"Look Ma, no shape keys!"
I've been reading about driving shape keys with bones to assist in improving deformation at bent joints, such as knees and elbows. This is a little experiment to see how well I can set up the bones without using shape keys--probably irrational, but I'm a bit paranoid about using shape keys because of all the "don't add or subtract vertices after applying shape keys" warnings I've seen.
I'm still fairly new to blender, so I'm sure this is old stuff to many of you out there, or maybe I've stumbled on something... who knows? I aim to turn this exercise into an actual tutorial on how to set up this simple rig, both to share what I've learned and as a way to give myself something to do in Blender to further my experience. Feedback is welcome.
First half shows two angles of the arm and elbow joint with subsurfaced (level 3) mesh, second half shows the underlying mesh as a wire-frame with the subsurf modifier disabled for render and cylinders to show what the bones are doing--anybody know how to make bones render? That would have been so much easier.
Setting up the elbow bone and bicep bone took just a few minutes calculations and some vertex group assignments. Everything else you see here took much longer than what I'm actually trying to share. [sighs] Ah well.