Blender’s Armatures: A Crash Course

Posted by admin on May 1st, 2011 | Comments (30)

In this tutorial we go through a rapid fire, crash course overview, of Blender’s armature system, the bones they are comprised of and all the little tricks and buttons available when making a skeleton rig for your character.

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  • http://Website Robin

    great tutorial

  • http://Website Jalik

    Thanks dude, that’s the basis but very useful and explained in details.

  • http://Website LukasVideosify

    Thank you very much for that helpful tutorial! 😀

  • Ziauddin MK

    nice, and I like how you make it brief and to the point

  • http://Website David

    …..I appreciate you efforts but it’s difficult to follow straight through, for instance, you dont indicate all the steps. Maybe tell when you switch modes or that you are in front ortho.

  • design studio

    I appreciate your time on this. Thanx for sharing.

  • http://Website b hausen

    Excellent tutorial. I sometimes had difficulty duplicating the tutorial in Blender because of a change to a different mode (object mode, edit mode, and pose mode.) Played tutorial many times and played around in Blender. All in all a clear, concise, and well paced tutorial. Thank you.

  • http://Website PLANETEARTH101


  • http://Website Chuck

    Excellent tutorial! Really appreciate the clean and clear delivery. Keep up the great work!

  • http://Website Luciano

    Excellent tutorial, thank you

  • http://Website soli

    Great tutorial! Everything is well explained, in a clear voice, without hesitation as we find on so many tutorials presented by other people. The video quality is top. I learned a lot. THANK YOU!

  • http://Website Carmen

    I can’t add an armiture. My spacebar menu doesn’t give the option and the add menu has armiture but ‘single bone’ is disabled.

    • Chris Plush

      Hi Carmen, the new hot key for the Add menu is shift+a, and hmm, the only reason I can think of that single bone would be disabled is if you were in edit mode of a mesh object while trying to add an armature object. Or if you’re in edit mode of an armature already the option will also be disabled, but pressing shift+a will automatically add a new bone.

      • http://Website Carmen

        Thanx Chris. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be in edit mode.

  • http://Website Carnen

    I added an armiture. I added an armiture modifier to my model. I named the bones. I created vertex groups. I named the groups the same as the bones. I can select and deselect the groups. When I go into pose mode, the bones move as expected but the groups don’t move. How do I connect the bones to the groups?

    • Chris Plush

      Hmm, let’s see, armature checklist:
      1 – make sure bone names are exactly the same as the vertex group names
      2 – make sure vertices were assigned to the vertex groups using 1.0 weight(sometimes you might overlook that the weight value is 0 when assigning vertices to groups)
      3 – add armature modifier with your armature specified and vertex groups enabled in the modifier(actually parenting your object to the armature automatically adds this, so don’t add it yourself)

      If you’ve done everything there it should work. If not, then upload or email me the blend and I’ll take a look at it.

  • http://Website Josh

    I’m trying to follow your guide verbatim, and for some reason something’s going wrong. I’m only about 4 minutes in and can’t figure out why I’m not getting the same results that you are. For starters, what perspective view are you doing this in?

    • Chris Plush

      Hey Josh, can you be more specific about your problem? What were you not able to achieve? The video is recorded mostly in front view but really doesn’t matter what view you’re in to add bones.

  • http://Website Sandy

    Great Tutorial. I’m finding it very easy to follow for the most part. But like David above, it is sometimes hard to follow some of the steps. One massive problem I am having is at 4.05, Lee says,” Hit “T” to bring up the tool bar.” ( this works) ” Under armature options I can hit X-AXIS MIRROR” (I can do this). But from here on it goes haywire. If I select the tip of the Forearm.L as Lee does, my mirrored Right forearm spins 180 degrees and is HUGE. When I move the forearm around, the mirrored arm points in the same direction as my original. Not the opposite as Lee’s does. When I try to extrude the fingers, they are pointing in the same direction as the ones I am making, and are much bigger than the original. I am in edit mode.
    I would be most grateful if you could point out where I have missed steps.

    • Lee

      Hi Sandy,

      Make sure that the left and right ‘version’ of the bone has .L and .R. This should allow the x axis mirror to work correctly. You will also only need to select one side, not both, and the z-axis mirror effect will happen automatically =)

      Let me know how you go!


  • http://Website Priyank

    How can we mix the animation in game in blender

  • http://Website T

    Though English not my language, most of tutorials I get perfectly, but this time it was really hard to understand whats going on. Its like heap of information without hierarchy. Sorry.

  • http://Website Patrik

    thanks for it, it is very usefull

  • http://Website kaela

    Wow, sure cram a lot in and fast. Had ro replay over and over to see what you were doing sometimes. Screencast would be nice so that we can see when your changing modes. You might present real fast, but having to replay sections over and over sure cost a bundle of time.

  • http://Website MP

    Wich shortcut’ll copy your brain?

  • Lee

    Hi everyone!

    Thanks for feedback 😀 This was definitely an experiment on how fast I could smash out info in a video tutorial, as I usually find myself more impatient than most when watching them haha.

    Your feedback is well noted, and I think keeping a nice experience in a tutorial adds focus and learning.

    Thanks again guys and though it is so fast, hopefully if there’s something to learn in there it helps you in your projects!


  • Tim

    if all tutorials were that dense, i could speed up learning by videos a lot! i love it, because i can press the pause button all the time if the amount of information is too much. So more of that stuff please;)
    you could add all the buttons you pressed in the video, because sometimes this helps recreating what you did.

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Aidy Burrows

      Thanks for the feedback Tim, we’ve all got some great ideas for a lot more dense videos! I hope you enjoy future installments 🙂 Aidy.

  • Moonlance

    Thank you a lot; a dense, yet quite synthetic tutorial for Rigging introduction. Very useful blending stuff!

    Note: I just was a little lost at the Rotation parameters, that is, those more advanced Euler XYZ options and etc., it seems a bit complicated, but since I’m an animator, it sounds fundamental to understand. I hope to find some more information on that later.

    Note2: I found very interesting the Lock Transformations info you’ve exposed. Actually, I expect to find locking options in Blender which would allow different degrees of rotation for each part (e.g., “This left shoulder joint, can rotate at maximum up to 60º rotation-forward around the X Axis, and up to 30º rotation-backward around the X Axis”)

    Note3: I couldn’t work out the Mirror stuff with Space Bar; I guess I need to Add Modifier (Mirror) in Object Mode before-hand?

    Note4: It would be great to have the Deform tool of the bones applied to different polygon characters – just so to see rapidly what it’s good for and what’s not good for.

    Great job!

  • Rich Plewa

    Can you update this tutorial for 2.76? Some of the methods don’t work the same.