Blender Character Animation Tutorial: Model and Rig a Cute Robot

Blender Character Animation Tutorial: Model and Rig a Cute Robot

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Language: English

Type: Robot

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Number of words: 6051

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hey everybody today we're going to be going through how to model and rig this little robot including a cool setup so that we can easily animate his face the project files will be available on my patreon if you're interested and I'm also excited to announce that this video is sponsored by sir shark VPN but for now let's hop into modeling alright so to start with our scene I'm actually going to have a little reference image up here of the character that I wanted to create and I'm going to zoom in here on the default cube and I'm going to start by scaling it on the z-axis a little bit because I wanted to kind of have a rectangular look like the monitor
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over here and then do the tiny bit more there I'm gonna switch to the side view here and I'm just gonna add a loop cut down the center we're gonna come here to the back select both these faces then I'm just going to extrude those out just a little bit there and then I'm gonna switch to vertices come in to wireframe mode grab this one up top and move it on the y-axis here and I'm just trying to get that subtle slope in the back there and I actually want to exaggerate that slope
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a bit more so I'm just gonna grab these and bring that out a little bit there if you're struggling to follow along I have all my keyboard shortcuts here and this is recording in 60fps so you can slow down on the video if you need to alright and bringing that forward I feel like I kind of have a satisfactory monitor shape that I want there so what I want to do is I want to make them look kind of friendly so I'm actually going to bevel these corners out so I'm gonna do
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that with the bevel modifier add a bevel there and I'm just gonna crank up the width of it and you'll notice that if I grab here it's not showing up that's because I have clamp overlap off and of course I don't want that much let's lower that to point one and start there we can see that these vertices in the back are causing a bit more overlap than I want because they're so close together so I'm actually just going to hop back into edit mode and grab those vertices and bring them out a little bit further they go and
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that way we don't have any overlap there and then I'm going to go ahead and add a couple segments there and then I'm wearing the right click hit shade smooth and then I'm going to apply and now I want to start adding some of these and smaller features and the reason I wanted to apply this bevel modifier first is because I don't want such a large bevel on some of these smaller features so it's hop back in and let's grab these faces up here it's gonna use the C key
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and grab those I'm gonna press I to end set there and then I'm just gonna bring that screen back a little bit and then I'm gonna inset again and then I'm going to extrude back forward and this will serve as our screen later so that's kind of a good start for our screen there and I want to go ahead and I want to add a little crease here on the side and maybe a little power button so what I'm gonna do is switch back to side view and kind
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of decide where I want my crease to be I think I want it to be right around here and then I'll grab another edge loop there ctrl R is the keyboard shortcut for edge loop if you do not know you can also grab the edge loop tool over here so now I'm in face selection mode let's go ahead and grab these couple faces here and then I'm going to rotate out and I'm just going to extrude those in just ever so slightly you can see that I
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kind of freaked out the normals there so hopefully we can fix that in a second and then I'm actually going to come up here and I'm going to add another edge loop and another and I'm just creating this little power button right now let's go ahead maybe grab an edge loop there grab an edge loop there and then I'll grab that face and I'm actually going to extrude
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it in then inset it in and then extrude it back out and I want that just to maybe poke out pass the side just a little bit more so I move that out on the x-axis there and great aside from the crappy normals this looks pretty good so what I'm going to do is come down here to the normals turn on auto smooth and then I'm going to turn this up to 40 and with that I should have a pretty good shape to start with my
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monitor and I actually think I'm gonna make mine a little bit shorter so I'm gonna switch back to edit mode I'm in here to wireframe and grab these vertices and move him for it there of course you can make this any shape you want okay so what I'm actually going to do is add another little bevel modifier and here so that we can add a little bit more detail to these edges around some of these objects so let's go up here and add a bevel modifier and you can see that at first it's going to screw the normals and we're gonna get all this ugly smoothing so to fix that let's go
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ahead add a couple segments here and already that's looking a little bit better and then we'll click harden normals and what that's going to do is use the auto smoothing data to harden the normals and kind of get rid of some of those artifacts that we saw around there but you can see that it's causing an issue with our previous bevel so if we go back to this modifier and we change our limit method to angle we can then change this to 40 degrees and you can see now that we have the same smoothness before but we're also getting
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smaller bevels on some of our smaller details there now for now that's all the detail I'm going to add but if you'd like you can go ahead and add a couple more creases and buttons and things like that to your character so let's go ahead and add a glass screen to our robot so if we jump back in here and at mode I'm gonna switch to face selection and I'm gonna grab these couple faces here I'm going to hit shift D to duplicate and then P and hit selection and what that will do is
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create a new object based off of that selection so if I come up here rename the screen we can see that we have some z-fighting here so we'll just grab it and move it out slightly on the Y and I'm gonna just forward slash in there so that I can focus on this the first thing I want to do is go back into edit mode and I don't need this geometry right now so I'm just gonna click edges grab these and hit X and just dissolve the edges there now we have a plane kind of in the size and proportion of our screen that
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we can get started with let's go back out the abject mode we'll get rid of the bevel modifier because that came over and when we separated it let's add a subdivision surface modifier Manus we can see this is a pretty crappy start so just gonna up the viewport to 2 there we'll go back into edit mode let's grab this face and just extrude it back just slightly and that's just so that we have some thickness to the class but of course we don't want it looking like this we want our screen to kind of bulb
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out like an old CRT monitor as drawn over here so what we're going to do is we're going to switch to edge selection mode we're going to grab each of these four corners and then we're going to come up here to edge and by default it should be shifty but we can do edge crease and nothing's going to happen but if you drag left and right you can change the sharpness of your edges so I'm just going to drag all the way to the left and what that's going to do sharpen those edges so that when we have our sub-divisional modifier on there it sees these edges as sharp still so next what I'm going to do
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is I'm going to select everything right click and subdivide and then I'm going to switch to vertex mode grab that middle vertex and just kind of pull that out and you can see we're starting to get that old kind of CRT monitor effect where it just bubbles out a bit further than everything I just want a little bit but you can kind of exaggerate that effect as much as you want and because it added this extra edge loop here it's now kind of snapped everything to the edge so let's go ahead exit isolation mode and we'll go on the front view
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we're just gonna scale this up so that we see it kind of reach all of our four corners there and I think it could be a little bit taller so I'm just scared it up a tiny bit more and then we're going to come in here and we're going to hit G and Y and move that back we wanted to intersect the edges here but we don't want it to intersect with our actual screen inside so we just want to be careful those two things aren't
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intersecting with one another to finish this up what I'm going to do is I'm going to grab this robot going to apply the bevel I'm going to grab the screen I'm going to apply the subdivision surface and then I'm going to select this robot and hit ctrl J and that's going to put them in the same mesh and now we have a monitor section for our little robot complete and we can move on to doing the tank treads but first let's hear a word from our sponsors so let's talk about why you should check out surf sharks awesome VPN service I had a great
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I'm going to do is I'm going to grab this monitor and I'm just going to hide it I'm going to go into the top view I'm going to add a cube I'm going to add a curve circle I'm gonna grab this cube go into edit mode select everything and just scale it way down there so what I'm going to do now is I'm going to go into the top view mode going to add a circle I'm going to add a cube I'm going to scale that cube down I'm going to hit
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control a and apply scale then I'm going to go ahead and add a modifier to the scape I'm going to add in an array and then I'm going to add a curve and then on that curve I'm going to select that curve right there and let's name that Bezier circle to tank track one and this cube we will name tread so what we're going to do now is we're going to up the count here and you'll see that that will
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make it go all around the curve and if we snap here into edit mode we can begin modifying this so that it looks more like a tank track so I'm gonna grab this cube you're going to subdivide it and I'm just going to bump that up to two and then we can kind of start playing with it now you can make your tank track look like however you want but I'm just going to kind of do a trick tanktricks I'm gonna grab this scale it in on the Y and so that I know what direction to go I'm going to go ahead and click this button here on the curve modifier which will display it in edit
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mode then I'm going to grab these three faces here and I'm just going to extrude those out just a little bit and with that I have a tank track kind of going around there I think I actually want it to be a little bit wider so I'm going to grab those and scale on the Z and now we kind of have a wider tank track for the sake on not having to tense the geometry I'm gonna switch into edit mode and I'm
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going to grab these two edge loops and just devolve those edges so that we don't have to have too heavy of geometry in our scene and with that we have a kind of tank tread ready to go all the way around so I'm just gonna up the count there and it may not match perfectly you can spend time modifying the mesh to do so but for the sake of the time of this tutorial I'm just gonna let it overlap a little bit it shouldn't be noticeable in motion I'm gonna go back out to object mode I'm going to grab our tank track curve and I'm going
