General Advice on Quadrupeds

Hello, everyone.

I’ve come to ask general advice on a problems I’ve been having with rigging quadruped characters.

I’ve been stuck and baffled by this concept for literally a year (on and off, of course) and have restarted this project several times over without much improvement. Initially I didn’t want to come and ask for help, because I’m sure many of you had to figure it out through trail and error, but I’m at wits end and could really use your knowledge on the subject.

[Mesh with Subsurface modifier active]

As mentioned before, this wasn’t the first attempt, and due to many days wasted trying to fix the prior model I’ve become rather reluctant to just wing it. For now, it concerns this simple model base model which doesn’t even have its articulation points yet.

Before I continue with this model and future quadruped characters I wanted to consult those more experience than me on potential upcoming hurdles, pointers on how Blender’s rigging logic works, mistakes I may have already made thus far, and advice on how do things better and prevent difficulty in the future.

I’ve been extra careful to stay within Blender’s logic this time around, as in the previous models edge loops would take odd turns all over the mesh.

[Armature and Names]

(Normally I’d parent the upper hind legs to the pelvis, but I seem to have undone that in the screenshot. Apologies for that.

The first thing I notice when the armature is parented to the mesh is that, unlike a biped T-posed model, the weight influence is distributed in a very odd and gradual way. For example; the lower legs bones influences parts of the head quite a lot.

My main concern and complaint is in the legs, they seem be to the culprit with most problems that arise. But enough of my rambling, I’ve added the model to this thread as an attachment so you can, if you want, take a look for yourself.

QuadrupedExample.blend (542 KB)

Any advice on entailed and non-entailed problems would be extremely appreciated, and I want to thank everyone in advance that at least took the time to read it.

It’s probably a good idea for you to do a search before posting a problem…

go here…

The reason auto weighing is not working is that your mesh is inside out. Do Recalculate Outside in Edit mode to fix it, Ctrl + N.

Here is my way of rigging take a look.

First off you need head bone through the head. Jaw bone control the jaw movement. You probably need ear bone. Quadrupeds have backbone along the spine and that does not do automatic weighing too well. It helps to add chest bone. Have some kind of waist control so that hip can go one way and chest the other way.

Oh, my apologies. I’ve been searching on Google, and it totally slipped my mind to do a search for it on the site specifically. My bad.

Thanks for the referral.

Holy cow, Ridix. I would have never expected that. You’ve just solved ninety percent of the problems I had. Thank you, were it not for your suggestion and other advice I may have been stuck for a much, much longer time.

Oh, my apologies. I’ve been searching on Google, and it totally slipped my mind to do a search for it on the site specifically. My bad.

no apoligies needed… just that… that some times it’s better to find a discussion that is already going on and jump right into that one instead of starting a new one… that way… I believe IMHO… more people will run accross your post and you will get more help sooner…