When I animate stuff I often find that some of the animation (but not all) has automatically become an Action and appears on the NLA Editor. How do i get the parts that have become an action back into being just raw on the timeline so they are at the same ‘level’ as the bits that didnt become an action? Maybe I didnt explain that well…?
In recent Blenders I have seen this, too. I never defined my “ordinary keyframing” to be “actions,” but when I look, say, at the Perl data structures in Outliner, an “action” child exists. Maybe this is what the implementors have done, for consistency …
ideoplasm: I think maybe you misunderstand the nature of Actions to some degree. An Action is a datablock that is principally a container for keyframe data (i.e., animations). A set of keyframes “becomes” an Action because that is the structure for such data. It allows “offline” storage of animation data for use or re-use later on.
In the recent versions of Blender all keyframing results in an Action, be it for an Object or a Bone or a Material, etc. There are no “levels” of keyframe data in terms of some sort of hierarchy. The anim’n data is the anim’n data, and an Action personifies it in Blender’s data structures plan. In earlier versions (pre-2.5x I think), Object animations were not assigned to Actions, which was a significant weakness and an inconsistency.
The Actions are displayed in the NLA Editor because that Editor deals with animation data. If you convert the Action to an NLA strip the Action is no longer displayed, though it can be reinstated if desirable using the Animation Data panel in the Editor’s properties pane (N-KEY while in the NLA Editor window). The NLA strip becomes the operational datablock for that particular set of keyframes and that particular object, but the data in the Action is also preserved against other uses, like adjusting the animation data after the NLA strip has been invoked.
Actions are like good friends – they’re there when you need them but don’t mind being ignored, either.
Many thanks to you both! I think I understand fully now.