Can mesh be changed without losing armature animation?


Having not animated characters in Blender I’m not sure how forgiving it is, so here goes:

Can mesh be modified without losing already existing armature animations (in case model shows problems during animation).

Can bone structure be modified (adding/removing bones) without redoing forward-kinematics animations completely (in case foot rigging is wrong but from waist up everything works properly)?

Can already animated armature added to another mesh with relative ease?

Are constraints baked on FK bones for exporting or do they stay separate entities (in case exporting animations for games).

Thanks a bunch.

I’m fairly certain the answer is yes because I’ve modified meshes after beginning to animate them, but just to be on the safe side, make a copy and work off the copy to make sure everything works as you want it. It’s just a little disk space.

for your numbered questions:

  1. A mesh can be modified, the armature is a separate object, modifying one doesn’t necessarily modify the other, other than needing more weight painting or vertex grouping.

  2. You can add and delete bones at will, you just have to weight the new ones, so yeah, you can add a new and different foot rig to an already completed rig.

  3. Yes, you just have to weight paint/vertex group the mesh, that’s a bit how *.bvh files work. (bvh is a mocap file, it imports as an armature, already animated.)

  4. Depends on what format you export in, I’m not sure about the constraints though, it would depend on if the format you export and the tool you are importing into supports them. Hopefully someone else has a better answer, can’t hurt to just try it though, then you’ll know.

Just 4. No contraints of any type cannot be exported for other GEs . You have to “bake” the animation before exporting . Most GEs don’t use constraints for animation, just baked animations like the bvh format … doing complex animation constraint calculations would be too taxing in real-time rendering situations like a GE … usually they just use baked animation data stored in the buffer .

And BTW the bake function currently in 2.45 doesn’t work … but there is a python script that can bake actions though … Just do a search on “baking actions” using the forum search function …

Thanks people, that pretty much clears it up.

Does baking work in SVN versions?