armature deforms object in unexpected way

Hi all,

I’m having trouble rigging this spaceship I modeled. The concept is pretty simple: for landing gear I have these grasshopper-like legs that fold under the ship. Would anyone mind looking at this file and helping figure out why the lower left leg (the bone called “lower left”) is screwing up the corresponding vertex group whenever I rotate it straight back in pose mode?

Or if you know of a better approach to rigging this, please let me know.

Thanks!new spaceship7.blend (736 KB)

After watching a few more tutorials, I think I’ve figure out that you don’t really need armatures to animate a mechanical arm–you just need to separate each part into different objects, parent them, and then change the origin to where they meet so that they rotate correctly. Does that sound right?

That’s one way, and works well with some situations, especially rigid mechanical systems. But Armatures also have benefits. One way to get rigid-segment motion using an Armature is to parent a component object (a segment of your mechanical system) to a particular bone, rather than to the armature as a whole. This makes vertex weighting for such objects unnecessary, as the entire mesh is fully bound to the parent bone, and no other bones will influence it.

Thanks for the tips! You wouldn’t happen to know why, in the newest Blender, I can’t seem to play animations rendered to the default tmp folder, would you? I press ctrl+F12, and nothing happens. Ever since I updated to the newer version, the only way I’ve been able to see animation is if I render them as a video file and play them in another program.

Sorry, I really haven’t yet used the new Blender’s player feature(s). I almost always use VirtualDub to play my PNG image sequences back, it’s fast and has great visual quality imo. Plus if I need to do a quick movie, I can run out an AVI/Xvid format very fast with VDub, much faster & higher quality than Blender can do. Even when I render to a movie format from Blender (rarely), I use VDub for AVI playback & VLC Player for other formats. Never did like Blender’s player much.

EDIT: Decided to give the 2.57 player a try, discovered that there is none – you have to choose one in the User Prefs. The 2.4 player is listed, but you can link to an external viewer as well. That’s handy. Unfortunately, there may be a bug in the code that calls a chosen player, at least when trying to play an image sequence. Rather than using the first frame number of my image sequence, Blender tries to call my external player (VDub, in this case) with a filename like “MyImage???.png”, with the question marks replacing the frame number. This of course fails.