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Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook by Virgilio Vasconcelos

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How to create a stretchy spine

A human spine, also called vertebral column, is a bony structure that consists of several vertebrae (24 or 33, if you consider the pelvic region). It acts as our main axis and allows us a lot of flexibility to bend forward, sideways, and backward. And why is this important to know?

That number of vertebrae is something useful for us riggers. Not that we're going to create all those tiny bones to make our character's spine look real, but that information can be used within Blender. You can subdivide one physical bone for up to 32 logical segments (that can be seen in the B-Bone visualization mode), and this bone will make a curved deformation based on its parent and child bones. That allows us to get pretty good deformations ...

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