Basic Questions about armatures and keyframing

I’m a relative new-comer to blender and all 3d modeling and i was wondering a few things:

  1. how can i insert an alpha keyframe?
    i know how to insert a mesh and basic location keyframes but i cant find the alpha keyfram…

  2. how can i use/apply armature set-ups in animations?
    i can set up armatures and use pose mode to deform them, but i cant use them in real animations… does it have to do with mesh keyframing or empties?

  3. i still cant figure out the ipo curve editor, i was wondering if anyone had a good tutorial on using it…

thanks to all those who post…

the alpha is a material property. To animate/keyframe it the object will need a material. Go the the IPO window and you should see a box with the IPO type. Switch this to material to access the material IPO’s. alpha is one of them.

not quite sure what you mean. Is it that you just can’t animate them? you can set keyframes for posed bones as you would for objects. just hit I and select Loc/Rot or whatever. If you open up the action editor you should see a timeline with all your bones and the poses that you have keyframed. you can move the boxes around to mess with the timing after you’ve created the pose. going back to the IPO window, you can select IPO type->Action and edit the IPO curves for the actions. You can use external objects and empties to affect the armatures through constraints, but its not necessary.

In general, the IPO curve editor is used mainly for tweaking keyframes and easeins/easeouts. Don’t try and animate solely in the curve editor. Keyframe in the 3dviews and tweak in the editor. Thats not a rule though. Its really whatever works best/is most efficient in a given situation. I’m sure someone else could give you a better view on how to use the curve editor though.

  1. put your mouse cursor over the buttons window

  2. If your armature is animated just parent (Ctrl-P with armature selected last) your mesh and assign vert groups to nearest bone (for simple meshes, it’ll get more radical with complexity)

  3. Same as the other windows, RMB to select a curve, Tab to edit, Rmb to select a knot, A to select all, Box select to select some, G for grab etc…

If you havn’t read the docs look for the link in my sig.


hey thanks guys for your help… although i don’t think that the alpha part in the ipo editor will help me much… but thanks for you help…