Strategy for creating an action library

Hi folks,

I’m having one big NLA problem: my actions keep disappearing, and I’m not sure how or even when it’s happening.

First to go were some arm swings that weren’t worth saving. Then I lost an armature-based eyeblink. The last straw was the disappearance of a walkcycle I’d worked on for quite a while.

I want to create a single repository for my character actions, so they can be imported and attached in other scene files (and to other charactes when appropriate, since I’m going to keep the naming of my bones and weight groups consistent for humans).

So now, my thought is to put a copy of a character w/skeleton in a separate file, and do the following:

  • Begin with an all-rotations cleared keyframe.
  • Name and keyframe an action.
  • Add another rotation-free keyframe.
  • Name and keyframe another action, and repeat the process forward through the timeline, making sure that no two actions overlap, and that all of them are separated with a frame to reset the armature to its base position.

Rather than creat NLA strips in this repository, it will be strictly keyframes. A second blend file will contain the character I’m animating, along with whatever props are needed for scaling and navigation purposes. I’ll the append finished actions to the character in this file, set up the NLA timeline here, and then tweak with additional keys as needed. The third file will be the set where the final render will take place. The character with its NLA setup will be appended here from the second file.

I’m mainly asking for feedback on this as a strategy. If there are better ways of doing it, or if I’m still going to lose data somehow, I’d like to find out sooner than later.

-Daniel Huddleston

which version of blender are you using? This happened in the earlier versions but they fixed in the later versions, get 2.25 if it still happens then… who knows?

I’m using 2.25. It’s probably some little mistake that’s making me lose actions, but I want to set up a foolproof way of doing things so it doesn’t happen again.

-Daniel Huddleston