becoming a pro blender user means you can choose when to do things the hard way or opt for more easier ways that others pros are using to finish projects on time, through relying on tools that make a difference, today lets look at these amazing tools that blender animation experts rely on to create work easier and faster without compromising on quality.
we all know blocking is the first step to creating environments and game level designs, but did you know that professionals use it for making characters too, zbrush has dedicated tools just for blocking and its about time blender gets these features, blocksurfaces is an addon that lets you quickly blockout characters in a low effort and quick way using simple primitive shapes like zbrush does. you can letter sculpt these into highly detailed models using the blocksurfaces as a starting base
if you have ever used clo or marvelous designer, you are going to appreciate this addon even more, blender cloth simulation has always lucked important features like cloth pinching, cloth adjustment during simulation, and a simple way to create garment patterns using curves and easy sewing and stitching features , these are all feature the garment addon brings to blender.
if you animate characters and you have a phone, you can save hundreds of hours using this addon, it can map facial expressions and performances from your face to any character in blender, and the setup is easy to, you just align the face mesh to your character and the addon handles the rest, now all you have to do is act, speak and do your funny faces so you can see a mirror version of your inside blender.
this is animation layers, and it works like you expect it, you create an animation say a dog walking, that could be on layer one, an if you want the dog to look on the left while walking, you just add a new layer and animate on that, an you can add more layers like smiling, jumping, rolling and more and at anytime if you want to remove any animation you want, you only delete or edit the layer of that specific action without disrupting the other layers, its like working with photoshop but for animation.
if you are making stylized animation, you are going to love this addon, because what it shows is that you dont always need a rig to animate especially if you are animating non living objects.
you can easily trace the object you want to animate using the tools provided by the addon, to create a simple approximation of your target object, the new traced object will now become your morph object which will deform the original object, making rigging unnecessary for things.
a good character rig can have over 50 bones, and even more control bones, this can be too much to work with, so this addon helps hide all those bones and control bones, leaving you with just the mesh, now to rig the mesh all you have to do is select any part of the mesh you want to move, the addon will automatically select the primary control bone for that part of the mesh, while highlighting it, giving you all the advantages of a fully rigged character without the clutter that comes with it.
there hundreds of free motion capture animation on the internet, unfortunately they never work with custom rigs that they where not captured for, this makes public animation libraries like mixamo, mocaponline and more unusable for alot of rigs. this rigimap addon makes them work with any rig from anywhere, weather made by you or anyone else.
this, is shot manager, right now if you wanted to make a blender movie, with a day and night time bedroom scene where the bedroom has different lighting for the night and day time, you would need to separate projects or you would have to animate the lights, close or open the windows, move objects around depending on the time of day and hope you dont miss anything that will break continuity, shot manager is the addon that can remove that stressing, you can set this up in one single project file and let the addon handle everything. you can create shots each with its own frame range, viewlayer states, camera, different rendeer engine, output path, and more.
if you are animating characters with a full rig, that has face controls, fingers and more, you will be looking at over 60 bones everytime, so selecting the right bone becomes a hustle, its for this reason that we looked at skin selection that lets you hide all the bones and just select the mesh directly, but for fine control you may want to see the bones them selves, and this is what xpose is for, it creates a seperate interface and popup window that floats above blender, that lets you access any part of the rig you are working on.
if you have tried animation, you know animating a character grabbing or holding something and then letting it go, is not a straight forward thing, and can sometimes feel impossible to do, this is the reason for the grab it script, its an addon that just makes it much more easier and straight forward.
in alot of 3d applications you can see your fcurves or animation curves directly in the viewport, and can even adjust or animate with them directly in the viewport, this functionality is not available in blender unless you install an addon like motion trail3d.
animate any type of character you want, from dinosaurs, birds, cats, spiders, dogs, dragons, snakes and more, if you have a mesh for it, the auto rig pro rig library has a rig for it. it works based on the most popular rigging addon auto rigpro, the library comes with over 24 rigs, that you can easily customize to fit what you are animating.
if you are animating characters, lipsync can take you days to get right, but with this syncnix addon, its a matter of just animating a small dot between afew set shape keys and the character will lipsync to the words easily.
if you want your animation to have the same quality of hollywood movies, you gotta do it like hollywood then, the x muscle system addon for blender is for creating tissue and muscle physical simulation.
Its main purpose is to help visualize better skin surface deformations according to volume preservation of the body muscles, fat and even skeletal bones. Add-on lets you focus on the design, creativity and to significantly speed up the workflow with extremal learning curve.
if you are animating character around objects, they will likely intersect or go through other objects, but with the simplicage addon, you can avoid this with physics cages, they work as a lowpoly cloth simulation that collides with any objects and deforms parts of the character or objects to avoid any intersections between objects, giving you realistic deformations without any hard work on your side.