multiple use of actions in the NLA window

I’ve just started having a look at the NLA stuff again (after played with it very briefly when it first came out, and since forgetting all about it).

It seems that if I want to use an action multiple times in the NLA window, either by doing Shift-A to add one, or Shift-D to duplicate an existing one, then it puts a new strip in at the bottom.

Is this the way it is meant to work?

Only it seems like it make it rather difficult if you are doing a fairly long animation. Say you have an action for an eye blink, and this needs to be done 30-40 times during the animation. This means 30-40 strips each with one blink in it.

It would be a lot easier to have one strip for the blink and be able to duplicate the bar multiple times along this one strip, like you do with Relative Vertex Keys and the control point IPOs.

Am I missing something, or doing something wrong, or is the way it is meant to work?

Are there likey to be any improvements in this area in the future?

Select the strip and press N. You can set a repeat value there.


Yes I know about the repeat - but, say for blinking, you wouldn’t just want the character to blink at the same interval all the way through the animation.

I would make a seperate strip just for the blink, and move it around/duplicate it accordingly.

But how do you duplicate the blocks on the same strip?
When I try, I get an extra strip each time.
Is there some other way to duplicate the blocks so they stay on one strip?

I don’t think you can do that. However, I do think it would mae a really nice addition to be able to put many instance of the same action in the same strip.


Until the “right” solution comes from the NLA developers, here is a workaround… it isn’t perfect but will get you there.

You have your “Blink” action an have placed it on one animation strip, as usual. Now let’s asume that you know in wich future frame you want your character to blink again.

… so you go to your actions window, select the blink action, select all the keys within the action, duplicate and drag to the future all the keys :wink: so that the second blink starts on the frame that you need it to be.

Now your character is blinking twice but you have just one animation strip.