Blinking:Blender 3d animation -(A Happiness short)

Wow this took a long time to figure out how to do! Here it is:

Ok, so first, from my cube I went into Sculpt Mode, press Dynamic in Topology & Optimize…Then mostly with the Snake Tail brush I sculpted the face…Then with the Blob brush I blobbed out the eyes & the nose & mouth areas…Blobbing them out makes it easier to then later manipulate them, so exaggerate here…

In Materials, assign colours to your face parts…The whites of the eyeballs, the black of the pupil, pink eyelids (or whatever), a mouth or nose, white teeth…This makes the next step easier if things are in colour…

Ok then back in Object Mode, go to Vertex groups…Down that area to Shape Keys…Click +…The word Basis appears…Click Plus again & rename that shape key, something like “BLINK”…

Ok, now go into Edit mode…

Here in vertices select, select like all the edges at the top of one eyelid…Push them down to make them squish closed…Do that with the other eyelid too…Then the bottom eyelid…This takes awhile to get the hang of it…(Ok, the button “A” selects all, Control + increases your selection to vertices nearby, Grab & Rotate are handy here, Change your rotation point to “3d cursor” then put your cursor in the middle of your eyeball-then you can rotate your eyelids & they will rotate to a close around your eyeball-important helpful step, Also “B” makes a Box to select all with the box)…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gScAPFxTfv0 Blender 2.6 Tutorial 38 – Shape Keys: Blinking This is the tutorial I watched to learn BLINKING…

Once you get all your eyelids closed down in Edit Mode, you are done basically! That was the hardest part!

Now open up a Dope Sheet…

(In your animation timeline, the timeline screen (also open)), Go back to the Vertex Group, to your BLINK shape key & move that slider to where you want to start your animation…The eyes will open or close depending on where you move that slider to…Pick your position then HOVER over that bar with your mouse cursor, & Press “i”…This inserts a keyframe…

Move the green animation bar to another time, another frame…Move your shape key slider again to another position…Hover & press “i” again to insert another keyframe…

Keep doing this, open & close, open & close…

Ok, now here is a tip from the video…

Say you want the eyes open for 30 frames, then blink on 31…

If you leave it like it is, the computer will gradually close the eyes as it approaches frame 31…

To prevent this, do this…

Go to the DOPE SHEET…

Select the first frame with eyes open…(right click on those keyframes in dope sheet)…

Now press SHIFT D, hold those two buttons down, & DRAAAG those keyframes all the way to almost frame 31…

This copies the eyes open keyframe from 1 to 30…

Now your eyes stay open all the way to 30, then just blink on 31…

Repeat this on all the eyes open sections, so your blink is sudden…

Tadah! You have blinking!

Wow that is hard!

Comment: Today Joseph wondered out loud why my work is not more realistic…Was it because I was not able to do it realistically? I thanked him for the positive feedback as per usual…Thank God he is very very good looking or I would not know what to do with him…(yes by the way, the answer is yes, I am not able to do it better at this point, this Blender is so hard…I guess also because I began my art career as a firm abstract type artist with intense ethics about not doing likenesses…Maybe that plays into this now…I feel strongly still about doing things from scratch, no photo references, so my work always has a “homey” feel to it…)

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