Is it possible that if you use Blender too much things get messed up?

I’ve been using Blender for over a decade and I noticed that if you do too many undos or you try to do too many steps that things start to fail. You will do a procedure the first time it work great then you try to do the same procedure again exactly as before but now weird things happen, addons stop working, shortcut keys ignore your actions, your animation data transferring gets corrupted. Then you close everything, open Blender again now it’s not doing it but again the second time or maybe the third it starts acting up. Right now that has become a great problem for me, if you save the project it will save the corruption outcome as well.

I used an animation from Mixamo called ‘Run and dive’ I export it as instructed, import it to Blender retarget it to Rigify so far so good, then I go to transfer the animation to another rig and now the Torso doesn’t move, translate keyframes for the torso are there but the rig is ignoring the keyframes, I can change the torso with the mouse or with the arrows key now all that work is trash. I would do the same thing on a fresh Blender do all the same steps now everything works.

I did a push down on a single animation to make it into a strip, as soon as it turned it into an NLA the whole animation was out of whack, big giant feet wire skinny legs head was 10 times the size. And that is with no other strips on any tracks, that was the only strip so I can’t blame the influence of other strips to cause it.

I want to do animation with Blender but this is too unreliable.

What can I use to make animations instead where I can be creative without worrying about constant failing? Or how can I make Blender more dependable? I got a new mobo with 32 GB of ram a RTX 3070. It’s not like I have an old rickety run down machine.

Maybe animation is not for me.

Since you did say you have a decent rig…that partially rules out my first thought…

  1. How do you install Blender? From the installer package or using the zip file? ( as you said you have been using it for some time)
    A good possibility is if you use the installer then you may get the preferences/config, corrupted between Blender Versions)
  2. This would not affect add-ons ( stop working ) but many other things. ON your ORIGINAL mesh did you APPLY SCALE. Before getting the Miximo Animations?
    Not applying Scale or transforms will lead to many of these problems cropping up.
  3. Do a Memory Check…perhaps one of your sticks has or is going bad… which can lead, also to many of these problems…

( I just went through this on my rig…One stick was going and TOTALLY started issues in all areas of use )

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  1. Installer, so clean install may help?

  2. All rigging I do I make sure all are apply all.

  3. Brand new Windows machine and tested with an old PC made into a Linux Pop OS on another machine. Both are buggy.

I never hit the Undo more than 10 times. I might have never run into this kind of bug.

Is not that I don’t trust the Undo system, but is more like it does not work as I want. As for example there can be 100 undo steps registered, and the exact moment you wanted was in 101 step that is not captured. So instead of following the dillema Undo-vs-Save I consider that [Save] wins big time provided there is only manual control.

So instead of undo, is much easier to revert to a previous saved file. The only problem is that at some point you get Ctrl-S-itis, which is like OCD. :slight_smile:

not discounting there might legitimately be something broken, but as someone who frequently animates in blender, I can say from experience there there are a lot of things to keep track of in the various editing modalities and its easy to lose track of a setting that makes something else seem broken and it can be a pain to track it down.

for example the scaling issue you described has happened to me on occasion, and it ended up being that the nla layer blend mode was set to something other than replace. even if there are no other layers that setting could cause unexpected results.

also there are modifiers that can get added to animation channels and you can only see them in the curve editor, so again if you forget about them, you might see strange animation in places where there seems to be no keyframes.

also using rigify adds another layer of complexity because it has so many python bound commands. I generally make my own rigs so I can’t comment on it too much, but especially when you get into animation transfers, its easy to find edge cases for that kind of stuff.

you were saying restarting fixes things, but not if you save the file in its broken state, which to me suggests its not some gpu or ram glitch. maybe if it happens on a file that you’re comfortable sharing, do a save-as of the broken state and share with the community to help troubleshoot.

the real TL;DR of animation is… it’s complex, and sometimes there’s some annoying problem solving involved. I don’t think I’ve yet encountered an animation glitch that wasn’t either my own error or me misusing a function.

last thought, there are some behaviours in blender that are not technically bugs, but definitely are of questionable design. the one that annoys me the most is that NLA strips by default are set to sync length. so if you chop up an animation strip and then tab into edit mode for that strip, that chopped up clip will revert back to the full length of the action when you tab out, potentially messing up that strip and all those around it. and even worse… it not recognized by the undo system. really REALLY bad design. and the first time it happened and I wasn’t aware of that ‘feature’, it very much seemed like blender had glitched out or corrupted itself.

Yes! And make sure to mention all the addons you are activating!

Also, make sure to check whether there were ANY error messages. When you are trying to find a suitable workflow, getting an error message should be treated as a red flag after which you should not continue! The same is true for weird things happening. As soon as this happens, don’t continue! Before you are doing anything else, you need to figure out what’s going on.
That’s a tedious process, but it you want something reliable, that’s the only way to go.

I found a bug [ Push Down ] button should behave the same with either buttons? Or am I mistaken?

I’ve spent many weeks understanding and learning how strips affect each other so I know how to set them properly to avoid turning my rigs into knotted spaghetti.

I’ve seen horrifying things, but seeing your animation turn into a distorted mess is a bit disturbing.

People tell me Maya has bugs too but 99% of them are crashes. I’d prefer crashes than bugs that are happening but Blender keep going as if nothing was. Also, check my reply to shteeve.

Bugs can often be worked around, while crashes cause you to lose work. Crashes can also corrupt your file or otherwise produce corrupt data in the majority of apps (in which avoiding such is actually a place where Blender is quite strong).

Though it would be good for the BF to, at least as part of a sprint session, to start treating painfully obvious quality issues in areas like modeling as bugs and get them fixed (like the ones with the Manifold Extrude tool).

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couple of notes.

In describing the steps to recreate the problem, you mention a pretty vague statement of “then I make new keyframes to adjust it”. the devil is in the details here. are you making an additive layer? a replacement layer? ‘random mess’ is also vague. is this the bones getting scaled too large issue you were describing before? is it specifically the bones you have adjusted or all bones?

Also if you have python tooltips enabled, you’ll see the push-down operator in the action editor is actually a completely different command than the push down button in the NLA editor, so there absolutely could be different results. although I agree that is not at all clear from an end user perspective!

No matter what software you are using, if the application gets complex enough and leaves a lot of freedom to the user, there are going to be plenty of issues.
As a user or as someone who tries to figure out a workflow, it is unavoidable to learn to deal with that kind of issue or communicate precise enough to get help. Right now, it is impossible for anyone to know exactly what you have been doing, what kind of addons have been involved or whether error messages appeared early on in your process.
If you would like to get actual feedback, you likely have to share a file, such that others can follow your steps. Regarding the undo, a short video where you open the shared file and exactly reproduce the issue would likely be very useful too.

I haven’t experienced the bugs you are talking about at all, I suggest you reset you prefs and try again, and maybe also a bug report if it continues anyways.
And personally I would NEVER suggest Maya of Blender. Maya is just SO buggy, cumbersome, unmodern and very unstable. I work with it everyday and I’m soo frustrated 90% of the time.

to follow up on this, and validate at least some of what you’re reporting, I can confirm at least one thing that has to be a bug:

when I create some new animation on top of an existing nla strip, and the action is set to ‘hold’ in the NLA editor, hitting the push down in the action editor puts it in a new strip, but instead with the extrapolation mode changed to hold forwards (which seems like bad behaviour).

even worse, despite being set to ‘hold forwards’ the action strip still behaves like its been set to ‘hold’ which is completely incorrect. simply toggling mute on the strip forces some sort of update that makes it correctly behave like ‘hold forward’. by contrast hitting the push down button in the NLA still does the bad behaviour of changing a ‘hold’ action to a ‘hold forwards’ strip, but at least it immediately behaves like a ‘hold forwards’.

I don’t know if this ties into your particular problem, but there’s definitely messy code going on here!

plot thickens. I just realized I haven’t updated to 3.2 yet and that was the version you made the ticket for. when I recreate the situation in 3.2, blender behaves totally as expected. if the action is set to ‘hold’ both push down buttons correctly create a strip also set to ‘hold’. the problem seems to exist on 3.1 and prior.

Found the 3.2 release note fix:

that said, if you can be a bit more explicit with an example file or something @DragonSkunk2 we can see if there is yet another bug in there somewhere.

I intend to screen record everything I do in Blender to show what problems I encounter. As most problems occur unexpectedly.

I get few error message, I blame my ignorance for not knowing it’s a bug or I’m not doing something correctly. I select my NLA tracks and hit Bake animation… Error: Nothing to Bake. Wut?

don’t know if this is stating the obvious, but have you deselected everything? I’ll get that error if i don’t have anything selected.

Wait does that mean that the NLA tracks name has to be orange to be selected. I was selecting all the bones. I still too n00b to have it all figured out yet.

Some of my rules of thumb…

  1. Save early and often.
  2. Save BEFORE any major change.
  3. Save As… every now and then if the project grows substantially.
  4. Open Task Manager and keep your eye on memory. If it gets above 70% or so, Save, Close and reOpen the project.
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Naw I meant bones. Probably easiest if you share a file or video or something since it’s just blind guessing otherwise, sorry!

I’m going an extra step, save often and close Blender, reopen often. To keep it from getting corrupted. It might do nothing except piece of mind.

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