be about the size you see in Figure 2. Double-check that proportional editing is turned on and try it again. When not in a straight-on angle. You also have the option to select connected proportional editing in the drop-down menu. In the same way you defined the edge of the lips. This method allows proportional editing for verts that are within the area of influ- ence but only if they are connected directly to the edited verts by edges that are also within the area of influence.

As you go. Proportional editing can be turned on and off with the O key or by selecting from the drop-down menu in the 3D viewport header. When you return to one of the number-key views. The gray circle you see represents the area of influence of the proportional edit. This is a very handy tool for creating curved surfaces in meshes. Turn proportional editing on now. As you continue to model. Both the eyes and the mouth are already being constructed of loops.

Be sure that you have the same number of verts and that they are placed exactly as you see them in the figure because their placement becomes important later on in the modeling. Several important features are already established. Even when you model Figure 2. You need to make the eye outline now. Think of an umbrella: Working with Meshes a different character later using box modeling.

Once again. This is somewhat anal- ogous to how edges influence the deformation of a mesh. Further study of facial anatomy and musculature can also be very helpful. You can extrude from this vert to create the out- line of the eye. Good loop structure is especially critical in the mouth and nose area. For the best deformations. This is important from an animation per- spective. You might be able to get away with different underlying geometry for a still model.

It is possible to construct a similar hemisphere of cloth by using concentric rings. Loops might completely encircle some section of the mesh.

As you progress through this tutorial. To get the correct geometry. Identical-look- ing meshes can have different underlying structures. Loops are very important in facial modeling. Not all edges or faces are part of a loop. When making models for animation. After doing this. To create the nose and nostrils.

Fill in the faces. Your face should look something like Figure 2. Make sure that your facial geometry matches that of the figure. Begin to fill in the faces. The faces you fill in will also appear in the mirrored portion of the model. Make sure that your edges are laid out in the same way as the figure.

Blender 3D- Introducing Character soundofheaven.info | Blender (Software) | Free Software

To fill in faces. For these steps. If the solid view of your model shows some strangely shaded areas and seams. Put levels at 2 and render levels at 3.

Choose the Merge Center option. Create quads by selecting the pairs of triangles and using the F key to create a four-sided face in their place. Merge the three verts at the base of the nos- tril into a single vert as in Figure 2. Draw the knife across the faces to cut them. Select both of these faces and press F to create a quad. This results in two triangles on the side A knife cut across of the nose. This process results in several triangles being created.

Select the side of the nose and the attached faces up into the nostril. Select the two triangular faces that are flush against the cheek and press F to create a quad. It might be confusing later if you forget that your pivot point is at the 3D cursor. Extrude these edges three times. In side view. Each time. After you extrude and scale the edges three times.

You should scale each extrusion slightly in all directions. After you snap the cursor there. Then make a loop cut around the eye and position it in side view.

Using the circle select tool B B. Apply a mirror and a subsurf modifier to the sphere. Do this by moving the vertices of the eyelid forward little by little so the eyelid covers the eye and by adjusting their position as necessary. You now add some eyeballs. The final model should look something Figure 2. The remainder of the head can be constructed simply by extruding edges and filling in faces to create the structure seen in Figure 2.

You can experiment yourself with drawing an outline of the ear with verts and filling in and extruding to create the full shape. You can use a separate mesh object on a separate layer to do the ear and then join the ear with the head later. For space reasons. If you run into problems modeling the ear. After you become accus- tomed to mesh modeling in Blender. Introducing Captain Blender: Add a mirror modifier to the cube and move it off to one side.

Toggle Do Clipping back on. There is no reason why you could not use some variation of extrusion modeling. After it is applied. If this is edited. Scale it up along the Z axis S. Temporarily toggle Do Clipping off. Getting Started: Legs and Feet You will begin modeling in the same way as you did with the face in the previous tutorial. One way around this limitation is to delete half the mesh before applying the second mirror modifier.

Note again that these methods are not exclu- sive to each other. Adding another mirror modifier creates a new set of mirrored verts.

With all verts selected. Z so that it extends from the top of the shoulder to about flush with the groin. It is possible to model the head using extrusion modeling.

There are several options for displaying the subsurface. Extrude and scale the loops of the legs until you get the basic shape shown in Figure 2. Editing with Cage mode on or off is entirely a matter of personal preference. You can toggle Cage mode on and off as the mood takes you. The edit- ing cage is what you actually edit. With Cage mode toggled off.

By clicking the small gray circle to the right of the modifier name. This means that there are faces along the mirror line that must be removed. Use the Z key to enter into Wireframe mode and delete the vertex in the middle of the chest so that the shape looks like Figure 2.

