A Blender Game Character
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A Blender Game Character

Create a superhero!
4.5 (24 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
399 students enrolled
Created by John R. Nyquist
Last updated 1/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $20 Discount: 40% off
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What Will I Learn?
  • Make sprites of an animated character
  • Model a human figure
  • Create a UV map
  • Map multiple textures
  • Make a rig
  • Use different bone constraints
  • Animate different actions
  • Use the Blender Game Engine to test animations
  • Use the NLA
  • Render the animations to a sequence of PNGs
  • Learn the basics of Cycles
  • Dealing with changes
  • Write a small script
View Curriculum
  • Blender software from http://blender.org
  • Some Blender experience (are you comfortable with "A Blender Quickstart"?)

NOTE: This course was published in November 2013 uses Blender 2.68a, it works with current versions of Blender..

Create a superhero in Blender, from scratch! Blender is a great way to generate sprites for games. The goal of this course is to show you how to create an animated character and then render out sprites. In this course you'll model, texture, rig, animate, and render out images in an iterative fashion.

This course is taught in real-time, no accelerated video (so a 10 minute lecture really is 10 minutes of work). My intended teaching style is like sitting down with a friend. You'll see my workflow as I develop this character from scratch. When I make a mistake, you'll see how to correct it. You'll see how Blender supports iterating over the creation of a character, even when in different phases of its development.

This course is intended for folks with some Blender experience (so not complete newcomers). If you are comfortable with A Blender Quickstart, you will probably be okay (but challenged) with A Blender Game Character. If you haven't used Blender in years, you should be fine if you used the 2.4x and/or 2.5x series. #blender #b3d

Who is the target audience?
  • Users with some Blender experience
  • Those with an interest in creating game art
Compare to Other Blender Courses
Curriculum For This Course
58 Lectures
4 Lectures 03:15

Welcome to A Blender Game Character! I hope you enjoy this course. You can download the associated files if you feel like you need help. But you should be able to start right from scratch in Blender without any of the files.

Preview 00:21

Mac users, if I say "alt" translate that to "opt". "Control" does mean "control", not "command".

Preview 00:45

A number pad is great with Blender, but if you don't have one here's what you do.

Preview 00:53

This video shows you what to do if you don't have a 3-button mouse.

Preview 01:16
6 Lectures 01:30:18

You start with the torso, arms, and legs. You'll build a classic 8-head tall figure.

Preview 21:58

You add the head here. You'll continue to revise the body.

Getting a Head

You add the hands next. You'll build them separated at first but then join them to the mesh of the body.

Give 'em a Hand

You'll add the feet to the hero.


Tweaking is done continuously as we add to the figure, but sometimes you've got to just dedicate some time to tweaking.

Tweaking the Figure
8 Lectures 01:07:02

You add seams to the mesh to help Blender figure out how to cut it apart when it unwraps.

Preview 06:41

The head needs more detail, you add it here and see how to add that to the existing UV.

Add Detail to the Head


Wow, the interface looks different! I'm using Blender 2.78 in order to show you how to fix a change of functionaly that was introduced in later versions of Blender. This course used Blender 2.68. As Blender updated, part of the functionality changed as to how it deals with textures. This video shows you the steps to take to fix it. 

Update to Fix Change in Blender

You paint right on the model in 3D as well as on its associated texture.

Painting the Color Map

You get into the details here. In this lecture you'll use an external editor to add some of the details. It's not necessary to do externally, but it can be easier.

Painting Details on Head and Chest

More dedicated time to the figure. It can be done even once you've unwrapped it.

More Figure Tweaking
2 Lectures 26:04

You give your hero some muscle definition in this lecture.

Body Sculpting
More Mapping
7 Lectures 38:48

You bake the normals of the high resolution figure onto the normal map of the low resolution figure. Instant muscles without the overhead of a large mesh!

Preview 09:05

Here you get to decide what parts should be shiny.

SpeTACular Map

You make the circles on the hero's eyes and chest glow with an ominous light.

Emit Map

Time for a break and try some rendering. Here you'll play with the Freestyle renderer as well.

Renderin' Fun

Touching up some of the color map.

Touch Up

I added some mesh earlier that I know longer want. How do you remove it without messing up your uv? You'll see here.

