constraints... current or outdated technique?

hi from another noobie with very little artistic ability. i’m learning as i go, and understand things change over time, so i’m trying to be careful to learn from current state-of-the-art tutorials instead of old ones that work, but with older techniques that you folk who know what you are doing would not use.

from the (excellent) wiki manual…

“Constraints are object features that define spacial relationships between objects, and are the standard method for controlling characters among all 3D animation packages that still implement a more traditional approach to digital character animation.”

the emphasised part bothers me. are constraints the current standard method? what would be a less traditional (ie newer?) approach?

thanks for the great tutorials, i’m currently building the character in the bsod animation tutorial, and he’s looking pretty cute!

Just guessing, but I think the “traditional” approach is to create a mesh, add a rig of bones and constraints, and set key frames on a timeline as the bones or controllers are moved around.

I suppose the “non-traditional” approach would be to use something like game engine physics to do the animation, where the model was set up with joints, volume, density, and other physical qualities, and the actual motions were calculated based on applied forces. I suspect constraint would apply to both.

I’ve seen new constraints added to the toolkit, and existing constraints take on new functions. Sometimes a new tool will replace a clever mechanism built of many earlier tools, but that doesn’t make the old tool obsolete, it just means there is an easier way to do certain tasks.

The tutorial you’re working on is up to date. If you run into particular problems with rigging, there are always people here working on the bleeding edge who will be happy to give you specific advice.