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Tema: armatures aren’t just for characters

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    Armatures aren’t just for characters

    Armatures aren’t just for characters
    by Sandra Gilbert

    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 think 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 think 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 think 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
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