No renders as I havent done anything yet, but plan to try something really cool. I was at the AEAF (Australian Effects and Animation Festival) last week which was interesting and all, but the topic of muscle simulation (amongst other things) stood out to me when watching the talk from a WETA Animation Supervisor. For some time now, all of their characters are built using a skeleton - muscle - skin pipeline, and from the sound of it, they hardly if ever use shape keys/ blend shapes etc anymore as even the faces are muscle driven. Naturally the overtly ambitious thought ran through my head -
Can Blender do this somehow?
To my very pleasant surprise, I then went to an internet cafe later in the day and read about the mesh deformation modifier and just smiled. I havent got my head around exactly what to try yet as I am in the midst of a few projects, some paid for a change, but one general thought would be to make a rig (and possibly a real skeleton mesh, or use a kindly donated one…) and then build muscle meshes, parenting to the bones, weight painting as usual, possibly shape keys for bulging etc, not sure, maybe softbody sim could take care of that? Then attach a character to the same armature and add multiple mesh deform modifiers for the various muscles.
Sounds simple enough.
Yes, I’m aware the human body has over 600 muscles, so I’ll try rigging and arm or a leg first and check the results. I’ll try and get my hands on the mancandy dvd soon to increase my changes of making a better rig to test on while I’m at it.