Actions + Non-Armature Objects

I built a pair of cartoony eyes following the tutorial at, using empties as IPO drivers for the eyelid objects’ transformation and handles for lattice deformation – I know I probably should’ve used shape keys, but the character has very simple geometry and this method was quick-and-dirty/easy. Now here’s the problem: I’ve been defining some Actions in the Action editor and hope to eventually sequence them in the NLE. However, I want to create some actions for “wink,” “blink,” “squint,” “shock,” etc manipulating the eye/eyelid. Everything I’ve read about Actions suggests they really only work with armatures. How do I include transforming empties in my actions? Appologies if this is a “simple/noob” question – I’ve looked at the manual, Noob to Pro, and the BSOD character animation tut with no success. I suppose I could parent the empties to bones in the armature, but that seems a little silly.


Currently, only one object can exist in an action at a time.

Like you said, one way to fix this is just to parent the empties to bones, and animate the bones. Another way is to directly use bones as the driver objects for the shapekeys.


Thank you for the clarification Algorith! I was having some problems getting the bone to act as an IPO driver. The secret, for anyone viewing this later, is to specify the armature object as the Target, then select the “POSE” driver type and enter the target bone name. Entering the bone name as the target will not work. After I made that observation, I got my rig working perfectly!