Learn 3D Graphics

Creating a Character

Learn the basics of modeling, rigging, and animating a character in Blender.

Character

As always, there are two main approaches to forming a character: drawing with vertices or modifying a basic mesh shape (ie. cube or uv sphere). Drawing with vertices is more challenging and time consuming. It can allow for more realism/complexity when used properly. Using a basic mesh (or multiple meshes) and subdividing, extruding & etc. can be faster and easier. While you can choose whatever approach makes the most sense for your character and the amount of time, it is highly recommended to start with a cube.

  1. Create a new, separate file for each character
  2. Name the character file with your first name, the initial of your last name, and the name of your character (ie. JohnS_George.blend)
  3. Create a new collection for your character
    1. In the Outliner, right-click on "Scene Collection"
    2. Double-click on the name of the new collection and give it a new, descriptive name (ie. Character, George, Squirrel)
  4. Using the cube as a starting point:
    1. Drag the default cube into the character collection if it will be the base of your character The example image is missing
    2. With the cube selected, enter "Edit" Mode (tab)
    3. Edit the cube to create your character:
      1. Subdivide to get some initial geometry:
        • 3 cuts is often a great starting point
        • Try upping the smoothness to get a more rounded form to start with
        • The example image is missing
      2. Adjust the overall scale of the cube as needed - for a humanoid, size the cube to work as a torso (also use quad view as needed → ctrl+opt+Q | ctrl+alt+Q) The example image is missing
      3. Select loops (opt+right-click | alt+right-click) and move and/or scale bigger or smaller as needed The example image is missing
      4. Slide loops or vertices along the perpendicular edges with "G G"
      5. Add more loop cuts to add detail to targeted areas The example image is missing
      6. Use proportional editing to adjust vertices/faces as needed The example image is missing
      7. Use the mirror modifier to keep the sides symmetrical (and apply it if you need to switch to being asymmetrical) The example image is missing
      8. Extrude faces as needed The example image is missing
      9. Use the subdivision surface modifier as needed for extra smoothness (keep in mid the amount of subdvision/loop cuts locations can drastically change the appearance) The example image is missing
      10. Join with other objects only if needed - make sure to thoughtfully consider how one object or limb connects or transitions into one another
  5. Drawing with Vertices:
    1. Delete the cube (X)
    2. Move the pivot point to the world origin (Shift+S → "Cursor to World Origin")
    3. With the character collection selected in the Outliner, add a plane (Shift+A → Mesh → Plane)
    4. In "Edit" Mode (tab), select the entire plane (A)
    5. Delete the plane (X → Vertices)
    6. Switch to the top view (numpad 7 or the blue Z in the view widget)
    7. Draw with the vertices:
      1. Ctrl+left-click to add a vertex
      2. With vertex select active, select groups of 4 vertices to make faces (F)

When working more realistically, reference images can help you keep accurate proportions. This is most effective with 2 or more reference images of multiple viewpoints (ie. front & side views). Take your own reference images whenever possible. If you must use images belonging to others, make sure they are in the public domain and keep track of where they are from. When using multiple images, make sure that they are the same scale and have the person/animal in the same pose.