Push verts around to get the mesh to conform generally to the shape of the background image in side and front view. Then select the faces on the bottoms of the feet and flatten them by scaling in the Z axis to 0 S. Working with Meshes The method you used so far has produced some rather boxy legs.

Extrude along the Y axis and scale along the X and Z axes three times in to create the shape of the feet. Select the bottommost vertex loop and extrude downward along the Z axis three times to create the ankles and begin the feet. Note that the edit cage in these illustrations is no longer fitted to the subsurface. This decision will influence how you model the arms. As before. Select the verts and scale with the S key and an axis key. Thick joints can require some extra attention when rigging.

A related trick: At this point. It is important to keep in mind what kinds of deformations you will want from the character when you come to animating him.

I made the knees and ankles relatively narrow to simplify the rigging. Working with Meshes Select the four faces at the shoulders and extrude outward twice see Figure 2.

Add an edge loop around where the bottom of the rib cage should be. B Using the knife tool to cut a pattern of edges. Because Captain Blender is posing with his palms down. Then select the edge loop at the very end of the arm and rotate it another 45 degrees further. You can prepare for this deformation by twisting the arm mesh slightly now. Now extrude the segments.

With the forearm section selected. Hands and Gloves This section looks at the details of creating the hands and the flared gloves. Working with Meshes Make two loop cuts in the hand and extrude the thumb. Delete the faces on the edge of the hand and make a similar knife cut in the palm of the hand. Try to get your model to look as similar to mine as you can.

With blender character animation pdf introducing

Try doing all four sets of faces at once and see what happens. Working with Meshes Close the open end of the hand by creating four quads. Draw the new edge outward slightly along the X axis and then close up the open quads at either side. Extrude fingers from the four pairs of faces at the edge of the hand.

You must do at least the first extrusion for each finger separately. Your resulting mesh should look something like Figure 2. Do the same thing to remove the diamond shapes at the base of the pinky.

Connect the two together by selecting four verts at a time and using F to create quads. Add a subsurface modifier. Working with Meshes Collar and Belt In this section. The collar will give you the chance to see how extrusion can be used to create tightly creased forms. The extra edges created by the loop cuts give the belt a slight bevel. To create the belt.

Extrude twice straight down the Z axis and then again twice straight up the Z axis. Reposition all these new verts so that the extruded portion lies flush with the top of the shoulder area and extends flat back under the suit. You will create the belt as a separate object and then join it to the main mesh. The belt will be a separate mesh object that you will join to the body. Press the Tab key to leave Edit mode on the mesh you are making.

Turning to the point where the head will join the shoulders. Modeling the Head Now turn to the head. Scale and shape the head and add edge loops as in Figure 2.

The basic approach is to begin with a few loop cuts in a simple shape and to gradually add more and more detail using loop cuts. You begin by forming the general shape of the head and making the first few cuts to sketch out the layout of the facial features. Select and delete the left side your left. You should try to have a balance between creating the face and head shape that you want and maintaining an underlying geometry structure that will make it easy to animate facial expressions later.

From there. You now have a rough idea of the shape of the head and the locations of the features. I identified the points that these files correspond to in the text. Modeling a head can be tricky. You can begin to model the features. These files are called partial-head1. You then concentrate on adding detail to the head see Figure 2. The final. You now turn to modeling the nose. Working with Meshes At this point. You just need to add one loop cut and pull the correct faces forward to give the nose its shape.

You do this by adding a knife cut to define the general area of the mouth and then deleting the faces inside this area. Then it is a matter of making some loop cuts and adding more and more detail see Figure 2. You want to model the mouth a little bit differently than it is now.

Creating the eyelids and eye sockets. Then you need Figure 2. The layout here changes predictably when you link the Cube object with the Cone mesh, as in Figure 1. You cannot edit anything in the Outliner window, but you can select objects, which are selected simultaneously in any 3D view of the scene in which they can be deleted, moved, or edited. You can also use the Layer button to toggle the Outliner view to display only visible layers or to display all layers. In the View menu in the drop-down header of the Outliner window, you can select the Outliner view, which gives a different visualization of the data in your file, as can be seen in Figure 1.

As in the OOPS schematic view, you can select the datablocks, and you are put in the appropriate mode to edit the datablock you selected.

Interface and Objects Accessing Data from Different Files It is often necessary to have access to objects or datablocks from other files. Animation projects can quickly get far too big to want to store in single. There are several ways to access datablocks between separate files in Blender. The first and simplest way is to use append.

A Data Browser window opens, in which you can access. In the Data Browser window, when you click the name of the file, you see a list of datablock types, just as if they were directories.

Enter the appropriate type directory; you see a list of the datablocks of that type available for appending. Here is another place to be aware of the difference between objects and object type datablocks.

If you want to append a Mesh object from another file, for example, you find the object in the Object type directory instead of the Mesh type directory. Another approach to using data across separate files is by linking the datablocks. Linking can be done similarly to appending, except that in the Data Browser header, the Link button is selected instead of Append. In this case, the data can be edited only in the file from which it was originally linked, and all edits appear in the files that linked to the data.

Groups Objects can be collected together into named groups using the Add to Group button in the Object Buttons area, seen in Figure 1. Groups themselves can then be treated as an object type when appending, allowing you to append whole collections of objects easily. User Preferences Figure 1. However, a number of interface options exist, and you can look at these in the User Preferences window that you had a glimpse of earlier. By default, the ToolTips option is turned on, so hovering your mouse over the various buttons and options brings up a brief explanation of each.

Most of them are self-explanatory, and you should experiment with which kind of controls suit your workflow best. The Themes button allows you to select from two button shape options and create a color scheme for your Blender desktop. The Edit Methods panel allows you to adjust your levels of undo. The auto-keyframing option can also be accessed here it will be discussed in more detail in the animation section of this book.

Most of the other preferences panels are not of direct interest to you for the purposes of this book. You are prompted to Save User Defaults. If you say yes to this, a file will be created in your. From that point on, when you open Blender it will be in the same state that you saved the user defaults, including which windows are open, and even includes the contents of the 3D window. If you start up Blender ordinarily and find something amiss each time you start up, it is possible that you inadvertently saved a user default file that you had not intended to.

To return everything to its default state, simply delete the. On my system, that directory is here: For the rest of this book, we assume most things to be in their default configuration, and the screen shots will all show the default theme.

Two of the main methods of character animation, armatures and shape keys, are best-suited for use with meshes. For this reason, although you can use other modeling techniques, such as NURBS, Bezier curves, and metaballs, they should be converted to meshes eventually to make the best use of these techniques.

If you prefer to skip these modeling tutorials and get straight to the next step, check the DVD for the appropriate. However, if you are interested in learning to model characters in Blender, follow the tutorials in this chapter before moving on and use the.

Working with Meshes Polygons and Subsurfacing Figure 2. These shapes are called meshes. Editing a mesh involves adding, removing, or moving vertices, edges, and faces. The time it takes the computer to calculate 3D information about a mesh depends primarily on the number of vertices verts in the mesh.

For this reason, it is best to use the fewest possible vertices to accurately represent the desired shape of your mesh. There is also another reason to do this: If you have too many vertices, it becomes difficult to keep the surfaces of your mesh as smooth and even as with fewer vertices.

Because it requires a very large number of flat polygons and straight edges to give the illusion of rounded, organic surfaces, Blender uses another method of calculating the surface of a mesh based on its polygon structure, called Catmull-Clark subdivision surfacing also called subsurfacing or simply subsurfing.

Subsurfacing in this manner involves breaking each polygon in the mesh into smaller component polygons—subdivisions—to greatly increase the appearance of smoothness of the surface. The calculations are simple enough that the computer can do them on the fly much more quickly than it would take it to keep track of an equivalent number of real vertices.

Select the Cube object. Subsurfacing is done in Blender by adding a subsurface modifier to a mesh object. In the Modifiers tab in the Buttons window, click Add Modifier and select Subsurf from the drop-down, as shown in Figure 2. In the Levels field on the subsurf modifier panel, change the value to 2. Now you have something that begins to resemble a sphere. Optimal values for subsurfacing are 2 for the Levels field and 3 for the Render Levels field.

This means subsurfacing will be smoother when you actually render, which is appropriate. Higher values for these fields are unnecessary and can lead to serious slowdowns and even freeze your computer. Although the cube now looks a lot smoother than it did before, it still looks like flat surfaces forming a sphere.

To change this, it is not necessary to add more subsurface levels. Rather, you can simply change the way Blender calculates shading, giving the illusion of a smooth surface, by selecting Set Smooth in the Links and Materials tab in the Buttons window.

Do this on the Cube object and you will see how much smoother it appears. A couple of things are worth noting. First of all, the Cone shape is now subsurfaced. The subsurf modifier acts on the mesh object and therefore swapping in new mesh data will not change the subsurfacing. You now have a subsurfaced Cone shape. This is an illustration of the problem that one often hears about with regard to triangles and subsurfacing.

Because of the nature of the subsurfacing calculation, triangles often do not subsurface smoothly, and the more elongated the triangles are, the more pronounced this problem is. In general, conventional polygon modeling wisdom holds that triangles are to be avoided. As you can see in Figure 2. In fact, equilateral triangles subsurface reasonably well in many situations, but the reality of mesh deformations means that any triangle on your mesh in a place that is animated cannot stay equilateral all the time.

