2020-12-17 Animation & Rigging Module Meeting

Present: Andrew M. Combs, Bassam Kurdali, Christof Lendenfeld, Demeter Dzadik, Den Den, Jan-Willem van Dronkelaar, Joseph Brandenburg, Juan Pablo Bouza, Luciano Muñoz, Stanislav Ovcharov, Sybren Stüvel, Wayde Moss.

The main goal of this meeting was a progress report on 2.92 targets. The meeting was open for everybody interested.


Since the Last Meeting / Announcements

  • Wayde Moss received a grant from Blender Foundation for three months.
  • Pose Library needs proper rewrite that integrates with / adds to the current Asset Browser design. It may be clearer to keep the Pose Thumbnails add-on as a separate add-on and not spend time on bundling with Blender, needs to be discussed
  • Sybren Stüvel documented the code review approach specific for this module.
  • 60746363875a: NLA: Action Strip defaults to Sync Length On
  • Sybren Stüvel added a dummy operator to show where the Show Group Colors option was moved to. T83390 reminds us that this needs to be removed for 2.93.
  • Blender 2.92 development cycle is 1 week shorter than usual, and moved to bcon2 yesterday.
  • Sybren Stüvel is now also working as Linux Platform Maintainer, so has less time for code reviews.

Short-term goals

From last meeting

  • Luciano Muñoz created design task T83068: Motion Paths: Refresh all.
  • Still to be turned into a task: Split X-Mirror option between Mesh Edit and Weight Painting modes, so that each can be enabled/disabled individually.

New short-term goals

Help Needed


Weight Painting

Jan-Willem is going to make a list of annoyances/paper cuts of weight painting.

This led to a discussion about the pros and cons of Auto Normalisation in weight painting. Bassam suggested to have folders/categories of vertex groups, with different Weight paint settings per group (like auto-normalize on/off). This would make it easier to work with weight groups for different purposes (bones, shape keys, particle system, etc.).

Juan Pablo asked how people enter weight paint mode. Demeter has a nice add-on Easy Weight that helps with this, which automatically brings the armature to pose mode and un-hides it if necessary.

Splitting X-Mirror option between Mesh Edit and Weight Painting modes: should be discussed with other modules as well, as this also relates to recent changes made by the Painting & Sculpting module (5502517c3c12: Unify all XYZ symmetry options using Mesh Symmetry). It was agreed that the current Symmetry UI is unclear. Jan-Willem suggested to first investigate what the current behaviour is, and clarify this in the UI and the manual, and to proceed to look at improvements specifically for weight painting afterwards.

Bassam suggested that places in Blender where certain bone names/prefixes/suffixes are relevant should be documented, and possibly made extensible.

Animating Visibility & Channel Pinning

Luciano: animating visibility of objects is horrible when using “Selected Only”, because the object is deselected immediately when it goes invisible (since Blender 2.80).

Suggested solution: make “Show Hidden=ON” add invisible objects to whatever animation channels are shown. This is in contrast to the current logic, where “Show Hidden=OFF” removes invisible objects from the shown animation channels.

  • Maybe just handle “animated visibility” as “visible”.
  • This also impacts selection: when scrubbing through time an object will become deselected when you scrub through a frame where it becomes invisible.

Bassam had another solution: do this with channel pinning. This currently doesn’t work with invisiblbe objects, though, as then pinned channels are hidden regardless.

Bassam will start a design task for this. This is also related to T68962: Graph Editor: Link Visible and Selected states and T83479: Inconsitency in channel pinning mechanic (animation/drivers).

Other Actions

  • Luciano will create a design task to make the keyframing menu (auto-keying options, etc.) more sane. There are combinations that make Blender practically unusable (visual keying + only-needed), for which it would be nice if a warning is shown.
  • Luciano will create a design task for a “Select All Bones” that only selects the bones of the current armature, when multiple armatures in pose mode simultaneously.
  • Bassam suggested creating a design task for animating visibility, as this goes beyond the scope of this module. Joseph added that a unique feature of Blender is that visibility is not inherited; this makes animating visibility of hierarchies hard.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Thursday 7 January, 16:00 CET/Amsterdam time. Again it will be open for everybody who’s interested. The provisionary meeting agenda will be linked in the #animation-module channel before the meeting.


I have listed the issues with mirroring/symmetry in the Weak Areas wiki page. Maybe at some point they can be looked into and solved as one big issue.