Bone Parenting-Did I hose myself?


I’m not exactly sure what I am asking here, I’m that new, so bear with me. But let me start out by saying that my intention is to model, texture, and animate…then import into the UE4 game engine. Which, by the way, I’ve got the importation process down pretty good…model imports and even animates!

Ok so to my question, I’ve followed some tutorials for modeling a mech on YouTube. The tutorials were actually really easy to understand, but there are some mechanics that I don’t quite understand and I think I’ve put myself into a hole.

I made a basic mech, and even added in a little “startup” animation which you can find at my blog:

Problem: The tutorial I followed had me create the mesh…then, for rigging, he split the mesh into individual sections (with P) and in the process of rigging it, parented those new objects to the bones. It works great for animating, but then I realized that I have to UV Map and texture this thing at some point…and I now have 400 bazillion body parts parented to bones. In the Scene listing, it’s all one big conglomerate of bones and blood and guts (armature and mesh are “interlinked”)

For UV Mapping, I need one object obviously. So naturally I tried to join all the individual body parts back together into one mesh, which works fine…but then my animation and rigging is dead on arrival.


  1. Is parenting body parts to bones impractical for my workflow, getting it into a game engine, because of this reason? Should I be using a different method to begin with?
  2. Am I basically stuck with having to re-rig this model as one mesh? Or is there a way I can “re-attach” the rigging (and therefore animation) to the mesh after I rejoin it?

Keep in mind, I’m not entirely sure how all the “behind the scenes” stuff works yet, so talk to me like I’m a first grader.

Obviously, this is just a starter mech in order to get my learning and workflow down…but I’d still like to figure out where I went wrong and if I can fix this without starting all over. There may be a solution such as importing the skeleton and mesh separately or something.

Thanks in advance.



Thanks for the reply.

I actually did find a solution and beating my head against it all day Saturday.

The reason for wanting a single mesh is I’m designing for a game engine. It’s a lot of work (on artists and processors) to manage multiples. I honestly like the multiple mesh setup better, like you suggest, but I think it’s going to make things a mess down the pipe.

But, the solution was Vertex Groups. Basically, I chose each body part, which was a single mesh…and assigned those vertices to a Vertex Group of the same name as the bone that was deforming it. Ctrl-J’ed all the meshes back into a single, then, applied an Armature mesh modifier. Worked like a charm.

Kinda funny really when you spend a whole day trying to figure out how to do something, and in the end it took 15 minutes to fix it. Then you realize how stupid you were to begin with and how silly you asked. For example, I learned a lot about how Blender manages data today lol.

Such is life!:smiley:

No one here is stupid, no question is silly - we all have to learn and we all have to make mistakes, it does not make us stupid - it just makes us more intelligent once we find the answer. The rest of us are here to help you and you are here to help the rest of us - that’s how it works. :smiley:

Glad you solved it!

Cheers, Clock.

Thanks for the kind words, mate!

also don’t forget the excellent add-on that comes with blender but is not turned on by default…

Texture Atlas…

Glad you figured this out… I was a bit brief in my PM response to you and I meant to reply to this thread, walking you thru this ‘like you’re a first grader’, but I’ve been busy and away from net connection…

Isn’t this how I briefly described it in my PM response to you?? I was a bit unsure how to handle the texturing, texture all objects, then combine into 1 mesh, or combine all objects into one mesh, then texture.

Anyway, sorry I wan’t more helpful to you, but I’m glad you figured it out, and learned something along the way. We’ve all been there, spending days trying to figure out how to do something, then boom!!! 15 minutes and it’s done…