Little Jonny

I christened him Little Jonny, as that was the first name that came into my head. It’ll be a little while before I get cracking into the head and hands area (need time to go over the character animation book I’ve got to get the face loops and the hands right) but I do have the availability to do the body and feet.
I’m posting this now to get advice on the following things:

  • rigging, how to I rig this character for full manoveurability (generic sword fight for animation practice), including locking the finger movement at certain angles and restrictions in various areas so as not to get impossible movement.
  • setting up the face loops so as to allow for complete jaw and cheek movement, frown wrinkles and some of the other more complex facial expressions not normally covered. While I do have knowledge about applying various animation sliders to the mesh and whatnot, I’m not nearly so knowledable about actually putting the mesh together without screwing it up badly. Advice on that matter would be extremely helpful.
  • also I’m wondering whether or not to have whites in his eyes or just the pupil (skin colour is a prussian blue/blue grey)
  • dynamic hair for decent hair during animation (I don’t want to use particles, rather a mesh, but I’m not sure which would be better, aiming for clumped cartoon type look)
  • getting in flashes on sword strikes.


Hey dude,

Congratulations on starting your work with text-book prescribed method. I would advise that you look around for existing rigged characters that are available like lud-wig and “otto the cleaner”. From you these you can reverse engineer to your own specs. This method works best for me, as in the tutorials, I always seem to miss a step.

Thanks, I’ll probably grab a few, if I haven’t already got them in my Blender folder that just seems to get bigger all the time. I’ll be posting up some of the work I do on the sword and body, since I can do that.

Here’s the sword hilt about 30 mins work, I’m trying to keep the mesh as clean as possible so there is not mirror modifier on it. I’ll tweak when I’ve finished of course.


For bettter wires just go in to edit mode and click on the EDGES (CTRL+TAB Edges) …then click on the little box thing that makes it so you cant see through it.

But it looks really good and i cant wait for more

About 1 and a a half hours of work. I got a brainwave overnight, and decided to change to crossguard. But that’s for today.


New update on the handle, I ended up doing it simple KISS rule… And because I ran into some hellish poles. In fact those things are driving me loopy, mind the pun.
smashes computer and runs out the house screaming incomprehensible CGI jargon
I’ve run into more problems with logo on the blade and after I do the second side I’ll post and get you opinion on fixing the darned thing.
Advice on materials on the hilt would be welcome. Very welcome actually, I’m stumped right now. I used Hippie’s great leather texture for the grips but everything else…


Please don’t complain about the triple post, I’m showing my work and nobody advises…
Neways got the blade done, and its really screwed, I should probably scrap the logo and go plain shouldn’t I…
The full blade with some wierd shader setting on and too much lighting:

the handle closup:

The file:
Katana.blend (382 KB)
So you guys can give me some tips on fixing the problems… oh yes, and what does edge split do? Its the only thing stopping my entire blade from going kaputt but I don’t know what it is. This is a mayday call… I’m gonna crash soon coz this sort of stuff is happening too much.
Oh yes and also could someone give me some advice on the blade, I was thinking energy blade but I don’t know how (it seems the more I learn, the more I learn how much I don’t know…) to achieve that effect in Blender.

Looks great!
That handle would look awesome on my knife!

If you straightened the faces out around the flame by deleting edges and filling, you could reduce the face count in the blade.

Making the flame longer might help too.

If you made the flame a separate object and Joined it to the blade, you wouldn’t need the extra faces at all.

Also a lattice might help to sweep it back and sharpen the point.

For the handle material, SubSurface Scattering with higher translucency will make the metal much shinier.
I’d also try a higher specularity with hardness to control the shine.

I’ve also experimented with emit, to nice effect. (A sometimes useful source of extra light.)

Not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but I hope it helps.

Have fun
God bless

By the way, I have no idea what edge split does.

Thanks for the advice neon, will experiment with the SSS. I just realised that I should’ve just done the flame as a separate object. As to face count,well, let’s just say there’s hardly any in there at all.
The emit value doesn’t seem to be working well, it doesn’t produce any light that effects the environment, or at least in this case it doesn’t so I gave up on that. The current setting for the blade is trashadow, it came out cool so I’ve stuck with that for now. It’s by no means finished though. I still have a few other details to do.

Blender radiosity requires that you map the light to any objects that will receive it.

If you want the blade to actually emit light, this tutorial might help.
Blender radiosity requires that you map the light to any objects that will receive it.

I do like the blade material you have now, but you mentioned an energy blade and I’m thinking how that might be done.

Excellent work overall.

Fix the link, the first section shouldn’t be there.
As to radiosity, I’ve had a lot of trouble with that in previous tries, couldn’t even get it to work to be honest. Also on larger projects such as animations and whatnot, I’m not so sure about the feasability, render times and the bulky lighting setup.

fixed it, thank you.
I got this to work on a mushroom house (actually my avatar,) but the settings were too advanced for me, so I gave up for now.
It didn’t seem to really affect render times, though (once all the mesh work was done.)

Come to think of it, the Radiosity lighting is more or less baked on, so probably wouldn’t work too well for animations anyway.

Radiousity has a really nice effect though. Do you know how to join objects together or group them together as a single object group.

Join is CTRL+J, with both objects selected in object mode.

Look for “Add to Group” in Object and Links, where you would expect to find the “Vertex Groups” button.

Note: If you move 1 object in an object group, the others won’t necessarily move with it.
You would still need parenting for that.

Joining them makes them part of the same mesh, so the transformations automatically affect both parts.

Great thanks… LEVEL UP!! X 2
latest developments. Fixed all the problems, added the blade emitter and now all i need to do is handle the materials… also added SSS though i’m still working on that.



Whoever takes on little Johnny is gonna be in trouble

Heck yes, it’s gonna be tough but I’m gonna be learning how to animate properly with a fight scene between little johnny and his twin nemesis.
Starting the double edge tonight, yeah that’s right, bladestaff. Johnny’s gonna be wielding twin power blades.Should go a bit faster now that I’ve got over some of the hurdles in the last model. Oh yes, also planning on a song lipsync practice, I’ve got the following candidates:

  1. 7 days to the wolves by Nightwish, not so sure about copyright for this one though so I’m wondering if it’d be alright to use it?
  2. Forever gamer - copyrights fine,
  3. For the heart I once had also by nightwish, again not so sure about copyright.

Very nice
Best of luck with all of that.

I particularly like the handly.