How to make your rigged character hold an object

Hi there, and welcome to the first ever EvE: The Will to Live tutorial.

Starting with this tutorial I want to share some of the useful things I’ve learned that help me during the production of this film, on the chance that somebody out there might be wondering how to do this or that, and I can therefore save them some time and, as in my case, blood and tears…

Please check out the video here: (Pro tip: it has behind the scenes bits)

Watch the tut: It's FUNNY!
Watch the tut: It’s FUNNY!

and don’t forget to Like and Subscribe, and Share the love.  Or, in this case, the info.  The more we support each other by Subscribing, Liking and Sharing the better off the viewers who might need or enjoy this content, and the better off the creators who will see they are not just shouting into the void (or weeping), (or growling), and the better off the ENTIRE WORLD because SHARING = PEACE.

To sum up the tutorial:

1: Set the origin point of your object to where you want the character to grasp it.

Object origin placed at handle
Object origin placed at handle


2: Select your object, hit Shift + S  and choose “Cursor to Selected”.

SHIFT+S Cursor to selected
SHIFT+S Cursor to selected

3. Add an empty, (cube or sphere as circles disappear on the horizon) and size it down for ease of use.  Give your empty a name in the data panel such as “Cupcake empty” or “right hand switchblade empty”, because if you are using many, it can get confusing.

Name your empty
Rename your empty something memorable

4.  Select your object again, then shift-select the empty.  CTRL+P and parent the object to the empty.

Parent object to empty
Parent object to empty

5.  Select the characters hand bone in pose mode.  SHIFT+ S to set the cursor at the hand bone location.

Cursor to bone selection
Cursor to bone selection

6.  Select the empty again.  SHIFT+S and chooose “Selection to Cursor”.

Selection to cursor
Selection to cursor to send it to the hand bone (grabber)

7.  Add a the Constraint: Child of.  Use the eye dropper to choose first the rig, and then in the bone name area, type the name of your empty.  Select it when it pops up by hitting return.

Select rig and add bone parent to the constraint panel
Select rig and add bone parent in the constraint panel

Your object will seem to disappear for a moment, but FEAR NOT: click the ‘Set Inverse’ button, and there it is.  Back from the coffee break.

Set inverse
Click ‘Set Inverse’ and see your object magically return

8.  Marvel at your handiwork.  Grab an arm bone and hit R twice, play with the rotation and see how your handiwork performs under severe duress.

9.  But the object is not precisely positioned.

Note position needs work
Positioned but it looks like… not good yet.

OK! Select your object and you may now position it well so the fingers can grasp it nicely.  The beauty of this method is just that.  The empty sticks the object in the right area, and you just reposition the object thereafter.

Repositioned: Niiiiice!
Repositioned: Niiiiice!

10.  If you put the Child Of constraint directly on the object, it is next to impossible to reposition it.  So DON’T DO THAT!

11.  Drink more coffee, (G.A) and start animating!

12.  If you want a character to pick up an object, put one down or throw it, stay tuned for a separate tutorial.  Stay even more tuned for the tutorial on how to do a two-handed grab, such as a cha

If this has helped you, please like my

page and take a look at what’s been brewing.

Peace, cheers, usiku mwema, demal ag jamm!