This note is to ask whether Blender 25x is stable and whether it offers additional features to consider switching. I have been on 2.46 for quite some time. Now I am trying to figure out how I can catch up and whether additional animation features are worth the effort of learning them.
I have been going around circles trying to teach myself character modeling and animation with dismal success for more than 4 years now. When I was able to do most of my work, the version of Blender that was out was 2.46. I completed some of Wiki tutorials using 2.46 version. The Introduction to Character Animation was the beginner’s tutorial that covered the full process from mesh modeling to texturing, to rigging, and finally to animating a walk cycle. A walking and talking Ginger Bread character. Tony Mullen’s book distributed and was based on an earlier version of Blender. Nonetheless. I was able to use his Captain Blender rig in my 2.46 characters.
Now that I raised the bar and I have been trying to get a realistic looking human model deform well using Captain Blender rig, I have run into a lot of problems around hips, shoulders, even knee areas. I can’t get those deform well when I attempt to pose my character for martial arts poses. When I searched archieves for advice for rigging those difficult areas, I noticed most people were already using latest Blender versions. Some 2.49b, and some even 2.53. Those later versions of Blender seemed to add a lot of new rigging and animation capabilities. I tried to locate tutorials that would cover them: <Corrective> Shape Keys, pyDrivers, Mesh Deform modifiers? Anything else? Are the rigging and animation upgrades to Blender in subsequent releases worthwhile for me to invest the time to learn them. How would I learn them? Would those enhancements make rigging, skinning any easier? Would any enhancement improve mesh deformations at complex joints?
Is anyone familiar with ManCady rig? Would learning it help me with complex joint deformations? How about Dorian rig? would it bring about any improvement to complex joints? Complex joints aside, how does one rig forearms? i guess those have to be done with shapekeys?
Thanks in advance for your input!