Best Approach To Animating Breathing?

With my character much finished and rigged (even if I can’t decide the best kinematics approach, heh) it has occurred to me that providing a breathing animation would add a little dynamism when they’re not doing much else. My first thought was to add another bone in the chest, but that will mean some kind of convoluted weighting and I don’t really want to go there. What approach would a pro use? Shape keys? Tied to an Action?

Breathing is a really subtle animation, you’ll get best results with subtle movements in the shoulders, spine and head (see reference footage. A blendshape for the chest expansion is probably your best bet. Hope this is of some use:)

So, a combination of subtle bone movements with a shape key for the rib cage, then? I’ve seen some very exaggerated breathing done, but I’m hoping something subtle would add a little realism.

That’s what I’d go with :slight_smile: Saves putting in extra bones.

lattice. Its quick and easy to set up and has better results.

Kazinger, could you explain that a bit more? I tried the lattice modifier once after a tutorial about using it to squash a hand against a wall or window, but it seemed to just mash up the whole mesh for me.

Yes ill make a quick example blend.
The thing with a lattice is you need extra as the verts on the edge of the lattice or it will effect more mesh then you want. I do not know how to say it. The lattice needs stabilizing verts
This lattice has ctrl h hooks and the lattice and the hooks are parented to a bone.
It takes a little tinkering.
It often has “better results” maybe not always. I like it better because once set up its a done deal. You can move a big belly left, right , up, down. A eye ball and socket can shape together as on a frog or fish or monster. Oh! my avatar has armatures and lattice.