Moving Armature doesn't deform the mesh

Wow, first post, and I’m going to look stupid because I’m sure this is a really obvious problem.

My problem is that I have a mesh set up with an Armature. The Armature is parented to the mesh just as it should be, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got the vertexes assigned to bones properly. At the very least, when I’m in Vertex Paint mode, selecting each bone lights up the proper parts of the mesh that should move along with it. The vertex groups and bones are all named the same, and I made sure there wasn’t any rotation applied to anything.

Nevertheless, when I go into Pose mode and move bones, the mesh just sits there and doesn’t do a darn thing. Am I missing something ridiculously obvious here?

Did you add the Armature modifier to your Mesh?

Blender is a sort of hip bone connected to the thigh bone connected to the shin bone sort of application, and if you leave one out, things tend not to work. So don’t be embarrassed. Happens to everyone starting out.

Do you have an armature modifier on your object? It appears that parenting no longer creates the armature/object links that it used to.

Select the object you want to animate. In the Editing Button Window, add an armature modifier to the object. Enter the name of the armature (probably “Armature”) in the Ob: box. Check the Vert Groups button and uncheck the Envelopes button.

Welcome to BlenderArtists. :smiley:

I have added the Armature modifier, but I notice that when I hit “Apply”, the modifier vanishes from the list.

I’m right in thinking that by Rotating the Armature in Pose mode, I should be able to see the vertex groups moving along with the bone, right?

You almost never use the 'Apply" button. (for an Armature modifier ) I’d have to go check the manual to find out what it’s used for :slight_smile: … but I’ve never used it yet.


I figured it was something like that. Regardless, I recreated the modifier, parented the mesh to the Armature, chose ‘Name’, and confirmed in Weight Paint mode that the right vertex groups are lighting up for the right bones. I’ve consulted three different tutorials on this thing, deleted the armature, and went back through following BSoDs tutorial step by step, only to get the same results. I’m at a loss at this point.

This one :

Which BSoD tutorial were you following? Ok. You select the mesh in object mode, and add an armature modifier. Put the name of the armature in the OB box. Your modifiers panel should look like this. Nothing should be parented to anything.

This one :…cter_Animation

Yup, that’s what it looks like.

Well this a part of blender that really needs to be documented clearly once and for all.

I’m not sure if it’s in the “Intro to Char Animation” tutorial or the BSOD “Rigging …” tutorial or both, but there have been numerous citations of the “old way” and the “new way” of rigging / (adding an armature), i.e. by either using CTR-P and the resulting dialog box or just adding an Armature “manually” … and which method is “better”.

With CTR-P, you get object parenting, which may or may not be necessary / useful / harmful ??? … useful in that you can move the armature in object mode and the mesh will follow along, though it might be argued that you should just use Pose mode whenever you want to position the rig. Especially since there is little ??? reason to ever want to key the Armature in Object mode.

Morris, if you post your .blend file on or some other site, we can take a look at see if there’s something obvious.

Are you using 2.45 ?


I am using 2.45. is pretty slick. Here’s the link to the .blend file. Thanks for being willing to poke at it and explain to me what I’ve missed here.

Well Morris, usually mysteries like yours are so easily solved with the posting of the blend file … I wish more people would just post their questions with the blend file attached to their post …

… Just turn on the the “Deform” option (which is the default BTW) in the Armature Bones panel with the bone/armature selected …

The only time you should turn that off is for control/target bones for which with some types of parenting sequences is not a good idea (for envelope mode and the new SVN “bone heat” methods of parenting) …

@ Orinoco and Mike_S : the parenting method for a number of reasons is still very useful for a number of reasons … well 1) the developers still use it to give us the rigger shortcuts as to what type of bone/weighting system you might want with the mesh and armature with hot keys, 2) establishing an object hierarchy between the mesh and armature from various (data) point of view is a good thing actually, and 3) “Pose space is a subset of Object space” … (I think I got that right) … though until about six months ago armature/pose space used quats but the mesh used Euler angles to calculate its deformation …

Just using the mesh deform modifier was never the “new” or "current " method … You don’t have to parent with the mesh modifier stack, but you do not get some options not available simply from adding the modifier into the stack (which BTW with someone new will not know to place it towards the top - if not the top - of the stack, which as you know is where the “virtual” armature modifier gets placed when you do parent ) .

When I load that file, the Deform Option IS on, but the mesh is not getting deformed.


Oops, was looking at the wrong button :slight_smile:

I was looking at the “Vertex Groups” button under the Deform Options, I didn’t notice the Deform button on the Armature Bones / Selected Bones panel was off … probably because it’s on by default, and I’ve never turned it off.


Ok, got the file (4Share doesn’t like my Firefox addons.).

I selected the mesh.

The Add Modifier To: Comet panel says “Armature Parent Deform [Make Real]”
I pressed the Make Real button and this became an Armature modifier with Ob: Armature and Vert Groups button pressed.

I seleted the armature object and went into edit mode. There are seven bones, with the following options (Editing Buttons window, Armature Bones panel)

Fuselage            Hinge                  Mult
Port Frame          Hinge                         Hide
Port Hatch          Hinge                  Mult   Hide
Stbd Frame          Hinge
Stbd Hatch          Hinge                  Mult
Ramp                                       Mult
Forward Frame                 Deform

There are six vertex groups: Forward Frame is not one of them.

In order for the bone to deform the geometry (dev speak for move the mesh) that deform button must be selected for the bone. If you turn it on, moving the bone in pose mode will move the appropriately named vertex group.

Blender 2.45, Windows XP. @Vertex Pusher, does parenting give the option to automatically create named vertex groups? Iirc, saving all that typing was one of the benefits.

I tried it with 2.45 on WinXP.

Ditto here and also on 2.44 on Vista … both have the same bones that should deform with the option turned off … there is one bone with it turned on … but the big main bone is off along with the little bones which are the children of it (which all have weights painted) …

does parenting give the option to automatically create named vertex groups? Iirc, saving all that typing was one of the benefits.

Ditto once again . Yes it does . That’s why I always parent and “make real” the “virtual” modifier that parenting puts onto the mesh’s modifier stack . Also the new “bone heat” automatic weighting option is easily available through the parenting process (I think you can do this with just the modifier too later - in Weight Paint mode - like you can with envelopes … not for certain though …) available in SVN builds … Who likes typing in bone names/ vertex groups ???

I knew it had to be something stupid like that. Thanks for helping me out guys.

Just to add… I’m fairly sure that parenting mesh and armature is still essential for armature deformation in the game engine. This used to be the way and I’ve not really played with animation without parenting armature to mesh. If I’ve misunderstood the discussion then feel free to ignore me.


Who likes typing in bone names/ vertex groups ???

Create groups from bone heat is a very handy feature :wink: