A couple action (strip) questions

I’m trying to take advantage of creating an action so that I can ultimately loop it.

  • My first question is how do you specify exactly what keyframes to utilize for the action?

I have been using a master animation file, where I am doing various animations using the same character, but bringing in different elements at various points along the time line. So for example

Frames 1 -250 Is one animation in one location of the scene.

Frames 300-500 Animation #2 at a different location of the scene.

Below is the Keyframes I want to make into an action…

Frame 600 - 850 I have an animation of the character rowing a canoe. The character has an armature, there is a canoe, and a paddle. I have keyframe animated a couple strokes on each side of the canoe with a transition that moves the paddle from one side to the other in the middle. I have ended the last frame of the row cycle to be exactly the same as the first frame.

-I want the action to include the character and paddle
-The character is parented to the canoe
-I’ll be animating the canoe using a follow path constraint

The second question is how do I include both the paddle (its just an object) and the character in the action?

Sorry for the long description, but I wanted to be as clear as possible, the file is too big to post.

Hi Harleynut, I tested this with a cube and some keyframes. If you want to convert existing keyframes into an action you can turn over to the Dope Sheet editor and change it to the Action Editor. Now you have an action which consists of all the keyframes. In your case this action will consist of every keyframe from 0 to your last keyframe on frame 850. It’s best to hit F for the action to assign a fake user, so it will remain in the file.

Now you can change to the NLA editor. After you’ve unfrozen the action by clicking on the snow flake …

… you can start editing it in the N panel. Here you can specify which frames of the action you want to use and how often this frames should be used.

By specifying the frames you can use the different sequences you’ve made for your character.

I don’t know a way to split all this into three separate actions other than using a copy of the file for each single sequence, delete all the keyframes you don’t need and make an action of them. After you’ve done this you can append the actions into one masterfile again. But perhaps someone else has a better solution for this.

The second question is how do I include both the paddle (its just an object) and the character in the action?

I don’t think that this is possible. Because the action is bound to the armature. But you could parent the canoe to the root bone of the armature and the paddle to one of the hands. Than you can let the root bone follow a path instead of the canoe. In the file you want to use for the animation you still have to append the canoe and the paddle of course.

I hope I was able to explain this well. If not, please tell me so and I’ll try to explain it better.

Thank you Minoribus, I want to first try out your suggestions.

Because of what I have rendered already, I don’t think I can change the parenting of canoe (currently it is the main parent and that is what I am using to follow the path) The character is parented to the canoe, and is already animated and the sequence is partially rendered.)

I’ll get back and let you know if I have any additional questions, thanks again!