  1. Switch to the correct viewpoint for the image (ie. front - numbpad 1)
  2. Move the pivot point to the world origin (Shift+S → "Cursor to World Origin") The example image is missing
  3. Add the image:
    1. Shift+A → Image → Background The example image is missing
    2. Select the image and choose "Load Background Image"
  4. The "Background" image can be selected any time by right-clicking on the image, or by clicking on the background "Empty" object in the Outliner
  5. In The example image is missing Properties, adjust the image settings below as needed:
    1. Change the image size:
      1. Increase/decrease the size value in Properties or drag on the yellow corners of the image object The example image is missing
    2. Make the image object visible from any angle:
      1. Under Empty, check "Display Perspective" The example image is missing
    3. Make the image display as an overlay instead of displaying behind your mesh:
      1. Set "Depth" to "Front"
      2. Check "Use Alpha"
      3. Lower the Transparency number to a decimal (ie. .5)
    4. Make the image visible from behind:
      1. Change the "Side" value to "Both"
      The example image is missing
  6. Reposition the reference image as needed using the move widget, the shortcut "G", or by chnaging the offset values for X and Y in the image properties tab
  7. If adding another reference image, repeat all of the steps above with a different viewpoint active (ie. top - numpad 7 or the blue circle in the view widget)
  1. Use "Quads"
    1. Only make faces with groups of 4 vertices - otherwise many features like subdivide and loopcuts will not work properly
  2. Use the mirror modifier (for symmetrical characters)
  3. Look in Quad View (Ctrl+alt+Q) occasionally to make sure everything is lined up correctly
  4. Occasionally make sure to remove overlapping vertices
    1. In Edit Mode, select all (A)
    2. Use the shortcut "M"
    3. Select "By Distance"
  5. Use loop cuts in joint areas to allow arms/legs & etc. to bend
  6. Pack external data if using image textures

Rigging

The process of creating a skeletal structure or armature is called rigging. Make sure to pay close attention to the mode while working on the armature.

  1. If your character's mesh is not already in its own collection, create a new collection for your character in the Outliner and drag the character's mesh into it The example image is missing
  2. If your character is not already in the center of the grid, reposition it:
    1. Make sure the pivot is set to "3D Cursor" (. → "3D Cursor") The example image is missing
    2. Move the cursor to the world origin (Shift+S → "Cursor to World Origin") The example image is missing
    3. Select the character
    4. Move the character to the cursor (Shift+S → "Selection to Cursor - Keep Offset") The example image is missing
  3. Make sure your character is facing forwards in the "Front View": The example image is missing
    1. Switch to the Front view (numpad 1 or the green circle in the view widget)
    2. Select and rotate the character as needed (ie. "R", "Z", "90" to rotate 90 degrees along the Z axis)
    3. Apply the change in rotation with CMD+A | CTRL+A
  4. Create and setup the start of an armature:
    1. In "Object" mode, add an armature (Shift+A → Armature) - this will creates an armature with a single bone The example image is missing
    2. In the "Armature" tab of properties, under "Viewport Display" enable "In Front" so you can see the armature through the mesh The example image is missing
    3. In the "Bone" tab of properties, name the bone descriptively (ie. Lower Torso) - make sure to press enter to keep the new name The example image is missing
    4. Switch to "Edit" mode (tab)
    5. Line up the bone with the lower torso area The example image is missing
      1. To move the entire bone, click on the middle of the bone
      2. Use the shortcut "G" or the move/transform widgets to reposition
    6. In a side view (numpad 3 or red circle in the view widget) make sure that the bone is inside of the mesh, in the lower torso area The example image is missing
    7. Resize the bone if needed to take up the lower half of the torso:
      1. Select tip of the bone (right-click) and use either the shortcut "G" or the move/transform widget to resize
    8. Switch back to the front view
  5. Add the rest of the spine:
    1. Add the upper torso:
      1. Select the tip of the bone The example image is missing
      2. Extrude (E) along the Z-axis (Z) to add the next segment, ending about at the shoulder (left-click to keep the size/position) The example image is missing
      3. In the bone properties, rename the bone descriptively (ie. Upper Torso)
      4. Select the joint between the 2 bones and press "G" then "Z" to adjust the bone sizes if needed
    2. Add the head bone:
      1. Select the tip of the upper torso bone
      2. Extrude one more time to create a bone for the head (E) along the Z axis (Z)
      3. Rename the bone descriptively
    3. From a side view, make sure the bones are lined up properly - make adjustments as needed The example image is missing
  6. Add the left arm:
    1. Switch back to the Front view
    2. Move the pivot point to the left shoulder (left-click) The example image is missing
    3. Still in "Edit" mode, add the upper arm bone (Shift-A)
    4. Grab the tip of the bone (G) and move it to the elbow area of the arm The example image is missing
    5. Rename the bone descriptively, with .L at the end of the name (ie. Upper Arm.L)
    6. Extrude down from the elbow (E) to the wrist area
    7. Extrude again from the wrist (E) to the palm
    8. In a side view and the top view, make sure the arm bones are positioned properly - adjust as necessary The example image is missing
    9. Return to the front view
  7. Add the left leg:
    1. Move the pivot point to the left hip area (left-click) The example image is missing
    2. Still in "Edit" mode, add the thigh bone (Shift-A)
    3. Grab the tip of the bone (G) and move it to the knee area of the leg The example image is missing
    4. Rename the bone descriptively, with .L at the end of the name (ie. Upper Arm.L)
    5. Extrude down from the elbow (E) to the ankle area
    6. From the ankle joint, extrude a bone for the foot, ending at the toe area
    7. In a side view (numpad 3 or the red circle in the view widget), make sure the leg bones are positioned properly - adjust as necessary The example image is missing

