Armature Slowdown?

I have a model of a spider.
Basically it is a small front ball connected to a large back ball [abdomen]
I’ve got four extruded cylinders to use as legs, I center them under the body so I can use half of each cylinder as a leg.
For my armatures I call them l1, l2, l3, and l4.

I have 5 bones going down the middle starting from the abdomen;
base, spine1, spine2, spine3, spine4

Connected to each spine are 5 bones on each side;
l1sec0.l, l1sec1.l,… for leg#, sec#, .left
l1sec0.r, l1sec1.r,… for leg#, sec#, .right

I’ve successfully assigned my legs for spine1 and spine2. They work great, I can bend and pose the legs, and my vertices are assigned.

Now, when I select leg3 and the armature and hit ctrl-p to parent my leg sections to the armature… everything goes kablooey.
Blender lags and takes several seconds to complete any action.

Naturally, the first time this happened, I started clicking all over the screen and locked everything up… LOL! After several restarts, and retries, it happens again.

So my question is;
Is this working off processor speed?
I have available ram to run other applications, and my little ram monitor shows I still have more than half my ram available.

Is there a solution to a problem of this sort? Is it because I am using 45 bones?

Can I cut the thing in half and work on each leg half as a seperate entity and then just parent my l#sec#.l and l#sec#.r bones to my spine bones at the end?

Will this ultimately make animating my spider by controlling each of its eight legs unworkable except with supercomputers?

here’s a link to what it looks like;

You’re trying to do something quite complex there.

Are you Bone parenting or Armature parenting?

And what PC do you have?


I ctrl-J’ed my bones to the spine bones, then Ctrl-P after selecting first the leg, then the leg bone segments and selecting Armature. I assume I am parenting my skin to the aramature… right?

Would it be easier on my comp if I parented to the bones?

And my comp is a late model p3 500mhz w/512ram…
Is this a cpu issue?

Should I pre-pose some parts of the leg and do the animation with 4 spine bones and 8 leg bones?

I guess making the spider;
Rear up…
Stretch its front legs…
Spear the eye sockets of it’s enemy…
drag the body in…
Fall forward…
And stick its fang into the heart…

Is over reaching the capabilities of me, my computer, and Blender?

My new plan of attack which has so far seemed to be a little less lagged [cpu lag not internet] is to use 4 seperate armature comprised of;

Armature 1:
| base bone
| spine1 ’
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Armature 2:
_ _ _ _ _ |_ _ _ _ _

Armature 3:
_ _ _ _ _ |_ _ _ _ _

Armature 4:
_ _ _ _ _ |_ _ _ _ _

Being its a spider, perhaps the middle legs on Armature 2 & 3 could be reduced to static legs that only move back and forth…

Can I remove the spine bones? And use Just a base bone in the abdomen that parents 8 disjointed bones?

            | base

         _  _ back legs

         _  _ middle legs

         _  _ middle legs

         _  _ front legs

And I guess eight eyes moving around is out of the question, eh?

are you using subsurf?


Uhmmmm, I havent got to that chapter yet…,

I am using extruded circles and extruded cylinders…

Oh wait, do you mean am I subdividing my surfaces for a smoother look?
No not really… I just kept adjusting my circles until the body was fairly smooth on its own. And the legs are just standard cylinders extruded.
I think its the 45 bones in one armature… my comp is just not able to handle it .

45 bones in one Armature + a 500 mghz CP = UGH!!!


Have you asigned vertex groups to your skin to match the bones? If you haven’t done this yet, it wont work in the game engine, and it will be reaaaally slow to work with, as it is guessing which vertexes to have the bones influence. You need to addign vertex groups to all the points in your spider, whose names match the name of the bone you want that vertex to be influenced by. And you Can have points influenced by more than one bone, by assigning it to more than one group. You can find the controls for groups in the middle of the edit buttons where it has a little section with “New” “Weight” “Select” “remove” etc. Make a group to match a bone name, select the points in edit mode that should be affected by that bone, hit assign to assign those points to that group.

Even still, 45 bones is probably more than you want if this is for a game. You can probably get decent animation with 2-3 bones per leg, and just a few bones for the spine. But I imagine the slowdown is due to the missing vertex groups.

Actually, the first base bone, 2 spine bones, and 16 movement bones were set up correctly with the vertices of the first 16 segments. I tested as I was going along and named them systematically to line up with left and right so that I could use the blender matching animation feature explained in the Mr. Potatoe Head Tutorial.

It was working great. I had a little adjusting to do because the leg skin got distorted slightly at the first bend, but other than that it was slow but smooth sailing.

I had gone ahead and named all 45 bones. It was only after adding the third leg and its umpteen vertice groups that my cpu choked. It was as if the work load went up exponentially rather than a linear progression. And Bessy the CPU said “NO”… LOL!

I’ve gone ahead and posed the legs without armatures and decided to go to work on the eyes. I was able to make translucent icospheres and can plop a smaller black icosphere into the translucent ones. But, connecting the fleshy base of the eyes to the exoskeleton seems tricky. Mostly because I have no idea what shape to make the fleshy pad that the eyes sit on. [Not too many Black Widow Eye Pictures out there].

Maybe I can use my model to make sprites instead… but that seems pretty hard in itself as well. But thats a difficulty of procedure rather than technological feasability.

You can probably get decent animation with 2-3 bones per leg, and just a few bones for the spine.

So do the bones need to be physically connected? Or can I just place them in the legs and parent them to a base bone in the abdomen?

No they don’t need to be physically connected. You can place a bone anywhere and parent it to a bone somewhere else through armature edit mode edit buttons.

I too had this problem when i first started using armatures. The reason it doesn’t work is that you haven’t assigned the vertices to groups. Make sure you’ve got ALL of the vertices assigned to groups, if you have a big area of vertices not assigned it’ll start to go really slow. I thought i could just put in the armatures, parent, and it’d work, but you have to go into the editbuttons and make a new group, select the vertices, assign the vertices to the group, and then name the coresponding armature that name. You may think you’ve done this for all, but the only reason it’d be slowing down that much is that you haven’t assigned vertices.

To make sure, go intot eh editbuttons and editmode and go to each group and click select. Once you’ve done that for every group, see if there are any unselected vertices left and make sure they go to a group.


Do you really need that many bones? It seems a little exessive for a realtime aplication.

Do you really need that many bones? It seems a little exessive for a realtime aplication.

LOL! Apparently Not.

45 bones in one Armature + a 500 mghz CP = UGH!!!

18 did the trick, and gives me more flexibility than I know how to work with. It’s horrible the way my spider twitches :expressionless: , but… it moves!

Once I key my first frame, and I jump a few ahead and move something, can I move more than one thing before adding a frame? I was grouping everything together and moving because I didnt want to use 100’s of frames because I have so many movements to make…

I know I probably saw the page that someone could point me too, hell I probably saved it in one of my Blender folders. But I have so much info I cant find what I need. Someone wanna point to some game engine specific pages? Especially ones about using armatures.

I want to make the spider use its two front legs to attack.
And maybe a special move that uses the front legs and fangs.

My spine bone is connected to the ‘base’ abdomen bone so it does allow for a rearing up of the small front part of the body that has the fangs. Is that more of a script procedure or is it easier to animate it like a walk cycle?

I was looking at your site and you have screenshots of your spiders wireframe. I think a big reason your spider is slow and will be slow besidees the bone issue is that you have WAY too many polygons in the mesh. For Blender’s game engine the MAX polys you probably want for this spider is around 1000.


I’ve also got a very big problem. I’m working on a new character, with around 380 vertices. When I parented the armature to the model, without creating groups, just parenting. Blender turned in one big slow application, my whole pc was lagging.

How can I fix this? I mean, I als had this witha another models, but when I restarted blender, it was gone, but now I can;t fix it. Is it a blender bug? The count of bones couldn’t be the reason because I used a while ago more then 80 bones on one character, and I didn’t had any problems.

Some info:
Human model: 368 vertices.
Human armature: 43 bones.

I’ll hope someone can fix it. :frowning:

You have to give it groups. It wont work in the game engine without them, and it will be slow trying to “guess” the groups on every frame while editing it in blender.

>40 bones is a bit rediculous :slight_smile:
heck, >20 bones is probably too much as it is.

if groups don’t solve the slowdown, then I dunno, blender has some problems with armature speeds aparently.

I olso got that problem :frowning: