Creating animated characters with Blender

CARTOON BUILDER

Article from Issue 66/2006
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Blender not only generates realistic single frames; it is also capable of capturing the natural movements of people and animals. We’ll introduce you to some of Blender’s animation features.

Character animation – the art of bringing virtual characters to life – is the computerized counterpart to the hand-drawn cartoon. Replacing the drawing board with the computer does not really change the craft. Computer-generated animations still benefit from a realistic look and feel. Blender is capable of producing photorealistic images, and Blender offers some benefits that conventional cartoonists will never enjoy. For instance, objects in a Blender scene “interact” autonomously, and Blender correctly calculates the highlights and shadows when 3D objects change their positions (Figure 1). Last month we showed you how to create a 3D image in Blender. This month, we’ll show you how to put an image in motion using Blender’s animation tools.

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