Next we're going to add some control bones that will move the entire arm or the entire leg, by moving the a single bone. Enabling "Inverse kinematics" (IK) gives us this functionality.

  1. Still in a side view, add the IK bones:
    1. Add the left arm IK bone: The example image is missing
      1. Select the lowest joint for the arm (wrist area)
      2. Extrude straight back (E) along the Y axis (Y)
    2. Add the left leg IK bone: The example image is missing
      1. Select the lowest joint for the leg (ankle area)
      2. Extrude straight back (E) along the Y axis (Y)
  2. Add "target" bones to control the rotation of the arm and leg:
    1. Switch to the Front view
    2. Left-click in front of the elbow area (about 1/2 of the arm's length away) to move the pivot point
    3. Shift-A to add a bone
    4. Make sure the bone is lined up in front of the elbow area in another view The example image is missing
    5. Repeat these steps for a "knee" target bone - placing it in front of the knee area The example image is missing
  3. In the side view, adjust move the target bones further away from the body The example image is missing
  4. Clear the parent for both target bones and both IK bones by selecting each bone and then using the shortcut "Opt+P | Alt+P"
  5. In Bone Properties for each target/IK bone:
    1. Rename each bone descriptively (ie. Elbow.L or Arm IK.L)
    2. In the Bone settings, uncheck "Deform"
    3. Make sure there is no parent listed under "Relations" - if there is, remove it by clicking on the "X" next to the parent name
    The example image is missing
  6. Make the foot rotate with the IK bone:
    1. Select the foot bone and then pthe leg's IK bone with shift+right-click
    2. Press "Ctrl+P" and choose "Keep Offset" The example image is missing
  7. Add inverse kinematics constraints:
    1. Switch to "Pose" mode The example image is missing
    2. Select the arm IK bone and then "Shift" select the lower arm bone The example image is missing
    3. Open the constraints window (Shift+ctrl+C) and select "Inverse Kinematics" The example image is missing
    4. In the "constraints" properties set:
      1. "Target" to "Armature"
      2. "Bone" to "Arm IK.L"
      3. "Pole Target" to "Armature"
      4. "Bone" to "Elbow.L"
      5. "Chain length" to "2"
      The example image is missing
    5. Repeat these steps for the leg (selecting the leg IK bone and then the lower leg) and using "Leg IK.L" & "Knee.L" as the bone values
  1. Duplicate the arm & leg bones:
    1. Select all of the arm and leg bones (including the IK and target bones)
    2. In the "Armature" menu, choose "Symmetrize" The example image is missing
      This command copies the bones, pastes them on the other side of the Y axis and renames all of the bones to use .L on the left or .R on the right.
    3. If the symmetrize command didn't work:
      1. Make sure the armature/character is centered on the World Origin
      2. Make sure the character/armature is facing front in the front view
      3. Apply any transforms in "Object Mode" (CMD+A | Ctrl+A)
      4. Make sure the arm/leg bones & etc. have .L or .R at the end of the name
  2. Add the ability to crouch:
    1. Select all of the upper leg bones and all of the upper arm bones
    2. Add the lower torso bone to the selection last by using shift+right-click to select it
    3. Press "Ctrl+P" and choose "Keep Offset" The example image is missing
  3. Add a control bone to move the entire armature at once:
    1. Create the bone:
      1. Left-click between the character's feet to move the pivot point there
      2. Press "Shift+A" to add a bone
      3. Position/scale the bone so that it is easy to grab from multiple angles The example image is missing
      4. Rename the bone to something like "Control"
    2. Use parenting to make the control bone control the position of the entire armature:
      1. Select the lower torso bone, the IK bones, and the target bones
      2. Add the control bone to the selection last by using shift+right-click to select it
      3. Press "Ctrl+P" and choose "Keep Offset" The example image is missing

Weight Painting

Weight Painting allows individual bones from the armature to move/deform specific areas of a connected mesh. For humanoid characters with an expected anatomy, weight painting automatically works well. For unexoected anatomy, manual corrections may need to be made.

  1. In "Object Mode", select the character's mesh
  2. Apply any mirror modifiers: The example image is missing
    1. In the property panel's Modifiers tab, click on downward arrow to the far right of the modifier name
    2. Choose "Apply"
  3. Select the character and then the armature with shift+right-click
  4. Press "Ctrl+P" and choose "With Automatic Weights" The example image is missing
  5. With the armature selected, go into "Pose Mode" and see how well the mesh moves with the armature
  6. Make corrections as needed by weight painting manually

At this stage, if the automatic weight painting worked correctly, the mesh will move when the armature moves. We just need to make sure the armature and mesh move as expected.

  1. Switch the mode to "Pose Mode"
  2. Select an IK bone and press "G"
  3. Move the cursor to see how the bones move
  4. Right-click to cancel the change
  5. Test the other bones to make sure they move as expected

Bone Heat Weighting Failed: Failed to find solution for one or more bones:

If you see this warning notification, it means you have to manually create the weight painting for part or all of the armature. Follow the steps on the "Make Corrections with Standard Weight Painting" subsection below.

The character's mesh is distorted in Pose/Object modes:

The example image is missing
  1. Go into the armature's "Pose Mode"
  2. Select one of the yellow/green bones
  3. In the "Bone Constraints" tab of the properties panel, try adjusting the pole angle value forwards and backwards until the distortion is improved (often multiples of 90 work well)
  4. Repeat for each yellow/green bone as needed

The arm/leg bends the wrong way:

The example image is missing
  1. In "Edit Mode", select the joint between the upper and lower arm or leg
  2. Move the joint to add a slight bend in the arm or leg, in the direction it should bend

Unpredictable/uncontrollable movement when moving an IK bone:

  1. Make sure the target bones are far enough away from the body:
    1. Go into the armature's "Edit Mode"
    2. Select the target bones (knees and elbows)
    3. In a side view, move the target bones further away from the body with "G"
  2. Make sure the IK constraints for the lower arms and legs are setup as expected:
    1. In Pose mode, select the lower arm or leg bone
    2. In the properties panel, go to the the "Bone Constraints" tab
    3. Make sure the "Target", "Bone", "Pole Target", "Bone", and "Chain Length" values are correct The example image is missing

The IK bone doesn't move the entire limb:

Make sure the IK constraints for the lower arms and legs are setup as displayed above - especially the "Chain Length". The number for the chain length, is the number of bones that should move with the IK bone (not including hand/foot bones). For a standard humanoid structure, that means the chain length should be set to "2" to move the upper and lower arm bones.

Parts of the mesh move with the wrong bone — or don't move with the correct bone:

Follow the steps on the "Make Corrections with Standard Weight Painting" subsection or the "Make Corrections with Vertex Weight Painting" subsection.

The control bone doesn't move the entire skeleton:

  1. In "Pose Mode", move the control bone & see what bones are not moving
  2. If an upper arm/leg isn't moving, parent it to the lower torso:
    1. Switch into "Edit mode"
    2. Select the upper arm/leg and then the lower torso with shift+right-click
    3. Use "Ctrl+P" and choose "Keep Offset"
  3. If an IK or target bone isn't moving, parent it to the control bone:
    1. Switch into "Edit mode"
    2. Select the IK or target bone and then the control bone with shift+right-click
    3. Use "Ctrl+P" and choose "Keep Offset"

Parts of the mesh are stuck in place when the Control Bones moves

Follow the steps on the "Make Corrections with Standard Weight Painting" subsection or the "Make Corrections with Vertex Weight Painting" subsection.

