Human Arm animation

Hi, I’m doing a human arm animation, but I’ve got a problem which I’m too tired to figure out right now, so some help would be appreciated.
Here is a screenshot of the current setup, and an animation of it in action:

As you can see it’s a bit complicated, it has all the real supraficial muscles ( I was going to include them all, but I got lazy, so I missed out the ones that would be covered anyway.), and as you can see, they work pretty well. Now, my problem is that I can’t get the scapula moving. It should kind of follow the humerus (the arm bone), but not perfectly (You can test this on yourself). I have tried guides with trackto, but I couldn’t come up with anything yet, so if anyone could provide me with a working solution, that would be great. If not, than a some c&c will do :slight_smile:

well, noone cares, but problem solved :slight_smile:

No, we cares, but the screenshot is too complicated to understand anything. :smiley:
So we care about the solution, too.


HOLY ****! That looks pretty complicated. Would love to see it applicated on an arm. Keep goin’!

Actualy it was very simple, I just had the scapula copy the rotation of the humerus with influence 0.2. I never used that before, so I didn’t think of it :slight_smile:
Now I have a new problem. I’m trying to build muscle meshes upon this thing, as I have done before, but there are some muscles which have 3-5 heads, and those should move separately, so the bones are done separately, but should look like one muscle, and I just can’t rig them. Even if I have only two heads, I can’t put a mesh on it without having a break somewhere. I mean when I move the arm, the muscle mesh breaks, instead of smoothly deforming. I have had this problem sooo many times, but still couldn’t come up with a solution, so how do you make smooth skining?

BTW, have you looked at the animation? I think it’s a bit more understandable.

Yes, I’ve looked at the animation, and honestly it’s too complicated anyway. :smiley:
To skin the muscles with several heads, you should try to have them as a single mesh, then rig them “overlapping” the vertices groups at the boundaries of each head or where they break. This is the technique I always use with my riggings.


confused is it
a)a medical model showing individual muscles deforming with no outer skin covering them?
b)human arm that you are hoping to get accurate muscle movement under the skin… ie arnold doing an arm curl?

side note what could be really cool is if you did the first and were able to use a “cloth” to simulate the actual skin.

Anyway… if b) you could get the same effect with a much simpler setup,
I think Teeth has a simple muscle demo blend

bulging muscles are possible by animating a displacement map
works I’ve tryed … just by altering the alpha value…

could you not simulate bulging muscles by adding an RVK(s)?

This is actually a test, testin myself, and the stretchto thingy:) Right now I’m doing some simple muscle modelling (muscles only, no tendons), but I’ll try and see if some skin could be rigged on it. Later I might do some more detailed muscle modelling, as some of my stuff are already used as visual aids in teaching anatomy, so this might be of some use, but that’s not the main reason I’m doing it.

But, while we are at it, I’m not sure that RVks or alpha textures would be the way to go if one was to make a realistic animation (I mean Gollum quality or the oliphants in LOTR), and using these is definietly simple, tho I don’t know if skining would work or not, I’m testing that. (And I’m aware there are more sophisticated solutions in other packages, but I’m testing blender :slight_smile: )

That is one insane arm rig :o

Present state:

Tho the back and breast muscles do flex, they are just there as an illustration, emphasis on the arm and the scapula, which is still not perfect, as it doesn’t rotate to the arm, but I don’t know how to do that. Also, it’s not orientated perfectly, but at first the backmuscle wasn’t there, and without it it wouldn’t be noticable, and now it’d be too much work :slight_smile:

As for now this is final, tho I’ll probably get back to it later, so let’s stay here.
Three angles, same animation.

Hand, and so wrist is not done, and I know there are some problems, like the breast muscle going through the deltiod, but it’s ok. :slight_smile:

Wow :slight_smile: How about a procedural or image texture over the muscles to make them look more like muscles. Some meshes need to be stretched out or tapered at the ends.

WOW that is awsome man. Great work (and probably lots of headaches) :slight_smile:

The only problem I have is with the forearm. I don’t believe the muscles deform properly as the hand moves at the wrist. Quite a bit of muscular action happens in the forearm when the hand moves like that.

Other than that, though, I’d say it’s coming along great.

Yep, as I said there is no hand, so there are no fingers, and the forearm mucles either move the hand itself, inserting at various hand bones, or they move the fingers, inserting on them. However to have proper movement I would need to do all the hand muscles and bones, because the hand is pretty bendy itself. so for now they just insert at the wrist, so they don’t turn around too much.

There are no tendons, only muscle bodies. The reason is that I don’t know how to do them. For example the biceps brachii has two heads, both are pretty long, and one of them goes around the top of the humerus (the arm bone), how do you animate that? I suppose I could use chains of bones to simulate tendon movement, but the armature is already pretty complicated, and it’s already hard to see what is what. (BTW it would be cool if we could put different bones to different layers inside an armature).

Thanx guys.

i agree, that would be really helpful. or maybe have the ability to hide bones, like when in vertex edit mode. actually, that does sound like a reasonable feature request…

jim ww

you can hide bones by selecting them in edit mode ( of armature ) and push the hide button in the editing buttons panel (F9)

Amazing! Must have been a pain to set up all the 'stretch to’s. Anyhow i am glad to see someone finds 'em usefull.