Noob question about connecting bones

Got a little problem with connecting bones.
I have a very simple character model:

and if I rotate his body, I want the ears to follow, but this is what happens

The ears stay where they were.
How do I connect those bones to make ears follow the body?

I tried ctrl+p, but it only lets me “Set parent to” with options, and when I select one of them it does nothing.


If you want the ears to be child of the head then just select the two ears bones then the head bone in edit mode and press ctrl+p and chose keep offset. You can also see the parent of a bone by selecting it and in the bone tab there is a field called “Parent:” this is the name of this bone’s parent. I am totally newbee to Blender. The only 3D software I use for years is Strata:o

I have a found lot of pdf or video tutorials but that is not always obvious to find the right things in the right place. Especially because most of them are done with the old interface of Blender (I dont complain, I like it).

My favorite challenge for the moment is Rigging ! Hmm For example, it said that with too bones I can set them as parents. I select both bones then press ctrl “P”, but in the local menu I don’t see any “connected” or “Keep offset” option (please see image below)
If I choose “Bone” or “Object”, the two bones becomes parents anyway, but only in “keep offset” mode (altough it is mentionned nowhere in a panel).

As you can see in the image below, I can’t set them as “connected” later. Because the “connected” checkbox is grayed. I have tried in all working modes.

Another thing that amazes me is that the relation between the parent and the child is not “writen” in the panel. And what’s more : the bone that I named “Papa” can only select itself as parent. Idem for the “son”.

Thank you for your help.

Boumy : usually when you work on a rig, you create only one armature and then in it, you create several bones.
I can see that you created two different armatures each one containing one bone.

If you want to learn more about armatures, you can create an armature : shift+A, armature, single bone in order to get an armature containing one bone.
After doing that you are in object mode so press tab to pass in edit mode.
Now you can add new bones in your armature, you can chose one of these two ways :

  • select an already present bone, press E, move your mouse and clic. The new bone will be automatically child of the selected one.

  • clic LMB where you want to create a new bone in order to place the 3D cursor at this place, press shift+A.
    The new bone won’t be child of any other bone.

Now if you have two bones in one armature without any parent relation and you want one of both to be child of the second :
You need to be in edit mode, select the child then select the parent and press ctrl+P, then you have two choices :

  • connected will move the child at the tip of the parent.

  • keep offset won’t move any bone

these two options will make the first bone child of the second.

You can see if a bone is child of another bone by selecting it in edit mode or in pose mode then by going in the “bone” tab, there is a field called “Parent”, if it’s empty, the selected bone has no parent, if an name is written in it, it is its parent.

Finally the child/parent relations are only effective in pose mode. If you select a parent bone in edit bone and move it, nothing new will happen.

Thank you Sliv for that very detailled explanation. You are right there are two armatures.
I didn’t mean it, I simply followed a tutorial that used the shift “D” combination to duplicate a bone. Now I understand this duplicates the armature too.
For my following “exercise” I succeeded in making an armature for a kind of dinosaur. Parents are are now correctly set.
My next step will be to set the skinning. I have begun with paint weight that seems powerful but needs obviously some pratice.
The annoying aspect of that tool is that when you paint, say one leg, you risk to paint also another part of the mesh that is far from that leg but that is “close” in a perspective point of vue. So this paint tool is not “smart”. Maybe this will be fixed in a next release of Blender.

Using shift+D to duplicate a bone is not a problem but before doing that you need to be in edit mode, not in object mode or else as you said, this will duplicate the complete armature.

About skinning, if you want more accuracy in weight paint mode, you can press Z, this will display the wireframe on your mesh.

Also you can assign a value to some vertices for skinning without using the weight painting. In edit mode select some vertices, go to the object data tab, in the vertex groups panel select a group, choose a weight value and click “assign” to assign this weight value to these vertices in this vertex group.
This way you cannot add some weight to a part of the mesh without meaning to.

wow ! those modes :eyebrowlift2: ! Ok I get it now.

Thank you for the advices about :

…Z. this will display the wireframe on your mesh.
and :

…in the vertex groups panel select a group, choose a weight value and click “assign”.
I’ll try this. Indeed assigned vertices will probably be my next thing to learn. Shouldn’t I learn more about retopology if I want to anime my character ? I have seen this : (sorry this becomes to be out of topic)

Yes I think understanding the modes is important in Blender.

I don’t really use retopology, I prefer creating the good edge loops directly during the modeling but everyone develops his own working way.

My mesh comes from Sculptris… :slight_smile: