HOW MUSCLES and bones (not armatures) could possibly be achieved in blender!

ok so i dont know if anyone has thought of this or if there is another way to achieve muscles for characters in blender but i got an idea on how to!

like seen here:

ok so first you just make your model and everything then you model the actual bones and muscles

then you set up a rig for the bones and muscles and set it up so the muscles move like they would in real life

then (if you wanted to) add soft body (or cloth) to the muscles so they will jiggle properly

then you put the bones and muscles inside the creature mesh which you modeled earlier
and apply the new shrink wrap modifier to the mesh of the creature

and bam!
you got muscles!

upsides to doing this…
well need i say?

so do you think this would work i would try it buy currently blender isnt working on my computer =(

Hi Misadventure, I am planning to use this method in the new version of my rig, BlenRig.

The previous version of BlenRig had a kind of muscle approximation by using Lattices (you can check it out here)

I´ve done some tests, and for what I can see, in some cases the ShrinkWrap modifier is too precise, specially when you move the character out of its rest position. In some situations, for example a twisting arm, there is a certain degree of movement from where the modifier starts to mess up due to its precision. For example, it starts to do things like moving only one vertex apart from all the other ones. It would be great if there was a parameter that made the modifier behave more like a force field.

Anyway, I´m still planning to implement this in my rig, here´s the thread where I´m posting my progress.


hey try using a vertex group for the modifier that way you can use weight paint to control where and how much power the muscles have

I think this was tried once, with decent results… can’t member where or when, though, just soudns familiar…anyway, real muscles would push blender up 3 or 4 notches, but blender is mostly used by hobbyists, like myself. Many folks wouldn’t find the patience or excitement in learning them. I’d still like them though :slight_smile:

dang i was hoping it was orginal =( oh well

I used vertex groups and and weight painting for defining its influence, but it just can´t handle extreme deformations in the base mesh.

Still, it is the best method for muscle simulation in Blender so far, so it is worth to give it a try, and that´s what I´m planning to do! :wink:

ya i figured it might be hard with a bunch of musles for blender to do so much…
if your on windows maybe try the 60 but blender version

any luck jpbouza?

hehe wow!! No I´m really busy editing a feature film right now, I think I´ll start working on BlenRig 2.5 again on February.

But for what I tested, using shrinkwrap is perfectly possible for simulating bones deformation, you know, at the knee, the elbows, maybe even the rigs of the torso. No problem with that.

The only problem I found is when you want to do muscle bulging in a twisting area. When the model is not twisting everything works fine, but when twisting occurs everything messes up. A possible solution would be to assign the same twisting deformation to the muscle object, that way, both, the model and the muscle would twist together and their deformation would be even, maybe that could work.

I´ll try that one when I go back to working on BlenRig, if I have time I could do some more tests in January.