Do I animate the master bone?

I’m having a conceptual problem with regards to character animation. Is the master bone typically meant to have keyframes placed upon it, or is it common practice to leave it alone and move the rest of the bones away from it?

I have a ‘transition’ animation between two states, where the character takes hold of a horizontal rope to pull himself up onto a higher standing position. Should I animate the master bone for the elevation in this transition animation?

If I do, then the hand doesn’t stay in place wrapped around the rope, since the master bone moves it along with every other bone, every frame.

If I don’t, however, and just leave it where it is; how do I reconcile the master bone position from the end of this transition animation, with the master bone position of the ‘idle’ animation for this new state?

I generally leave the master bone in its place, the reason being that if you move it you will end up messing your pose.

I think you shouldn’t have to move the master bone in a scene (with some exceptions like for instance making a character running a path with a certain running animation repeating or something like that), other than that, try to just move the other bones and do what you want in that scene, and when you’re done you can then reset the whole character.

About the “reconciling the master bone with the other bones” bit, no idea, never really felt the need to do it while animating, but I’m also curious now.

I should mention that I’m not moving the armature by a physics mesh during this animation, either.

The armature (and master bone) starts at [-23, 23, 12] at the beginning of the transition animation, and it stays there all throughout while the rest of the bones move forward a little, and upward. Then the idle animation for the new state has to have the armature at [-25, 25, 12] in order for the feet to line up as if the character’s standing on this new surface.

I’ve tried changing the worldPosition of the armature to [-25, 25, 12] at the last frame of the transition animation and at the first frame of the new state, but then there’s still a little flicker where the armature is out of place for a moment…

It’s not feasible to make the new state’s idle animation to have the same starting point as the transition, because there are other states which can also transition into this new state.