Animate a Character in 15 Minutes in Blender

Animate a Character in 15 Minutes in Blender

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Language: English

Type: Robot

Number of phrases: 404

Number of words: 2854

Number of symbols: 11867

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00:00
[Music] in this tutorial you'll be learning how to model rig and animate your very own four-legged creature you can make it go any direction jump and maybe we can give it a little bit of an attitude using only blender so we'll be working in blender version 2.93 and we'll start off by deleting everything and creating a plane and this will be our leg so go to edit mode by pressing tab and right click merge vertices at center and now all we have in our entire scene is
00:36
one single vertex i'm going to extrude this on the z axis by pressing e and then z let's do 4 meters so we're going to add thickness to our leg by using the skin modifier so go to modifier properties add modifier skin and now we have a rectangle and you can't rotate or scale any points of this you have to use ctrl a to adjust the radius of the vertex so let's make it pointy at the top and let's make it wider at the bottom and this is actually our leg upside down but we'll come back to that so if you want to see what's
01:06
going on next click x-ray mode and then select both the vertices right click subdivide and then increase the number of cuts to two so now we have these two joints if you press g you can move them around and you can see that we have created bones but right now these are still just vertices so to make them into actual bones we can click create armature but this button is disabled until we have exited edit mode so let's go back to object mode and in the skin modifier click create armature and now we have an armature object with a bunch of bones that are connected to
01:38
our leg so now we can access pose mode which allows us to select the bone and rotate it and our leg will follow and this also unlocks some incredibly powerful tools like inverse kinematics so go to pose inverse kinematics add ik to bone make sure you have this last bone selected and then add this ik to new empty object so now when we go back to the object mode you can select this empty and we have a really powerful rig already so the technique we'll be using in this tutorial is to move this empty object
02:09
around in a clever way to make this other stuff behave like a leg so to keep things tidy let's rename this empty object to ik target and there's one thing that we need to fix because if we were to move this down and now you can select the armature on the leg and you can move this around by pressing g you can see that there's a limit to how far we can move this and if you watch this from the front or the graphic view which is numpad 1 you can also use this widget and click minus y and now you can press g to move this around you can see that we are limited to this area
02:39
so we want it to be in this area instead and that is roughly 45 degrees so you can actually fix this by just rotating it so hold down control and do -45 so now we can move this around and we have a much more comfortable zone to work in so let's make a body shift a let's make a cube let's move this cube on the z axis by pressing g and then z and then let's rename this to body and now we can move our leg and our armature just outside this and let's just give you some more room and now we
03:10
can take the armature and our leg and parent it to the body so select the armature on the leg hold down shift and click on the body and go object parent which is control p this is where things get really interesting because now we can move around our body and we can rotate it and we can move this leg and we're getting close to something that looks like an actual character i think this looks a little bit weird right here on the edge so i want to make a fake joint so let's go shift a let's make an icosphere and open this menu and set the subdivisions to four and then right click set the
03:41
shading to smooth and then we can move this on the z axis and then place it like in the middle here a little bit it feels more like an actual joint select the sphere hold down shift and parent it to the body as well so now you can move the body and we have this joint and we have a leg and things are starting to look really good now we're ready for the next step which is to make this walk we're going to use a path shaped like a circle so go shift a curve circle and then go to edit mode and rotate this by 90 degrees on the x-axis
04:11
let's go back to object mode let's move this over here select our ik target go to object constraint properties add object constraint and select follow path and then set the target to be the bezier circle and now this looks really weird because this ik target has a lot of weird random location data so let's remove this by going object clear location which is alt g and now you can just increase the offset of the follow path and we're walking and it's stretching a little bit so
04:42
let's just scale this down and move it in a little bit perfect so to animate this let's go to frame 10 and then insert a keyframe on the offset value and then advance by 20 frames so frame 30 and then if you set this to 100 that's exactly one cycle so let's just type 100 and then insert another keyframe now this only does one round so to keep this going forever you can hold your mouse in the timeline go shift e and set it to linear extrapolation and this will just make it keep going forever even after
05:17
animation ends it's going to keep going now one problem is that this is a circle and it's not really touching the floor we want it to walk more like this so you can select the circle go to edit mode and select these two control points and go to control points set handle type vector and now you can for example click and drag on these two and you can press s to scale it up and then you can take this bottom control point and move it on the z axis and if you want to be really precise you can set the transform pivot point to 3d cursor and scale it on the z axis by a value of zero
05:48
make sure your 3d cursor is reset before doing that so now we can press play and we're walking and we can actually select this one and we can scale it up and this is really powerful what's really cool about this you can actually just move this around still and it works perfectly okay so this is looking good but we need more legs so select everything except from the body and then view it from the top view you can use the widget and click this z button you can also use numpad 7. and now we're going to duplicate it and rotate it at the same time so go to object duplicate object which is shift d so press shift d
06:20
and then r right away so we're rotating it while we're duplicating it then you can hold down control to make it exactly 90 degrees and don't do anything else because we just made one action and we can press shift r to repeat that action so shift r and then shift r again and now this looks like a complete mess but it's actually completely fine the only thing that's the problem is that these ik targets are out of position so we can reset their position by going object clear location which is alt g and then you can also reset the rotation of these
06:52
