Saturday, September 28, 2013

Easy Rigging of Models with Blender and Mixamo: A Quick Walkthough

Many have asked me how to setup a quick pipeline from blender to Unity for rigging and animation.  Let me give one of the fastest setups I know of currently.

To use this method, you have the following limits and needs:

The steps are simple:

  • Install the most recent version of blender.
  • Unzip the 2.49 version of blender into a place you can run it from.  
  • Copy blender_collada.py and blender_collada.pyd files from the collada importer zip file into the /.blender/scripts folder in your 2.49b version of blender's directory (possibly \blender-2.49b-windows\.blender\scripts\).
  • Take your finished model (it should also be uv-mapped to a texture, as you would do with any game model), and export it as an OBJ file.
  • Go to Http://mixamo.com and chose the Auto-Rigger.  Upload the model.
  • Follow the directions for autorigging the model, and download the file as a collada 2.49 DAE file.
  • Run the older 2.49 version of blender, and chose FILE -> IMPORT -> Miximo Collada 1.4.1 import.
  • Use the menu to import the collada file you just downloaded from Mixamo.
  • Save the imported model and skeleton as a blend file using FILE -> SAVEAS.
  • Close the 1.49 version of blender and load the most recent version of the Blender software.
  • Hit SHIFT-F1 to load the new blend file you just saved.  it will open it and let you pick the part of it you want to load.  Chose the item called "scene", and then the file called "Scene" that was inside it.  Click the button in the upper-right called "Link/Append from library"
  • Look for the entrybox with the word "Scene" at the top of the Bender window, and click on the darker area with an icon of three shapes to its left with the updown arrows.  Choose "Scene.001" from the dropdown menu.
  • You should now see your model in blender, already rigged from mixamo.  From here you can export it as an FBX fo use in unity, or add a few more bones, such as bones for the eyes and jaw.  
This process can take hours of rigging time, and reduce it to just a few minutes.  If you need help with this process, I'm always available for consultation.

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