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Male BlenRig - ZEPAM


Juan Pablo Bouza has just released a new and very detailed character rig using his latest version of BlenRig (BlenRig 2.0). You might remember him as the creator of a past animation, 'The Dance of the Bashful Dwarf'.

There's a large amount of resources which come along with ZEPAM, including all the textures used in the model and several video tutorials on Juan's site demonstrating the rig and a 'making of' video.

The file is available for download on Juan Pablo Bouza's site here.

It includes:

  • Male BlenRig rig
  • _Zepam Multi resolution Model
  • _Zepam´s clothes
  • _4k (and higher) textures for Bumps, Color and Displacement.
  • _All procedural Materials used for creating the textures.

Theres also a page which goes into more detail about BlenRig 2.0 and the page with video demonstrations.

Dont forget to visit the thread on to leave feedback or ask Juan questions.

[EDIT by Tim - 0806-08]    Juan has reduced the file size to 25 megs.

"Many people have complained about the file size, so it would be great if you could post this little news as ´´BlenRig for the masses´´ or something that makes clear [so]that many more people will be able to use it.


As you can see, the textures are in a separate file. I also included a little TXT with an easy 4 steps guide to get Zepam working with this new file. The mesh is not binded to the Mesh Deform modifier, that is what makes the file lighter, so all you have to do is to re-bind the modifier and that´s it."


  1. Really cool rig.
    A killer for rendering though. I tried to render a kicking pose with the default settings on my 2,4 Ghz quad with 4 gig of ram and linux nearly died on me oO blender had promptly decided to use 3,5 gig ram 3,5!!! everything was moving in slowmo until I killed blender...

  2. Vraiment cool plate-forme. Un tueur pour le rendu si. J'ai essayé de rendre un coup de pied, posent avec les paramètres par défaut sur mon quad 2,4 Ghz avec 4 Go de ram et linux a failli mourir sur moi mélangeur oO a rapidement décidé d'utiliser 3,5 ram concert 3,5! tout était en mouvement dans SlowMo jusqu'à ce que je tué blender ...

  3. Yeah, it really is a killer for rendering, mainly because of the hair. I have a Phenom 9750 with 8GB of RAM. Actually I had 4GB but I had to update to 8Gb because of this rig, hehe. What you mostly need is a lot of swap space. I wrote to Brecht in the bug tracker cause i couldn't render more than one consecutive frame with Zepam, because I was going out of RAM. he told me it was something related to memory fragmentation, and that the rendering would stabilize within several frames. And he was right, but I had to increse the swap file partition.
    In my computer, a render of Zepam of 3840x2160 takes about 6 minutes. The most critical frame is frame number 2, when the system reaches 8GB of RAM used and 8GB of sawp used...but afterwards it stabilizes in 6 and 6.

    Well, but I repeat, it is mainly because of the hair. Don't forget to delete the MultiRes info if you are going to animate Zepam, as I included MultiRes so that you can modify the High resolution model and bake new displacement maps, but MultiRes is not meant for animation or rendering.

    For people with slower computers (Slower than an Athlon 3500+ with 2GB of RAM) there's also a link to a version of the rig with 1k textures and no multires. I was able to open that file in a P4 with 512 of RAM.


  4. Ouais, c'est vraiment un tueur pour le rendu, principalement en raison de la chevelure. J'ai un Phenom 9750 avec 8 Go de RAM. En fait, j'ai eu 4 Go, mais j'ai eu à mettre à jour à 8 Go à cause de cette plate-forme, hehe. Ce que vous devez la plupart du temps, c'est beaucoup d'espace de swap. J'ai écrit à Brecht dans la cause i bug tracker ne peut rendre plus d'une trame consécutifs avec Zepam, parce que je sortais de la RAM. il m'a dit que c'était quelque chose lié à la fragmentation de mémoire, et que le rendu devrait se stabiliser au sein de plusieurs cadres. Et il avait raison, mais j'ai dû increse la partition du fichier d'échange. Dans mon ordinateur, un rendu de Zepam de 3840x2160 dure environ 6 minutes. Le support le plus critique est de 2 numéro de châssis, lorsque le système atteint 8 Go de mémoire vive utilisée et 8 Go de PTAS utilisé ... mais ensuite elle se stabilise à 6 et 6. Eh bien, mais je le répète, c'est surtout parce que des cheveux. N'oubliez pas de supprimer les informations MultiRes si vous allez animer Zepam, comme je l'ai inclus MultiRes de sorte que vous pouvez modifier le modèle haute résolution et faire cuire des cartes de déplacement nouveau, mais MultiRes n'est pas destiné à l'animation ou de la prestation. Pour les personnes ayant des ordinateurs plus lents (plus lent qu'un Athlon 3500 + avec 2Go de RAM) il ya aussi un lien vers une version de la plate-forme avec 1k textures et aucun multires. J'ai pu ouvrir ce fichier dans un P4 avec 512 de RAM. Cheers!

