Rigging Females in Blender, Lesson 5, Hands and Fingers

Complete Course Overview

There are a lot of things you see on a nude that you don’t see on a clothed model. From the scapula to the shoulder, the hips to the toes, there are a lot of concerns that traditional character rigging tutorial series skip. We will skip none of these.

When viewing a nude character, all of her joints, bends, and creases must be addressed. If we fail that, the nude will look low-quality and strange.

Improper treatment of these items lead to drinking-straw collapsed elbows, awful disjointed hips, and necks that look like they belong on a monster. Not only will we improve on these joints, but sometimes we will go above and beyond to add subtle deforms that give a subtle punch to the render that everyone will notice and appreciate, but unlikely even the pros will be able to explain the difference that puts your renders above-and-beyond.

In short, this series of tutorial videos will teach you the required techniques and skills to make your nude character attractive and human-looking.

We will concentrate mostly on Monette Taida, the surfer girl character pictured on this page. She is thin, but not overly so, with enough fatty portions to make her rig more average than, eg, Lilithe Classica, whose rig must take into account how skinny she is.

Monette Taida also is a large-breasted character, which will make the breast rigging portion of the course more obviously beneficial.

This Lesson: Hands and Fingers

Nearly every photograph of a woman has her doing something with her hands. This is a critical part of the rig.

Synopsis: We will rig each finger individually with IK constraints and create a master controller that will help with posing all fingers simultaneously. We will be able to quickly move the hand from the default modelling position to a natural resting position, make a fist, spread the fingers out, curl them forward or back, and have some reasonably natural metacarpal movement to simulate the action of the tendons on the back-side of the hand.

This lesson is fairly lengthy, broken up into several sessions clocking in around about 1hr, 20min. The sessions are as follows:

  1. (11m42s) Free Technical Overview: Hierarchy and Relationships and Constraints also available on Youtube.
  2. (19m01s) Metacarpals and basic fingers without IK. Creating the bones, setting up their parentage, and basic constraints.
  3. (27m52s) IK on each finger, and the extra “copy-rotation” constraint on the final finger segment. Also, thinking about re-keying animations after armature modifications.
  4. (4m43s) Talking about the fiddliness of roll angles and pole target locations. Re-placing the All-Finger meta-controller.
  5. (24m35s) The thumb, its controller, how it differs from straight IK, and deciding how to parent it, to the hand IK controller or the allFingers meta-controller.
  6. (7m28s) Basic constraints on the metacarpals for fingers bent back/forward.

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