Looping Actions

How do you loop an action in Blender animation? Not the realtime engine. I know how to loop the IPOs in the curve editor but what about the actions?

Pull up the NLA editor and then select the armature. Press Shift-A to select the appropriate action to add. then with the action in the NLA (non-linear action) action window, press the N key and then set the repeat number to how many times you want the action to repeat for.



I suppose I don’t understand these editors. Lets just say I have setup a tail wagging on a dog and I want it to move up and down. I set the up at frame 1 and the down at frame 3. In the action editor I named it “tail”. When I go to the NLA editor and try to add this action not only is the original tail wagging in the NLA but the new one appears as a bar. When I try to repeat, it just seperates this bar into how many repetetions I chose. Nothing happens to my animation except the 1 - 3 that I setup with armature locs in the first place. I just want this tail to repeat about 10 times. :-?

There are several ways you could get that wagging tail.

One way is to use ordinary keyframing. You put the tail in each of its two positions, mark a keyframe at each. Now go to the IPO-window and clip away any unnecessary parts of the curve, and in the menu select Curve…Extend Mode…Cyclic. The dog’s tail will wag forever.

Another approach would be to set up an action. Let’s say that you want the dog to wag its tail until (ahem…) it reaches the side of the fire-hydrant. :wink: Actions can be bound to the object (and this is basically how the preceding scenario is viewed by Blender), or they can be “converted to NLA strips” and scheduled using the NLA (Non-Linear Animation) editor.

In this case, first you define a tail-wag as an action. Then you put a strip in the NLA, so-many frames long, and specify that within that strip the tail-wag action should repeat so-many times. Right when you get to the frame where the dog has walked up to the hydrant, you “blend-out” of that sequence so that the tail comes to a stop while, presumably, the leg goes up. :smiley: All these things are naturally described as actions: Walk, WagTail, RaiseLeg, and of course, " :o "!

You can do it either way. It very much depends upon what you’re trying to do and how much control you need to exert, or if-and-how-much the movement needs to change over time.

How do I loop actions in blender. I am new to the NLA editor. I don’t understand how to do 2 or more actions at once, I don’t understand why when I move the out of the NLA editor and then back in the actions that I had built before are in it and I have to move my other “primary” actions above it to get them to work. I don’t understand the system. Can someone explain the system to me? I know how to make actions in the action editor and name them. I know how to use armatures in this way, but the NLA is confusing I suppose. Thanks!