bezier circles that are used as paths so to reset this go to object clear rotation which is alt r and now when you press play they're all moving in the same direction and we have a really cool rig that we can move in real time we can rotate it around but now all the legs are jumping at the same time so to make it actually walk you can select the ik target for the first and then the last leg and then let's zoom in on the timeline a little bit you can see that there are 20 frames which means that on 10 frames they will be halfway so select a to select all the keyframes
07:24
and then press g and then move them 10 frames and now when you press play we can still move this around and have a lot of fun now what's incredibly powerful with this rig is that these four paths are controlling the direction of our character so if you set the transform pivot point to individual origins you can press play and then you can rotate them on the z axis and now we can adjust the direction of our creature and this is just incredibly powerful so to control this properly let's reset the rotation and then let's go shift a
07:56
let's create an empty set to sphere and then let's call this direction controller and then right click adjust empty display size and then let's scale this up so now we can select this first path and in the object constraints properties we can go add object constraint copy rotation and then set the target to be the direction controller so now this will only copy the rotation not the location select these three as well hold down shift to select the first one go to object constraints and then copy constraints to selected objects so now these all have
08:27
the same constraint and we can rotate the direction controller and we have a really powerful rig but let's make things a little bit more interesting by adding some random movement to our body so right click and select vertical split and set this editor type to graph editor let's select the body and press i and insert location and rotation keyframes so now our object has object transforms for x y and z location and rotation so select the x location and press n to get up this menu
08:58
and click modifiers so now we can access the f curve modifiers and the one we're going to use is called noise so once you apply the noise modifier our body is immediately start to shake so we can increase the scale of this movement let's do 15 and you can increase the strength one is great for now though and then you can change the face if you like and now you can copy this modifier because it's currently only applied to the x location so copy f modifiers and then go to y location and paste it but now when you press play you can see that it's going
09:29
diagonally and that is because the x location and the y location have the exact same face so if you adjust the face you can see that now we're getting random movement on both channels and this is starting to look really organic so let's do this for the z location as well let's paste the modifier and let's give it a new face you know let's lower the strength a little bit for the z axis perfect and now we can do the same for the rotation so go to the x rotation paste but now we want to lower the strength just a little bit
10:00
so let's do uh 0.4 is good let's give it a random face copy go to y-axis face random z yeah you know the drill and now it's almost as if we have a living creature that is walking in our scene perfect let's make it actually walk across the screen so let's make a new object shift a empty cube right click adjust the empty display size and make it really big and now we're going to call this character controller now hold down shift while you
10:32
select the direction controller all these paths and the body and now you can press g and you can just see that everything is moving and then hold down shift and select the character controller and then ctrl p so now you can only move the character controller and this will move now at this point in the tutorial if you're familiar with drivers feel free to go ahead and add a driver for the offset but right now we're just going to quickly eyeball it which is also really fast so let's move our character controller on the x-axis and then press i for insert location
11:02
then let's move it a few frames over and then press g x and move it over here and then insert another location so now we're running into the same issue where we want to make this go on forever so have your mouse in the timeline and go shift e linear extrapolation so now when you press play it's going way too fast it's sliding a lot so to fix this let's just have a look okay so it's sliding too much and then select one of the keyframes press g and then let's move it back a little bit and now you can actually just wow did i actually just nail this on the
11:33
first try okay so if you don't get super lucky and nail this on the first try that's actually quite insane um you can just sort of see okay it's sliding too much let's move this way oh not as too little yeah so this is just a really i actually just messed this up by nailing it on the first try okay now this is walking across the screen but for the cherry on top there's one final thing you can do which is just absolutely insane so let's uh split our
12:04
viewport again go to graph editor let's select the z location see this one let's bring up the f curve modifiers again and let's add a modifier called built in function and this creates a sine wave and now this looks absolutely crazy we don't want this we want to set it to additive so it lies on top of the noise and you can already see where we're going with this look at this guy going completely crazy and i just love this so much so we can lower the amplitude a little bit
12:35
and then lower the face multiplier which is basically the frequency so let's lower this to point let's do 0.5 and 0.5 and look at this look how much character we're suddenly getting let's lower the amplitude a little bit increase the face and this doesn't even have to be in sync with the legs you're just getting so much emotion from this guy just bumping up and down and i love this so much so let's collapse this so now you have a really powerful rig where you can for
13:05
example rotate the direction controller on the z-axis by let's do 30 degrees and then let's rotate the character controller on the z-axis by minus 30 degrees and you can see that this sort of goes now it goes sideways a little bit so now you have this cute little character walking around in your scene look how fun it is that he's just sort of walking across the screen like that i really love this guy already and it's really cool that you can just you can make it jump and this is a really powerful rig i really like this rig so if you want to make this easy to use in all of your
13:36
project files you can just rename the collection let's call this creature let's go to for example blender version 3.0 with the super fast cycles x render engine oh we have to save this first and let's go file append and then just find your blend file and under collection you can see that you have a collection called creature and harris in another version of blender works perfectly fine if you want to see my attempts at these things follow paul if you're on instagram and yeah
14:05
[Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] you

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