The Good Ol Stride Bone

I’m a total ding dong. I just started trying different things mentioned above and I
may have come across the fix. But…unfortunately I may also need to start over
on all the animations I did previously. But it’s ok.

I first when in and cleared the rotation on the armature in edit mode,
then while still in edit more, rotated it and tried to line it up again with the mesh.
Then pressed Ctrl+N to recalculate armature bones (or whatever that does),
then noticed the mesh had an armature modifier that was still waiting to be applied,
so I clicked Apply.
Then I, for the heck of it, tried parenting the mesh to the armature and and
from the pop up, selected Armature, and then Don’t Create Groups.

Since everything was all re-arranged the actioned looked pretty messed up when
I played then. But just for experimental purposes, I finally parents the Armature
to the Curve Path and adjusted the settings in the NLA window. Sure enough,
the mesh followed along with the armatures. They still looked screwed up, but
I’m pretty sure this time it had nothing to do with parenting to the path, but rather
the re-arrangements of the armature from earlier.

So, there is a lot of work to be done to get back to where I was. Hopefully I
don’t go through the troubles and then accidentally forget a different setting that
makes me start over once again.

So, I have nothing to show right now, but hopefully in the near future I will be able
to share something cool for you all to watch.

Thanks everyone for all of your tips and advice. You’ve helped put me back on
the right path. I owe you.


Now I have one more question related to curve paths.
I noticed as I setup the curve path and got it working, that as the entire sequence of
actions plays out on the NLA timeline, the entire things also moves along the path
as a whole. That’s not what I was hoping to make happen. it’s like the path is
globally controlling all the animations as one piece (if that makes any sense).
Is there any way I can have a different curve path for each individual Action?

for example: I have one action of the guy running in place so I need it to follow a
curve path so he’s running/moving along the path. But then he jumps. And I switch
to an action of him tucked into a ball and spinning (flip) in place. I want another
curve path to control the movement of the tuck/flip action to send him through the air
like someone would if they did a tripple flip, and then land and go back to running along
a strait curve path again.

Is there any way to do this? I have not yet looked for tutorials on advanced animation
with Blender, but I will. If anyone knows off the top of their head, I would appreciate
your help very much.

Here is an old render of some early plans on this project. The character animation
tutorial…character (from the wiki site) vs my original robo character. Soon.

Finally found a solution for all my animation control
problems and it’s all thanks to Poser.

Edit (explanation):

Every tutorial I’ve learned from about rigging characters
in Blender tells me I need to have a “Master” bone in
the armature which works as a “Master” parent to all the
other bones. And there is also the “Stride Bone” which
can be animated in a way Blender interprets as moving
ground so that it knows how fast/where to move the
other bones.

Well, those are cool and all, but the thing is, they’re a
pain in the but to set up and I’ve still never been
successful with them. The last time, I spent a ton
of time making all these actions (jumps, attacks, flips, etc…)
and then started blending them together in the NLA
editor (Non Linear Animation). At this point the character
is still standing in place. Then you’re supposed to set up
so either the stride bone makes the character walk forward
or you can have curves guide that same object.
(I’m sure there’s other ways I don’t know of).

Well, I made some tiny, unknown (still to this day)
little mistake somewhere that caused my
character to look like it was exploding and turning into
and octopus. —> Check it out: [link]

So, in my frustration I was saying screw Blender for the
moment and just learning how Poser works. One of the
things I paid attention to this time around was the
invisible sphere that encompasses every figure in Poser
called the “Body”. I thought this was the same as
the “Master” bone in Blender but I was way wrong.

That’s where it hit me. I rushed back into Blender and
created a crappy simple lo poly invisible circly thing
and made it the parent of the entire armature.

BLAMMM! That’s all it took. It’s almost embarrassing
how easy it was to create and how my problems from
the past…I don’t know…year, (or two) are solved.

Note: those years were spent learning other parts of
Blender like lighting, rigging, modeling techniques,
and lots of other software. So don’t laugh.

This circle dong thing I made allows me to totally bypass
everything that has fails me in Blender and allow
extremely quick and easy…dare I say TOTAL control
over my characters all the while still being able to
blend all those actions together. This is similar to
how Poser works…which still has some advantage
over Blender (the universal rig setup). I am so
happy though. I know Blender is ultra powerful in
this area and has even been compared to Maya in
this respect. But I can’t say from experience how

So you see. Now that I have a solid method THAT
WORKS for animation in Blender, I can finally focus
more on what I love to do. And I no longer have
to spend all that time modeling and rigging, just
wondering if it’s all in vane.

Now, time to make some movies dang it.

That’s not what I was hoping to make happen. it’s like the path is
globally controlling all the animations as one piece (if that makes any sense).
Is there any way I can have a different curve path for each individual Action?

Actually, there’s a more recent technique that does what you want. You can add
a motion deformer from within the NLA editor. Its in the Mancandy FAQ. I don’t have quite enough time ATM to look for it, but look up Mancandy FAQ NLA or something like that. If its not uploaded anywhere, I can try uploading it to vimeo.

The circle technique your using is good too, but it has its pitfalls as well. If you decide
to change the timing of the walk, or stride distance, you’ll have to change the speed of the circle. This can get tedious.

Thanks for the tips. I will look it up. The circle was a last ditch effort because
nothing else was working the way I thought it should. Of course it’s because of
my lack of knowledge. But I’ve spent so much time reading tutorials and books
on Blender for the past 4 years (ish) and am still having a lot of problems just
doing what I want to do with animation. At this point I was just like “screw it,
screw tutorials and screw the books with inaccurate instructions”

I’m going to use the Poser “body” method for now. But I do want to understand
the better ways.

I’ve been tempted to up and use the commercial software, but I have loyalty
issues with Blender. I want to have a part in doing something awesome with
it. I have Blender to thank for me having any 3D experience at all.

Ghost_Train - I had the same problem as you (For example: Spin, Spin Dup, and Screw do nothing when I click the, except give me a “wrong window”
message. )
and I’ve found that if I close all the views except for one, Spin, Spin Dup, and Screw all work after all.

Don’t remember if I mentioned it here, but I realized after clicking the Spin or Spin Dup
button, I click the 3D View space and it suddenly goes into effect. The Screw
feature on the other hand is a little more complex. I know it’s simple, but not
simple enough to keep me from forgetting how it works.