Pre-Made Rig Won't work!

Hello! I am going to animate a movie in Blender, and I am using 3D models from a video game. They have skeletons, but I cannot get them to move the mesh. I imported the NIF file using default settings. One model I have tried is already rigged. But that is only one model. I need more things rigged for my movie (like a dog, tree, etc.). Here is the model:

.blend File:

.NIF file:

Could someone help me with rigging?

Thank you.


EDIT: I am using Blender 2.49b with Blender Nif Scripts.

By the way, I am using Blender 2.49b with the Blender Nif Scripts.

Is the armature parented to the mesh?

That is completely set up wrong. Are you trying to import rigs from another app?

Yes. I am trying to do that. It came from a video game. Do you think it is possible to keep the original bones, and just rig them up or something?

Yeah - of course it’s possible. I like rigging (by that I mean as opposed to someone who does not, and a lot of people don’t) I can immediately see how to do it. However, as a rigger I would recommend dropping the current set up which currently resembles something like a pin cushion. If it were my rig I’d start from ground up and make something with user friendly controllers.

Okay - had a play with your minifig character. Here’s a rig set up for you to look at. Sorry it’s in 2.62 (current) Blender. If you’re production minded… why are you using the old one?

Download here ==> minifig_02.blend (167 KB)

Most parts are moved by rotating - select them (left mouse button) and then hit the [R] key twice.

Blender 2.49 version here ==> minifig_02_blender249.blend (114 KB)

The reason I use 2.49b is because the Nif Scripts were not built for for the new version. Anyway, awesome rig! I have never seen that kind of setup before. How did you do it? I’d like to learn and do it myself! :smiley:

EDIT: How can I apply a texture to this guy now? I cannot select him because when I try, it selects the bones.

What you’re looking at is a standard FK rig (Forward Kinematics). I have locked the direction of the bones so the animator won’t accidentally move things in odd directions; this is done by the little padlocks on the wrong directions in the [N]-key Properties toolbox. It looks “flash” because I’ve used bone shapes to generate user friendly controllers. The actual shapes are hidden on another layer.

The job of the rigger is to set up intuitive controls for the character in order that the animator can work their magic with minimum fuss. If you’re serious about making a professional production, I’d recommend The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams. There’s nothing in there about rigging, but you will get an in depth understanding of the language of animators and thereby know what to look for as a director.

There are two reasons why you can’t select the mesh.

  • (not the reason) In pose mode, bones are most easily picked up by the mouse.
  • (the real reason) I have protected the mesh in order to stop the animator from accidentally selecting and moving it instead of the bones.

To undo this, split the main window and add an Outliner view. Expand the Armature branch and you will see a whole lot of Minifig.000 shapes (I should have named these but it appears I didn’t so fire me :stuck_out_tongue: ) In the outliner each of these has an icon of an eye, a mousepointer and a picture frame. Re-enable the mousepointers to make the pieces selectable again.

P.S. If your character is from a video game, make sure you’re covered in terms of permissions / copyright.

Well, this really didn’t help. I’d like to use the bones already there, and the bones you made are not human-like. I have been researching, and haven’t found anything, but if you could tell me something about the Bone Heat Weighting Error I keep getting, that might help.

I’m not offering to rerig your character [again] for you though I’d like to point out that if you wanted something more “human-like”, a bit of direction would have saved me a lot of trouble. I went by what I was given and thereby rigged it as a hard surface lego model. I’m now thinking you want the arms to bend, feet to peel as they step etc. Yes, this can all be done. However if you want to specifically use the provided bones “as is” to your original submission, perhaps you could draft up some diagrams of what each of those bones is supposed to do? I don’t think your initial set up is very intuitive. There are other issues with the mesh being separated into islands (e.g. groups of faces are separated with doubled vertices on the edges) which I’d recommend you fix before looking at Bone Weighting or you may find the seams start opening up during movement. (I fixed this before rigging my version)

Search for “weight painting” and you may get more hits (more common term).

I am not wanting you to rig one for me again. I appreciate the one you made, but I have other models with this type of skeleton, and I don’t want to re-rig them all. I have a LOT of models. But I’ll keep using Google until I figure out something!

If you get one rig the way you are happy with it, you can then transfer the models onto the same rig (at least I believe you can - I think this feature was all the rave some time back - something like placing the models over each other and calling a function to copy weight paint).

Do you know about the BlenderArt magazines? There are a tonne of articles in there and because they go back a long way, many will be applicable to Blender 2.49.

Download all issues (for free):

I fixed it. I followed this tutorial: and it all worked!

Topic Solved!

Excellent! Let’s know how that movie turns out.

Here it is! It took me a week, but it’s here! :stuck_out_tongue:

:smiley: Hahaha - nice going.

You mentioned having lots of different characters earlier on. Are you thinking of making a number of shorts, like a series?

Well, yes. I am thinking of doing a lot of short animations. Not all of them will be related to each other though.

You know what, Blender is awesome! :smiley: