path animation versus manual animation

i just cant get path animation to work on armatures for me so i decided to do it manually. I would just like to get some input on what u think about


I’ve given up on using paths for animation. I’d love to use them - it would be so helpful to see the track - but I find it too hard to synchronise paths with other events which must use IPOs. Changing the length of a path seems to be a complete nightmare.


Paths are a pain in the arse.

i just move the character around the scene and insert keyframes.

For animating armatures, go into Pose mode and save that pose transformation as an action. Then use that action in the NLA editor whenever you want that armature to do that action. That said, armatures are not animated along a path; objects are.

To make the whole skeleton move, select it as an object, parent it to a path object, and it will move along that path. See doco for more info.

Changing the length of a path seems to be a complete nightmare.

Nurbs and bezier curves don’t automatically have a speed ipo when you create them, therefore the pathlen button works as you expect (unless you manually add a speed ipo).

“Path” type curves have a speed ipo curve automatically when you create them. The speed ipo curve takes precedence over the value in the pathlen button. Note that you can delete the speed ipo and then the pathlen button works.

Without a speed curve the animation has a constant speed with no ease in or ease out. The little marks on 3d curves of any type have no relation to the length of curve but does help visualize tilt angle. Extruding a path also does not change the pathlen (it will still take the same number of frames to travel its whole length – the pathlen value is in frames).

Everything works very logically. If you need more details look at my paths and dupliframes tutorial at:


In my Blender 2.34 version, I can’t input numbers into the edit box at each speed point because the bottom window takes the mouse focus. Thus I have to resort to hand placing these verts and it’s imprecise this way.

JD, Make sure the cursor is in the same window as the edit box. To manually enter the values in the edit box shift and left click on the number you wish to change. If you just left click (no shift) and hold you change the value by dragging the cursor left and right. I pretty certain that this isn’t a bug because it is so commonly used that surely others would have noticed as well.


I tried everything, the mouse focus just goes straight thru the edit window and selects the closest point on the graph when it does that. This is the only edit window that does that so far and it’s strange that folks haven’t seen it. Maybe they have and moved onto 2.35 :slight_smile:

Edit: Ok, I just recheked to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me and not only is the focus screwed up but the whole edit box is as well. It will allow me to enter a number but after pressing enter key the edit fields disappear and no change is seen in the vertex movement. I’m in vertex or point editing mode ofcourse of the speed ipo curve. Really unusable at the moment.

The only annoying thing about paths is that, when you change the path-length from its default value of (I think…) 100, the speed of the object does not change! The object still completes the motion in the same amount of time.

Why? Well… “an IPO, of course.” There’s an IPO which specifies the object’s progress along the path, and if you switch to it, it’s 100 units long. Path length change; IPO length don’t. So, once you have determined how long the object should take to run the path, manually edit the IPO’s endpoint to the appropriate position. Q.E.D.

Ummm, you need to be in ‘edit mode’ to change the numbers on any given point. Hit the tab key to do so, select the point to be edited and then the N key. At least it works for me on a Speed Curve when in my Mac OS X version of 2.34.
Sorry if you’ve already tried this and failed.