Re-release: little_fellaX rig.

Hi there, maybe some of you remember my little_fella rig,
I’ve given him a complete overhaul, details below.
Inspiration came from some things like a conversation I had with sir Daniel Martinez Lara (from pepeland fame) at bconf, and the bunny rigging video from Nathan, which we all know from Big Buck Bunny.

I’ve also made some documentation for him. Find the rig and the documentation at my site:

A lot less cluttering set of control objects
Nice posability
Lots of new facial expressions possible
Better control (like the waist area)
All control bones have their local Z-axis pointing upwards, convenient and uniform when tweaking IPO curves. (thanks to Tim for pointing this out)
More pivots in the foot, ball, heel and toes.
Lipsyncing shapekeys.
Several material indexes to quickly define the colorset.
Seperate UV’s:
one for the whole body
a smaller one for adding logo’s to his upperarms (shoulderpad kinda thing),
torso and back. Usefull for games or something.

There was a bug, the action with the keys for the IK/FK switch was accidentally deleted. Fixed now.
New version, (sorry, same name, I like to stay with X, and don’t expect more bugs for the guy.)

new mirrors,
2.46 compatable version, same names:
old torso behaviour version:

new torso behaviour version:

files on my website are also updated.

and some more images:
Shot at 2008-04-12

i like the new changes you made

Aww man… Now I gotta re-rig my character with your new rig. :stuck_out_tongue:

Same license, my friend? :wink: Your rig certainly was a nice “jumping off” point, and I expect this latest version will be even more so. :slight_smile:

Hey thanks guys.
Glad you like the changes.
Yes the license is the same. I’ve changed some things in the manual though.
Well I made, or rather finished this rig to be a nice, easy to use and complete allround rig for any blenderhead to use. So I’m glad it was a good jumping off point to you.
If there is enough interest, I might update the documentation with a “making of”, or some more animation related stuff. Should be handy for others as well.

I have not had the time to get into character animation yet, but when I do, this is defintely a resource I will be delving into.

Thanks for your efforts FreakyDude.

yay , liked that rig , quit nice , …
and it can be a good edu resource as well ! .

Thanks guys, really glad you guys like it.
Well currently the documentation is more about how the rig works instead of how to build the rig, there are other resources such as the BSOD introduction to character animation. But I think I’ll add a section with some step by step how to build it as well. This googlepage thing is quite usefull for that. But even though googlepages may be easy to set up, it’s rather limiting as well, not as much freedom as I’d like. O well, it’s more than sufficient for what I’m currently using it for. My site isn’t choking in it just yet…

And just for fun, some earlier poses, just before I changed the default color scheme:
Shot at 2008-04-14

Just a quick update, the IK/FK frame was broken in the previous file. Must’ve happened when I was cleaning up the file…
It’s fixed now, I added a constraint for the arms in FK as well (localX rotation would rather hurt in real life, cause arms aren’t ment to bend that way)

Updated the mirrors, links in first post.

Added a small youtube animation at the little_fella_docs, not the best place maybe, but well, it’s the animation I intend to use to make a walkcycle animation or something, so it’s kind of a placeholder.
Don’t really care if there is interest for it. I just want to have that tutorial. I still need to add one page which explains how to use the UV’s for the logo I guess.

And eh goodguy, I checked your site, glad you could fit my rig to your character. Going to see how that copy rotation would look. I think I added it once, waaaaay back when I started the rig, but didn’t do a lot of good back then. If it works good enough, I might borrow that idea back :slight_smile: To be honest, I kinda hope it doesn’t. I’d have to update all the mirrors again :stuck_out_tongue:

really nice, cute character. posably the cutest free blender rig. and nice to use too. for some reason I couldn’t get yr previous version working, but I can get this one working.

Thanks man. that’s a rather nice compliment. Mind you he can be anything but cute … :stuck_out_tongue:
I have no idea why he didn’t work for you earlier. Do you mean the file was corrupt or just that the other one (little_fella5) was unresponsive? ( I’ve done quite a bit of tweaking and testing in the controls and joints since that version)

I’m testing that copy rotation thing for the spine. works allright. But with this new flexibility the shoulders seem a little less intuitive. With the spine moving with the torso’s rotation it makes more sense to parent the shoulders to the torso, but this looses a little bit of the flexibility… maybe I’ll make an extra slider, for the shoulder’s to copy the location and local rotation of the torso and such, they don’t need to be parented so you still keep the shoulder freedom you have now…

Dang, I was hoping I’d call this one finished… It’s perfectly usable as it is, but I like to have as many options with as little fuss on the users end as possible… so this torso idea is another plus… I think I’ll add it in. It will be the third update of versionX… soon I will have to increment the name.
Dang it…

Okay there will most likely be a new version this weekend.
I’ve so far given the torso more control, set up a switch for “parenting” the shoulders (which isn’t set to work yet, but the controls are there), and made some tweaks to prevent the shoulderbones from going away from the body. Need to do some testing and cleaning up, but I think you’ll like the changes.
More flexibility+same controls=good stuff.

I still have to get used to the new shoulder/torso combo though…

@Yogyog, whatever happened to that monkey rig? that one was sweet! You know, the one from
Have you build a character for it yet?

whoo boy did I open up a can of worms with that rotation copy. In order to fix or make other things behave more intuitive, I broke a number of things, fixed a number of other issues. improved the eyetracking, fixed some rotations that add up, broke some do-not-pull-away things…I think I’ll have to increment the new file now… the shoulder controls attached for one is going out the window. It’s not as convenient as I thought it might be…

OKAY, mucking with it for a few hours now, I have a new version with rotation for the torso bone, different behaviour for the shoulders and a switch to toggle old shoulder/new shoulder behaviour.

Well, the copy rotation constraints went out the window, they gave to much conflicts with how the other parts, like the neck and head would behave. I used the IK rotation instead. I also ended up NOT attaching the shoulders so they couldn’t be pulled away. wasn’t intuitive. Plus you couldn’t clear the location anymore.

I’ve let the previous version up, because, although this new version will be the one I’ll be using from now on, maybe some people like the previous one a little better. A little less control, but less sensitive, so easier for some to pose I guess. I’d like to know which approach you guys like better.
You can find both versions on my site.

I’ll still need to update the documentation now.
for people not familiar with blender’s hotkeys and manipulation options, let’s give a quick runthrough, or you might end up thinking the torso is to sensitive to control. Make excessive use of blender’s hotkeys, to rotate along global, local axis, and use trackball rotation (press R twice) to rotate or move press R or G, if you want to constrain to an axis, press the axis hotkeys:
global, press X, Y or Z once
local press XX, YY or ZZ
shift to exclude that axis from the transformation

For the torso, trackball works rather nice.

new mirrors:

Either way guys, I ask for you to try this new version, and I would appreciate if some of you let me know which approach you like better.

Hey, I like little fella! IMO, I think he’s one of the better-looking rigged characters available. Nice and normal. He should work great for animation studies. I’ll definitely make some time to check him out. Thanks!

In answer to your question the file was corrupt. I recommended this fella to a free-rigs list proposal thingy BTW.

thanks guys, really like that he is catching on.

Kernond from blendernewbies fame, wow. When you check him out, do let me know what the results are please. I’d love to see them.

hey Yogyog
I like this idea about a free rig list. There’s a number of good rigs around and nobody notices them.
Maybe even add a ranking system, so good rigs get some more exposure.
Where did you recommend him if I might ask? I is a curious little bugger…
(and what about the monkey?)

Another thing though… there will likely be a new version after 2.46 is out. I have the release candidate version 3 on ubuntu 8.04 and rc4 on windows, and somehow, the torso is all distorted. It happens on all the versions, even the old and ancient little_fella5 file. I don’t think it was like that in 2.45 and earlier, actually I’m quite certain. So I’ll have to check what changed in 2.46’s behaviour and update again…

I think I know what caused the weird behaviour. I thought the twisting might have something to do with b bones, so I checked it out. Seems to be the case, and luckily, it’s an easy fix too. Then I recalled something about a number of bugs being removed from b-bones somewhere on the peach blog…
Going to see if my fix didn’t break something though. some more searching when I get home. I’m not going to rename both files. I’m going to fix them and reupload both versions without incrementing the name this time. I’ll let you guys know when the mirrors are updated.

Wow!!! This is the kind of rig I’ve been hoping Blender could do.
How did you get the nurbs curve type controllers to work? (e.g. hand controls etc) Are there any tutorials on this kind of thing for Blender?
I’ve been doing animation in Maya recently because it does stuff like that, so I’d be really keen to know how to set it up for Blender rigs.
I do kind of miss the Maya Expression Editor… is there a way rto “set limits” to prevent over sliding of the above head switches?

No tutorials that I know of yet. I’m thinking of adding one to my site.
The curve controls? I shaped them with curves, then converted them to meshes. You then give the bones the shape of the controls.
The controls are parented to an empty which is parented to the waist. It is scaled down a lot and everything under it is made invisible, unselectable and unrenderable. That’s how I build it.

Yes there is a way to set limits for the sliders, (was default in an earlier version) but a downside to that was that you could move all you want, but if you had moved the frame, and even though the sliders follow the frame, You’d have to grab and drag a lot because it only takes the global coordinates for the transformation, regardless of whether or not you set the constraint to local or global space.
What I mean is you could start grabbing, and the sliders don’t move, then you’re halfway across the screen and all of a sudden the slider starts to move, because only then does it see the area in which the slider is allowed to move…
I ended up removing these constraints. It’s much more straightforward as it is now.

The current file works fine with 2.45, but there’s a bug, or rather a bugfix, in 2.46 that makes the shoulders twist in it’s default pose.
It’s an easy fix, but i just didn’t get around to uploading it yet.

I don’t know what the maya expression editor is, but you can store poses and pose sets in 2.46, is that a little bit along the same lines?

Didn’t you make a really neat rig sometime ago as well? name rings a bell…