Noob question about animation process and set-up

hi all,

im new to blender (2.8) so please bear with me.

when Key-ing animation i got away with going into pose mode and select controls- insert keys from there. Recently i need to make more complicate animations where multiple external objects need to be positioned and keyed together. some weapons for example that doesnt belong to the character rig object.

Im sure professional animators have better ways of doing this,
ive seen controllers exist outside of the rig, is this just a rig setup thing?
i use Rigify so please enlighten me if it is. being able to select controls as individual objects would help a lot. (although i do find having separated edit mode and being able to go back to edit any time is really cool)

also how do we make drivers with external objects? (cos we do this a lot in maya)
for example have a circle or empty (outside of rig) that contains bars which you can drag
to change say character shape key or deform values inside the rig?

thank you again for reading,

Drivers in blender 2.8:

very nice i shouldve goggled myself. sorry about that.

however my question remains, (cos the bone is still part of rig)
are all the controllers located within pose mode always?

what do people do when they need to animate moving or interacting with external objects (outside of rig)?
say grab door handle to open it or wield / change a weapon?


There are few workarounds for “interacting” with objects. If it’s weapon you can create few bones inside your rig for weapon and arms positions, then you can add copy transform constraint to your IK-hands set target to new created bones (located at weapon grip). You can animate influence of constraint so your hands will “snap” to those bones. You can parent these bones to weapon bone and then you can animate weapon bone - IK-hands will follow weapon. Setting influence to zero will return IK-hands to their initial position.
For objects like doors you can use empty parented to door grip and then use similar aproach using copy transfom constraints.

I recommend you to watch DanPro tutorials. they are really comprehencive and usefull. There lot of them. :slightly_smiling_face:

hey CYNIC78 thanks for the constant reply, really appreciate it.
been looking into it, really helpful info.

i was mainly wondering about the structure of how things work in Blender,
the logic behind is similar in maya, which has been my career.

in case some other people are interested, (as new users of Blender shall increase)

Blender’s rig components are “encased” as a whole object,
edited in “edit mode” and animated in “pose mode”,
the controls and bones are treated as sub-objects and should use “Bone constrains” tab
to be binded to outside (world) objects when needed.

as for bone constrains, “copy transforms” are good if you dont need extra movement
of the ik hands. ie. they are “locked” onto the target object when active.
for animating living characters i find “child of” constrain a better solution,
this acts more like a “parent” constrain that carries the ik hands as they go,
while the ik hands have the freedom to move around a little bit,

say when you hold onto something stationary or heavy, your hand can still jiggle a bit,
its extra work to key but makes the animation that much better. as all things are.

cheers and happy animating :smiley:


Yeah child of constraint is good option too. Copy transform constraint is good when you need your bone to be placed and oriented exactly as target bone without micro tune, also it will give you free interpolation when you animate influence bone will move from current position to target position by itself no need to move it, and if you need some movements while constrained with copy transfom you can animate target bones\empties. Good luck and happy blending!

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