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Daz Studio Puppeteer like workflow in Blender

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Flattiefolks Animation Kit writes:

Using traditional methods to animate characters & objects is time consuming and requires a lot of effort & experience. For hours many individual frames have to be edited or key frames to be created, changed & moved on the timeline.

Therefore, it is obvious animators seek alternative methods to make the animation process more intuitive, more fun and less painful. Modern approaches like motion capture, machinima, digital puppetry and the concept of spatial keyframing for performance-driven animation sound promising.

Although blender already provides many on-board features to realize such procedures, blender's evolution has not yet produced any easy-to-use, inexpensive and less time consuming solutions in this field.

Despite earlier (always discontinued) approaches like “pyppet”, “Driver Wizard Add-on” or other script-heavy attempts to integrate tons of additional hardware like webcams, game controllers or the Microsoft Kinect, other software products may have some cooler possibilities in this field, although Blenders offers a lot of live recording, driver system & camera tracking capabilities others dream about.

Adobe’s After Effects has got a handy puppet tool probably based on the work of Japanese professor Takeo Igarashi who already invented very cool working puppet animation software prototypes more than a decade ago. (Check his amazing applications such as “movingsketch” or “squirrel” at: http://www-ui.is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~takeo/).

The developers of Reallusion have a wide range of motion capture and digital puppetry features in their products. One more amazing feature I always dreamed of to have in blender is the Puppeteer tool in Daz Studio. For years I've looked out for such a thing and asked myself “Why can’t we have something similar in blender?” and “Is there really no talented blenderhead coming up with something like that? - couldn’t be that hard to integrate into blender if you’re a programmer/developer. The problem is, I am no programmer myself.

But wait, finally after discovering how to achieve some kind of puppet animation work-flow only with blender’s on-board resources to mimic Daz Studio’s Puppeteer for everyone, hoping for others to find it useful I would like to present it to the public.

You can find more information here.

About Author

Frank Neubauer

Flattiefolks Animation Kit is a 2D cutout character and image plane based film making tool for the use in blender, developed by Frank Neubauer, longtime teacher for music and film making at school & blender user since version 2.30.

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