NLA, Pose Modes, the Action Window

I know this is pretty basic but I’m a little confused because of lack of available documentaion. I understand creating armatures and contraints and stuff. But I’m getting confused on the following, if someone could just breifly specify.

  1. NLA - (ability to animate not on the time line, (I think?))

  2. Pose Mode - what and when to use?

  3. Action Window - what and when? (what exactly is bake for - creating ‘packaged’ poses?)

Thanks for any info.

I Agree, I am a publisher owner too!
I still cannot make heads or tails of this NLA system.

If anyone has any tutorials about the NLA stuff , please post


The NLA (Non Linear Animation) System is a very powerful addition to Blender. Non Linear refers to the ability to blend animations. Rather than just a “do this , do that next , then do that” approach, you can say, Fade this in while at the same time fade that in and fade that other action out. This is accomplished by stacking actions vertically in the editor like you would in the sequence editor and using the blendin and Blendout features. There is still a linear component to the NLA.

If you have 225, take a look at the demos. (I hope you have the demos.\

Try this,

  1. Build a simple armature of 2 bones. This will be your reference armature. Name it accordingly.

  2. Enter pose mode (Ctrl-tab) and select both bones and insert a rot key.
    This will be a starting rest position. In the actions window Name it something like “rest”

  3. Now add a new action in the actions window. Name it “Bend” or whatever. Advance to frame 31, rotate a bone in pose mode and insert Rot.

  4. Now re-select your rest pose from the actions menu and then Add another action. (your rest pose will carry over to the new action.

Name this one “Bend 2” and this time rotate the second bone at frame 31 and key the Rot.

  1. You now have a reference armature with three separate actions, one being the rest action.

  2. Select your rest action again and duplicate (Shift-D) your armature in Object mode (Light Pink)

  3. Open the NLA, You will see both armatures listed. Put your cursor over the name of the new armature in the NLA window and (Alt-C) Convert to NLA Strip

  4. Now Add 2 action strips using the (Shift A) while cursor is over the Armature name.

You should see two new action strips.

  1. Use the G Key to grab the action strips and move them arround. Play with this and see what happens . You can also easily scale the action strip. It scales relative to the current timeline position.

  2. You select a strip by right clicking it. Do so and it turns yellow, now hit the n key to access the blendin blendout and other functions.

I hope this get’s you started.


By the way, Bake is for the Game engine.

hmm,how to open the nla?
is it only available in the publisher?

The NLA was a new feature in Publisher 225. Other new features included Local axis rotation control, separate subsurface settings for modeling and rendering and variable influence control for armature constraints. There are several more. Hopefully NaN will find a way to make Publisher available again.

oh, what a pitty… :frowning:

well,even they sell it again,i wouldnt be able to buy it…
but for some other people and for the company it would be great!

afaik, the nla, rotation, boolean and armature features are more connected to the 2.25 than the publisher part of the name; In other words, unlike some publisher specific features (that I never touched so I don’t know enough about to comment) they would make it into the creator 2.25 release when it came out. I don’t know if NaN intends to continue that in the future or what they will do. 'twould be a darn shame to just drop these new features cuz they are simply great and many people (I know I do) depend on them now.

I wish I could try out the Publisher,
just for the sake of NLA feature…

but we have to wait and see what happens
to Blender/NaN until then…