Moving a grouped character

Consider a highly polished model, like those of the Big Buck Bunny project:

Now I do:
i) File–> AppendorLink–> choose the bird.blend, choose the Group, choose Bird.
ii) In the main window, do Add–>Group–> Bird.
iii) Now you’ll see a bird on Window 1, a bird on Window 2, and the bones on Window 7.

Q: What is the workflow? Suppose I want the bird to fly across the room, am I supposed to grab the Bird on Window 1 or Window 2? Do I have to move both out of the way, including the bones, say if I want to add another bird-- it’ll go to the same place won’t it?

Is there some other way you’re supposed to “get” the character into your blender workspace?

What you’ve got there looks perfect to me. You can move, pose, or keyframe the bird in whichever 3D window you like. 3D Windows are all created equally, they’re simply different views (with different layers visible). To move the whole bird around, like if you want to have it flying across the room, try keying the location of the root bone, which is that circular bone at its feet with the four arrows pointing out of it. Select it move it, keyframe it. For posing, pose the other bones just as you would ordinarily.

But then I’ve got one version of the bird on Layer 1, which shows up where I put the cursor, and another on Layer 2, which shows up at the origin. I assume the Layer 2 one is for posing. But if I Add another similarly-created Group, it’s Layer 2 object going to go plop down on top of the first one?

My problems only occur when I consider putting two in a scene, but I’m hopelessly confused.

thanks.

When you add another character, yes, it will plop down in the same place as the first one. So you move them both to where you want them to be in the animation. Work with the armatures to pose and move the characters around. There’s no particular problem with two characters occupying the same location, but it’s probably not what you want in your animation.

Sorry if I’m missing the point somewhere…

The Layer 1 object goes where I tell it. The Layer 2 object goes to the origin, and the bones go to the origin on Layer 7.

So, to get things out of the way for the second character, I would have to move the bone object and layer 2 object by the same exact amount “somewhere” out of the way, right? This just seems like such a clunky design that I must have got it wrong somehow.

Have you tried moving the armature? The mesh will also move. These are not separate birds. They are one rigged character.

If you want two characters to be in different locations, then you have to put them in different locations. Nothing clunky about it. If they’re both in the same location, they’re both in the same location.

Thanks for your continued dialog here.

What seems clunky is that the poseable “thing” on Layer 2 will have to be grabbed and moved, and its bones will have to be grabbed and moved, as two distinct operations, because blender is sending them to the origin instead of to the location of my cursor. If I put a quarter dozen such grouped objects in there, it will get messy really quick. Which armature controls which character (if they’re in completely different locations?) Also, say if I have the bird pick up a rock that’s 20 units away from the origin, I won’t have real-time feedback as to the correct placement of the wing, because the poseable figure is far away.

I am wondering if I did something wrong in the importing (say, use “Add Group” without checking the ________ box) , or if the Project Peach/Orange folks don’t release the kind of models they’d actually use in production.

Thanks for helping me figure this out.

What seems clunky is that the poseable “thing” on Layer 2 will have to be grabbed and moved, and its bones will have to be grabbed and moved, as two distinct operations, because blender is sending them to the origin instead of to the location of my cursor.

I don’t know what you mean by poseable “thing”. The mesh will follow the armature. The armature are the bones. The character can be moved in a single operation.

The armature that controls a character is always inside the mesh of the character. It should be easy to identify which armature goes with which character. Basically, I can see nothing at all with the .blend you sent and it seems like a reasonable place to start.

I think maybe it might help you to read up on some of the basics of Blender character animation. If you haven’t worked with armatures and rigged meshes before, you might check out the book in my sig. That should bring you up to speed enough that everything in this .blend would be clear, I think.

I’ve bought all the blender books there are, AFAICS.

I don’t think you’ve worked with these models to see the kind of problem that can arise when the armatures show up at the origin, regardless of where you told blender to put it.

![file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg](file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg)![file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg](file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg)http://www.flickr.com/photos/pterandon/2916664929/in/photostream/
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3062/2916664929_fd16c49431_d.jpg

Okay, I guess I’m confused about what you’re doing.

First, are you appending, or are you linking? Second are those screenshots you posted from the same .blend, and the four birds/armatures are separate, or from separate .blends? Third, the “poseable thing” you mentioned before, do you mean a mesh or an armature? What is the object’s name?

Fundamentally, there’s no problem if an object/mesh/armature/whatever is placed at the same place as another object/mesh/armature/whatever. So when I look at the screenshots you posted, I still don’t see what the problem is. Just move your objects where you want them and animate them. But I feel I’m missing something, so if you can explain a little more, or maybe post the actual problem .blend it might help.

By the way, I have tried appending and linking the Bird group from the file you posted. I was able to append it with no problem at all, but when I tried Linking, I haven’t been able to get the armature to link in. I may be working with the wrong Blender version, and stuff like this might be sensitive to the version. So at least tell me whether you’re appending or linking.

Also, there is an empty you can find on Layer 1, I think called Bird_Scale or something, which is the parent of the whole group, and if you move or scale that then your mesh and armature will all follow suit.

Hi, I think there are a couple of things going wrong here.
Firstly, confusion as to the locations of the armatures.
So when you open the file, select the bird, armature & armature shapes.
Press M & move all these To layer 6.
Now shift duplicate or append the second bird.
Press M & move to layer 7.
Two birds, two Rigs, two layers, no confusion.
Now, Second problem.
When you move or scale the Bird(s) you must set the IPO keys to reflect the changes.
If you don’t set loc siz rot the rig will reset on redraw.
I hope this was understanding the problem(s).

Also, there is an empty you can find on Layer 1, I think called Bird_Scale or something, which is the parent of the whole group, and if you move or scale that then your mesh and armature will all follow suit.

THAT was the problem. The model design makes great sense (and I’m competent to make meager animation-changes to it as I please) once one grasps that fact.

The bird on Layer 1, the bird on Layer 2, and the armature on Layer 7 all go to where one has put the Bird_Scale empty.

So I take it you were appending these birds. Because I tried linking them, a la the Mancandy FAQ, and I wasn’t able to bring in the armature (the difference is the link/append option button in the Link/Append window). Linking would use the proxy armature system but in the few tries I did I wasn’t able to get that to work.

Okay, now that we’ve been paying attention to this file, perhaps you’ll indulge a question about the feathers and the pupils of the eyes on the bird.

They don’t render!