For this reason, triangles should be avoided in places on your mesh that are visible and intended to be animated. As for the use of other n-sided polygons, which are an option in some modeling software, Blender makes the choice easy. Quads and triangles are the only polygons that Blender supports. A variety of modifiers are available to create special effects, but you will only be looking at the modifiers most pertinent to character modeling and animation.

In addition to the subsurf modifier, these modifiers include the following: Mirror This modifier displays a virtual mirror image of the mesh across a selected axis the default is X. This is very useful for modeling symmetrical objects such as faces and bodies.

Lattice This modifier associates a mesh with a lattice object, allowing for simple deformations of the mesh. This is often used for distorting the shape of a mesh in unrealistic ways, and is useful for cartoon effects such as stretching and squashing and bugging eyes. Armature This modifier associates a mesh object with an armature object for figure posing.

Blender 3D- Introducing Character Animation.pdf

Figure 2. Working with Meshes Modifiers all share certain options. The leftmost button toggles the display of the modified mesh in the rendered view, the middle button toggles the display in the 3D View window in general, and the rightmost button specifically toggles the display of the modifier in the 3D View in Edit mode.

Copy simply means to create an identical modifier at the same place in the modifier stack as the original. Apply deletes the modifier and applies its effects to the mesh, creating a new, unmodified mesh, which is identical to the modified form of the original mesh. Care should be taken with this option. It is usually not necessary to apply a subsurface modifier, for example, and a mirror modifier should be applied only when all edits requiring mirroring have been finished.

NURBS is an older method for creating organic shapes using CG, but since the rise of subsurface modeling, NURBS modeling has fallen from favor somewhat for character modeling purposes, depending upon the specific 3D application. Current uses of NURBS tend to focus on industrial design, where precision is more important than it is in character animation.

Precision measurement in general is not a strong suit of Blender, making it inadequate at present as a CAD application. Although NURBS surfaces can take armature modifiers, it is not possible to create vertex groups or do weight painting on NURBS surfaces, and armatures are limited to using envelopes to influence the surface. For now, it should suffice to say that meshes in Blender can be much more responsive to armatures than NURBS surfaces are.

The tools available for modeling with NURBS are largely analogous to those available for mesh modeling although there are far fewer. The up and down arrow buttons on the modifier panel allow the modifier to be moved up or down in the stack. To the left of these arrows in some modifiers is a gray circle. This button toggles the application of the modifier to the edit cage, which you will see more of later in this chapter. To see an example of how the resulting mesh can differ according to the order in which the modifiers are applied, create a new file in Blender and select the default cube.

Now enter Edit mode. Select all vertices by pressing the A key. Move the entire cube one Blender unit BU to the right along the X axis. To do this, press G and X in succession, and hold down Ctrl while you move the object with the mouse to turn on incremental snapping.

When you have moved the cube one BU, the cube and its mirror image will be flush with each other, as in Figure 2.

Now, add a subsurface modifier in the same way that you added the mirror modifier. Set the levels at 2. You should end up with the peanut-like shape you see in Figure 2.

In this case, the mesh being subsurfaced is not the original cube, but the mirror-modified cube. If you want to subsurface the original cube and mirror-modify the resultant mesh, you need to bump the subsurface modifier up so it is applied before the mirror modifier. Do this by clicking the up arrow on the subsurface modifier or the down arrow on the mirror modifier, of course.

The resulting modified mesh, as you can see in Figure 2. Note now that if you go ahead and apply both of these modifiers you must apply modifiers in top-down order , you wind up with a single mesh object, whose mesh consists of two sphere shapes, as in Figure 2. You will look more closely at the various modifiers and their uses later in the book. Working with Meshes Extrusion Modeling and Box Modeling Although there is a fairly fixed set of basic tools used in polygon modeling, there are several possible approaches to take to modeling.

Broadly speaking, the various approaches fall into two main classes: In extrusion modeling, the modeler starts with a small portion of a model—which could be a polygon, or an edge, or even just a point—and works outward from this starting point using extrusion and other tools. In box modeling, the modeler begins with a simple 3D object, often a cube, and uses subdivision and cuts to mold the shape into the desired model.

These approaches are not mutually exclusive. In fact, construction of even a marginally complex model usually incorporates elements of both approaches. All polygon modeling makes use of extrusion and subdivision, so drawing a clear distinction between these modeling approaches is of limited value. Nevertheless, although it is largely a matter of personal preference, whether you choose to start with a cube to build your model or start with a single polygon or vertex will determine the subsequent steps you need to take to create your model.

Because the two methods differ in the emphasis they place on various tools, it is good practice to go through concrete examples of both. In this example, it enables you to trace the outline of a photograph closely.

