My First Blender Rig

July 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm (Animation)

Hi guys,

I know no body is reading this blog anymore.. its been a long long long long while since i posted anything. I have my excuses, but I dont want to bore you. But for those who care, i have been virtually out of ‘animation’ for all this time. Since the last two years, I have been taking care of the one thing that is most closest to me. Spreading (or trying to spread) the wonderful, all-encompassing teachings of my Master E. Bharadwaja. I have been helping to run a magazine, and two social service organizations, what not!

And so, other than helping out a few students of mine in their animation, I have not been doing ANYTHING in animation on my own. Until the last couple of weeks, i havent even gone to any animation websites even. I logged on to AM alumni site a few days ago.

Anyhow, there are a bunch of us at who want to do some little animation tests for this month’s (August) animation session. I kinda have a bit of time (3 or 4 days actually) this month during which I want to do some serious animation. And, in the process, I thought I would try my hand at,… , you guessed it! BLENDER!!

And what ever I have seen so far, BLENDER 2.5 ย is AWESOME! I love it! Its free, powerful, and now, with customizable interface and hotkeys, I finally jumped into it (with MAYA presets)! I wanted to try out animating in blender for this august animation session over at cgtantra. And I was in a hunt for characters. There are many cool characters, but most of them are for versions 4.x, which is a bummer, cuz they might/might not work in 2.5 . And the few there are for 2.5 are either too complex or I dont like their appearance appealing.

Mancandy, for eg. is a great rig, but without cloths like in elephant’s dream, his body is kinda weird, atleast for me. May be its just me. But I didnt find other rigs that are out there. Some are overkill for my purpose. (with face and all). So, I set about trying to rig one myself. (now dont laugh).

Spent two days watching tutorials upon tutorials, and thanks to the wonderful tutorials on youtube and websites, I was able to get a hang of it. And watching videos, i kinda understood how things are in blender, when compared to Maya. That enabled me to just go ahead and try.

And after a week of on and off work, tadaaa.. DJ_long is born.

Here he is.

Now, thats an unappealing pose, I agree. looks ugly, that pose. But the character itself is quite cool.

Another pose.


Yet another :

Rig features include :

ALL IK (no IK/FK switching)

Stretchy head. Detatchable head.

Bendy limbs.

Cool design. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the blend file if any one wants to have a crack at it. All the bones are in layer 1, geometry in layer 2. (layer 3 just has widget shapes). And the ‘animation’ bones are in layer 2 of the armature, while the rest of the skeleton is in layer 1.

Anyways, here is the file.


And if anyone wants my keyboard setup, which is like Maya, you have :

my keyboard map

Just open the version Blender 2.5 Alpha 2 build (30441) available at and select ‘Maya’ in the splash screen where it says ‘presets’ and then, once you are inside blender, select File>User Preferences and in that window, select input and then click on ‘import keyboard map’ and select the python file above. And you ‘should’ be set.. (fingers crossed).

And for the first timers, the keys are like in maya, however, some cool keys in blender are :

‘a’ key for select all or deselect all.

alt + g = reset all location (translate) values of selected objects

alt + r = reset all rotation of selected objects

alt + s = reset all scale values of selected objects.

Make sure you are in ‘pose mode’ to animate the rig.





  1. Kamal said,

    Hey DJ,

    Glad to have come here and read your story. I stumbled upon a cgtantra thread ( ) after a long time and your posts there lead me to this blog post.

    Thanks for sharing your rig, this sure will get me started again with some animation in Blender. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Wildgorilla said,

    Hi DJ,
    Downloaded you bendy guy. Nice. Do you know where I can find a tutorial for Blender 2.5 character animation so I can get my guy hopping?


  3. dj said,

    you can find good ones on . just search for character animation blender 2.5 tutorials.


  4. Hal Lafayette said,

    unique graphic resources, many of them totally free for download at

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