New character rig for blender: Little_fella

Well since it is a finished project now, I can post it here:

“makeshift full body IK”
FK/IK switch panel
facial animation rig
shapekey phonem set named after the default papagayo set, for easy lipsync action.
multiple mat ID’s for quickly altering the appearance of the entire character. If you can call that a feature… But I thought it was handy.

EDIT: polorix went belly up, wish him well, since we do care for him… :frowning:
so here’s some new links:

new mirrors:
invalid now, see edit3

Invalid now, new mirrors, see edit4


New links, old links are invalid now, will update first post soon:…fella_05.blend

I was thinking about making a new splash by now, but it’s getting rather late …

Be polite and post what you think of it if you download it. I had little feedback when building this, and I’m very curious to find out what you people think about my rig, or how to improve it.

So fun to play with! I haven’t actually used many fully rigged characters like this before, but I like it! I’m having some trouble with the face shape keys, especially with the eyes, but that may just be me. “frown” doesn’t seem to be keyed either. Also, the fingers seem just a bit knobby,
Great materials! Very cool, he’s so cute!

Pretty nifty. The underlying rig is just about the same as the one I’m using for my little short thing, but yours is a lot more polished. Mine also lacks the IK on the spine and head.

I haven’t had time to play around much with the facial rig, but i whipped up a really quick couple steps of a walk… the blur sorta kills it a little, but i closed it without saving so this is the only render i got :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not sure if it’s meant to be like this, but the controls don’t allow for rotating the hips in all three axis. You can rotate them forwards/backwards and twist them about the spine, but not the side-to-side sort of motion which is a useful motion sometimes. So that walk hasn’t got much movement there :stuck_out_tongue: Aside from that tho i dig it a lot. The spine’s not the easiest thing to tweak, but your hand rig is better than mine… i just use FK for the fingers cause i was too lazy to set up a scale method like that in mine :stuck_out_tongue: I didn’t animate them in this tho… was just bored and decided to use it for practice.

/* EDIT - better gif… first one was damaging to my eyes */

Some of the bones could have there limits set.

Hey, thanks for the replies. REALLY appreciate the feedback.
@ dudecon:
Glad you like it, really am. About the eyes: the eye is the only set of shapekeys that uses 3 movements for 3 different shapes. So for instance moving the brow controller up localZ axis moves the brows up. Moving the brow controller forward makes the brows go to the front, and moving them sideways makes him look angry. I wasn’t to sure if this would be the best thing, but I didn’t feel like making 4 extra controllers for it. The face rig allready has more controlls in it than I planned on.
hmm I could let the eye controls do more, right now they only open or close the eyes…

@ squiggly_P
Glad to see someone made some test animations with it. The whole point of me releasing it was to have other people play with it, like ludwig or otto and such.
About the hips, well the controller bone is actually the first bone in the IK chain that forms the spine. It rotates a bit, bit I agree it is limited. you could try rotating the hip bones alternativly, I dunno, maybe I’ll make some kind of fix for it soon. Got a bit of an idea that might work.
The hands aren’t my original idea really. It’s the same on mancandy. but it works well here too. there are quite a few rigs around that use this technique by now.
And I’m so glad to see some test animations with it, and it’s looking quite decent also. :slight_smile:

These two are movies I’ve made with much earlier versions. (V12 and 33 I believe, current one is 48)

Which bones are you referring to? Some of the bones that really need it have their limits set. on other’s I didn’t apply or remove them because I thought they’d take away a certain amount of controll.
I’d be happy to take a look if you can tell me what bones you mean.

I spend quite a lot of time refining this rig. with limits, rotation stiffness, segmented bones, constraints, stretchy bones etc. Points I feel might be a little tricky are indeed the hips and the torso area. But I’ve had little or no problems with them during my tests.
I’d be happy to improve the parts you guys feel could use refining if you could point them out to me.
I’m going to try a little trick for the hips and torso next. I’ll post an update when I have one.

I’m really glad to get some replies for this one. I don’t want this one to die soon. Please, do play around, make some more test animations and such, I was a little worried I wouldn’t get any replies for this one at all.

Pretty sweet rig! I’ll probably be doing some animation with him.

Uh… Only problem I’ve run into already is the wrist rotation. The IK solves for the wrist as well as the lower and upper arm, instead of JUST both the latter. In other words, the hand stays rotated in the direction of the little green guide, while the arms move to meet the position of the guide.

I guess I’m really just nit-picking, I can use the hand bone to handle it, but… Yeah. :wink:

I would put some constraint on the footroot, upperleg, head and hand. Mainly just to stop them from going to far and the help the IK but thats just me, others might like more freedom. I just think that things like this shouldn’t be able to happen:


Hey goodguy, glad you like it.
About the wrist, you can rotate it by rotating the wrist itself. You can rotate around it’s local axis by pressing RYY(rotate, Y axis, local Y axis) I used to have some other hand control and I tried to give it a copy rotation constraint so the wrist would copy the rotation of the hand controller or some other controller object, but it seemed easier to just rotate the wrist itself. I could try and make a version where the hand rotation also controls the wrist if you like.

Hunter, thanks for pointing out which bones you were talking about.
Comments: The footrig is build after Calvin’s footrig. it was either this or have the foot come off. My old foot rig, screen at this thread,
(screen is a bit outdated, but it was discontinued anyway)
had some kind of floor setup that made sure, and by some funky parenting tricks, this floor bone would follow and make sure the foot went up with it.
It still had one or two bugs, and I liked Calvin’s approach better, so I did that. This way, both the hands and the foot act like a kind of floor/wall “lock”
Maybe I could add more bones, and have the current foot controls copy their transforms from the new ones, that might work, and I’d have the current foot display as some kind of floor, since that’s what it acts like.
The upperleg, yeah removed the constraints for the sake of freedom, if you like to use it feel free to add them.
The head, liked the idea of freedom, but experimenting with that right now.
I don’t think I’ll change the hands because I rather like this way, but how would you constrain them? using plain limit loc constraints? Maybe I’ll make one like that.
I’m gonna try one or two things, I think I’ll post an update a bit later on.

I’ve updated a few things and added an alternative version at the download link.
It is a bit tweaked all together again, so this may replace the first one, if other people and I think it is easier/funnier to use.
tweaks: a few small weights, tweaked the bones in the spine a little (I believe this makes the torso a little more predictable to control), gave the neck some rotation limits. Removed a copy rotation constraint from the neck which was active only for FK.
(Yep jpbouza, you were right, I ended up removing it)
made a duplicate of the rig (3rd NORMAL layer) with a slightly different hip control. It has a little issue while moving it, but I think you can easily avoid that issue. I’ll leave you to guess what that issue is :stuck_out_tongue:
made the hand controls a little smaller, and their rotation now controls the hands, instead of the hands following the arms. I think Goodguy will really like this new approach.
I’m sorry, I’m still fiddling with the legs, I can’t think of anything right now that works better. Not without adding a few bones, and it still doesn’t work perfect. so this version still has the same footrig. Sorry Hunter. If I find a better solution, I’ll update again.
Still, I think it’s all ready an improvement.

Made a new walkcycle as well. Not the best around, a little static, but then again, it was a test and made in about 5 mins total:

I didn’t do a lot with the hip movement, I figure that’ll be what I’ll be trying to fix/check for control issues next.

I can’t download. Something about authentication.

Looks good,
I’m learning rigging right now too, do you know any tutorials on adding the controllers like the ones used in the hands and face?

I can do most of the normal rigging and IK set up, but I’ve not moved on to the special controls yet. I’m still reverse engineering Ludwig right now, though a tutorial would perhaps be quicker and less derivative…

It’s really cool that people are making these rigs available. Standardized rigs make community animations much easier. More power to the People!

well for the hands, it’s pretty much plain IK, and for the fingers it’s the same trick mancandy uses. The face is controlled with shape key drivers. there’s a good tutorial on the blenderwiki, should be one google away :slight_smile: basically it’s setting a lineair curve for the effect slider in the IPO editor, with y0=zero influence, y1=full influence, and x=loc/rot/scale/whatever. Same goes for the IK/FK sliders.
There’s also a number of shapekeys that aren’t driven at all. They’re phonem shapes.
To make lipsync easier, if you for instance use papagayo.

EDIT:Goodguy, that’s weird, you may be right though, I downloaded it just now and neither the original and the new version appear to be valid blend files.
what the hell? I’ll check it when I get home and reupload if needbe.

Just checked out polorix, and apparently due to people abusing this free service, and as a consequence, skyrocketing the costs, the uploader will be offline for this month.
This sucks, and me gets angry at those abusers. I don’t blame the dude that provides the service, hell I’m glad it existed in the first place.
We finally had a solid blender file hoster. we don’t need 100’s of megs for files now do we? small files where enough, the cool part was that we were able to acces it from anywhere, without login in on every computer.
I’ll have to find another mirror/filehost somewhere.

FreakyDude, see my private message, send me the rig and I can host it, no problem.


thanks man, I’ll send it, but right now I can’t acces the file either, since I’m not behind my own computer. I’m gonna scoop around for other mirrors as well I guess.

For temporary file hosting, I find GooglePages useful. Not something I’d use for permanent use, but for temp use. :slight_smile:

After I made that post, I read the other thread about the site being hacked. Sorry about that. I’m a computer geek by trade, and I know very well how that happens, and the mess it can cause. :frowning:

Maybe you posted it, I didnt found that info… since its asking: Whats the username and password, to access the files ?

if you need a mirror, try

Thanks for the heads up, google pages actually looks rather nice, maybe I’ll make something decent out of that.
But anyway, I’ve send the file to AntonG who offered to host it, (thanks for that!) and I’ve made a small googlepage where you can download it.

have fun people.