Newbie Q: How to Connect Armatures

How do I connect two separate armatures into one? The docs say to go into Object mode, select both armatures and press Ctrl-J, but it doesn’t do anything.

Here’s a screenshot of my set-up in rest mode. The hand armatures and associated meshes are in their proper places:

Here’s a screenshot in pose mode. The hands remain where they were when I created them in Edit mode (while armatures were in rest mode).

My Outliner is open to show how the complete structure currently stands.


Both armatures have to be in Object mode before you can combine them.

As I said in the OP, I tried that.

Then you need to try harder because that’s how you do it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Object mode, select first armature, shift select second armature, object mode, join.

You can share your .blend here:

that way people can help you better.

Looking at your Out liner window tells me that…

the Armature called “Buddy Block Armature”

are 3 Armatures Parented as children… called…
Buddy Block Limbs
Hand Armature.l
Hand Armature.r

it appears that you used Ctrl+P (which Parents)
instead of Ctrl+J (which Joins)

when attempting to join the Armatures…

The Ctrl-J in Object mode was NOT working. It would allow me to select the two armatures but would not join them. I had to join them by placing the hand armatures into the main armature via the Outliner, but that caused other problems by creating about 50 vertex groups automatically and assigning every one of them to every single bone. That caused an incredible mess. So I started all over and created the armature WITH the hands. I should have done that two days ago when I decided to add them to the body armature.

I’m going to make my animated character stomp up and down in frustration! :mad:

Try pressing the space bar and type in the word Join Armatures in the pop menu.

I’ve since started over.

Let me make a suggestion…
which I think applies more to Rigging and Armatures that it does to anything else…

always copy and save your work…
I often will even have an extra copy of my Armature in the same file on another layer… so that if I mess the Rigg up I can go back and start over…
I also constantly save my work using numbers and-or dates in the file names so that if I screw up something really bad I only have to go back to what I had an hour ago or a day ago or a week ago… etc…

also note that blender is default set to save a couple of copies of your file every so many minuets…
these files will have a “filename.blend1” or a “filename.blend2”
so keep that in mind next time you run into something like this again…


hope that helps…

Thanks for the tips, norvman…

I’m already in the habit of making backup copies and saving my work regularly, especially after I solve a problem I’ve been fighting with for a long time. I also use the different layers for storing things or working on something in isolation. I tend to keep the file I’m working in to a minimum size though, since it can slow down the whole program if things get too much for my computer to handle. I’ve learned the hard way to always save before trying to render. :o

My problem was that I was using the wrong parenting method… one that apparently isn’t used much any more. Every tutorial I’ve watched and every post I’ve come across in looking for a solution only ever talked about using methods that cause the bones to deform the skin. I wanted no deformity. I spotted the proper method being used without any explanation given while watching Humane Rigging. I decided to try it and it worked.

For anyone who might have the same problem, you can try using the second-last selection (Bone) in the Set Parent To menu that comes up when you hit Ctrl-P to parent your mesh to your armature. It’s also important to first delete any vertex groups that Blender might have created on its own during any previous attempts to parent them.

This thread can be marked as SOLVED.