The first thing you need to do is set up the work areas so that you can see the background images you want to use to guide your modeling. First, you delete the default cube with the X key and split the 3D View window into two halves by right-clicking on its top or bottom border and choosing Split Area; then moving the vertical line to the middle of the 3D View and left-clicking to split the area into two equal-sized 3D viewports. In the left window, click 1 on the numeric keypad.

In the right area, click numeric 3. This puts you in the position of viewing along the Y axis and the X axis, respectively, which are considered here to be front and left side views.

You will now load the front view image and the right side view image you have into the corresponding viewports. To load a background image, go to the View menu in the 3D View window header and select Background Image. Clicking on this opens a widget with a button reading Use Background Image. If you click this button, the widget will appear as shown in Figure 2.

The File Browser is relatively extrusion modeling and box modeling straightforward, but it has a few quirks. The P parent directory button is used to move up in the directory hierarchy, to the parent directory of the present directory.

Clicking on the double dot entry in the directory listing itself has the same effect. The button directly below the P button, with the up and down arrow icon, enables you to select a different drive to read from. On the accompanying DVD, you can find the images in the Chapter 2 folder. You will load the image front. In the Background Image widget for the front view, note the X offset value.

Introducing Character Animation with Blender

The default is zero, but it might need to be adjusted to get the photograph to line up as closely as possible to the centerline. Because you will begin modeling with a mirror modifier, the model will be perfectly symmetrical.

Real faces are not perfectly symmetrical, so over the course of the modeling it might be necessary to adjust this X offset to account for the difference and to keep the model as close to the overall face as possible. Non-symmetrical modeling has to be done later. If you plan to create your own background images, keep in mind that Blender calculates the default size based upon the width of the photograph. For this reason, it is simplest to work with photographs that have both the same height and width.

The best thing is to crop your background image in an image manipulation program such as Gimp or Photoshop in such a way that the eye line, nose, and lips line up as closely as possible.

There will always be inconsistencies in the view caused by perspective and slight shifts in the position of the subject. Now that you have the background image in place and the views organized, you can get started. The location of the 3D cursor determines where newly created objects will be.

Your work area should look like the one in Figure 2. Do this by pressing G followed by X to constrain the translation to the X axis. Select and delete the vertical edge furthest from the center.

While editing with a mirror modifier, select the Do Clipping option to ensure that your center verts stay flush with the mirror axis. This process also ensures that overlaps do not occur when you scale or extrude portions of the mesh.

Working with Meshes Figure 2. Be sure to do the next steps in the side view window, so that the vertices you create remain on a plane with relation to the X axis and that the line up the middle of the face remains straight. First move the edge forward G, Y until it is in the vicinity of the front of the face and then extrude from its end points. Create the profile of the face see Figure 2. Connect the last two verts by selecting them both and pressing F to create an edge between them, resulting in something like Figure 2.

If this is the case, you are probably viewing in Solid mode, which displays only mirrored faces. Pressing the Z key shows the wire frame model properly mirrored. This is a very handy tool for creating curved surfaces in meshes, among other things.

Proportional editing can be turned on and off with the O key or by selecting from the drop-down menu in the 3D viewport header. You also have the option to select connected proportional editing in the drop-down menu.

This method allows proportional editing for verts that are within the area of influence but only if they are connected directly to the edited verts by edges that are also within the area of influence. Turn proportional editing on now, and from the falloff options drop-down menu that appears, select Sharp Falloff. Select the two verts on the edge of the mouth outline, and in side view click G and Y to move them to match the shape of the lips.

The gray circle you see represents the area of influence of the proportional edit. It should be about the size you see in Figure 2. Double-check that proportional editing is turned on and try it again, hitting the — key repeatedly to bring the circle into view. After you finish, turn proportional editing off.

In the same way you defined the edge of the lips, extrude the vertices to create the basic geometry of the face. As you go, adjust the vertices position along the Y axis so that they conform approximately to the shape of the face in the side view.

Also, check your shape from other angles. When not in a straight-on angle, the background image is invisible. When you return to one of the number-key views, it comes back into view. Be sure that you have the same number of verts and that they are placed exactly as you see them in the figure because their placement becomes important later on in the modeling.

Several important features are already established, which are important regardless of what modeling technique you use. Both the eyes and the mouth are already being constructed of loops. As you continue to model, you will keep the eyes and mouth in this form.

Even when you model Figure 2. Working with Meshes a different character later using box modeling, you will still make sure that the mouth and eyes are loops and that the loops extend and overlap in a way that includes the nose and cheeks within an unbroken pattern of loops. This is important from an animation perspective. You need to make the eye outline now. You can extrude from this vert to create the outline of the eye, as in Figure 2.

Once again, the number of verts shown is important because you will later need to connect the eye to rest of the face, so be sure to follow the example exactly. Identical-looking meshes can have different underlying structures, and for beginning modelers it is easy to get caught up in making the shape look right, at the expense of paying attention to the actual structure. When making models for animation, however, it is very important to consider the underlying structure because it will determine how the mesh deforms when you begin to add shapes or poses.

Think of an umbrella: It is possible to construct a similar hemisphere of cloth by using concentric rings, for example, but such a structure clearly does not fold like an ordinary umbrella.

This is somewhat analogous to how edges influence the deformation of a mesh. To get the correct geometry, it is important to take into consideration what deformations you want from the mesh.

Loops might completely encircle some section of the mesh, but this is not necessarily the case. Not all edges or faces are part of a loop. Loops are very important in facial modeling; without correct loop structure in the face, it is very difficult to get good facial deformations. Good loop structure is especially critical in the mouth and nose area.

For the best deformations, the flow of the loops should approximately follow the shape of the muscles of the face because they determine how the shape of the face will change and the directions along which the skin will stretch.

As you progress through this tutorial, you should pay close attention to the way edges and faces create loops. Further study of facial anatomy and musculature can also be very helpful. Begin to fill in the faces. To fill in faces, select four verts at a time and press the F key. The faces you fill in will also appear in the mirrored portion of the model. Fill in the faces, four verts at a time. For these steps, follow Figure 2. Make sure that your facial geometry matches that of the figure.

Then, under modifiers, press Add Modifier and select subsurf. Put levels at 2 and render levels at 3. Your face should look something like Figure 2. Make sure that your edges are laid out in the same way as the figure. To create the nose and nostrils, you extrude the region formed by the five faces from the current tip of the nose and draw them forward along the Y axis, as shown in Figure 2.

After doing this, move the resulting vertices into place to form the shape of the nose see Figure 2. Merge the three verts at the base of the nostril into a single vert as in Figure 2.

Choose the Merge Center option, which creates two pairs of triangles. Create quads by selecting the pairs of triangles and using the F key to create a four-sided face in their place. Draw the knife across the faces to cut them, as in Figure 2. This process results in several triangles being created. Select the two triangular faces that are flush against the cheek and press F to create a quad, as shown in Figure 2. This results in two triangles on the side of the nose. Select both of these faces and press F to create a quad.

After you snap the cursor there, delete the vert with the X key, but be sure not to move your 3D cursor off that spot. Using the circle select tool B B , select the verts around the edge of the mouth. Extrude these edges three times. Each time, press the E key, followed by S, to scale the extrusion. You should scale each extrusion slightly in all directions; then scale it again slightly more in the Z direction only, which you can do with S, Z.

After you extrude and scale the edges three times, you should have something similar to the lips in Figure 2. In side view, model the lip shape to conform to the background image. It might be confusing later if you forget that your pivot point is at the 3D cursor. Then make a loop cut around the eye and position it in side view, as in Figure 2. You now add some eyeballs. In Object mode, snap the cursor to the face object and add a UV sphere with 12 rings and 12 sections, as in Figure 2.

Apply a mirror and a subsurf modifier to the sphere, set it smooth, and move it into the place of the eyeballs. Do this by moving the vertices of the eyelid forward little by little so the eyelid covers the eye and by adjusting their position as necessary. The remainder of the head can be constructed simply by extruding edges and filling in faces to create the structure seen in Figure 2.

The final model should look something Figure 2. You can experiment yourself with drawing an outline of the ear with verts and filling in and extruding to create the full shape. You can use a separate mesh object on a separate layer to do the ear and then join the ear with the head later. If you run into problems modeling the ear, see Chapter 18 for a list of online modeling tutorials that will help you out.

After it is applied, these vertices become real. Adding another mirror modifier creates a new set of mirrored verts. If this is edited, the original unmirrored mesh remains unchanged, resulting in a variety of mesh problems.

For this reason, it is not advisable to add a new mirror modifier after you have already applied one. One way around this limitation is to delete half the mesh before applying the second mirror modifier. However, it is best to try to get all your symmetrical editing done before applying the mirror modifier. Introducing Captain Blender: There is no reason why you could not use some variation of extrusion modeling, but because you want to focus on the overall shape of the body early on, box modeling is a good option.

Note again that these methods are not exclusive to each other. It is possible to model the head using extrusion modeling, model a body using box modeling, and then attach the head to the body. After you become accustomed to mesh modeling in Blender, you will find your own favorite approaches to modeling various kinds of objects and characters.

Getting Started: Legs and Feet You will begin modeling in the same way as you did with the face in the previous tutorial, except you will not delete the default cube.

Add a mirror modifier to the cube and move it off to one side, as in Figure 2. Again, be sure to select the Do Clipping option. With all verts selected, bring up the Specials menu with the W key and select Subdivide. Temporarily toggle Do Clipping off; extrude the bottom face down and scale it to create the thigh, as in Figure 2.

Toggle Do Clipping back on. There are several options for displaying the subsurface. By clicking the small gray circle to the right of the modifier name, you can enter Cage mode, which applies the subsurface model to the editing cage as you model.

The editing cage is what you actually edit; with Cage mode option selected, it conforms tightly to the subsurfaced form of the mesh. Extrude and scale the loops of the legs until you get the basic shape shown in Figure 2. With Cage mode toggled off, the editing cage retains the shape of the unmodified mesh.

You can toggle Cage mode on and off as the mood takes you; I do. Editing with Cage mode on or off is entirely a matter of personal preference.

Pdf animation with blender introducing character

This means that there are faces along the mirror line that must be removed. Use the Z key to enter into Wireframe mode and delete the vertex in the middle of the chest so that the shape looks like Figure 2. Push verts around to get the mesh to conform generally to the shape of the background image in side and front view. Working with Meshes The method you used so far has produced some rather boxy legs, so round them out by selecting the verts shown in Figure 2.

Select the bottommost vertex loop and extrude downward along the Z axis three times to create the ankles and begin the feet; then select the front two faces of the nubs, as shown in Figure 2. Extrude along the Y axis and scale along the X and Z axes three times in to create the shape of the feet, as in Figure 2. Then select the faces on the bottoms of the feet and flatten them by scaling in the Z axis to 0 S, Z, 0 ; then extrude the soles downward, resulting in Figure 2.

Select the verts and scale with the S key and an axis key; then simply press 0 and finalize the transformation with a left click. A related trick: I made the knees and ankles relatively narrow to simplify the rigging. Thick joints can require some extra attention when rigging, as you will see in the case of the shoulders in Chapter 5. Also, make sure that you have enough loops around the joints.

Note that the edit cage in these illustrations is no longer fitted to the subsurface. As before, you will make a lot of use of loop cuts and extrusion, but you will also see the use of the knife tool to create new edges within selected faces.

It is important to keep in mind what kinds of deformations you will want from the character when you come to animating him.

This decision will influence how you model the arms. Working with Meshes Select the four faces at the shoulders and extrude outward twice see Figure 2. Add an edge loop around where the bottom of the rib cage should be, as shown in Figure 2. Because Captain Blender is posing with his palms down, you want the arm mesh to be structured to deform nicely when rotated palms forward.

You can prepare for this deformation by twisting the arm mesh slightly now. With the forearm section selected, move your view so that you are looking directly up the arm from the wrist, straight on, and rotate the forearm about 45 degrees counterclockwise.

Then select the edge loop at the very end of the arm and rotate it another 45 degrees further. Now extrude the segments, which will become the hand see Figure 2. Hands and Gloves This section looks at the details of creating the hands and the flared gloves.

Once again, you will use all the techniques of the previous sections, while adding a few new ones, such as separating polys using the rip tool and stitching mesh segments again by creating faces. Working with Meshes Make two loop cuts in the hand and extrude the thumb, beginning as shown in Figure 2. Delete the faces on the edge of the hand and make a similar knife cut in the palm of the hand, using six faces instead of four, resulting in the edges shown in Figure 2.

Working with Meshes Close the open end of the hand by creating four quads; then cut the quads with the loop cut tool. Draw the new edge outward slightly along the X axis and then close up the open quads at either side, as shown in Figure 2.

Extrude fingers from the four pairs of faces at the edge of the hand, as in Figure 2. You must do at least the first extrusion for each finger separately. Try doing all four sets of faces at once and see what happens.

Try to get your model to look as similar to mine as you can. Do the same thing to remove the diamond shapes at the base of the pinky. Your resulting mesh should look something like Figure 2. Connect the two together by selecting four verts at a time and using F to create quads.

The belt will be a separate mesh object that you will join to the body. Turning to the point where the head will join the shoulders, select the top and center two four, when mirrored faces and cut edges in them with the Knife Midpoints tool, as shown in Figure 2.

Extrude twice straight down the Z axis and then again twice straight up the Z axis, as in Figure 2. Reposition all these new verts so that the extruded portion lies flush with the top of the shoulder area and extends flat back under the suit, as in Figure 2.

