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BlenderPeople Call For Content (Armatures and Actions)


bp.pngBlenderPeople's Roland Hess has posted on his blog that for the final stages of his next BlenderPeople release he needs your help!

For those who don't know:

BlenderPeople is a suite of Python scripts for Blender that, in conjunction with a mySQL database, allow the generation of large scale crowd dynamics, including combat scenarios.

Of course, that was the description of version 0.6. Since then Roland has put a great deal of thought and time to add more advanced features including the animation of the "actors" in the crowd. And that's where you come in.

From the BlenderPeople development blog:

Well, BlenderPeople is finally at a stage where I could use some help from the world wide Blender community.

With the basic completion of automated walking, fixes to Action Baking and MatchBone, and additions and modifications to the Python API, I'm starting to put it all together. If you follow the BlenderPeople blog, this isn't news to you.

So here's the news: I'm looking for YOU to give me the raw animation materials that'll be used in the BlenderPeople demo at SIGGRAPH. If all goes well, I'll be at the awesome Blender/GNOME/UniVerse booth at SIGGRAPH at the beginning of August, and will demo BP on the big screen.

But I need your help. I have too much on my plate right now to put on my animator's hat in a righteous fashion, and I want it to look good.

Here is what I need:

1. Armatures. I'm looking for fairly simple biped rigs. I have one that I've been using, but there's no reason for me to think that it's anything incredible. The rigs for Proog and Emo are a little too complex, so don't bother sending them.

Requirements for the armatures are as follows:
a. must face to the right of the screen in a top view.
b. legs must be IK rigged, with a single foot controller that controls both translation and left-right rotation. Not to say that the foot can't have additional controls, but those two must be housed in the same single bone for autowalking to work.
c. must be a single armature, with all constraints and ik solvers/targets/etc as bones within that armature. No constraining to empties or other placeholder objects.

2. Actions. I need Actions of the following types:
a. Walk cycles (walking in place)
b. Run cycles (running in place)
c. Attack - single motion attacks are fine; kicks; sword chops; spear stabs; combination attacks are also fine
d. Dodges - actions that show an armature ducking an attack; jumping out the way; leaning to the side; etc.
e. Blocks - actions showing the actor blocking as though with a weapon
f. Defensive stances - actions that a character who is hanging out, but who is wary; could include looking around, shifting weight from foot to foot, nervously examining weapon, etc.
Actions do not need to begin from the armature's rest position. just start them in the best position you'd like them to be in. MatchBone will (should) take care of the rest. There is no limit to the length of actions, but they really should be atomic, taking no more than a second or two each.

If you don't have an armature to work with, and you don't feel like making you own, you can download mine from:

I'm giving no guarantee that I'll be using any of the submissions. I have some crummy ones already, and if all I get is crap, than I'll stick with the crap I made myself. But I'm hoping that a few people out there will really come up with some great stuff. If you submit material to this, it must be your own work (or something that's been given freely to the public), and I will credit you as such on any demo materials that are produced.

You can send submissions and questions to bphelp <-at-> harkyman dot com. That's a fairly mangled email address, but you should be able to figure it out. PLEASE keep submitted .blend files under 300k. If you have something bigger than that, and you think it rocks, email me with text only first, and I'll okay the bigger attachment then. I'm putting a tentative submission deadline at two weeks from right now.

Thanks for all of your help in advance!

Roland Hess

I try my best to remain calm with posts like this, but I will honestly say that this project is huge. So if you have some armatures and/or actions, sending them to Roland to help advance BlenderPeople further can only be a great thing.

About Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. Awesome! It's fantastic to see this project coming to the forefront like this!
    I'll start submitting animations right away!

  2. I think I just may stop my modeling and skip to learning basic rigging for this. If I find some time, the next entire 3 months are completely planned out allready... :(

  3. That's the armature I've been using up until now, but I was working with a stripped down Mancandy armature this morning (oh how I hate saying that), and I think I like it better. I'll make a couple of actions with it tomorrow, and it really is better (which, it probably is) I'll put up a link to the simplified version I'm fooling with.

  4. Woot. I've been following for quite a long time. Glad to hear you're going to make it to siggraph. I'm sure people -- not just Blenderheads -- will FREAK OUT. Even early versions were impressive. I'm looking forward to the new version hopefully being a little easier to figure out as I never did figure out the first versions ^_^;

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