Complete rigging n00b

Ok, I’m giving rigging a try and am not having the greatest results. Most of the tutorials I can find describe how to build the armature, but aren’t that great in connecting them properly to the mesh. Can someone point me in the right direction or give me a hand or something. I’m not entirely sure what to do with naming and assigning vertex groups etc.
Here is a pic of my leg rig that I constructed:
http://roia.servegame.org/images/leg_rig.jpg
The rig itself moves properly but can’t seem to get the leg parented to it correctly. One thing is that a part of the foot “sticks” to the ground and doesn’t move with the rest of the leg. Any help with this would be great.:smiley:

Have you checked out this tutorial:
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Character_Animation
It gives a really good introduction to most of the steps involved in rigging a character.

Try changing the bone display option to Envelope and adjust the Envelope size until it “envelopes” your mesh .

I’m assuming that you have both Vertex Groups and Envelope on if your rig is moving your mesh .

Your armature can influence you mesh in various ways :

  1. Simple envelopes - I think by default it’s set on - which you can visually (if the bone display option is set to Envelope) see the area of influence a particular bone has reletive to the mesh . You can adjust the influence by scaling the entire bone or either top or bottom tip and as long as the light gray area covers your mesh that bone will control that part of the mesh . Its simple and easy but not very good for fine control for something like a human body . Will cause clipping issues
  2. Vertex Groups - also by default on but your rig won’t move anything unless :
    a) you have vetex groups assigned on you mesh before hand and have assigned those to the appropriate bones by naming your bones and the vertex group the SAME and when parenting the armature to the mesh selecting from the prompt “create Vertex Groups?” choose the middle one “Name Groups”. This method is more work but is more accurate - you won’t get stray vertices poping out .
    b) you’ve weight painted by selecting a bone in Weight Paint Mode and assigned a influence value by weight painting . Blender gives you the option of naming your weight painted vertex groups for you when you parent your armature to your mesh :slight_smile: - select the last option if you haven’t and don’t want to go back and create them - I think it’s “create from closest bone”(last choice) .
    c) You have Envelope turned on (it is on by default) but you can still change the various degrees of infuluence by adding (or weight painting) vertex groups - in fact if you change the infulence of of a particular bone by weight painting and you set the bone display to Envelope - you will see that the shape of the envelope display bone will have changed accordingly . Having Envelope and Vertex Groups is a good idea as you don’t always have to have a high degree of control, say like in the trunk of the body for example .

These are some beginning concepts you might want to understand . There are a lot more stuff about how to figure out how to layout the hierachies in an armature for easier control, the parent - child relationship, the various constraints, etc … but I have found that sometimes it’s better just to highlight a basic step that can affect how you proceed in your workflow . You might want to look at http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Rigging . It’s not quite complete - but gives you some beginning concepts to consider concerning the armature object …

all you have to do is parent your armature to the mesh and click on create names this way you will have all your vertex groups named acordingly to your armature bones but no vertex assigned yet, which you can in two forms one at edit mode clicking every vertex and them assigning to the respective vertex group or with weight paint mode painting while keeping a bone selected to assign vertex that will deform following that bone, this is as simple as it can get i think.

Thanks alot for the help people. I’m starting to understand the basics. Here’s a little humorous shot I did to test posing the upper body:
http://roia.servegame.org/images/pose1.jpg
I only have the upper body rigged so far. On the the legs!