The New Animation System 2020 : Character animation system

A while back Ton said that the animation system is too old and that it’s time to replace it, of course as an animator ‘with maya background’ I totally agree with that.
I will talk about character rigging in blender so here is my take:
When I first started learning blender I got confused with the Armature object that have edit mode, pose mode and object mode, in other software you have bones that get grouped and linked with contstraints and a bit of scripting for more cotrole to make a skeleton you use curves as controller and assing new properties to them and there you got your rig.
In blender it’s a completely different and complex story you have a skeleton that’s bound to another set of bones assigned to them curves in a weird way to become the rig’s controllers.
In my opinion the armature system looks more as an obstacle and blender should use bones like other softwares do, it’s cleaner less confusing and reduces a lot of work, or even better than that:

There is talk about how the new animation system should be, here look at this thread by Algorith

I am not an expert in blender I just started a year ago so other should have more insight about the subject I would appreciate to hear their take on the subject should they correct my ignorance I would be grateful :slight_smile:


Rigging is something complex whatever 3d software is used.

Seriously, when you know how to do mesh modeling in Blender ; it is a joy to be able to re-use same tools that you already learned in order to build armatures in edit mode. To work with an armature object easily selectable in outliner that will group all bones and rigging properties of your character.
It is not because there are some problems that you need to through the whole system to trashcan.
Blender way have serious advantages and was during years less sensible to crashes.

IMO, the problem is often that blender users are making overcomplicated rigs adding bones that animators don’t need, because it is what they learned in outdated tutorials.
There is an autoIK mode in pose mode. You are not necessarily forced to put IK constraints everywhere.
And recent new bendy bones are seriously reducing problems, we had with curves.
We are lacking motion paths tools and several ideas developed into aligorith’s article.
Constraint system will be more easy to set-up as nodes. That is planned.

But blender modes of armatures objects are not the problem.
With multi-editing in 2.8 and ability to edit several armatures under the same mode, issues that you could have encounter because of that may completely disappear in future releases.


Yeah agree I like the blender rigging and animation system and with the blender 2.8 it’s getting better
Nla editor anyone?


what is great about armature as they are in blender is that it’s really simple to reuse animation, each armature have an action with all the Fcurves of all the bones.
Is the issue you have is that current system isn’t standard , thus hard to understand when you come from another software, or you find it ineficient , then why ?

hello , I also think blender`s animation system should be better.
He’s too powerful,Everything else about him is awesome. The animation system has become a drag.

I usually do character binding and character animation myself, but it takes me several times as much work to do it in blender (although it’s very quick with plugins).

It is often necessary to constantly switch the skeleton mode to adjust the Settings.

Especially visual controller shapes…

Blender has a very high binding threshold.

The above content is expressed through translation software.

U can try this addon here:


It is a Joy. I´ve dropped Softimage over Blender. That says a lot -FOR MODELING-

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Yes, for animation right?

i asked Ton when he came to Pablo’s stream as a guest and he gave us an insight to what in his mind for the project,what he pointed in a way that it will be node based like many parts of blender in the future with everything nodes project and hopefully after this year’s siggraph , studios will be interested to help out shape this system.

here’s the video with marked answer.


The Disney Research team presented their project focused on the control of interpolations in animation with positional constraints over time as a space-time optimization problem in the tangent space of the curves driving the animation controls.


Ahhh! Thank you!! Someone gets it.

This system is REALLY cool. Hope Blender is able to incorporate a similar system (starting with finally having editable motion trails).

Would be awesome to also have some semblance of this wizardry:

And this:

Yup, probably just dreaming here, but any and all effort to mitigate the tediousness of posing, managing keyframes and fighting interpolations, and instead becomes more about creatively directing the character’s acting would be fantastic.


Another Cascadeur demo:

Something like this would be great for more easily creating a realistic pose.
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This is one of the best animation system i have ever used easy and fast would urge the 2020 developers to check it out


We have that already…it’s called mocap… :wink:

I just tested it last week as I thought it was the answer to my new UE4 pipeline. Unfortunately, I found the skinning/weighting and navigation/hotkeys to be a complete nightmare.

There are options to customise hotkeys, but not the weighting/navigation hotkeys.

Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance but I was really disappointed in the skinning system as the animation system looks so fantastic.

:point_up:t2::point_up:t2::point_up:t2::point_up:t2: This right here. Although, I’m probably making 3D animation harder than it should be coming from 2D, but still…
I’d love to see the sequences in my head come to life a little quicker than what it takes now. :grimacing:

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The skinning slash nav i agree takes a little time to get use to, but I just love the simplicity of the animation features in aqkeytsu, it takes away the technical proppellor head aspect so you feel more creative.

I would also love too sse a real time 3d editable motion tangent…there is one already in 2.8 but you have to press update every time you want too see it.

freeik also looks amazing would be cool if BF workout something with the developer to get his addon implemented as a core feature in Blender as opposed too a addon

Yes, this is why I wanted to get into it. The official learning resources for skinning/weighting are so tiresome, robotic, and show zero enthusiasm. I would much prefer a passionate process overview by one of the devs.

You’re dead right there. FreeIK actually seemed to me the closest thing to an Ikeytsu animation workflow.

A lot of engineers/ proggrammers are happy with complicated…Steve Jobs and his team had the right idea regarding UI interfaces i think the guy who developed freeik is on the right track…

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