When in "Weight Paint" mode, you can see which parts of the mesh move with each bone.The selected bone has less control over cooler colors and more control over warmer colors:

  • Fushia = deform turned off (target & IK bones)
  • Dark blue = no weight/control (ignores the selected bone)
  • Red = full weight/control (moves freely with the selected bone)
  • Lighter Blue - Orange = partial weight/control
  1. In "Object Mode", select the armature & then the character with shift+right-click (always select the armature & mesh together in this order before switching to Weight Paint mode)
  2. Switch the mode to "Weight Paint" The example image is missing
  3. Open the "N-panel" (press "N" while hovering in the 3D window) and choose the "Tool" tab
  4. Enable mirroring across the "X-axis":
    • Changes made to the weight painting on the front will also paint the same area on the back. This assumes the mesh is facing forwards in the front viewpoint.
    1. In the "Tool" tab, under "Symmetry", click on "X" (next to "Mirror") The example image is missing
  5. Select a bone and adjust the weight painting as needed:
    1. In the N-panel, in the Tool tab, under "Brush Settings", set the blend mode:
      • Add - to add to the bone's control of the mesh The example image is missing
      • Subtract - to remove control from the bone The example image is missing
    2. Paint with the brush to add or subtract the weight from the mesh
    3. Use "G" to test the bone's movement, just as you would in "Pose" mode
  6. Repeat as necessary for other bones

Using vertex groups to control weight painting can allow for more precision. It is also allows weight to be applied to hidden, inner vertices.

  1. In "Object" mode, select the mesh and go into "Edit" mode
  2. Switch to "Wireframe" shading (Z → Wireframe)
  3. Make sure "Vertex select" is active The example image is missing
  4. In the "Properties" panel, go to the "Object Data" tab (green triangle) The example image is missing
  5. Adjust the weighting of each bone's vertex group as needed:
    1. Deselect everything (Opt+A | Alt+A)
    2. Click on a bone's vertex group for a problem area
    3. Click on "Select" to see the vertices impacted by the bone The example image is missing
    4. Add weight to additional vertices where needed:
      1. Add to the selection using brush ("C") or box ("B") select
      2. Click on "Assign" The example image is missing
    5. Remove weight from vertices where needed:
      1. Deselect everything (Opt+A | Alt+A)
      2. Click on a bone's vertex group for a problem area
      3. Select vertices that should be removed from the vertex group using brush ("C") or box ("B") select
      4. Click on "Remove" The example image is missing
    6. Change weight values as needed:
      1. Deselect everything (Opt+A | Alt+A)
      2. Click on a bone's vertex group for a problem area
      3. Click on "Select"
      4. Change the weight value then press "Assign" The example image is missing
        • 1 = full weight/control (Red)
        • 0 = no weight/control (Dark Blue)
        • .1-.9 = partial weight/control (Lighter Blue - Orange)

Most of the time we don't actually need direct access to all of the inner bones while we are animating. Having all the bones visible can lead to a very cluttered view that can slow down the animation process. To simplify, we can hide certain bones on a different layer. This layer can be shown or hidden as needed.

  1. In "Edit" mode, select the lower and upper arm/leg bones (these are moved with control bones so we usually don't need direct access)
  2. Press "M"
  3. Click on an empty layer (layers with a dot are occupied)
  4. In the armature properties, enable and disable layer visibility as needed:
    1. Click on an armature layer to switch visibility to that layer (visible layers = blue) The example image is missing
    2. Use shift+left-click to add visibility to multiple layers at once The example image is missing
    3. Leave just "Layer 1" visible before starting to animate The example image is missing

Keyframes save data about the state of an object or setting on a specific frame. When there are multiple keyframes, Blender will automatically create a smooth transition from one state to another. This might be a change in position, size, color, or etc. The action of setting keyframes and letting the computer create the transition is called "tweening".

