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BSoD: Introduction To Character Animation


bsod-itca-weightpaint-29.jpgWe've already seen the results of the Blender Summer of Documentation with the Game Engine, now it's time to have a look at Ryan Dale's phenomenal Introduction to Character Animation project.

From Ryan's intro:

When you complete this tutorial, you will have a fully rigged character (with facial expressions and skeleton) and an animation, lip synched to sound, starring your character. You'll end up with the tools and knowledge to make your own character and make it do whatever you want. It's your one-stop-shop for learning many of the tools in Blender.

From modeling to animation to lip synching, Ryan certainly seems to have covered almost everything imaginable to create a great animated character.

About the Author


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


  1. Four thumbs up!!!
    It will sure quickly become a reference for all the newbies!!
    Thank you a lot Ryan!!!

    I also thank a lot Ton and the community for the BSoD :-)!

  2. Excellent.

    When I get time to try and learn modelling and Blender again I'll be sure to chedck this one out.

    Minor nitpick:
    This notice about GNU/Linux compatibility isn't entirely accurate. what's happening is that the alt-drag shortcut for moving windows is grabbing the mouse event. You can either turn off that shortcut or (what I do) press some dummy key at the same time (like the Windows key, assuming you haven't mapped it to anything.) The Window Manager will no longer grab it and Blender doesn't care.

  3. Thankx to Ryan for the great tut!!
    When I started using Blender, the famous "Gus" the gingerbread man tut helped me learn the basics and a few advanced techniques. I wish I had this tut then! Even knowing a bit about Blender, this really helped explain a good clean character creation, set-up, and animation.
    Kudos Ryan!

  4. hardy har i just made a weird connection, the acronym BSoD also stands for, "Blue. Screen of. Death." you windows veterans will be familiar with this lovely error message.

    i guess i have something good to attach to the letters now!

    ;P Blender owns your socks!

  5. Excellent, excellent!! This is truly a model tutorial to be used as reference for future tutorial makers. It would also form a good basis for a high school class.

    Is it not done yet? The outline says "you'll learn": custom bone shapes, stride bones, and envelopes, but they weren't there!?! (not that they need to be, but the outline should be updated if its done.

  6. I've done this tutorial and I've learned many things. It's a very good tutorial for beginner/intermediate.

    Still, I wished to send corrections to Dale because some things were not clear enough for me, and I had to look somewhere else to understand.
    As example, when an animation of face shapes is converted to action(a flag), Ryan forgot to write that the animation can't be changed until the conversion to action is disabled. Thanks to that, I've found a crashing bug in blender.

    but, it's an excellent tutorial which cover many features and aspects of blender. And in top of that, it uses new features of blender 2.4x (new IK, modifiers, face shape...). Only the envelop feature was voluntary forget, but it's because this feature is maybe not the best for that.

  7. I am following this crystal clear and helpful tutorial in these hours and I think it is a great source of information for Blender and beyond.
    It will be the "suggested reading" for my 101 class in 3d Computer Graphics for Artists next Spring.

  8. @Daniele lusardi
    I'm not sure what you mean. All the page seem to work for me. I think you might be going to pages that aren't complete yet. Several of the BSoD authors did a main tutorial bulk, then left spaces open for later addition (like the page you linked to).

  9. @Morris:
    I removed the link to the outline, it was from an earlier version of the tutorial. Sorry about that.

    Good point, I'll make a note of that in the next round of updates.

    Everyone: thanks for your comments. I'm glad the tutorial is getting some use!

  10. Fantastic !!!

    One of the best tutorial I ever seen.

    I hope I could find all the steps and memorize the main features to walk alone along Blender World. I've been using Blender for a year but in fact I've never done something complete. With this simply tutorial I think I will improve a lot.

    Thanks guy for your contribution. I will being waiting for something interesting like this focused in texturing process including UV.

    Thanks again,

    Tio Ilmo

  11. Ryan, this is by far the BEST tutorial on the whole process of creating and animating a character, very informative! Thanks for all the time and effort putting into this to help us users learn. Is there not a PDF for the whole tutorial?

  12. I know that it is not ideal but just in case that you missed it, there is a link on the left of every Wiki pages that leads to a printable version which, if really not sexy, is still usable.


  13. I think it helps to place some focus on the tutorials and documentation out there. Too often I'm hearing about new features coming left and right and all, but I can't even figure out how to use more basic features with all of these piecemeal tutorials that seem to predominate. Ryan's tutorial, and its comprehensive coverage, is fantastic and in general I'm just glad to see the fruits of the Blender Summer of Documentation. Thanks!!

  14. Ryan great tutorial .... astonished .... how you follow the reader and guide him through every step Really great
    I'm at the end of the tutorial and hope to give it one or two more passes

    one thing : when we want to insert Key shapes in NLA editor you describe the process after showing the jpg its was quite confusing till someone read the rest and figured it out maybe its due to 2.46RC some things have changed ?

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