Rigging in Blender for Unity Mecanim

As a programmer I’m not too well versed in all things graphics, but sometimes Blender comes in handy. After Unity introduced Mecanim, setting up animations isn’t all that complicated anymore and as long as you have a character with a mesh you can do the rigging yourself.

So here’s one way of rigging a character in Blender for use with Mecanim, as efficient and no-fuss as possible, with an already existing mesh; since I’m not skilled enough to make the mesh myself.

NOTE! This is meant to be a short efficient tutorial on how to rig a character by using the Meta-Rig that comes with the Rigify add-on. If you need more advanced use of Blender, I recommend you to try the Blender forums or just plain google it.
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First Person Rigging in Blender

In this Blender tutorial we’ll be learning how to rig up our first person mesh that we created in our previous video. We’ll be backtracking a bit and going back into MakeHuman in order to utilize a rig perfectly suited to our mesh to avoid the hassle of aligning bones up with our mesh. This process will ensure our rig is perfectly aligned with our mesh and is already “weighted” to provide muscle deformations. Once we’ve created a rig within MakeHuman we’ll jump back into Blender and start setting up our mesh again and start creating additional bones that will serve as “handles”.

We’ll create one extra bone in the wrist area for both arms and to save time we’ll mostly be focusing on the left hand. The same can be done for the right hand so there’s no need to waste time doing the same things twice. So with this new bone we’ll make sure we detach it from the rig then use this bone as the offset. We should now be able to move this hand entirely by just moving the “handle”. Now with that done we’ll then select the handle followed by the forearm bone and use “Inverse kinematics” to enable us to control the entire arm using the handle alone. So now when we pull on the handle the entire arm should move realistically which makes it much easier to animate with less moving of individual bones required.

Finally we’ll use bone constraints to curl the fingers up. We’ll also lock the rotation of each finger bone so that the Y and Z axis are not usable leaving just the X axis in which the fingers can rotate. With this axis alone we can curl up the fingers just fine. So using bone constraints we’ll use “copy rotation” in order for the entire finger to adjust in relation to the other bones moving. So now we can rotate the top finger bone which will result in the last two bones to curl up in response. So this process might be a bit daunting at first and a bit tedious and time consuming but once you’ve done it a few times it becomes very easy to do and best of all it create an amazing rig.
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