Gabby’s First Pass at Rigging in Blender

She’s Aliiiiive!!!!

Brawni 3D

Here she is, covered in gorgeous shiny fluffy papillon hair:

Fluffed Gabby

But she still looks very, very… dead.

Kind of like if she had been alive once and someone had stuffed her.

So nows the time to get familiar with Blender’s rigging tools and create a backbone for my courageous puppy.

I decided to try out Rigify, which has looked promising in the past only to me ending up having to create the rig from scratch because I couldn’t work out how to create a Frankenstein rig for my winged dragon on my MSI project.

But this time I wanted to persevere!

Enjoy my rigging journey:

I used the wolf rig. Its a cool rig, you line all the bones up carefully with your model and click “generate rig” and voila! All the IK joints and fancy controllers and deformation bones are made for you… a beautiful thing for someone who doesn’t understand rigging that much.

The wolf face bones looked so complicated and on the first try I got it all wrong and it made her face look a bit funny… They are supposed to simulate the muscles of the face is the information got from an awesome human face rig tutorial on Blender.

I tried again and really tried to be more accurate this time and thought that recalculating the bone rolls on the whole rig would be a good idea… It wasn’t. So I had to start again.

The third time I got this weird twisting in her torso when I moved her hips… and I ended up just recalculating the bone roll of a couple of spine and the hip bone and it seemed to fix it… I’m sure professional riggers would cringe (and if you do, please help me!) because it made the Rigify hip controller sit at an angle… but it didn’t deform the mesh weirdly and it still moves fine… so… I guess we will see in due course!

She has emotions!

I did realise during this rigging journey that I had left out a very important part of Gabby’s sculpt – her inner mouth. She will talk and lick and stuff so this is definitely a consideration for future development of her character so for now I will use this Gabby model for fast movement shots like running and shots where she won’t be seen talking.

Stay tuned to see more of her progress!


All works shown here were designed, sculpted, modelled, textured and rendered in ZBrush and Blender by Sarah Brawn. The design and sculpt of Gabby was inspired by real life photographs of Papillons.

Images owned and copyrighted by Brawni3D and you must request permission prior to use.


Contribute to Gabby’s acting career by buying her a biscuit!

A$5.00


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