I Need Help Animating My Character

Hi guys! I’m pretty new to Blender. I’ve dabbled in it for several months, but I haven’t really started learning how to use it until recently. I’m working towards making a movie (a short one. Nothing too fancy), but I’m having some trouble with animation. I’ve modeled my character, a goofy looking ninja with a huge head, and rigged him for animation. I’ve sucessfuly animated a wave motion and a walk cycle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAihzrFt4S8, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9MOJWPrsQA) but I’ve run into an issue regarding the sword on his back. I tried to make an animation of him drawing it, but something keeps going wrong. Either his hands move correctly and the sword remains where it is, or the sword begins moving as soon as his hand does, but before his hand even touches the sword. The set up is that the character is all one object, and the sword is a separate one. Do I need to combine them into one object? Do I need to add a bone to the sword? How can I make the sword move in part of the animation but not all of it? What I had been trying to do is parent the sword to the hand once the hand touches the handle, but that makes the sword move as soon as the hand begins reaching…what am I doing wrong?


Maybe you can help me. I don’t even know where to begin animating my character. Do you know of any tutorials that a noob can follow.

I think if you parent something, that it’s parented, you can’t turn it on or off with keyframes. So, two possibilities:
First, put a bone in the sword, and animate the sword.
Second, cut your animation into two segments, one with the hand reaching for and grabbing the hilt, the next with the sword parented to the hand as it draws the sword. Then combine the two in the Video Sequence Editor.

Welcome to BlenderArtists. :smiley:

@JoeHardy15, try BSoD/Introduction to Character Animation

Don’t parent it at all. Use a “ChildOf” constraint. Then you can animate the influence.

another old trick is to create 2 versions of the sword, one permanently in the characters hand, just make it invisible, and one on his back. then as he grabs hold of the one on his back, over 1 frame switch visibility, so the one on his back becomes invisible and the one in his hand becomes visible, if the two are lining up, you wont even see that you have done it.

This sounds like the best advice so far.

Whoa, thanks guys. I’ll definitely look into those options…and go with whatever involves the least work. :smiley: