The Calisthenics Tool is a supplemental Blender add-on that allows you to quickly test your asset through a set of animation cycles to verify your skinning data. At any point during the animation testing, you can pause and use Blender's skinning tools, such as Weight Painting brushes, to resolve any skinning imperfections.
Skinning your clothing and characters is a critical and often time-intensive process to create high quality assets that move and fit with different character bodies. Similar to the Layered Clothing Validation tool, the Calisthenics Tool can save you time when testing your character models after rigging and skinning.
To install the Calisthenics Tool in Blender:
Download the CalisthenicsTool.zip and save the .zip file locally.
In Blender, navigate to Edit > Preferences.
In the left sidebar of the Preferences window, navigate to the Add-Ons section.
Click the Install… button. A file browser displays.
Select the .zip and click Install Add-On.
Using the search bar, search for "Calisthenics Tool" and select the add-on.
Enable the add-on by checking the box next to the add-on name.
Close the Preferences window. You can now access the Calisthenics Tool by expanding the tool sidebar in the Viewport.
After installation, you can use the Calisthenics Tool whenever you want to test an R15 character rig with skinning data. With the Calisthenics Tool, you can check how a character would move with generic animations, as well as attach rigid reference accessories to verify attachment during these movements. The tool also includes an option to automatically export your character, removing reference animation and accessory data.
You can try out the Calisthenics Tool using an example character model.
When testing your character model, first set the armature in the Calisthenics Tool then select one of the reference animations. It is important to visually verify your skinning quality using various movements and angles to ensure the best results for your model.
To test animations:
Open a Blender project with an existing R15 character model, or import an appropriate character model .fbx using File > Import > FBX (.fbx).
For easier visualization, hide non-rendered mesh objects, such as armature, cages, and attachments to better preview the reference animations.
Set which rig you want to test a reference animation on:
- In the add-on's Armature field, select the Eyedropper.
- In the Outliner, select the Armature object that contains your character's rig data.
Click on an animation cycle to preview, such as Walk, Run, Move or Idle.
Press Stop Animation to clear animation data.
If you notice any unexpected skinning deformations, pause on the frame and switch to Weight Paint mode or use Blender's other skinning tools to resolve. See Skinning a Humanoid Model for additional instruction.
You can add reference attachments to your character model using the Attach Test Accessory buttons. These test accessories help preview how rigid accessories attach to your character and how they can move with your model. The tool includes two sets of rigid accessories to apply to your character.
To test accessories:
- Use the following Attach Test Accessory buttons to add or remove sample accessories to your character's attachment points:
- Normal Size: Adds normal scale test accessories.
- Slender Size: Adds slender scale test accessories.
- Detach Test Accessories: Removes any test accessories from your character.
- If an accessory is not attaching at an expected location, reposition the associated Attachment object in your character rig.
When you are ready to export your model, you can export your character directly through the Calisthenics Tool. The tool automatically clears any of the test data and applies appropriate export settings.
To export from the Calisthenics Tool:
In the Export Path field, set the export directory by clicking the folder icon and browsing to the appropriate file directory.
Click the Export Model button. The character model .fbx populates in the designated folder as Character_Model_Export.fbx.