Removing some Geometry
Rigging & Skinning
14 Lectures 01:52:50

You'll start a big section with a simple rig.

Preview 13:27

Move your bones a little now that your hero has some! It starts giving you that feeling that this guy will come to life.

Move your Bones

So many bones in the hand, this is an argument for mittens! In reality, for game sprites often you can get away with mittens. For this lesson you'll go the extra mile and add individual bones.

Rig the Fingers

All these bones, you'll need to keep them under control. Use constraints in this lecture to help you.

Finger Constraints

Wait! More tweaks to the mesh?!? Yes, but don't worry, with Blender's Snap to Symmetry it is easy.

Snap to Symmetry

You'll weight paint and add a script to make it a little easier.

Weight Painting and a Little Script

Reverse foot rigs are cool! See how to use forward and inverse kinematics together in this lecture.

Reverse Foot Rig

The feet need to be weighted to the new bones.

Weighting the Foot

You'll iterate on the rig just as you do with the mesh and maps.

Rig Tweaks

You'll tweak the hand mesh in this lecture.

Tweaking the Hand Mesh

Action constraints allow you to use an action (an animation) in conjunction with your rig. You'll make the hand be able to go from being open to a fist and back.

Action Constraints

You create the action for the right hand. It's easier the second time.

Right Hand Animation

Hmmm, alway adjusting... It's a blessing and a curse, but fortunately Blender makes it possible.

Adjusting Body Proportions
7 Lectures 37:58

Some bones can be hidden out of the way. You'll use bone layers in this lecture to organize your rig's bones.

Hiding Bones

Yeah, this is fun. You'll do a quick first animation to get the gist of the workflow, and then you'll come back to it later.

Animating a Run

Sometimes evil must be punched. You'll create the punching action (animation) in this lecture.

Punching Action

Not always busy, the hero is sometime idle. You'll create an idle action for your character in this lecture.

Idle Time

NOTE: In the current version of Blender, you need to switch from the Blender Render to Blender Game in order from pressing "P" to play your logic bricks.

You had to know this was coming after I'd snuck a script in during the weight painting. Logic Bricks is how Blender can create logic without scripting (although you can add scripting with Logic Bricks, we keep it simple in this lecture). You'll add Logic Bricks to test your three actions interactive with the Blender's Game Engine (BGE).

Logic Bricks

You improve the run animation in this lecture. Remember, this is a hero running too danger, not from it!

Fine-tuning the Run
3 Lectures 14:32

You'll create sprites for each of the animations you made in the previous section.

Rendering Sprites

In this lecture, you'll use a camera animation to automate the creation of all the frames of animation for the run action at 8 different angles.

Rendering Around Fixed Angles
Back to Modeling
3 Lectures 39:27

Does a hero need a utility belt? If you think so, this section is for you.

Preview 00:36

You get to add a separate mesh of the belt to the hero's mesh. You'll get to use the Solidify and Array modifiers, and a cool texture technique.

Adding a Belt

Here you add the mesh to the hero's mesh, weight it, test, and deal with any issues.

More Belting
Cycles Rendering
3 Lectures 23:56

Since you're not using Cycles for the sprites, why not take this as an opportunity to pose the figure. Even though this mesh was designed to be used for a game character, it still looks pretty cool posed.

Setting up a Pose

Nodes might look complicated, but you build them step-by-step and its very straightforward. You'll create a node-based version of the hero's materials using shaders for the Cycles rendering.

Creating Node-based Materials
1 More Section
About the Instructor
John R. Nyquist
4.1 Average rating
118 Reviews
2,481 Students
2 Courses
Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT)

I've been a Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT) for nine years. Need/prefer 1-on-1 training or consulting? Contact me directly at blender@nyquist.net for rates and to schedule a time. Visit my site, nyquist.net!

  • Creator of the iPad game QuickConquest™
  • Creator of the iPad game Astra Itinera™
  • Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT) since 2008
  • Instructor for A Blender Game Character on Udemy
  • Instructor for A Blender Quickstart on Udemy
  • Co-host of 67 episodes of the YouTube series Bits of Blender
  • Instructor for 11 courses on CartoonSmart (8 Blender, 3 game programming)