Deleting Armature - bug?

While working my way through Gus, I had a problem with the armature and automatic skinning. So, I decided to delete the armature and start over.
However, deleting an armature reveals some interesting problems. Wondered if anyone has come across this and can explain.
Here is a simple procedure to demonstrate the problem:
Open a new project.
Add --> Armature
Switch to object mode And select the dropdown box in Link and Material. Armature is listed. So far so good.
Now, add a second armature. (Armature, not bone)
Switch back to object mode again and select the dropdown box in Link and Material. Armature and Armature.001 are listed.
Now, for the problem.
Select Armature.001 in the dropdown box and then delete it with X key. It goes away. “deleted”… but not really.
Now, select the armature that wasn’t deleted. The Link and Material box comes back. If you look at the dropdown box, both the currently selected armature and the one you “deleted” are listed. Select the one you “deleted” and it will reappear in the 3D view.
This is a real problem because my armature listing is cluttered up with armatures I don’t want and things get messy in a hurry. For example, My first armature assembly with gus was a mess, so I deleted it to start over. Problem is it still shows up in the list so I have to make sure I select the one I’m actually working on. Not to mention that the “deleted” armature still has vetex groups and what not attached to it.
Three other problems sort of related:
When I create all 6 bones per the tutorial in the manual, everything appears in 3D view fine and looks OK, but only 5 bones appear in the Armature Bones panel. I can select and name any armature I want, but I can’t see them all listed at the same time in the Armature Bones panel. I’m not sure if this is important or just a minor inconvenience.
if I delete the last bone in an armature, it reduces to a small pink dot. I can select and delete this, but it shows up later in the armature list just as any other armature I’ve “deleted” per my above description.
Lastly, auto skinning doesn’t seem to work. In object mode, I select Gus then the armature, parent to armature using neares bone. When I then go to the vetex groups and select any bone in the armature and then click the select button, I usually only see on vertex in the group. I’m able to select additonal ones and add them just fine, but it seems the “auto skinning” per the tutorial just plain doesn’t work.
I’m running version 2.42 with Python 2.4. Any insight appreciated.

  1. Short answer, is nothing is deleted in Blender until you save the file and reload it.

The “non deleted” effect you’re seeing is a feature not a bug :slight_smile:

Longer explanation here :
blender datablocks explanation

Instead of using the “dropdown” box you’ve been using, I would suggest that have your screen split up with an “outliner” window on the side for selecting bones (press “a” while your mouse is over the outliner window to expand all the “trees”

  1. The 5 bone limit is a built in limitation in the buttons window, I’ve never noitced it, as I just rename bones with one of them selected at a time. You can also use the “floating” property panel, (press “N”) in the 3d viewport

  2. The “auto sknning” doesn’t work perfectly, I usually use it just to get a headstart, after that you’ll need to tweak things either with the vertex groups or weight painting editors.

  3. The vertex groups are assigned to your MESH, not the bones, so that’s why if you’ve started with one armature, created vert groups, then deleted the armature, and created a new armature / assigned groups, the old groups are still present. (the vert groups are not deleted when a bone / armature is deleted).

For a more up to date tutorial I recommend the “Intro To Character Animation Tutorial” (see link in my signature), written by Ryan Dale. It’s online and available for download in PDF form as well. The support thread for it is here : It covers modelling, rigging, facial animation and is really well written. It is the “updated” version of the Gus tutorial (though it creates an entirely new and different character).

If you’re looking for some finished rigs to play with, check out the “Best of Blender” thread in my signature, I have links to all the best rigs that have been created and donated by other artists here.