Human Rigging- Elbows, Knees, Hips, etc.

Hey guys, I’m trying to mess with rigging and animation. The main thing that is vexing me right now is skinning, I suppose. After much gnashing of teeth, I have yet to be able to find a vertex weighting combination that produces reasonable action at joints such as elbows, knees, hips, etc. for anything but the smallest of ranges of motion.

Yet, I see lots of CG art that does not seem to have this problem. What am I missing? Is there an example .blend of a rigged and skinned model that has realistic joint operation that I can try to glean secrets from? Or do I need to research a “muscle system”? Or do people use RVK for this? So far, I’ve only been skinning bones/armatures. Or is it simply unbelievably hard to do, and only CG gods can pull it off with a ton of work?


There is a girl model in my site (the www button under this post) with some overly complex rigging for joints (no IK), works well only with 2.35 to 2.37, not with 2.4 alpha.

Under 2.4, the much better choice you have is to use shape keys (RVK) driven by bones. I have tried with 2.4 alpha and it is incredible, you can actually model the bent joints right on the deformed mesh!

So if I read you right, I should stop futzing/fighting with 2.3x and start learning the (better) 2.40 way of doing things? Right?

Can you recommend a good RVK tutorial (maybe even something that mentions 2.40’s new capabilities)?

Others’ thoughts?

Many thanks…

Yes, get into 2.4 now:

There are no real tutorials yet but Shape is so easy in 2.4 you don’t need one. I linked to that page and not the “Shapes” one because you should also look at IK’s and IPO Drivers.

You’ll find some handy .blends there.


Take a look at fligh’s links and download the example posted here:

Just make sure to activate these little buttons:

Things still don’t seem to work totally well, I made a driven key for the back side of the joint between thigh and calf and worked very well:

Then I made another key to inflate the buttock when the thigh bone is rotated backwards, but rotating the thigh bone is triggering the other key, creating an ugly lump:

(edit) I found the answer here