  5. Don't forget that Male BlenRig is not just a rigged character, it is a rigging system in itself! Check the video Tutorials to understand what I mean and to learn how to use BlenRig with your own models!

  6. N'oubliez pas que BlenRig Homme n'est pas seulement un caractère truqué, il est un système de câblage en soi! Vérifiez les didacticiels vidéo pour comprendre ce que je veux dire et à apprendre à utiliser BlenRig avec vos propres modèles!

  7. Hi Juan Pablo,
    I think there's a lot of work to do!
    First make the file-size shorter, so everybody can work with it.
    The next ist the GUI itself. Make it more easy (less areas!).
    The model needs to be more perfect!
    During rendering only 1 of my 8 Cores is working! Do you know why!!

  8. Salut Juan Pablo, je pense qu'il ya beaucoup de travail à faire! Faites d'abord le fichier de taille plus courte, donc tout le monde peut travailler avec elle. La prochaine EEI l'interface elle-même. Faites plus facile (les zones moins!). Le modèle doit être plus parfait! Pendant le rendu seulement 1 de mes 8 noyaux fonctionne! Savez-vous pourquoi!

  9. Thanks Freaky!

    Hi Slurp, did you download the lighter version?? It is 100MB. The main reason why the file is this large is because of the mesh deform modifier, so there´s nothing I can do about it really. About, the controls, this rig is really flexible and lets you have lots of control over every aspect, so it is kind of hard to reduce the amount of controllers. Personally I like to have more control over the movement, that´s why I did it this way. I know that there are many animators that like to have less controls, but I don´t , hehe, that´s my style. Maybe I could re-design the look of the controls in a later version to make them less confusing, perhaps that is the problem, and not the amount of them. You´ll have to get used to them for now, hehe, or change them to your liking, no problem about it.

    About the model, I don´t know exactly to which aspect you are referring to, but Zepam is just a base for further improvement. There are many things that could be better, but as I say in the read me file, if I had kept on perfection it, I would have never released it!! Anyway, what could be better in Zepam are really small technical details (mainly some areas of the topology) but it renders perfectly well, so it is not a big deal

    I don´t know why only 1 of your cores is working when rendering, hehe, that seems to be a blender issue, not Zepam´s fault!! Poor Zepam!!

    But hey, remember, BlenRig is a rigging system, that´s the main point, Zepam is a demonstration on how well BlenRig works and the results it can deliver, so, there may be people that will like to use BlenRig for rigging their own character, and people that will like to use Zepam too, you are free to use it and to modify it if you need to for you own workflow. Don´t forget to read the license and contact me if you have any doubts about anything!!

    Thanks for the comments guys!

  10. great to see a lower size version! you got a lot of time in that one,

    s nice to know that you can transfer the rigging among other characters too, makes it more flexible, and without relying on shapekeys.

    cheers for this one!

  11. First allow me communicate how grateful I am to you for hanging in there and having developed such a robust character animation subsystem. You have accomplished what I had dreamt of being able to do one day, just if, had I not been run over by that darned car 6 years back, meaning had I not been rendered with Traumatic Brain Injuries, I would have been able to do. But then had that not happened I would have continued working in the software engineering field. I would not had the time or the drive to start looking into the field of character animation I had felt driven to when I was a child. I had stayed limited to pursuing figurative sculpting on my few off times. In my youth, even while I studied for my doctorate the computer engineering field did not contain such sophisticated character modeling and animation tools, even though I felt wanting to model people, I could not know where to turn back then.

    You don't need to waste you time reading the rest of this note until the marker. After the marker I have lots of questions for you. I hope you could answer them.

    Between markers, I wanted to share some more about this char animator wanna be's struggles until she happened to discover your subsystem.

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    6 years back I was rendered physically and mentally incapacitated due to getting hit by a car as pedestrian. I was devastated the first few years when i was wheel chair bound. From being a practicing martial artist, I was reduced to not having the control of half of my body. The motor cortex in the right brain was totally destroyed. From being a respected software engineer, I was reduced to not having any memory. Rehab put me back on my feet, I could not go back to practicing my Aikido, but I could do Yoga, and Tai Chi now. Still needing my cane on my long strolls as I am liable to get dizzy and fall. In the mids of all that wanting to do character animation idea came back stronger. It was one area that could combine my interest in figurative arts, and computer science. Now that I believed I had stories to tell. And now I could get my characters do the moves that were not accessible to me any longer. Since I could no longer work at the capacity I was employed, I gave myself to learning character modeling, animation. Until I discovered Blender, I started out with PovRay. I was happy that from day1 it was all about learning its scripting language and writing code. I have not made much progress as you could imagine. I managed to build a stick man the second i discovered MakeHuman standards and idealized human dimensions joint by joint. That stick man was nothing different than an armature I learned later on. when time came to wrrite code in PovRay to animate that armature, I spent months on a graphic paper trying to figure out where each joint will end up at within each keyframe of a walk cycle, since the coordinates and rotations of each bone had to be programatically entered into PovRay. -The 7tuple that Blender action editor automatically captures for each of the bones involved in the action- For all 20 or so bone for each of the 15 key frames I managed to enter it all.- Then came the big moment, Me and my friends are ready to see him walk, instead of walking he started to break dance before our eyes? Turned out PovRay was a stateless programming env and from key frame to key frame it could not remember anything. Well, my next version made him walk through walls. That experience with povRay gave me such a concept for needing a system that can be posed automatically, that would have built in obstacle avoidance, that could handle IK along with FK itself. I was to code them myself if I was to stay with PovRay. I even looked into all kinds of human machine interfaces so a sensors can be placed at every joint location on a human, As human poses the location of his/her joints in space can be sent to computer.

