Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook

Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • 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.


Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 308 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : June 2011
ISBN : 1849513201
ISBN 13 : 9781849513203
Author(s) : Virgilio Vasconcelos
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Blender, Other, Cookbooks, Open Source, Web Graphics & Video

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Get Rigging
Chapter 2: Rigging the Torso
Chapter 3: Eying Animation
Chapter 4: Poker Face? Facial Rigging
Chapter 5: Hands Down! The Limbs Controllers
Chapter 6: Blending with the Animation Workflow
Chapter 7: Easy to Say, Hard to Do: Mastering the Basics
Chapter 8: Shake That Body: The Mechanics of Body Movement
Chapter 9: Spicing it Up: Animation Refinement
Chapter 10: Drama King: Acting in Animation
Appendix: Planning Your Animation
  • Chapter 1: Get Rigging
    • Introduction
    • Defining good orientations for your bones
    • Using separate bone chains for different tasks
    • Customizing shapes and colors for your bones
    • Using corrective shape keys
    • Making an IK-FK switcher
    • Tips on weight painting your character
    • Chapter 2: Rigging the Torso
      • Introduction
      • How to create a stretchy spine
      • Rigging the pelvis
      • Making your character breathe
      • Controlling the neck and head
      • Chapter 3: Eying Animation
        • Introduction
        • How to control where your characters look at
        • The eyelids controllers
        • Controlling the pupils
          • Chapter 5: Hands Down! The Limbs Controllers
            • Introduction
            • Controlling fingers
            • Creating IK legs with a three-pivot foot
            • Stretch those limbs!
            • Setting up the shoulders
            • Cartoon bending for arms and legs
            • Different spaces for IK hands
            • Chapter 6: Blending with the Animation Workflow
              • Introduction
              • Animating in layers
              • Changing between FK and IK in a shot
              • Grasping and throwing objects
              • Silhouette and mirrored rendering
              • Tracking animation arcs
              • Using video for background reference
              • Working with linked assets and characters
              • Non-linear animation

                        Virgilio Vasconcelos

                        Virgilio Vasconcelos is an animator based in Brazil, who uses Blender as his 3D tool to produce animations. He is also a university professor, teaching digital 3D and 2D animation at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). His specialties include character rigging and animation, and his first tryst with Blender was back in 2003. He has worked as lead 3D artist at Nitrocorpz Design Studio, and has several personal and commissioned productions recognized by the Blender community, being awarded and nominated for artistic categories in events such as Blender Conference and BlenderPRO

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                        - 1 submitted: last submission 21 May 2014

                        The code bundle for this book is reuploaded.

                        Sample chapters

                        You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

                        Frequently bought together

                        Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook +    Node.js Blueprints =
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                        the second eBook
                        Price for both: £26.35

                        Buy both these recommended eBooks together and get 50% off the cheapest eBook.

                        What you will learn from this book

                        • Refine your animation with Blender tools
                        • Understand principles behind movements like walking, running, jumping and weight lifting
                        • Stay productive with an organized animation workflow
                        • Create flexible face rigs with a mixed approach
                        • Learn how to stretch the arms, legs and spine of your characters
                        • Create corrective shape keys
                        • Fine control your character's eyes
                        • Switching between IK and FK for arms and legs in a shot
                        • Create an IK foot setup with 3 pivots
                        • How to track your animation arcs and timing


                        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.


                        Part of Packt's Cookbook series, each chapter focuses on a different aspect of animation. If you don't have the time to work your way through a long tutorial, then this is the book for you. The step-by-step recipes are independent from each other so you can dip in and out of the book to add great effects as and when you need them.

                        Who this book is for

                        Blender users who already know the basics of adding, modeling and rendering objects within the program, but are eager to learn how to turn a character's mesh into a living creature.


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