Sharing Armature + Animations between different Meshes


Assume that I’m rigging some characters for a game. These characters look different (like, a male and a female character) but use the same armature structure and share animations (things like sitting down, standing up, sleeping, etc. come to mind).

How would I best go about sharing the Armature between my models?

My idea so far:

  • Pick one generic model to animate
  • All other models need to use an identical Armature with same bones, bone names and initial pose

But what if I later notice that, oops, I need another bone for an attachment point where the character carries his/her sword? Even though there are no vertex weights to assign, with my current knowledge, I’d have to open each and every .blend file and add the bone in exactly the same way, possibly dozens of times.

You “could” link the armatures – file menu -->> link from file –
then, make sure the modifications are done on the master file.

You could put all the characters in one file – layer one, the armature. Layer two->> character 1; layer 3->>character 2; layer 4->> character 3; etc…

then when you are setting up actions, do it with layer 1 and 2 active - then make seperate groups ie add the armature and character 1 to a group, add the armature and character 2 to another group, etc…

Or – if its a really minor thing like you described – it won’t influence the action - so you could just let it go.

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