NLA use, or abuse?

Hey guys.

I cobbled up a simple animation on my blog. It uses the NLA editor extensively,
and I’m not sure if it was the best way to go.

So I’ve released the project files for
people to critique, or re-use ( if they can find a way to re-use it ).
The actual NLA stuff can be found in the “anim” subfolder.

It can be found at wwwdotwatchmikedotca/some-animation-of-jim/ ( replace the
dot with .

Again, not a finished animation, more of a scene setup example.


From what I understand, the NLA is for use with repeated actions, like walk sequences, and things the character will want to do more than once. An animation that will be repeated is an action. One thing I plan to do soon (though I have umpteen unfinished projects right now) is explore mixing once-only type animation with action based animation.

Mixing actions are exactly what I’ve explored. I’m looking at discussing the specifics, like
should I use a repeating action if a character is walking over the hill, etc. The best way to blend off of a curve path, etc.

I’d like to link to the page where the project files are, but I’m not allowed anymore…

so here’s the address minus the dots :

I just clicked on your sig address and found it :slight_smile:
wow, that’s… interesting…
I especially noticed that pop of the head at 0:03 seconds :slight_smile:

that nla setup is indeed wierd - you must have played with it more than I have since it was harder for me to work with
looks like a whole bunch of groups n’ stuff

Yeah at best its interesting. I think i’ve gone too far with the NLA. It was
hard enough to animate that way, let alone make an attempt at quality.

I’m starting to think it would’ve been easier one just one or two action strips.

When I animate - and I am not some kind of pro animator, so I could be doing something really dumb - I usually animate characters with just one big strip for as long as possible. If I have to reset the root bone’s position (for constraining the character’s movement to something, like a vehicle or whatever) I’ll start a new strip. If I can help it, tho, I just do one action for each character all synchronized.

I sort of do stop-motion type animation. I animate every step and move, and let the NLA do more mechanical, repeating stuff and background fluff animations. I would do this whole scene in one action and without following a curve. It might take a little longer - especially if you’re learning animation - but the extra practice is really worth it and then you can play around a lot more with the character.

I think something that needs to be implemented is baking an NLA animation into a single action so that i can be fine tuned.

Hunter, that’s a really awesome idea.

I think something that needs to be implemented is baking an NLA animation into a single action so that i can be fine tuned.

Great idea. I wonder if its possible to script that. Because I’d like to take the anim I have now, and make small tweaks that are there. Currently its hard to make those tweaks, at least in an intuitive way.

I’m really digging what you said about stop-motion squiggly-p, and I’m only beginning to understand what you mean. Its better to keep things on one strip, and as simple as you can. NLA stuff is cool, but may not be the most intuitive way of working.