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Need some help rigging a basic model

I’ve been looking at some guides for rigging using Blender but right now I can’t wrap my head around how people manage to rig models that aren’t actual characters. For example I’m attempting to use a basic Bear Trap model and am attempting to setup so I could add two bones so it’ll be able to be animated of it closing.

This is currently what the basic model looks like in Blender;
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If anyone could help me out with setting this up and giving me a step-by-step guide I’d appreciate it. If you want the model yourself to test and making sure your correct for the rig it’s in a fbx format. The download link is; https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3pinTLHU1cBRE1oZS1OTzItLU0

Well for starters your model is highly inefficient (22k tris?) but i think something like this could easily be handled by blueprints actually by splitting the model into 3 pieces (2x claws and the centre plate). As for doing it with normal bone + skin weights, I only have experience with Maya so I can’t really help you there unless you want to use mayaLT

Thanks for the help, currently downloading Maya 2014 so I can test that out for modeling. Also didn’t even think about the simplest way would be to indeed break it up. I might redo the model and make my own based on the design of this one, still don’t know much about the triangles, quads, etc and how much of a performance decrease they can cause.