This stage was the rigging process for the character model. The rigging stage is where you build a skeleton for the character model, that when applied to the model it will be used to pull and push the body of the character around. This would let you control the movement of the character basically it’s what you use to animate with.
Video’s I used to help me;
On my rig the arms and legs of the rig features basic IK (Inverse Kinematics) that makes it easier to control and move in a more natural way. I added an IK/FK switch on both the arms and legs to give whoever animating the character more freedom of choose off which approach they would rather use. I also added reverse foot control to the feet, this lets control the heels of the character with more movement.
I created controls for the rig using spline shapes, these are what animators would use to move the character around. I applied these controls to the bone joints I wanted them to affect and control. This makes it easier for animators to see and know what to use when animating the character without trying to select each bone joint. I then parented the rig and controls to a new main control, that is used to move everything with the character where you want too. The next stage was Shapes Keys in Blender, these are what you can use to effect the models topology. This lets you set a key frame of the models topology in a different positions, then you can influence the value it has on the basic shape key which is the rest or default topology. For example you have the basic shape key of the face, then having another shape key with the eyebrows raised up. To create a shape key in Blender you use the edit mode on the model and move the polygons it already has, around to created different expressions and setting then as a shape key. Shape keys are what you can use to animated the characters face expressions and could be used for creating all the mouth shapes.
To finish the character creation process I had to weight the character model to the rig. Weighting is the step when you assign how much effect the bone joints has on the polygons of the character model. Once you select the bone joint, then you paint the polygons that it needs to effect, with red having full effect, blue having little effect and black with no effect on the polygon. I find this stage in the character creation the hardest, it was difficult for me to get all the percentages of how much effect each bone has on certain polygons. Me and another member in the group then tested the character rig and we notice in my character the waist control didn’t work well, it didn’t rotate forward or backwards enough. My character also didn’t have any eye controls, that I forgot to add the rig. This means I wont be able to move where the character eyes will be looking at.