Create an animation file with your environment, props and rigged characters:

  1. Save a copy of your finished environment as an animation file (File → Save-As)
  2. Name the file with your first name, and initial of your last name as part of the name - ie. JenS_animation.blend
  3. Append your character collection into the file:
    1. Set the pivot point to the "3d cursor" (. → 3d Cursor)
    2. Left-click where you want the character to be placed
    3. Go to "File" → "Append"
    4. Choose your character file, go to the collection folder and choose the character collection
    5. Click on "Append"
  4. Add other props and characters to the animation file by appending as needed
  5. Adjust and position objects/characters as needed to their starting position/rotation/scale

Animating

  1. Select the object in "Object Mode"
  2. Move the object into it's intial position/rotation or etc. as needed
  3. Make sure "Frame 1" is selected in the Timeline The example image is missing
  4. Press "I" to insert a keyframe for the selected object
  5. Choose the keyframe type - in most cases "Location & Rotation" (if the size of the object will change too, choose "Location, Rotation & Scale") The example image is missing
  6. Move to a different frame - ie. frame 36
  7. Turn on "Automatic Keyframing" by clicking on the record button in the Timeline (or manually press "I" every time you want to add a keyframe) The example image is missing
  8. Make changes to the position/rotation or etc. as needed
  9. Use the playback controls in the Timeline to see the tween (the animated transition)
  10. Add more keyframes as needed on other frames
  1. Select the armature for your character and head into "Pose mode"
  2. Move the armature into the starting position for the walk (or other movement)
  3. Make sure "Frame 1" is selected in the Timeline The example image is missing
  4. Press A to select all of the bones and then press "I" to add an initial keyframe (transition point):
  5. Choose the keyframe type - in most cases "Location & Rotation" (if the size of the character will change too, choose "Location, Rotation & Scale") The example image is missing
  6. Switch to another keyframe - ie. frame 32
  7. Turn on "Automatic Keyframing" by clicking on the record button in the Timeline (or manually press "I" every time you want to add a keyframe) The example image is missing
  8. Adjust the pose as needed
  9. Use the playback controls in the Timeline to see the tween (the animated transition)
  10. Add more keyframes as needed on other frames

A traditional walk cycle uses a variety of traditional poses to recreate a believable walk. Often the character's walk is animated in place and then a change in position is added at the end. This can save a lot of time.

Traditional walk poses always have 2 forms - standard and inverse. The inverse version is identical to the standard position but arms and legs go the opposite direction.

