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Bones 101
setting up bones for posing in Curvy 3D  2.0


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Welcome to this basic walk-through into how to set up and use bones in Curvy 3D 2.0.

In Curvy 3D version 2.0, you can attach mesh objects to bones. Or, if you prefer to look at it from the other end: you can attach bones to mesh objects. This is called 'skinning', and so, there is a property you'll find on some objects, and particularly on mesh objects, which can be enabled or disabled: Skinned (SK).

Once an object is skinned, you will want to enable a special mode of operation, called Posing mode, where you can rotate a bone, and see the attached (skinned) mesh bend and flex with it accordingly. This comes in very handy when you have something like a multi-segment arachnid leg, or just a human leg and foot, and you wish to bend the knee and foot into various poses, without loosing the original shape.

Here are the most essential steps involved in doing just that, first as a brief summar:

  1. Create the multiple body parts, and merge them, or if there's just one part, turn it into a Mesh. Merging multiple parts will also make that into a mesh. There are probably other possible cases or scenarios, but to keep it simple, we'll look at this case first: just one part.
  2. Now, lay down (draw) a few bone objects over the mesh object. You can optionally also set the size (sphere of influence) of the bone, both at the start and at the end of the bone. Use SPACEBAR to finish the bone's definition and start a new bone.
  3. In the object list, arrange the bones into a hierarchy: Drop the most recent (child) bone into its prior or parent. Then drop that one into its parent, etc... all the way back to the first bone. At this point you can move (translate) all bones if you move just the top-level parent bone. This is plain and simple forward kinematics.
  4. Now drop the mesh object under the top-level bone.
  5. Finally, skin the mesh. Set its attribute to named 'Skinned' to enabled. This will direct it to look for and be controlled by nearby bones that have a sphere of influence which reaches the mesh object's polygons
  6. And truely finally, enable Posing mode from the Edit menu (keyboard shortcut: U). Now you can't move the other bones (only the top level bone. But, you can rotate a bone, any bone in the hierarchy of linked bones, and the attached (skinned) mesh will bend with it.

It may help to occasionally hit 'U' again, twice, in order to detach and re-attach the skin. This also is useful in order to see the original shape vs. the bone-affected shape.

Ok, now for a real practical scenario and exercise. We will create a leg like this one:

... and we will use bones to modify (bend) it at the knee and then create something like this with it:

Of course, in the above example, we did more than bend the leg at the knee. We also used some tools to mess with the feet and put some spikey thorns on the lower leg.

step 1:  Creating the Leg...

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Bones 101

Bones 101
part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5
part 6
part 7


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