My actions are refusing to apply to my rig

I have a character rig with several actions saved in the scene. But when I go to apply an action to the rig, only 1 of the 3 actions will actually apply. The others do nothing. They don’t populate the dopesheet with keyframes. Nothing happens. They USED to work, but now they don’t. I don’t know what could have happened in between to cause this. The weird thing is that the action that DOES work, was made at the same time as the others using the same rig!

I have done some very minor fiddling with the rig, making me believe I could have broken something, but if something was broken, wouldn’t it have killed all the actions, not just a few? All the actions are using the same controls. I’ve always been under the assumption that actions are just keyframe data associated with a bone name. Is there more to it than that?

It’s probably worth noting that several versions of blender have been released during the life of this rig. I sincerely hope it wasn’t broken by opening it up in version 2.62. Blender doesn’t kill people’s work with every new upgrade does it?

Here is the blend file. You will see several actions in the action editor (the 2 foot roll actions are being driven by foot controls). Only the idle action works. The other two do nothing. Is there any way to debug this scene to find out what is going on? I’m using an official build of 2.62.

Thanks for the help everyone! I really hope I don’t have to redo my animation…

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if you want to use multiple actions,
then you have to put those in the nla-editor.

In the dope-sheet, you will only have 1 action active,
it should be the one you want to edit-manipulate.

In the nla-editor you can put multiple actions, duplicate ones, etc.
and you can have such a single-line-of-actions running or the whole

In the file you posted, all the Actions with keyframes activate the rig as expected when linked via the Action Editor and played with Alt+A. The two “cycles,” Walk & Run, have no keyframe data.

Blender 2.62 BF release (r44136)

Thats what i was afraid of. There used to be keyframe data and now there isnt. Im actually a bit new to actions, im wondering if i inadvertently deleted all keys out of the action instead of removing the action. Thinking about now, its possible thats what happened. If you select all keys and delete them, that actually wipes the data out of the action. To remove the action, i press the “x” button next to the action, right? I may have screwed myself on this one. Oh well, practice makes perfect i guess. :stuck_out_tongue:

An Action is a datablock that acts like a sort of container for keyframes, i.e., animation data. So if you delete keyframes, the animation data goes away, leaving an empty container. Using the X button does not necessarily delete the Action or the animation data, it simply unlinks it from the current armature or object. If you enable the F button (Fake User) the Action will persist in your file even if it isn’t linked to a user. If you unlink an Action and do not enable Fake User, the Action will be removed when the file is saved and closed, and not appear in the file when reopened. In that case both container and data are gone for good.

It’s a good idea to get a basic grasp of datablocks and linking, because they are also used in may other aspects of blender – Materials, Mesh data, Textures, to name but a few. It can be a very versatile system once you get the hang of it.

BTW, enabling autosaves can save your butt in such situations! Also look at the .blend1 & .blend2 autobackups that are made, as soon as you discover the problem.

Well i learned my lesson. Thanks for the help guys!