Armatures, Constraints and Bake Function

(Torque) #1

I have an Armature of eight bones, like a snake,
the last four are constrained to an empty so when i move the empty
past the last bone the whole chain arcs.

I set a dozen different keyframes with armature in pose mode
but the armature will not animate,
I tried selecting all the keyframes and pressed the Bake button but still
no luck.

So the question is, What is the correct procedure to set up an animated
armature using Constraints and the Bake function, for use in the Game Engine ?

Any body know of a good Tutorial that fully explains this ?

                         Thanks for any help

(MrPatel) #2

Whats the bake function?

(Torque) #3

The Bake function is apparently needed to set the Keyframes for an Armature that has been set using Constraints.
Armature Constraints can`t be used in the Game Engine, but there is a method using the Bake function ( in the Armature Keyframe Window )
which gets rid of the Constraints enabling their use in the Game Engine.

Which is exactly what i need to know ------- HOW TO DO IT ?

Anybody have any idea ???.

(TurboG) #4

How to set up your Armature: (to the best of my knowledge)

  1. Create your model…You may want it subdivided a little more near places it will bend to make the deformation there smoothe…You may also want to apply subsurface to make it even more smooth…

  2. Create the armature going throughout the object.

  3. Select the mesh and find the group are to the left of Beauty and Rem Doubles button.

  4. Enter edit mode and select the first group. Example:

I have a cube…I extrude it once upward… For my first group would be the top vertices and the middle ones… The second would be my middle ones and my bottom ones.

  1. Witht he first groups vertices highlighted press the “NEW” Button and then Assign. Deselect all the vertices (A button) and then do the same with the other groups while giving them all simple names, such as:
    Top, Bottom, Middle or 1 2 3 4 5…With multiple ones in a line you might find head Tail Mid1 Mid2 helpfull.

  2. Now select the armature and enter edit mode…select all bones and rename them to the same name as the part of the mesh you want to deform…If you named the top part of your mesh HEAD than name the armature that should control that parts deformation HEAD (caps do matter).

  3. Make sure all the names and stuff are correct (cause it will make very strange results if they aren’t)

  4. Now select the mesh, than the armature and Press Contrl+P. Select ARMATURE for the parent.

  5. Click the armature and press CNTRL+Tab to enter pose mode and make sure that when you rotate the bones the mesh moves and deforms too.

(from your post it seems you got all that down but I’m saying this in case theres somthing you forgot)

Animating your armature:

  1. Enter Pose Mode and bend the bones to there starting postition. Press I and chose Loc (location) Rot (rotation) size (size) .

  2. Move ahead 10,20,30,100 or however many frames forward and then bend it again. Chose LocRotSize.

  3. Now go to frame 1 and press ALT+A to see your animation.

Useful Tips:

  1. Since your using an empty and constraints on the armature…Make sure you insert the keyframes on the empty.

  2. The above methods are an alternative if you cant make the empty thing work.

  3. If needed, I can send the file I made while creating this mini-tut thing, because it has a working armature animation…

Hope this helps…This may not help at all and not even be your problem…But oh well…

(Torque) #5

Thanks for taking the time to go through all that, and i have got that all allready done as far as deforming the mesh with the Armature.

What i was really trying to acheive was setting the Armature animation using constraints to the Empty ( i will try inserting a Keyframe for each Empty position to see if it works ) and then being able to use the Animated Armature in the GAME ENGINE.

In the Publisher Documents or the Realtime Docs it mentions the fact that you need to use the BAKE button at some point to get rid of the Constraints on the Armature, therby making it useable for realtime projects

So that is what i really need to know, The correct use of the BAKE function, have you ever used it yourself ?

Does each bone have to be BAKED seperately or do you just select all of them in edit mode, select all the key frames and hit the Bake button ?
I haven`t got a clue
Thanks for any help.

(theeth) #6

I think you need to select the bones in Pose mode and then hit Bake.


(TurboG) #7

I re-read the post and realized I posted about what you’ve allready done :slight_smile: Oh well…Guess now I can open a tutorial section on my site with that :slight_smile:

(TorQ) #8

Here’s the REAL problem. When you animate using constraints such as, IK solver, you don’t animate the bones you animate the object that the bones are constrained too. The problem lies within the fact that when you animate an armature using constraints it doesn’t create keys on the armature at all. So far all I can tell is that you have to go into you armature and set keys after you’re done animating with you empties or whatever and then you hit the bake button. My question is, is there any way to automaticly create keys on an armature when animating with consriants?


(TorQ) #9

It seems when you are done animating with constraints if you add a key at the beginning and the end of the animation on one bone and hit bake it bakes the animation correctly.

(TorQ) #10

Found a good link on this subject:


(Torque) #11

Thats good, thanks, I eventually just did the Action Manually although i will try the other method you suggested of a key at the beginning and the end of the animation, thanks

It was only a basic snake type waving motion i needed and i thought i might be able to acheive it with constraints.