Super Simple Animation Rig

I made a super simple animation rig. It only has IK right now, no fancy IK switching or complicated foot and leg setups or anything like that, but if you want to concentrate on animating and not on how to operate a fancy rig, then this may just be the rig for you.
A couple of notes:
THe mesh is located on the very first layer, and the armature is located on the layer underneath it.
On the armature layers, the first layer contains all of the mesh deforming bones, the second and third layers contain some control bones. Use the second layer for animating.
If you click on the little arrows in the action window you can load a default pose to start with or you can pick a short little test action I made.
Here is a quick animation:
And the blend file:
EDIT: Here is a slightly updated blend file:

Any questions or comments are welcome.

Anybody know what’s going here? I made a switch to drive the influence of two constraints using a driver in the IPO of the constraints. Everything worked fine. I closed that file and re opened it and the driver information was gone. I then added them back as before, same thing, everything worked as planned. Closed the file, re-opened the file and they were gone again…anyone?

I certainly wasn’t expecting such a complete rig given the thread title. I mean, there’s even fingers in there. I like the controls. I’m going to see if I can adapt the rig to a model I made over christmas.

Can’t help with the constraint loss problem. If you can replicate it in a simple blend file, submit it as a bug.

You said you closed the file, but did you save it first? Please dont get me wrong here. But sometimes when we are so busy thinking our body works on auto pilot…

Thanks for the rig, very nice.

Thanks Orinoco, I made it with transferring to different meshes in mind. It should be fairly easy. The fingers should have the control to just scale one controller bone and it should curl the finger. Let me know if you have any questions about transferring it to your mesh.

You are welcome! Unfortunately, I did save the file before closing, but I know what you mean. Once I thought my laptop had died, only to find it was not plugged in. :confused: You know the first question you get at the help desk is " Is it plugged in? Is the power switch on?" I could have died from embarassment when I looked at the plug, not in the wall socket!!!

LOL, OMG that happened to me too, only was the PC… You know they dont even laugh when you say"oh crap, no it not".

They just ask if there is anything else. I guess they get tired of it…Nice to know we are human.

that’s a simple but nice rig, like Orinocco I wasn’t expecting a complete animation rig. simple, complete, nice one.

Heh, heh, they had even mailed me a box to send it in for service. It was pretty funny after the fact.:yes:

Thanks, FreakyDude! Here are couple more tips:
:smiley: If you want the hand controllers to NOT follow the upper body, for holding on to walls, or pushing off a table or the like, just go into edit model for the armature and change HandIK.L and .R parents from Spine.4 to Root. ( this is what I was trying to put a switch for, may get it later on)
:)The two visible neck bones are for tweaking the head and neck when you need more room to turn.
:DIf you leave the rotate widget on and set to “normal” you can easily pose him by using G key to drag around a bone and then just clicking on the rotation gizmo to rotate the bone into place.
:smiley: You can select all the control bones by pressing “a” key then press “i” and insert locrot keyframes. I use this method to add holds and help with timing.

Have fun, like I said in the first post, it’s simple enough to concentrate on animating instead of working the rig. I had planned on making some animation tutoring movies in the near future, using this rig. You know, show how to do some basic things, it’s easy to tell someone to ease in and out but it would be better to show how to add keys and such to do this in 'blender. Then maybe people may be ready to move on to a more complicated rig.

Sorry for the double post, but I forgot to mention that the finger control bones are located on layer 8 in the bones layer. I dunno why I moved them there except for maybe this mesh doesn’t have fingers…anyhoo, just move those back to bones layer 2 and all you have to do is scale them normally for the fingers to curl, sort E D like.

Yeah I had found those bones, first thing I do when I look through a rig is make all the bone layers visible. I like those stretchy bone things, you use them for the backside of the knee and elbow area I take it? (haven’t looked at the weighting yet.)
If you don’t know how to set those switches (just in case) Look through my rig in the signature, it has those switches you speak of. there’s a number of things in there I’m trying to get done in a better fashion, and I’ll be trying those stretchy bone thingies again, now that I’ve seen how you use them, but i’ll trying them on the armpit chest area again.
Just curious, do you have any more complex rigs as well?

FreakyDude, I use the stretchy bones only to keep the knee and elbow locators in place. You can see when you pick up a foot the knee locator stays half the distance to the hips, out in front of where the knee should point. It has no deformation effect on the mesh. I have seen some people use stretchy bones to help with problem deformation areas. I use a combo of shape keys and fan bones on these areas.
The only other object I have rigged is the Ogre model. It uses this same rig with an added rig for chain link motion, and some simple face controllers. I do plan on making more features in the future, if only to learn how. You know like stretchy cartoon like limbs, and the like.
I’m down loading your rig now, thanks!

I finally made a web page for the new rig. Like the rig it is super simple. Any way, if you re- download the blendyman rig I added another couple of actions, including the Preston Blair inspired skipping action. See the webpage for a couple of avi’s showing the skipping animation.



Thx for the rig !

I’ll give you a 9/10 on it.

The one problem with it is that you have not applied rotation/scale to the armature, which means the object / pose axis’s are not aligned, and therefore if you want to use the “new” walking methods in the NLA editor (using a path object and path modifiers), it won’t work properly.

(Select the armature in object mode, press ‘n’ for the transform properties and you can see the rotx is 90).

I started to fix it, I think the only thing that will need to be adjusted is the IK foot targets so that the feet are oriented correctly.


Thanks Mike_S! I think I fixed it…try ver 2.4 from here and see if it works for you.
Thanks again :slight_smile:

i want to use this but the link is dead