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to go into edit mode and now we can modify what this curve looks like so I want this kind of shape here this kind of trapezoid shape so I'm gonna grab this one I'm just gonna bring it here on the X grab this one and bring it in on the X to kind of flatten those tank treads out so you can go ahead and you can grab these points and you can change them to be whatever shape you want you keep and select them all right click subdivide add more points so you have more control for the sake of ease I'm just going to leave mine here to the
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default I'm gonna switch back out to the object mode here and I'm going to grab this and I'm going to start this array back at 1 and then I'm just gonna click that until I get around because since we change the shape of our circle we don't need quite that many and there you can see you have a pretty even distribution I'm happy with now this next order of events is a very specific order that you need to follow so what we're going to do to create a tank tread rig is we're going to why this array now we're going to take
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this box and we're going to select the curve and then we are going to parent this to the curve and keep our transform now when we move the curve around it will move our tank tread around then what we're going to do is we're going to rotate the cube and the curve together then what we're going to do is we're going to grab them and rotate them 90 degrees on the y axis if we unhide our monitor here and drag this over on the x axis we will see that we're now kind of
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on our correct orientation so let's go here and a side view and we'll just reposition that curve until we get it in a place we like I'm just gonna go ahead and kind of plop it there and I'm actually going to make this tank tread a bit thinner so I'm going to go back into edit mode I'm gonna grab this and kind of scale it in on the Z here and grab these to kind of adjust so that we don't have this kind of weird lump there there we go I'm pretty happy with that
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placement of the tracks let's just grab that curve there and make sure it's not intersecting on the side of the monitor I want it closed but not intersecting what we're going to do is we're going to go over the front view and we're going to rig or monitor first so let's go ahead and add an armature here I'm going to switch to wireframe mode so we can see it switch to edit mode I'm gonna grab that going to bring it way down here and this is going to be our route prone so I'm just going to make that really tiny there then I'm gonna extrude
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this up on the z-axis and supportin to stay organized whenever you're rigging because it's a very complex process so we'll just grab this bone call it route preferably without caps lock on and then we're going to grab the stop bone here and we'll name this one body now we'll switch out into object mode and we will switch to the side view and we'll make sure that this is actually centered up on our monitor there then what we're
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going to do let's go back to top view we're going to go to mesh and circle and we're going to scale that up so that it encompasses kind of all of our little robot character there go back to front view let's maybe grab that and move it down here so it's kind of at the bottom of everything there so what we're going to do is we're going to grab this
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armature here switch into pose mode grab this bottom mode we're going to switch back out to object mode grab this circle hit control P and hit object keep transform and now with this we should be able to move around our whole armature there now we're going to grab the monitor going to grab the arm trigger going to hit control P we're going to do with empty groups now we're going to grab our monitor go into edit mode we're going to select everything we're going to come down here to our object data
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properties and we're going to go to body and we're going to assign everything the body now we come back here to object mode switch to solid view here and what I'm going to do is actually grab this armature and I'm going to go down to the viewport display and I'm going to do in front so that we can see that the entire time and if we switch to pose mode and we grab this we can now move our monitor around so now we need to parent our tank tracks to the monitor so what we're going to do
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is we're going to go ahead and grab our curve here which is hidden inside of here and then we're going to parent that to the circle and keep transform and now when we grab this we'll be able to move around our whole robot rig and we can also move around the body so that we can make the body kind of bounce and bobble alongside without affecting the tracks so now we need to duplicate our tracks to the other side so we're going to grab this tank tread here go into wireframe
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mode let's just grab the tank track to go to front view and let's duplicate this to the other side of the monitor and just get something simple there I'm just going to snap my into the x-axis there and that should be called tank track 0 1 and if we go back out here we should be able to grab our circle and move everything around so now we can move the position and we can move our monitor around but we need to make sure
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that we can animate our tank tracks so now we have our body set up to animate and we have it so that we can animate the position of a robot but we need to be able to animate these tank treads and we actually already can so what we can do is we can grab this tank tread the object itself not the curve and if we move that on the z-axis there on its local z-axis will see that the tank treads animate but what we're going to do is we're going to rig those so that they animate together so what we're going to do is we're going to grab this tank tread here we're going to add an object constraint
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of copy location we're going to select this object over here we're going to turn off our X and offer Y now when we grab this object over here and we move it on the Z you can see that they move together the same speed so with that we have our robot rigged so that we can move them around and everything and we'll get to the face rig in a second but first let's go into our side view and let's go ahead and turn off our armature for now which I'm also going to rename the robot rig and let's just add a few little tank
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tracks in here we'll go here and these are just gonna be kind of the sprockets and gears so I'm just gonna grab a cylinder and shrink it down inside of there go back out to the front view just move this out here I want it just to kind of intersect with the computer monitor a bit you're gonna come back out here in a side view so let's just snap
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into face mode let's grab that top face just inset that we'll just extrude that in and set it again and then extrude that back out I'm going to right click hit Schade smooth go into here turn on auto smooth and then I'm just going to duplicate that a couple times moving that on the y-axis I'm just kind of scaling it up so it touches the tank
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tracks and this just kind of gives the illusion that there's little gears and they're spinning go ahead scale that one down a bit just gonna select all these and apply the scale and there we go and now we have little tank tracks so we can just go ahead grab these let's join those together so there one object and we'll call these gears we'll parent those to
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the circle we'll rename that circle robot control so let's just grab those hit duplicate rotate it on the z-axis 180 degrees then we're just going to move that to the other side here and kind of line that up with the other side they hit control three you can switch to the alternating side view and there we go with that we have our little monitor
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and our body setup so now we're ready to move on to how to do the face rig so to animate the face we're actually going to need different face textures set up and kind of an image sequence like this I have provided a link in the description below if you'd like to use the faces I've made for free and I even have this little face guide that I've made and with this little face guide you'll be able to tell what numbers which face which will make more sense later it's also important to download this pixel matrix shader from CG Cody I reached out to him while making this video and asked
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if we could use that shader but it's a cool LCD screen shader that we'll be using to get that LCD look on the face so back over here in blender we're going to go ahead and apply that shader to our face so let's tab into our monitor here and we're going to hit L to select that glass piece and we're gonna hit H to hide it now we want to select these screen faces so what I'm going to do is I'm going to switch face selection mode grab those faces there and then I'm just going to hit ctrl + because I actually
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want to get these little edges around here so if you keep it in ctrl + the selection will go back and I'm going to go back to about there then what I'm going to do is come down here to the mid-tier tab going to create a new material and then I'm going to assign this now this isn't the material we're using but we're just assigning that slot so then what I'm going to do is I'm going to go to file append and locate the LCD screen shader that CG Cody provided once I've clicked that I'll come in here into material and then I'm going to import
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this matrix display so I'm going to hit append and then I'm going to switch over here and do matrix display then if I go into my edit mode where my screen is hidden if I switch up here to looked at mode we can see now that we have a screen effect here and he's made all these controls here so you can change the pixel gap the roundness the smoothness the color of the face and kind of the pixel size here I think I'm going to move mine down to point zero zero three make my pixels a little bit smaller and then what you want to do to
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import your face texture as he's got this texture note here that he's hidden and you can just import your faces here as an image texture now the way this works is it reads the Alpha and then we'll draw that on here as a face so he's got one here we just don't have a UV map so let's come over here which hit select we're gonna create a new UV map down here just call this one face we're gonna hit ctrl I here and hit H and
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that's gonna hide the rest of our model we'll switch to the edge selection mode so what we need to do is just grab these edges back here so I'm just gonna alt shift click and click one of these ones right here and that should grab all them for an edge loop and then what I'm going to do is I'm going to come up to here and I'm going to do edge mark seam and that'll be for our edge loop there and our UV map after you've marked that edge let's go ahead select everything hit
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unwrap make sure you have face selected down here we're going to come back here to the UV map change that to face go into front view tap back into our Edit view so what we're going to do is we're going to switch over to the UV editor then up here we're going to click matrix display we're just going to rotate that negative 90 degrees and we're gonna move that around until we kind of get a satisfactory look so the rigors face we need to turn this into an image sequence