You will create the belt as a separate object and then join it to the main mesh. Press the Tab key to leave Edit mode on the mesh you are making. To create the belt, press numeric 7 to go into top view and add a cylinder with 12 sections. Add a subsurface modifier; then make two loop cuts around the perimeter: The extra edges created by the loop cuts give the belt a slight bevel. Modeling the Head Now turn to the head. You should try to have a balance between creating the face and head shape that you want and maintaining an underlying geometry structure that will make it easy to animate facial expressions later.

The basic approach is to begin with a few loop cuts in a simple shape and to gradually add more and more detail using loop cuts, knife tool cuts, and other techniques. You begin by forming the general shape of the head and making the first few cuts to sketch out the layout of the facial features. Scale and shape the head and add edge loops as in Figure 2. From there, follow the series of illustrations beginning in Figure 2. Often, after using the knife tool, you will find Figure 2.

Modeling a head can be tricky, so I have included. These files are called partial-head1. I identified the points that these files correspond to in the text.

You now have a rough idea of the shape of the head and the locations of the features. You can begin to model the features, starting with the area around the mouth Figure 2.

You then concentrate on adding detail to the head see Figure 2. Working with Meshes At this point, if you are having trouble following the steps, you might want to take a look at the partial-head1. You now turn to modeling the nose, which is almost ready as it is. You just need to add one loop cut and pull the correct faces forward to give the nose its shape, as in Figure 2. You want to model the mouth a little bit differently than it is now.

You do this by adding a knife cut to define the general area of the mouth and then deleting the faces inside this area, adding a few more edge loops, and extruding inward while scaling down several times, as in Figure 2. Then it is a matter of making some loop cuts and adding more and more detail see Figure 2. The author Tony Mullen uses the "box modeling" method for building a character.

Since this book served as my introduction to Blender and to 3D modeling , I've used the box modeling method ever since for every single model I've built - whether human, building, plant matter, or animal. Use this book as a great basic introduction to Blender, and refer to the many other video tutorials available on the web to develop mastery of the powerful tool known as Blender 3D. Paperback Verified Purchase. The blender community has accomplished some amazing milestones in the past few years, creating an open source 3d production environment that rivals the best and most expensive proprietary systems in terms of power, performance, and flexibility.

It is truly amazing that one can download for free software that's been used to create artistic and commercial works that have been seen at film festivals and mainstream television worldwide.

Sooner or later, one who is interested must ask: This book helps answer the question, at least when it comes to character animation. I have been to Blender workshops around the world, and I have seen amazingly talented artists demonstrate methods they've developed over the years to create all sorts of characters, from humans to monsters, from animals to dragons.

Watching these creatives who are half my age do more in 30 minutes than I ever thought I could do in a lifetime has been a humbling experience. When I learned that some of these folks would be sharing their knowledge in the form of this book, I pre-ordered it right away. The quality and quantity of information is perfectly balanced with the pace of instruction, and I cannot wait to continue reading it in more detail, practicing the methods, and bringing new characters to life.

Well done! This book takes you from the basics of animation starting with character creation, material development, animating, etc. Tony Mullen is not just a good, interesting writer, he is one of the principals involved with the Blender independent movie movement. The book is really a treasure trove of information from someone who has taught Blender to others over the years.

Most of my reviews are longer, but this one does not have to be. If you are serious about Blender animation and interested in ultimately producing commercial or high-end amateur animations then you should read this book.

In service, Rich. Blender is a free open source 3d application that includes a complete compositing and non-linear video editing system, with a ton of user-created extensions, plugins, scripts, tutorials and guides. However it can be intimidating to people starting out and let's face it, you have to be pretty motivated to teach yourself anything downloading and collecting all the files you need to start, finding a good tutorial to get started, peering back and forth between two screens if you're lucky to look between the web page and blender as you slowly pick it up after a few weeks.

The price is ridiculous, at a minimum because it includes many files and programs that although are free, most people either haven't heard about or are too lazy to find all together. I was greatly disappointed in this book because it spends a great many chapters covering a topics that have nothing to do with animation.

It covers modeling, rigging, rendering, texturing, using the Blender's VSE and has many interviews with the various crews that worked on the Open Movies but when it comes to animation things are briefly touched on.

At times it often feels like you are following step by step instruction without clear explanations as to what you are doing. Of all the books I've read on 3D, this is the first that actually has been useful and direct to me. I have been using Blender 3D for a year now, but I found that there was alot of cool features that I missed that I then learned from this book. Besides a great introduction, this book flows smoothly with the creation of a face from only a reference photo with all the intermediate steps to get there , and then the rest of the book is showing how to build a a fully rigged ready for animation character from scratch.

I am so amazed with this book. This is a definitely a worthwhile book. See all 72 reviews. Customers who bought this item also bought. The Animator's Survival Kit: Richard Williams. Roland Hess. Pages with related products. See and discover other items: There's a problem loading this menu right now.