Parenting objects and armatures and "keep offset"

I’m attempting to follow a tutorial, and I’m unable to get beyond a certain step. I’m creating a series of armatures to make a ball deform. Eventually I reach a step where I’m supposed to begin parenting different parts of the armature. I’ve stepped through it multiple times, and none of my results look anything like the tutorial. They tell me to select two different parts, and select Ctrl-P to make one parent, and then “keep offset.” I don’t get that option. The objects do not appear to be parrented at all, as they don’t move with each other. I have done this in object mode, and in edit mode. (They did it in edit mode during the tutorial.) I actually get a variety of different menus, none of which include keep offsets. (I’d like to know what the “keep offset” option means.) I’m sure I missed something that he did during the tutorial, but I can’t isolate it even on multiple viewings. In addition to just wanting to make it through this tutorial, I’d really like to understand whatever obscure part of parenting it is that I’m missing. There are a bewildering number of options that change if you hold your mouth incorrectly. I’ve attempted to look them up in the manual, but it rarely clears up anything. Any help would be appreciated.

I keep trying to edit this to make it format in paragraphs and for some reason its removing them. I also can’t use html to fix this. I don’t remember having this problem here in the past.

You might be doing Nathan Vegdahl’s Humane rigging DVD tutorial set. This is probably the best one out there but the learning curve on it is very very steep. IMO it’s not a beginner series. You might want to start with something a good bit simpler, like the CGcookie introduction to rigging tuts. (I know, whenever someone says the curve on something is steep, it’s just a challenge to force yourself to get through it, right? I guess that’s just human.)

Anyway, to try to answer your questions:

Ctrl-P parenting can be object to object (object mode), object to armature (object mode) object to bone (pose mode) bone to bone (edit mode).

In object mode you have the option of parent or parent (keep transform), which means that if your child object already has an inherited transform from a parent you can choose to keep that transform when parenting to another object.

In armature edit mode you have the option of parenting a bone to another bone with connected, which makes them share an end between them; or with keep offset which does not combine those two ends. However, you must understand that edit mode for bones is only for establishing chains and transforms for each bone, but changes in location rotation and scale made in edit mode ARE NOT inherited by the child bones. For that to happen, the change has to be made in POSE mode. However changes made to bones in edit mode that are parents to a mesh ARE reflected in that mesh after leaving edit mode. Just the way it is.

So in effect there are two levels of edit mode for an armature, POSE and a deeper EDIT.

It might have almost made more sense to select a bone in POSE mode and go into edit mode for that bone only but that would be very tedious and the current method is very fast and only a little confusing at first.

THanks for your response. That answered my question very well. Unfortunately my brain has turned to jello at this point. I will come back tomorrow and see if I can sift through it all. I’ve already watched the entire tutorial you mentioned and it was pretty useless to me. Apparently 2.60 introduced a new bug which caused them to change methods…

I find rigging to be a nightmare. If anyone would recommend a better tutorial for learning about rigging and parenting I would appreciate it. I’ve watched a half dozen tutorials from CG Cookie now that are specifically about rigging, and I’m quite lost. I literally can’t finish them. My results do not match theirs.

3D CG is a complicated business! Just because Blender can do it all doesn’t really mean any one artist should try to be an expert in every aspect of it immediately! Rigging and skinning are both dependent on very good geometry so I would suggest that you do a little rigging and skinning and then see how that affects your ideas and habits about modeling, topology and texturing.

I have done lots of modeling, and texturing. I’ve modeled buildings, people using the skin modifier, and occasionally pretty high poly topology. I’ve done texturing at first without much difficulty, and then with a lot of difficulty when I tried to figure out how it was done in cycles.

The rigging is the newest part of it. I have been attempting to learn rigging for the last week by following the tutorials. I went back to the humane rigging after failing the last tutorial and am now failing at that one.

Saying that this is “a little complicated” is lying. The tutorials are awful and use too many steps. I suspect I’m going to be called an idiot because I said that, but the truth is that Blender’s process isn’t easy to pick up. I’m willing to be called an idiot, if by saying this I can cause one advanced user to NOT make the new guys feel like a jerk for asking about it. I have used 3ds Max, and I wish I still could.

There is a natural tendency among experienced users to view the initial learning process as simpler than it really is, because they don’t want to have to learn something new. Generally speaking, they would rather make the product learning curve totally impossible for new users, rather than deal with even a slight change. I’m gugessing that’s what I’m looking at here.

I’ve been working on this all week, and I’m still having trouble moving a stinking ball across the damn map. Sooner or later I’m going to figure out whatever it is the tutorial didn’t state, or stated unclearly. It will no doubt, be something stupid that if I had known, would have saved me days. Despite that, I rarely come back here, because until I’ve burrowed into the material far enough to know which step I’m doing wrong, I won’t be able to ask the right question. And if I ask the wrong question, I will probably be told I’m an idiot.

That’s fine. I’m going to beat my head against this wall until the wall falls down. And believe me, the wall is going to break before my head does. So all that’s fine. But please take one thing away from this post.

For a new user, It’s complicated. Even for people who have used other animation software, it’s complicated. This is not an intuitive learning process. I have used other software, and oh god… I so wish I could again.

Blender is really impressive because it gives you so many things you can do, but I think the price you pay for this massive amount of options is that learning how to use it can just be awful.

If anyone reading this doesn’t want people to change it because you don’t want to have to learn anything new fine. But please don’t say its “a little complicated.”

Some day I will get through this, and I’ll do a tutorial that actually steps through the process the way something like this should be stepped through. For now I have to end yet another days work knowing that I have once again failed to understand how to move my bouncing ball. I started a week ago.

I’m necromancing this thread because it’s really helpful to me, even 5 years later with Blender 2.8. Not just because of the valuable information on parenting and Edit vs. Pose mode, but also because martian_expat has given voice to how I’ve been feeling about rigging for the last few days. Just about ready to throw my PC across the room. :slight_smile: