multiple actions for a single armature?

I’m confused… until now, I played with a single action, both in the Action editor and the NLA editor.

But when I tried to ‘ADD NEW’ in the Action Editor, the new action appears as a derivative of the previous one (example: if previous is WAVE_HAND then the new one is WAVE_HAND.001 with all the same block Action keys) and in the NLA, there’s no more WAVE_HAND but only WAVE_HAND.001.

In my case, I’d like to have a WAVE_HAND (based on some bones of the armature) and a SHAKE_HEAD (based on other bones of the same armature) so that in the NLA ditor, I get these two actions available for stripping.

Any hints?

I’m quite sure the solution is at hand, but I can’t manage to find it…

After you have set keys for WAVE_HAND, click the big X in the Action header to delete the link to the current datablock. Then select ADD NEW. Now create SHAKE_HEAD.

Your previously created actions will still be there for use in the NLA. I used to think the scary X deleted the entire action, but not so. In fact I don’t know how to delete unused actions! Do I use the outliner? Anyone?

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OK, setting a new action after pressing the delete actin icon worked, thanks.

I set two strips, but when I play the animation, only the currently selected strip is played, how can I make both (or more) strips playing ‘realtime’ at the same time?

Morevover, I set the Repeat options greater than 1 but the action doesn’t repeat itself within the strip.

Any hint?

Look above the actions names in the NLA editor, next to the armature name. Click the man-shaped (Action) icon so it turns into the NLA icon (strips). Now your actions will be blended by the NLA. If it’s left as the man, you will only play the selected Action. Completely non-intuitive &^%*%^ button!

Alternatively, click the X again in the Action editor so no Actions are selected, and all your strips will blend.

The Repeat problem may be related to your first one; that Action may not have been playing. If you see divider lines appear within the strip when you increase Repeat value, it is working.

OK, the trick man-shaped / strips icons in the NLA window worked just fine

And yes, the repeat problem was related: the NLA played only the action, whatever was the repeat/blending/and such

thanks for your help :slight_smile:


Fligh % gave an answer to this here:

haven’t tried it yet…


Thanks Olivier, that will be a great help. My unused actions are piling up!

Btw I am thinking of writing a beginner’s tutorial for NLA. What do you think, is this needed?

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better than that: contact Gabio and propose him to help him on the wikidocs… he started a great job with a full length tutorial about character animation, but he seems to lack time. I’m quite sure he will welcome any help on writing this key-stone part of the docs. In any case, a tutorial would be handy, yes, even if I manage to get around with NLA now…