Creating an FK/IK Rig on BlenderCookie

Last night I watched Creating an FK/IK Rig on BlenderCookie by Patrick Boelens. This is the second tutorial he has done for BlenderCookie. And it was an amazing tutorial that taught me a lot.

First up, although not the focus of the tutorial, he showed a couple of Weight Painting tips that will greatly relieve my frustration in my own projects.

  1. He selected the mesh and went to Weight Paint mode (which of course showed that the weight paints were all over the place and not useful as they were)
  2. Then he toggled to Edit mode and selected all the vertices that he didn’t want in the bone he was working on.
  3. Back in Weight Paint mode, he toggled theFace Selection Mask for Painting, only the vertices he had selected in Edit mode were included in the selection mask
  4. Now he set the weight strength to 0.0 and clicked once in the selection mask ( where you click in not overly important as long as it is in the selection mask.
  5. Then he hit Shift + K, and the whole selection mask turned Blue (0.0 weight)

Now how cool is that. That is going to be a huge time saver for fixing up weight painting. In fact I will be using that work flow here a little bit later this morning.  😛

Now obviously this was just part of Patrick’s set up to get to the real objective of the tutorial which covered the following:

  • Setting up a rig with separate IK and FK controls.  Skinning the rig to the mesh.
    • Setting up Bone Constraints.
    • Setting up Custom Properties.
    • Setting up Drivers.
    • Drawing some UI elements in the Properties Panel through Python.
    • Creating some Bone Shapes.

He covered quite a bit of information during the tutorial, but none of it felt rushed or glossed over. By the end, not only had I learned about topics that I had considered too advanced for my skill level, I had gained a better understanding of how advanced rigging worked in general.

Which is great, having recently been playing with rigify, I had quite a few questions on what to do with my character once rigified. And while Patrick’s tutorial did not cover rigify, I could see how things went together, which explained the rigify controls that were confusing me. Yay, I love it when information all of a sudden comes together and makes sense.

I even understood the section of the tutorial where he covered Python scripting the UI elements. Okay, maybe “understand”, is too strong of a word. I am notorious for not “getting” python. But I did follow along easy enough to understand what he was doing, even if there is no way I could ever duplicate it on my own. But luckily I wouldn’t have to. It would be very easy to play the tutorial to that point and then open blender and simply type in the script exactly as I see it in the tutorial. 😛

Okay, I might have to struggle a bit to extend the script to make it work for the rest of the armature, he only covered the left arm after all. But even I can extrapolate and figure out the naming stuff, once the main part is set up. And if I was smart enough to always name my armatures the same way, I would only have to create that script once, and then re-use it as needed. 😛

I thoroughly enjoyed Patrick’s tutorial and hope that he creates many more for BlenderCookie. Who knows, he might even be the one to actually get me scripting on my own. 😛

In case you missed it, I encourage you to check out his first tutorial on BlenderCookie: Creating an ‘Add Mesh Primitives’ Panel in the Tool Shelf.



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2 responses to “Creating an FK/IK Rig on BlenderCookie

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