What is the difference between visual and other keys?

Same idea as my previous post.
What is the difference between the keys visual loc, visual rot, visual scale etc. and their non-visual counterparts? If someone would like to offer an explanation or link to a description of all key types that would great too and I will rename the thread appropriately.

Thanks in advance,

That’s actually a good question.

Here and in various other places a phrase like …always be sure to use the option VisualLoc from the Insert Key menu. is used when dealing with constraints&keyframing.

My guess - correct me of I’m wrong - is that when the “visual” option is chosen the actual value (e.g. visible in the lower left corner of the screen and the transform popup - which can differ extremely from the real 3D situation) is ignored. Instead the exact location/rotation/scale that is actually display-able according to the constraint is used.

I’ve search a bit and there is definitely documentation lacking here (or very hard to find).


Thank you so much! I found something similar to your explanation but was unable to prove it with blender but this one worked like a charm. Here are the results so that you may be more sure:

I put a cube and a plane in a scene. The cube has a floor constraint targeting the plane. I loc key the cube, move it down (with no visible effect because of the plane) and key it with a loc at frame 11. When I delete/move the plane the cube does a different animation (moves down to it’s target position if the plane is out of the way)

I do the same thing but instead using visualloc. When the plane is gone the cube just sits still during the animation because that was it’s visual position.

However, when using loc or visualloc neither one betrays the constraint, so if you move the plane up the box will never go below so the constraint stays true.

In IK-Chains the normal Loc/Rot positions of bones is an interpolated value relative to the target and other bones in the chain. With Visual Loc/Rot the local bonespace is keyed.