    Only after this experience I was able to articulate what I needed the software tool to support. That Google search and comparison of software features vs costs. No income disabled person's budget perspective. I discovered Blender. I was ecstatic. I started with its Introduction fo Char Animation beginners tutorial. My i had a walking, talking character in a few months. Of course, I got too excited if that simple character walked a bit more complex one could also. I could not put dwon my electronic clay. Without knowiing anything about mesh topoloogies, I kept adding edge loops after edge loop to make better looking characters. I was spanding a lot of time in th 3D mesh modeling env without accomphishing anything. A person with Visual perception problems can not find skinning problems. I few additional health challenges kept me away from my new toy. When i came to it. I followed Tony Mullen's Introduction to Character Modelling book. Finally I got a working, walking Captain Blender character. A few more tutorial on facial and character rigging left me feeling dissatisfied with my models that far.

    When I finally got a model that was satisfactory, by importing a MakeHuman alpha1 generated model into Blender. When I attempted to rig him using Captain Blender rig, I realized how such a simple rig design was not going to work for more realistic human models. I worked for months again, and I could not fix Shoulder, Hip doformation problems. Blender Artist community discussion contained enough pointers to allow me to fix his kneendeformations. I had all sorts of anotomy and art books piled on my desks showing me musculature around shoulders and hips. I felt it was a matter of modeling those areas correctly to start with and during deformations allowing muscles to contract and expand to cover the mesh deformation problems I kept seeing. Correct model, correct rig, correct skin (vertext group to bone assignments would solve any problem.) Not to forget to mention movement restrictions and pose constraints that must be put in place to automate....
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    Again being able to articulate what I wanted as a solution for my joint deformation problems and searching the Blender community with those specific requirements had landed me to your BlenRig system. For your V2 I was able to locate your download location. However other than a few short video tutorials, I am not able to find the information I was hoping to find on it. I am hearing challenged now by the way. I need written background and how-to tutorials. I was hoping to find rig design description of your system. It has a couple of hundred bones, not all of them could be motion controller that animators will use directly. Most must be there to automate deformations. Like setting up staring location and target points for stretch bones? Anyhow, I was hoping for a thorough documentation that described the rig design. For example what stretch bones were used to measure the stretch of what joint/muscle to control the contraction of what other muscle? How the control was implemented. Copy location, copy rotation, limit location, limit rotation, etc. Most importantly how to apply the rig to new characters and how to skin it? when there are hundreds of bones, a number of them must expect to be associated with vertex groups. I don't trust weight painting. I painstakingly edgeloop select areas of interest for my bones when I skin my characters since I want that precision in bones controlling the mesh. How does one do this for your subsystem? which bones expect vertex groups. What are the recommended locations for those vertex groups. I hope to find all this information in your manual to be able use you rig?

    When you load an armature and want to make sure it is sized appropriately to control your character you need to update all your constraints, so stretch to bones' lengths get recalculated to make them work for the new character. I see a potential for writing a script that could automatically update all those constraints to make a resized and repositioned armature work with existing constraints. For now I do this by hand for my small armatures. I can't see doing it for hundreds of bones for an armature i am not familiar with.

    Getting armature sized and positioned correctly is the first challenge. The more important challenge is in skinning. Which bones need to be associated with which mesh vertices. I assume with mesh deform modifier, they will be associated with a lattice-like control mesh vertices? Since I have not worked with the mesh deform modifier yet. Any information on how the deforming mesh need to be added to the character mesh, how it needs to be configured, and how it needs to be skinned to mesh deforming bones in your model. which bones are mesh deforming. Which bones are for internal control? Which ones are for animator's control, IK targets vs FK.

    Lastly, would you not recommend trying to use your full system on 2G RAM dual core windows 32-bit home computer. Yeah when i worked we had Unix boxes of the caliber you mentioned. Now I am home bound on disabiity income. On 32 bit sytems memory could only go up to 4G. Even that won't cut it! Would it?

    As you can see I am not only wanting to use a system you built. I am hoping to learn from your expertise. That is why I hope along with .blend files there would be documents explaining hows and whys.

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