Animating Armatures

Hello Team,

This morning, I celebrated a breakthrough! I finally got my head wrapped around bones, armatures and skinning my mesh to it. I learned the hard way that you cannot set up shape keys as you do an armature. I know the basics of animation in blender. As for the longest it was not at the top of my to-do list as I was still in progress mastering the other caveats of blender. Any who, I did the research, and discovered Pose libraries and setting up actions. Unfortunately, online tutorials don’t seem to cover animating an armature with the latest version of blender. My goals is to create animations for animated features

Here are my questions:

  1. What is the best practice of animating an armature in blender.
  2. Can you use the poses you create in the pose library to keyframe animations.
  3. What is the best practice to save repetitive animations in blender and re-call them when needed (for example, finger pointing, eyes blinking, expressions and phonemes.

If anyone can, please point me to a good online tut and I will fill in the blanks from there. Thanks!

Oh gosh, I am so close!

  1. depending on what type of movement you are going for, you’ll want to switch between FK ( forward kinematic ) and IK ( inverse kinematic ). IK gives general movement to bone chains, based on the movement of a target bone. It is a constraint that can betoggled off, and also an option on the tool shelf which can be toggled on and off.
  2. yes, paste the desired pose, and set a keyframe.
  3. for most things, you can just duplicate the relevant action keys and move them around on the timeline. you may also want to look into NLA ( non linear action ) stripps, which are designed for repetitive actions, such as walking.
    (edit) another way to deal with things like eye blinks, is to use a driven action, or an action constraint. so, for example, you could tie the movement of your eye bone to the rotation of an empty. then, instead of going into pose mode and fiddling with bones, or duplicating actions, you just key the rotation of the empty.