How would you simulate tendons?

I have a human character, and I want to rig it, but the way I’m using it needs it to look like it has muscles and tendons. Is there a way to do this using Blender?

Shape keys?

can you configure shape keys to automatically move with the model?

I think you can, as in setting them to be driven by bones in your armature. Similar techniques are sometimes used for correcting joint deformation. I think you’d be able to use the bones in your existing armature to drive the shapekeys based on position or rotation.

Truly naturalistic muscle flex and tendon stretch are a ways off for Blender, you’ll have to fake it with shape keys as mentioned, or build a custom rig that will deform as you require it based on such parameters as angles of rotation between bones. But the latter path is rather tortuous (having traveled a ways on it myself) and really needs a very good, in-depth knowledge of Blender’s Armature, bone spaces, BPython, weight painting, and quite a bit more. If you’re new to Blender, you’d be better off starting with a fairly simple rig and getting it to work right before moving on to arcane adaptations like muscle and tendon deformation.

and really needs a very good, in-depth knowledge of Blender’s Armature, bone spaces, BPython, weight painting, and quite a bit more.

AND of course, human anatomy.

It can be achieved with a lot more of bones, as this. But i bet that it’s a really really complex work.

Thanks. I’ll see if the shape keys work.