complex animation of figures

Okay, I’ve got a character with a complex facial structure, and tons of shape keys. He’s got a body that is integrated with his head (he really has no neck), but he will need frequent wardrobe changes. Should his wardrobe be created as a separate object that moves independently of his body outside of him (presumably by mimmicking the body’s shape keys and bone maps), or should I try to modify the actual body to include the clothing, so that all of my existing mappings and shape keys will still work?

I guess the basic premise of my question is this: if you’ve got a head (or other body part) with complex shape keys that you want to KEEP, but you want to have various bodies on which to graft the head (each body having its own mappings and shape keys), is it possible to avoid having to re-do all of the shape keys for each?

I don’t know the answer, but I’d like to see a test animation of your character :slight_smile:

Take a look at the Elephant Dreams files. Proog’s coat is a seperate object, rigged to an armature, if that helps.


good idea… I’ll take a close look at ED.

He’s actually still just a clay model (built it yesterday). You’ll prolly see it later on :slight_smile: Thanks again!

depends on the type of clothing. If you have clothing that can cover up the neck area you could make the head a separate object from the body and use the collar etc to cover up the seam. Actually, I think if you just take care not to ever move the last row of vertices at the base of the neck, then there will not be a seam. The other option is to have the clothes separate which at this point is very difficult in blender if you’re animating the body.

I think when it comes to having the clothing integrated to the body it all depends on what you wish to achieve. In most of my animations I have the clothing as a seperate objects parented to the armature. The trick is to weight paint and perhaps shape key the clothing so that the body underneath doesn’t poke through.

Here is a link to an animation I did using this technique. The legs show through the skirts, however in this particular case I feel that it adds to the “sexiness” of the animation. What is unsexy is this character has no head.

Much like yourself I will be using this body as a base and attaching various heads and/or faces to it. Other than that san_diego_james is spot on about having a standard “neck” template of vertices. If everything lines up correctly you may not even need to hide a seam with clothing.



I think I’ve resolved to keep the head a separate object and hide the seam. The character should never be shirtless so I don’t see it mattering. Thanks for the input!!