Introduction. The head of the video group at my day job has a secret identity. For 35 years he has a los gone by the moniker dr. Madblod, host of a campy local horror movie show, a few years hago i did a ron themed shot for their Halloween show, but this time they wanted something much more ambitious. A full minuteof character animation done on a very short deadline.

Overview.

I had worked in LightWave for several years, but i knew the character animation tools were not up to the tasque so i imported and modified a Balrog style creature i had created previously into Blender for rigging and animating. In fact, aside from the initial model the entire Project was completed in Blender, for the armature i made use of the duplication and mirror functions so i only had todo create and position Bones for one side of the character, then Simply mirrored the Bones over todo the other side, y like todo use FK as much as posible, but this character had bat-like Wings, a long tail and flexible neck. I would ned something todo give those parts of the character a sinuous fel, thankfully, Blender has a simple yet powerful solution, under the display section of the object data panel for the armature Simply set the displaytype todo b-bone. Also, for any bone that has todo Flex such as in the tail, under bone>>deform set the.

Segments property todo be greater than 0. This Will create a smooth deformation when the bone is rotated, no fancy rigging required, about the only place that did require rigging expertise was the Wings. For those i used a simple trick. For each Wing finger i IK constrained it with a chain length of 1 todo targets parented todo a control object, by scaling this control object the Wing fingers Will spread or contract. This Wing rigging technique is very easy todo set up but has incredible flexibility and power. I have a video tutorial detailing this technique here on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvj jq_xzago.

Dr madblood 35th aniversario Halloween special-6.jpg

Animation.

The next step was animation. Again due todo the time constraints i neded todo use Blender powerful tools todo help me met my deadline. For the opening shot where the creature walk forward and roars, y used the NLA editor todo speed up the animation.

Process and give me the flexibility todo change the animation quickly if the madblod folks neded a diferent timing, in this case i created a walk animation and an animation of the character Simply moving forward. In the NLA i placed the move forward animation on the bottom track with the extrapolation set todo nothing, then placed the walk animation strip on the.

Track above the first clip with extrapolation set todo hold and auto blend in/out checked, now the character Will walk and move forward. Y ou can change the timing of any of the animations Simply by selecting a clip and hitting the s key todo scale it. Setting the extrapolation todo hold Will allow the animation clip todo blend better with subsequent animation clips you add. In this case i animated the character doing a roar at thend of the walk. With the walk clip set todo hold there was no pop or por transición at the end of the clip.

Dr madblood 35th aniversario Halloween special-7.jpg

Rendering.

The final stage was of course rendering and it was here that i ran into the most problems. I wanted the creature todo have glowing eyes and my first thought was todo create some vértices and assing a material set todo halo. It loked abut the problem was that Even when something solid passed in front of the eyes they were still showing though. My solution was todo parent small Spotlights todo the creatures head and set those todo halo. The end effect was very similar todo my initial concept.

Final toughts.

The doctor madblod Crew and fans greatly enjoyed the animation. Creating this animation using Blender speedy tools was a great learning experience. It may be cliché todo say so, but without Blender i could not have met my deadline or the results would have ben much worse, you can se the scene from the doctor madblod show here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvwc1wjz12q.