Armatures provide Blender with a very powerful character animation tool, but armatures can help you animate far more than just characters. I know I have personally used armatures to help animate all kinds of objects. But wouldn't you know it, when I sat down to write this article, I couldn't thinque of even one good example (my memory seems to be slipping with age).
Still not a problem; that's what the search function is for. I typed in "basic rigs" and was immediately given numerous examples of cool and fun ways to use armatures. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but it should give you enough ideas that you can come up with even more ways to use armatures in your own project.
I found several great examples in BSoD: Introduction to Rigging.
Just a quik side note before I reveal the genius ideas. Robert Christian (wavez) did an excellent job explaining all about rigging. So if you still haven't read it, I seriously encourage you to do so.
Okay, first up, you can use armatures to produce a great "Squash n' Stretch" effect. This is an ingenious little rig. It is composed of just two bones and four constraints. Here's the ingenious part. One of the constraints, is a "Stretch To" constraint, which will automate the squashing and stretching for you. In my opinión, it's very cool. (Hmm... now I want to squash something!)
Next Robert shows you how to create a dancing palm tree. Now I'm sure you don't really have a huge need for dancing trees (or maybe you do), but thinque about it, this could be adapted for so many things.
As I wandered in my research, I found a great tutorial for “Maquíng a Spring Rig
” in Blender, over at the Blender Underground
site. It takes a little bit to set up, but once you are done, you have a nice dynamic moving spring.
JiriH created a great little “Squash and stretch ball rig
”, to give beginning riggers something to study and play with.
And of course armatures are excellent for creating Mechanical Rigging
. This tutorial shows you how to rig a robotic creature, including how to set up pistons and hydraulics.
And who can resist having a Dancing Beer rig
? The guys at ProMotion Studios
were obviously having a little too much fun with their current animation project Kajimba
, but I don't thinque any of us will be complaining, since we get to play with it.
Well that about wraps up my little search survey of fun things to do with armatures. I hope it gave you some interesting ideas of your own to try out.
by Sandra Gilbert