2023-11-23 Animation & Rigging module meeting

The meeting will be on 2023-11-23T17:00:00Z. It is open for everybody interested to join on Google Meet (link below).

People present are referred to by first name for brevity. Others are referred to by full name.

Present: Bassam Kurdali, Christoph Lendenfeld, Demeter Dzadik, Eduardo Rubio,
Felipe G, Ivan Cappiello, Jeremy Bot, Luciano Muñoz, Marion Stalke, MohammadHossein Jamshidi, Nathan Vegdahl, Paolo Acampora


Since the Last Meeting / Announcements

  • Julien Duroure would like feedback on a list of issues/desires regarding glTF I/O, some of which are related to animation/rigging: glTF I/O feedback on bpy and technical open points
    • Nathan: I already gave some feedback, but more eyes on it would be good if people have the time.


Short-term goals / Ongoing Work

  • Nathan is working on hierarchical bone collections for Blender 4.1.
  • Nate Rupsis is working on NLA cleanups and improvements.
  • Christoph is working on improving Blender’s key framing workflows.
    • Next step: auto key framing improvements.

Patch Review & Decision Time

  • Paolo suggests adding a pop-up search bar for finding bones. “Similar to the F3 search bar, but it lists bones rather than operators. In theory, this should list objects in object mode and bones in edit/pose mode.”
    • Paolo: actually, originally from a conversation with Demeter. Question is where to put it?
    • Luciano: what about in the shift-G select grouped menu?
    • Demeter: in CloudRig I’ve put it in a selection pie menu.
    • Demeter: probably makes sense to put in the select menu. But a pop-up operator would also be nice.
    • Nathan: I like the way searching when adding nodes works, where you hit shift-A and can just immediately start typing to search. So a quick hotkey to start the bone search like that would be nice.
    • Paolo: what about unselectable bones? Maybe leave them out of the search.
    • Demeter: for rigging, that would suck. You want to know if the bone is there, even if you can’t select it. Maybe for animators, though.
    • Bassam: maybe just prioritize the selectable bones, putting them at the top of the results.
    • Christoph: who is this feature for? Riggers or animators? Riggers usually know what the bones are named, animators not so much.
    • Marion: yes, and animators are more likely to use things like the bone picker instead anyway.
    • Christoph: then let’s focus this feature on the rigging use case.
    • Nathan: what about bones in a hidden collection, or which are hidden themselves?
    • Bassam: if this is for riggers, then still show the bone in the list, and unhide the collection (or the bone) on selection.
    • Christoph: which collection, if it’s in more than one?
    • Demeter: just unhide the first one in the list.
    • Nathan: what about bringing this to objects as well? Talk to the design/UI team?
      • Luciano: if we do, it would be nice to have a cross-mode search, so you can search for e.g. another object from inside pose mode, and auto-switch to object mode and select the thing.
      • Christoph: it’s really easy to just switch to object mode, and it kind of goes against the grain of how Blender does things.
    • Module agrees having this for objects as well would be nice. Nathan will bring this to the UI module for further discussion.
  • Nate Rupsis: #114805: Cleanup NLA menu(s). Removed “edit”, in favor of “Track” & “Strip” Menu. What do people think? Should the Add menu have icons? Big thanks to @tintwotin for his work.
    • Marion: is this a good opportunity to finally get rid of the term “meta”?
    • Bassam: the sequence editor still uses the term “meta”, so changing it to something else should be coordinated with that. Agrees that the term isn’t great and should be changed.
    • Module is in favor of the menu reorganization.
  • Could use some eyes on Expose Selection Tools in Weight Paint Mode #114981. There are issues with bone selection in weight paint mode.
    • Demeter: this is specific to left-click select. Not a problem when using right-click select.
    • Felipe: maybe using the ‘w’ hotkey or something to switch to a selection tool, like in object mode.
    • Nathan: the main thing is it has to be fast, because you select and manipulate bones a lot when weight painting. Not against a tool or mode switch, but it needs to be fast and low cognitive overhead (i.e. not keeping track of a bunch of overlapping states in your head).
    • Luciano: maybe this calls for a deeper redesign of how weight paint mode works?
    • Christoph: if we do that, let’s also reconsider how you have to first select the armature, then the mesh, and then go into weight paint mode. Maybe let the relevant armature be determined from within weight paint mode.
    • Mohammad: whatever we do for selecting/manipulating bones, the weights should still be visible.
    • Paolo: perhaps using the c-key circle select to allow select bones by circle select.
    • Nathan: please take further feedback to the linked issue.

Misc Discussion

  • Christoph: what would be the meaningful difference between shift-H and isolate in the context of the graph editor?
    • Paolo: isolate is a separate state from hidden. The hidden state of other things are preserved through toggling isolate on one thing.
    • Marion: sounds like it could be useful.
    • Christoph: if there’s a use case for it, then a design that works through the consequences (e.g. what happens when you change object selections while a curve is isolated) would be useful.
  • Luciano: it’s a pain to work with animating the visibility of things, since when they go hidden you can’t work with them or their keys anymore.
    • Bassam: I use geometry nodes to work around this.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Thursday 2023-11-30T17:00:00Z. 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.


poor man’s workaround (if this is just for selecting a named bone) : use the existing Select Pattern ?

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