The 2D images of the walk poses are temporary and will be replaced with 3D versions soon.
  1. With frame 1 selected, go to "Pose Mode" and position your character into the "Contact Pose": The example image is missing
    • This is mid-step
    • Arms and legs go opposite directions diagonally
    • Upper torso should twist slightly in the direction of the upper arm
    • Make sure the heel of one foot and the toes of the other touch the ground but don't sink below it
  2. Select all of the bones (A) and add a keyframe (I) for "Location & Rotation" The example image is missing
  3. Turn on auto-keyframing by pressing the record button The example image is missing
  4. Copy and paste a "flipped" version of the keyframes to create an "Inverse Contact Pose" at the midway point: The example image is missing
    (Limbs go in the opposite direction to the original "Contact Pose" but otherwise the pose is identical)
    1. Select all of the bones (A) in the 3D window
    2. In the "Dope Sheet" or "Action Editor", select all of the keys for the selected bones on Frame 1
    3. Copy the selected keys (CMD+C | CTRL+C)
    4. Change to "Frame 16" (this is the midway point of the cycle)
    5. Paste flipped versions of the keys (Shift+CMD+V | Shift+Ctrl+V)
    6. (Pasting flipped keyframes works on the assumption that the character was originally orientated to face forwards in the front view, where the Y-axis divides the body in half)
  5. If the pasted pose is not flipped:
    • Try applying all transforms for the mesh and armature in "Object mode" (CMD+A | CTRL+A), then recreate the Contact pose keyframes and copy/paste flipped again in "Pose mode"
    • Or manually position the bones into the "Inverse Contact Pose"
  6. Copy and paste the keys for all of the bones on "Frame 1" for another "Contact Pose" on "Frame 32"
    (This allows the cycle to loop)
  7. On frames 8 and 24, adjust the pose as needed to make keyframes for the "Passing Pose" and "Inverse Passing Pose"
    The example image is missing The example image is missing
    • One foot is flat on the ground
    • One foot is slightly raised with the toes pointing down
  8. On frames 4 and 20, adjust the pose as needed to make keyframes for the "Descent" and "Inverse Descent" poses
    The example image is missing The example image is missing
    • The back leg is bent so that it's lower leg is almost parallel to the ground
    • The other foot is flat on the ground
    • The lowest torso bone is slightly lowered
  9. On frames 12 and 28, adjust the pose as needed to make keyframes for the "High Point" and "Inverse High Point" poses
    The example image is missing The example image is missing
    1. The upper leg of the front leg is raised so that the foot is at it's highest point in the air
    2. The toes of the other foot are on the ground
    3. The lowest torso bone is slightly raised
  10. Use the playback controls to see the walk cycle and make adjustments to the keyframes as needed for a smooth, believable movement
  11. Add additional steps to the cycle:
    1. Select all of the bones (A) in the 3D window
    2. In the "Dope Sheet" or "Action Editor", select all of the keys for the selected bones on Frames 4 - 32 (use "B" to use box select)
    3. Copy the selected keys (CMD+C | CTRL+C)
    4. Change to "Frame 36" (or 4 frames out from the last keyframe)
    5. Paste the keys (CMD+V | Ctrl+V)
    6. Repeat as needed for additional steps
  12. Add keyframes to change the character's position as they walk:
    1. Switch into "Object Mode" and select the armature
    2. On "Frame 1", add a keyframe for the starting location ("I" → "Location & Rotation")
    3. On the ending frame for the walk, move the armature to the new location to create a keyframe
    4. Use the playback controls to see the walk
    5. Make adjustments as necessary:
      • If the feet sink through the ground on certain frames: move the vertical position of the armature up to add a keyframe & make the feet rest on the ground
      • If the feet don't touch the ground on certain frames: move the vertical position of the armature down to add a keyframe & make the feet rest on the ground
      • If the steps are too slow for the distance covered (the character looks like they are gliding):
        • Add more steps
        • Or move the character a shorter distance (in Object mode)
      • If the steps are too fast for the distance covered:
        • Remove some steps
        • Or move the character a larger distance (in Object mode)
      • To make the speed change over the course of the walk, try adjustitng the curve for the armature object in the Graph Editor

Any properties in the properties panel with a small circle on the very right can be keyframed. This means you can create transitions between different colors and more. The example image is missing

  1. Click on the timeline on the frame number where the transition should start
  2. In the properties tab, click on the far right circle to add a keyframe for a value (the circle changes to a diamond shape when the property has a keyframe) The example image is missing
  3. Move to the frame number where the transition should end
  4. Click on the empty diamond to create a new keyframe (or turn on "Auto Keyframing") The example image is missing
  5. Change the value The example image is missing
  6. Use the playback controls in the Timeline to see the transition

Graph Editor

The transition between 2 keyframes can be adjusted in the Graph Editor to make more sophisticated movement.

  1. Add the Graph Editor in the Animation workspace:
    1. Switch to the Animation workspace The example image is missing
    2. Change the 3d window in the upper right to the Graph Editor The example image is missing
  2. Make adjustments to the curves in the Graph as needed:
    1. Select objects (in Object mode) or bones (in Pose mode) to reveal keyframe data in the graph editor
    2. Click on the triangles to expand/contract more detailed data The example image is missing
    3. Click on a name in the sidebar to highlight the curve The example image is missing
    4. Use the needle to scrub the animation The example image is missing
    5. Click on data points to reveal the handles The example image is missing
    6. Right-click and drag on a handle to adjust the selected curve
    The example image is missing