Samstag, 30. April 2011

Fun with the Spline IK Constraint

Several days ago a started learning the spline IK constraint and finished today my animation training rig - a lovely, tiny sci-fi styled octupus with 8 spline IK's. I'am currently refining the rig and doing some test animations with it - here'a a first sneak preview render:

Useful resources I used: Official Spline IK blender documentation:

Mittwoch, 27. April 2011

Modeling CG Cookie's vehicle series 3

The last few days I made some progress in blocking-out the front, the mid section and the wings. Currently I am blocking out the rear and tail section. Here'a a current render:

Montag, 25. April 2011

Modeling CG Cookie's vehicle series 2

Finally I found today some free time to continue the blocking out.

Here's the first block-out before the mesh parts get separated (I changed the topology a bit and avoided the retopologizing from the tutorial). Furtherly I named my model a "SkyBird 3000" :-) (gyrocopeter is the original name)

Sonntag, 24. April 2011

Getting my 2.56a rig python scrips to work in 2.57a

I recently had some problems getting my 2.56a python scripts to work in 2.57a (e.g. botty rig, welding robot). Thanks to BlenderCookie's qicktip it's an easy fix:

Montag, 11. April 2011

Advanced industrial robot rigging 2

From my point of view every good rig needs a custom properties panel in python. So I set it up today for my industrial robot. As I noticed that the locked track constrains do have influence sliders, it put drivers on them and created a FK<>Locked track switch :-).

Next topics I will focus on this series are
- rigging cables around robot
- changeable welding guns

Panel layout:

Custom property setup on root bone:

Example driver setup:

Here's the script for 2.57, license is CC0:

import bpy

class Welding_Robot_Properties(bpy.types.Panel):
bl_space_type = 'VIEW_3D'
bl_region_type = 'UI'
bl_label = "Welding Robot Properties"

def poll(self, context):
ob = context.active_object
mode = context.mode
return ( == "Armature" and mode == "POSE")
except AttributeError:
return 0

def draw(self, context):
pose_bones = context.active_object.pose.bones
layout = self.layout
col = layout.column()

#FK <> Locked track switch
col.label(text="FK <> Locked track switch:")
col.prop(pose_bones["root"], '["guntip"]', text="welding gun", slider=True)
col.prop(pose_bones["root"], '["back"]', text="back", slider=True)

#turret transformation
col.label(text="Turret Z rotation:")
col.prop(pose_bones["turret"],'rotation_euler', index=1,text="Z Rotation", slider=False)

#welding gun transformation
col.label(text="Welding gun Z rotation:")
col.prop(pose_bones["welding"],'rotation_euler', index=1,text="Z Rotation", slider=False)

#bone layers
col.label(text="Bone layers:")
legs = col.row()
legs.prop(, "layers", index=0, toggle=True, text="Locked track")
legs.prop(, "layers", index=1, toggle=True, text="FK controls")


Sonntag, 10. April 2011

Advanced industrial robot rigging 1

The last few days I spent quiet some time to improve my 6-axis assembly line/industrial robot rig. As I didn't found any blender tutorial I was very inventive. A very good solution I came up with was to use locked track constraints with 2 control bones and two remaining FK bones and one remainig root bone .

You can see this effective rig here in action:

So what did I modify:

- added 2 more control bones, one at the welding gun tip, one at the robot back.
- moved bones arm1, arm2, arm3, arm4 to bone layer 2 and put on each a locked track contraint. arm1 and arm2 track to back control bone, arm3 and arm4 track to weldung gun tip. Used more or less try-and-error to figure out correct lock axis on the locked track contraints
- parented control bones to turret bone (not root!)

Modeling CG Cookie's vehicle series 1

Some weeks ago I pre-ordered CG Cookie's vehicle series, last friday it was released finally. The next weeks I am going to share my modeling progress here on my blog.

As currently I did not finished my blocked out model, here's the official introduction video from CG Cookie:

Samstag, 2. April 2011

New model: robot control panel

I currerntly released my own designed control panel for all my assembly lines robots.
Included are all typical buttons (I do have a book at home which lists all the buttons from one certain manufacturer).
If you have never seen real ones, just google "teach pendant" in google image search. On nearly every manufatorer's version the big large emergency shutdown button is easily recognized.

Render with raytraced AO:

Original hand-drafted design:

You can download it here: