Assigning Names to Deformation Groups

I’ve got an armature with about 30 odd bones in it. I understand that I need to create deformation groups in the mesh that must be exactly the same name as the bones.

Is there any kind of an automated way to do this creation? I’m fine with assigning the verticies to the group, but having to retype the 30 names of my bones seems mindlessly tedious.

Please tell me that I have missed something.


Hello AndyDavis

As Zen, great 3D master once said:

“Patience is the mother of virtuality”
Write, write, even if you don’t became a virtual master , you
can still work as a office secretary :slight_smile:

I was afraid that woud be the answer. I wonder if it would be faster to create the groups or add the functionality to create them for me.

At any rate, thanks for the reply.


If you are the impatient type, you could choose to download FunBlender, aka tuhopuu Blender. It is an experimental/Beta version made by some excellent developers. It has an auto-skinning feature.

[!] Use at your own risk [!]

Though I’ve been using it for a couple months with no problems. One thing to note is that due to an addition in the Snap menu, you need to be a little more careful when you press the Shift_s, number key combination.

Or you could choose to wait until the feature is eventually rolled into the feature set of the official Blender Foundation releases.

You can find some more information about it over at the site:

Or, here is the direct link:

To use:
[>] make your mesh
[>] add your armature
[>] with your armature in edit mode, select all bones and give them meaningfull names
[>] select your mesh, then your armature
[>] press Ctrl_p, choose armature
[>] in the ‘Vertex Groups from Bones?’ menu choose ‘Closest Bone’

Check out your vertex groups for the mesh.

I have found that when using a complicated armature, which contains all the correct human bones, ie: head, neck, upper spine, lower spine, shoulders,biceps,forearms,etc etc. I just call the bones by their initials.

That is Upper spine becomes US, Lower spine LS, right bicep becomes RBi… ad infinitum.

This makes creating vertex groups easier and a bit faster. I also have tried creating all my vertex groups first then assigning, but I find thatif you create a vertex group and immidiatley assign it, then create the next new group the time taken can be cut by a 1/2. Or there abouts.

I have also tried to use auto setups, but have found I still need to tweak and assign/de-assign verts to make the mesh look good which still adds time to the whole creation process.

If you use one armature for all of your characters, you can remember the bone names really easily, US, LS, RBi etc this make for faster vertex grouping when assigning.


Don’t forget to add the .R or .L to right or left bones, this way
you can automatically mirror some movements.

Thank you all for the suggestions. Its a bit of a cliche, but one of the best features of Blender is its user community.

The character is a camel, and with four legs, I don’t think I could keep the bones straight unless I spell them out.


I’m not quite sure what you mean.


I have tackled that issue with some sucess with a Keyboard/mouse macro maker called (Ironically) “Macro Maker” which is a free download and fairly straightforward to use.

If I have a group of bones or some similar set, I start by making the recordings of the keystrokes and assign hotkeys.

For certain kinds of things it works pretty well.

I mean that with four legs, I need to spell things out like:


If I were to use “FOT.l”, I would never be able to keep track of things.


Sorry Andy, it’s my method. Because I reuse the same armature I know all the bone names I use.

The macro system seems to be a rather good idea though.