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so I'm just going to use the faces that I provided in the link for free so I've also imported this face guide here to show you an illustration of how to do this as a face rig so first once you have your image sequence in here so here it's going to display how many frames you've inputted which here it's set to 25 but what we're going to do is we're going to turn it down to 1 and now to change the face we can just animate this offset here so if I move this forward you'll see that the face is changing every frame now if you're not seeing the face updating it's because you're not in render mode you usually
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need to be in render mode to get the face to update every time you change up here I went ahead and deleted the screen just to show you guys but we're going to go ahead and add a glass shader to that screen soon so to animate his face all you need to do is to insert a keyframe on the offset so let's press I move forward a couple frames go here choose our number of face that we want there press I again and you'll notice that what it's going to do is scrub through all those faces in between so what we can do is come over here to the graph
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editor and after we're done animating our face we can grab all those keyframes related to that offset and we can just press T and we can switch that to constant and then that way it won't change the face until it gets to the next frame there so that's kind of how you go about animating the face also with this little cheat sheet down here you can actually use this so that you know what number to hit to get what face you want and that way you're not just entering random numbers and guessing which face is coming next and with that we're ready to start shading our
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character now that a character is fully rigged let's add some basic shaders if you'd like to do more advanced textures I'll post a link to my video at the end here showing you how to texture so that you can go ahead and add grunge and other things to the crevices or maybe dirt onto his tank tracks so I'm gonna hop up here to the shading tab and zoom in here on our little monitor so I'm going to grab this and we already have our matrix to display for the little screen in there and let's make this
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screen say body and then we'll go in here and we will hit alt H to unhide everything from before we're going to press L over that screen to select it we're going to hit new we'll call this one screen and then let's go ahead and I'm gonna make this little button a different color so I'm gonna grab this face here and hit ctrl + a couple times and add a new one and we'll call this one button
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now let's come out here let's grab these cylinders here let's create a new material and call this gear and then let's switch over here and add the gear material to those now let's grab these tank treads hit new I'll call this tread and I'm just going to set these shaders up so that they work in evie but they
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will also all work in cycles and let's go ahead and let's start with our screen shader here so I'm gonna switch to e be rendered mode so that we can see what we're doing so making sure we have the screen selected we'll come down here we'll delete this default node and let's go ahead and let's add a glass a mix shader' and a transparent node and we will just mix
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these two together into our surface put and then we'll see that we can't see through so we need to come down here into the settings below the surface here and we can change this blend mode to alpha blend which will then give us a kind of screen glass that we can see through now we already have our matrix display setup for the body what I'm going to do is I'm going to come in here I'm going to turn the rough is down to 0.25 or so because I want this to kind of look like plastic and then I don't
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want it to be white I'm gonna give it that kind of old Apple monitor off-white so I'm just gonna push it towards yellow just ever so slightly and actually let's up that roughness just a bit it was to 0.5 or maybe meet in between the men on to 0.35 now let's go ahead and let's grab this button and want this to be a little a mission there so zoom in on the button here and what we're going to do is actually just go ahead and delete this add an omission node and want this button to kind of
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look like it's glowing so I'm just going to go ahead and give this just may be a slight green button color there and there we go with that we have our monitor textures let's move on over to the tread I want the tread to kind of look like rubber we can leave this default note on here let's go ahead grab this move it down to almost black and then we're just going to crank the roughness all the way up and these little gears I want those to look metal so I'm gonna grab those
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leave the default known just turn metallic up and I want them to look a little bit darker so I'm gonna grab that and kind of do that there and I don't want them to be so shiny so I'm gonna turn that roughness up to 0.75 and actually drop the darkness down there a little bit more and with that we're ready to begin animating our little computer character thank you for watching my video please let me know what you think in the comments below and what you'd like to see in the future if you are interested in these project files again they're available on my patreon which you can find in the
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description below I forgot what I was gonna say oh right as I mentioned before there's actually another texturing video I did here that you can use to kind of add a little bit of extra flair to your little robot if you want to share what you did in the comments below or tag me in your work on instagram thanks again for watching

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