Armature trouble


I’m fairly new to blender. I’ve 3-D modeled before, but I’ve never skinned, animated, or anything.

I’ve got “BLENDER 2.3 GUIDE”, that official book you can buy from the blender website. The version of blender I’m running is 2.36, and I’m running it in Linux, I believe. My main problem is that there seems to be some subtle details left out throughout the extent of the book, so rather than being able to easily read through the instructions, perform them, and learn, I have to figure out my way around all these minor inconsistencies. First and foremost, if anyone knows; am I using an out-of-date book? Should I get a new book, or switch to the older version of Blender 2.3? I can’t use the CD-Rom that was supposed to come with the book because it got bound into the stitching (some sort of manufacturing problem, and I bought it used so I don’t think I can ask for a new one). Then again, I tried using a windows version of the older 2.3, but it was so bewilderingly different that my Linux blender matched up with it better (hotkeys didn’t even work). I’m probably going on a tangent now, so I’ll get to my main problem.

I’m having trouble with bones/armatures, for posing. I’m pretty sure I know how to create armatures where I want them, and I think I know how to parent them to the model (using “create from closest bones”), but I’m having some really weird trouble with what the book says and what it shows on my screen.

When I create an armature, it goes on wanting to create a bone chain.

The book says to press “ESC” to exit out of this and go on creating armatures. I do this, but I’ve also found that I can “cut off” the bone chain, though, by pressing the left mouse button or the escape key. Bone chain is now cut off.

The book says once I do this to press SPACE again, go to “add”, then “armature”. But when I do this in the exact sequence it tells the thing on screen says “add bones”. The book doesn’t say this. The book says it’s supposed to say “add armature”.

At this point there are two completely different things that can happen, neither of which are what I want.

I can go on adding “bones” (which the book says is supposed to be “armatures”), but when I select them, go to edit mode, name them (something like “R_leg_lo”, “R_leg_hi”, etc), then select the whole model and go to this alternate edit mode (the one where I can edit verticies), the Link and Materials panel reads the bones as being something along the lines of “BONE01”, “BONE02”, “BONE03”. I explicitly named them “R_leg_lo” and “R_leg_hi”, and the book says they’re supposed to show up as I named them. This is really confusing. Also, in the book, where it shows a picture of how things are supposed to look when you name the bones, the bone names read “BO: Arm”, “BO: Leg”, “BO: whatever”. On my screen it reads “BO: Arm”, but then everything else after is like “O: arm” “O: leg” “O: random appendage”. (notice the absence of the “B”; “BO” vs. “O”) The book didn’t mention this. What’s it supposed to signify?

The other thing I can do (that doesn’t work) is when creating armatures, rather than just pressing escape to “cut off” an unneeded bone chain, I’ll exit out of edit mode altogether, go back to object mode, press SPACE to add something, and then it will say “add armature”, like the book says. However when I do this Blender seems to recognize these armatures as completely separate entities. I have to select them individually, one-at-a-time in order to name them. They each read “BO: name”, but they also each have their separate list.

Can someone please help me? -.-

Thanks in advance.


Yes, there’s a few things in your Blender-Status that haven’t clicked yet so here goes:

Blender is OSS (Open Sorce Software); that means anyone, you included, can download the files it’s built from and change or add to them. It also has Scripting (in this case with a language called Python) to extend the core code. You are allowed to add to or change Blender any time of night or day, from any timezone on any continent.
Let’s say 5% of those who download Blender are activley coding improvements (cause this is how it works, there is no big R&D office in Silicone Valley), then only .001% take the time and trouble to update the manuals. Even if everyone who coded was involved in documentation, they would still be chasing a moving target.

Armatures work like any other Objects in Blender (all things with pink lines in Object mode are Objects), you add them and they stay in Edit mode till you Tab out of edit mode. Adding something to an existing object in edit mode is editing it, like adding a chapter to a book. Adding an object while (other objects) are in Object mode is adding a New object, like adding the first chapter of a new book.

For all Objects except Armatures, Object mode and Edit Mode are enough. But Armatures need an Object mode, the level on which they can be measured against other objects (eg their relative position and scale), an edit mode, where individual bones can be measured against the scale of the Armature and other bones around it, and Names, weights and links (parent, IK, constraints) can be Edited, and then Pose mode, where bones can be posed in one-step, two-step progressions that make animating logical.

Like all other Objects Armatures and Bones have Datablocks, one of which is their names. At the right-hand end of all Datablock Fields is an icon of a little car, which, if clicked will automatically give that data a unique name (unique in the “computer” sense), or you can fill in your own. The book shows the autoname and you used your own name. If you hit + on the Numpad to zoom the bone Tabs you’ll see the missing “B” from the BO: field.


You can find out about all the changes since 2.30 here:

It’s definitely worth using the newest version if you can keep all the differences in your head while reading the out of date documentation.

Thanks for your help. :slight_smile: