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Project I need help with (DeviantArt download) TruffleAThief

Modeling the "paperwork" in Blender from the concept art: modeling process

(My period key doesn't work so please forgive the run-on sentences)

Hi there! I've always hated rigging because it can get incredibly confusing, but that's why I'm still working on it! However, I've come across an issue where my character's clothing armature (along with tail and ears) won't move around with the rest of the body, even though I have the body armature parented to them.

I've even tried using the 'child of' constraint, but when I go into pose mode, it doesn't work.

I would like to point out that the armatures are all completely separate armatures and the meshes are all separate too that I'm trying to parent to the body so they move around together. Separately they work just fine! (Save for some weight paint troubles with the cape-)

Edit: Still not fixed but I've realized I still have so much to fix in terms of weight painting...

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome. I've just checked your blend file. There are only several planes in it and the "concept/reference/texture" image. Is Truffle delivered in parts and do we have to assemble it ourselves? ;-) Seriously, is this the correct blend file? There is no armature. $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Aug 9, 2021 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ I've given it a try and puzzled this rouge cat together. Although, I have no idea how the cape+hood should work. But I wonder why do you need multiple armatures? Do you want to animate some foldings, too? $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Aug 10, 2021 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ Hi! I only have one blend file for this lil man but I can try again in case I forgot to save before sending out this! Make sure that things aren't hidden, as there are 3 collections, one for a base spread, one with the colored image, and then one with the built together version. I used multiple armatures to make it easier to put things together. If there's a way to join everything together without ruining the weight paint I'd love to know! (I'm very sorry about you putting him together- I know quite a bit bout modeling but this still took quite a while to put together myself woops) $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2021 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ (The main file was updated! Hopefully that'll fix the missing armature!) $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2021 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, you posted 2 comments, I missed the first one... so, I've just double-checked the downloaded blend file and added a screenshot of it to your question. But I have to say sorry, there is only one collection. The greyscale reference is new. That was missing yesterday. I've used the colored image to create my own version: pasteall.org/pic/de77678f276d474ba0a17451fff3e29e but I still have no idea how you made that cape or how and why you create the armatures. Could you upload it again? $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Aug 10, 2021 at 19:36

1 Answer 1

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You did a great job with the separate rigs. All you need to do is to merge them, with exception of the cape and the knife. Then fix the weights, and give the knife a Child Of constraint so Truffle can pick it up.

Body Rig

Armature objects can be joined like mesh objects with Ctrl+J. Then you can parent the bones to get the bone mechanics working.

  • in Object mode, select the tail and the body armature. Make the body armature the parent by selecting it last (=active object). Then join them Ctrl+J.
  • switch to Edit mode, select the very first tail bone, then the body bone, and parent them Ctrl+P, with Keep Offset (note: Connected would pin it to the neck) attaching the tail
    attaching the tail
  • do the same with both ears and the head bone: attaching the ears
    attaching the ears
  • consider adding a root bone for the body rig and parent all deformation bones to it (but not the IK bones which cause flickering during animation). This allows you to move around the character in Pose mode without the IK effect. If you (ab)use the body bone as root bone and move the character then it looks like he is being dragged away. The arms and legs try to stay in place and are dragged behind the body if the distance gets bigger.
  • don't forget to uncheck the [_] Deform checkbox for the root bone!
  • The final bone hierarchy looks like this:
    root bone
  • check the ears, belt, and potions. They need to be parented to the Body Rig. This can be done With Empty Group and you can create and assign the vertices of the mesh to the specific bone groups. Ears need to be assigned to the Head vertex group, belt, and potions to the Body group. Create the group if it's not present. Check if all items have the Armature modifier on the stack.

Cape Rig

My first idea was to merge the cape, too. But on second thought it might be better to keep it separated. This makes it possible to take off the cape or give it to another character.

  • in Edit mode, add a root bone to the cape

  • decrease the IK Chain Length from 4 to 3

  • then make the root a parent for the IK bones and the 4 deformation bones: cape rig

  • the root bone is a deformation bone, you might want to add more deformation bones to control the front of the hood and the sides of the hood because the back of the head can stick through the hood sometimes.

  • to connect the cape with the character you need to add a Bone Contraint in Pose mode to the cape's root bone, with the body bone of the body rig as a target. Make sure it's a Bone Contraint, not the Object Contraint. You can keyframe the Influence to 0 to simulate a take off the cape. armature bone contraint

  • to make the cape armature move with the body armature in Object mode it must be a child of the body armature like you did. Disclaimer: I am not sure if this is 100% correct in relation to the Bone Contraint: Armature.

Weight Paint

You've done already the arms and legs. You just need to assign the body and head to their bones. In Edit mode is the Vertex Group Weights overlay. If you enable it you can see the weight paint.

  • use the Assign and Remove buttons to assign in Edit mode the head to the head vertex group and remove it from all other groups.

  • do the same for the body and the ears.

  • for the cape use Parent, With Automatic Weights and then assign the hood to the Cape Root bone: weight paint

  • check if the Armature modifier of these objects is present

  • make sure they are parented to the armature (Object Properties > Relationship)

Picking Up the Knife

if you want to make the character interact with other objects like the knife make it an independent object.

  • clear the parent
  • remove the armature modifier if it's still there
  • add an Object Contraint of type Child Of, set it to body rig & the Hand.R bone, and press the Set Inverse. With the Influence you can attach/detach it.

That's it. Happy animating!

Blend file: https://pasteall.org/blend/df35aa1718e44e6b8f79e00d84619120 (I've forgotten to add the root bone for the body rig in the example file).

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow thank you so much! You went above and beyond with this! (I tried just following along with the directions you gave before downloading the blend you gave me!) A few things I will say are you didn't explain everything you did, (Unless I missed something in which I apologize) Never got to hear about adding armature mods to the ears and appendages, it worked out for the feet and arms but the ears wouldn't move with the head unless I was directly moving the head (As in wouldn't move with the body or root being the things I was moving around) And the belt wasn't moving at all! (1) $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2021 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ It was just a bit frustrating when I thought I had all the info (Which is why I'm so happy you gave the blend file for it! Another thing I want to point out is in the directions you gave, you said that parenting is ctrl+J when it's actually ctrl+P, luckily I knew what you meant though woops! Again you did an amazing job and I'm so incredibly thankful for your help! People like you make it so much easier to deal with the parts of modelling that aren't as enjoyable! (2) $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2021 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ Oh sorry for the mistake and the omitted info. Yes, you need to parent the belt and potions to the armature (With Empty Groups) and then assign all verts to the body vertex group. Same for the ears and the head vertex group. Usually, I do the fixes and write them down at the same time. But this time it was a longer answer than I thought it would be. I've uploaded the file because I was already afraid that I had missed some information. Glad you got it right and it helped you :) $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Aug 22, 2021 at 12:55

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