Course Review: Hard Surface Rigging in Blender

3D modeling can basically be divided into two main categories: organic modeling and hard-surface modeling. Organic modeling is the art of sculpting fluid, natural shapes, usually living organisms: humans, animals and vegetation. Hard-surface modeling is the art of constructing clearly defined man-made objects existing of solid materials, often geometrically shaped, such as machinery, robots and architecture.

The well-known Creative Shrimp Academy offers a new course by Blender maestro Jeannot Landry, titled Hard Surface Rigging in Blender. When it comes to rigging you tend to think of fitting armatures to deform organic models, but hard-surface models also need rigging to aid animation creation, especially when the objects have intricate movable features.

The Hard Surface Rigging in Blender course package is divided into three main chapters

Theory

  1. What is a Hierarchy (6:25)
  2. Creating an Armature (1:47)
  3. Types of Bones (5:47)
  4. Object, Edit & Pose Mode (3:33)
  5. Armature Editing (11:27)
  6. Mesh Binding (9:25)
  7. Automatic Weights & Weight Painting (11:31)
  8. Bone Layers, Groups & Custom Shapes (11:27)
  9. Drivers & Expressions (12:45)
  10. Constraints Part 1 (11:38)
  11. Constraints Part 2 (8:17)
  12. Constraints Part 3 (11:42)
  13. Rotation Methods (10:59)

Hands-on

  1. Ball Joint Multi-Mesh Workflow (15:11)
  2. Hinge Joint Single Mesh Workflow (11:23)
  3. Pivot Point Assignment (2:11)
  4. Gears (7:42)
  5. Cables (17:58)
  6. Other Types of Cables (14:12)
  7. Hydraulics (9:07)

Robo Rigging

  1. Prepping (8:58)
  2. Creating the Basic Armature for Binding (20:57)
  3. Binding the Objects to the Armature (16:11)
  4. First Polish (15:33)
  5. Legs IK with IK/FK Switch (21:43)
  6. Flexible Iris with Light Control (12:44)
  7. Retractable Quad Blade Automation with Rotors RPM (14:12)
  8. Squishy Body with Stretchy Limbs & Switch (18:41)
  9. Second Polish (24:38)
  10. Testing, Fixing & Pose Library (19:13)
  11. Final Polish, Final Thoughts (22:32)

Once you’ve registered at the Creative Shrimp site and purchased the course, you will have indefinite access to the course in a convenient online video interface, featuring an easy to use video lecture index.

Each chapter includes an introduction video mentioning what you can expect to learn in the upcoming videos. No add-ons are required, which is very convenient. You can use Blender out of the box.

And of course, a Creative Shrimp course wouldn’t be complete without an appearance of their iconic rubber duck. In a bonus video lecture you will learn how to rig that as well. 😁

Chapter 1: Theory

Jeannot Landry‘s first introduction video of the Hard Surface Rigging in Blender course immediately makes one thing clear: his deep voice is very comfortable to listen to, which is not an unimportant factor if you need to listen to hours of audio.

Jeannot is only visible inside an inset in the introduction videos, so you can fully focus on following his Blender instructions in the actual video lectures.

The video lectures in the Theory chapter explain various 3D principles that are important to know for rigging. The first video discusses hierarchies, explaining the parent-child relationships of linked 3D objects.

Hierarchies are among the essential knowledge that's explained in the Theory chapter
Hierarchies are among the essential rigging knowledge that's explained in the Theory chapter

The next videos clearly explain the basics of how to create an armature, introducing the available different types of bones, switching between Edit Mode, Object Mode and Pose Mode, and how to edit an armature.

Explanation of bones and armatures
Jeannot clearly explains bone types and armature modifications

Then it’s time for an introduction to mesh binding and weight painting, showing the different types of automatic weight assignments in Blender, and how to correct bone influence by weight painting.

Weight painting
You're properly introduced to bone deformation and influence correction by weight painting

In the final video lectures of the first chapter you’re introduced to advanced rigging techniques like Inverse Kinematics, Spline IK and drivers with expressions.

Advanced rigging techniques
All you need to know to be prepared for serious rigging

Chapter 2: Hands-on

The second chapter of the Hard Surface Rigging in Blender courseHands-on — is an informative collection of hard-surface rig explainer videos, showing how to twist and turn different types of hinges, ball joints, gears, hydraulics and cables. These videos offer you the first stages of practical hard-surface rigging knowledge after the theory has been explained in the first chapter.

You'll learn how to rig various types of hard-surface objects
In the second chapter you'll learn how to rig various types of hard-surface objects
Cables and hydraulics are also covered
Cables and hydraulics are also covered

Chapter 3: Robo Rigging

The third and final chapter of the Hard Surface Rigging in Blender course is the real deal. This is the part where you can unleash all gained knowledge on an actual, complete hard-surface rigging project, in the shape of a charming floating robot drone.

In the third chapter you'll learn how to rig this baby
In the third chapter you'll learn how to rig this baby
Advanced robo-rigging
Gain advanced robo-rigging know-how

Don’t worry if the screenshots look complicated. Every course video includes an accompanying Blender scene you can open, analyze and use as a basis for your own rigging exercises.

Rigging the robot from the eye to the legs
Learn how to rig the robot from the eye diaphragm to the hinged legs
Get to know how to contract and unfold advanced robotic elements
Get to know how to contract and unfold advanced robotic elements
A rig so complete, the robot is ready to fly away from the Blender UI
Achieve a rig that's so complete, the robot is ready to fly out of the Blender UI into the real world
And finally, the most important rigging lesson of all course videos
And finally, the most important rigging lesson of all course videos

Final words

Hard Surface Rigging in Blender is a very complete course, covering many facets of hard-surface rigging, ranging from basic knowledge to advanced automation techniques.

As mentioned before, Jeannot Landry has a very pleasant, soothing voice, which makes viewing the videos all the more enjoyable. The narration speed is slow enough to be able to follow everything, but fast enough to cover a wide range of subjects.

Creative Shrimp’s online video interface is very user-friendly, allowing you to easily skip back and forth between different video lectures.

Concluding, Hard Surface Rigging in Blender is well worth the investment if you’re serious about hard-surface animation. 

Happy Blending! 🐵

Metin Seven
metinseven.nl

Hard Surface Rigging in Blender

Take your hard-surface rigging skills to the next level

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.