2D rigging?


I’m pondering about an animated logo for my films and one idea I had was a 2D Wolf silhouette walking on top of the text, sitting down and howling. Is it possible to rig 2D objects? I’m thinking e.g. can bones pass through each other, like the left and right front leg for instance…?


Yes you can rig 2D objects, use the same principles as 3D objects.

Yes bones can pass through each other, just be careful how you assign the vertices of the model.

You may be better with different meshes for the legs that are effectively further away from the camera, i.e. obscured by the main part of the mesh. You can always place 2D object behind each other (slightly) and they will appear to be 2D even though they have positional depth. If you are animating in 2 axes only, which you are, the bones do not have to be coincident with the mesh plane, they can sit backwards or forwards.

If your wolf is to sit down, make sure the legs have sufficient vertices to allow them to bend without creasing, i.e add edge loops (CTRL+R) until you get a smooth picture.

You can set the camera to be Orthographic in nature, rather than Perspective, so you don’t get any parallax or perspective errors in the render. I always do this for 2D renders.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, Clock.

Thanks, I’ll try that! Setting the camera to Orthographic was a great hint! It solved another issue I had with my current draft :).

Ok, now I’m missing something… I drew the wolf in Inkscape and imported the SVG. Made the legs spearate and started rigging. Now, when I move the jawbones, the back gets totally messed up. I did some weightpainting but not really successful. What am I missing?

wolf.blend (846 KB)

5,280 Vertices, 3,714 faces, not a single Quad (four vertex face) in sight - that’s just the start. You cannot import a “raster” based drawing into Blender and get it to animate. A typical “tri” (three cornered face) in your wolf goes from front to back and is incredibly thin, this will never work. I will do a little work on it to get you going, I will post something later.

Your weight painting is all to cock because your mesh is all to cock, sorry to be blunt, so we need to put the mesh right first, then look at the rigging and vertex assignment.

Cheers for now, Clock.

SVG is a vector format, no raster format. But if that’s the problem, I can try drawing the wolf with Blender. I just did it with Inkscape because I’m more familiar with it. Don’t worry about being blunt. I’m ex career military :D.

OK I have had a play and this is how I would do it, you can rotate some of the bones to see what happens. There are some hints about materials and lighting as well, not hard and fast rules, but some ideas. :slight_smile:

Here is your revised blend file, I have left your work in it, although I have moved your armature to a different layer to the mesh - this is good practice!

wolf.blend (1.05 MB)

Take a close look at the mesh and the Modifiers I have added, and the number of vertices in my mesh. :yes:

You had deleted the lamp, you had no background - it will never render. I have put this right. Please take a REAL CLOSE look at the armature (Bone rotation type, transform locks, parenting, etc, etc) and the weights. Select the body, go to Weight Paint mode and choose each bone in the Vertex Groups section. You will see that basis for a good weight painting - it needs more work, but that’s your job now!

Cheers, Clock.

I know you may feel a little battered after my posts (I hope you find them constructive). Blender’s learning curve is very steep in the early days, but we are here to help. :smiley:

Yes I know about Inkscape - we could argue all day about the format - the bottom line is that it results in a million times too many vertices and really, really bad face topology!

Look into using images as a reference image in your 3D views - check the help file - so you can draw against a picture background.

Finally, for now - don’t forget the the Sub-Division Modifier is your new best friend for modelling ANYTHING, other than purely mechanical parts with precise geometry.

Cheers. Clock.

Very cool, thanks! I’m still fighting with all the unknown expressions but looking at your version, I understand what you meant.
If I see this right, you don’t model in Blender by simply drawing an outline but by - so to speak - putting cubes next to each other and change those so the whole results in the contour you want.

Besides, the missing lamp was intentional :). The final logo is made from pure blue emission material for most of it with a fogglow node and the eye from yellow-orange emission material with a streaks node. In my current draft at least.

Thanks a lot for the pointers! Those helped a lot! If that’s ok, I’ll keep this thread updated or should I open a new one in “Works in progress” or something like that?

I started with a single cube and extruded it maybe three or four times each way to get the overall rough shape, then added some edge loops until I could get the lines right with the Sub-Div modifier. The mesh is about 20 minutes work, then about 30 minutes to add the displacement and tweak that -then tweak the material, etc. etc. all in all about 2 hours work.

OK with the emission type, but look at emission with some other objects to get some reflections and light reflections…

I would put this in the WIP now, you will get much more advice on materials, lighting, textures, etc., as well as rigging. It will probably only get rigging help if you leave it here.

Glad you are up an running - Cheers, Clock.