Blender bone orientation: hardcoded or arbitrary?

The title more or less says it all, but I wonder if there are any Blender devs around that can explain to me or point me to a resource that will allow me to understand whether it would be very difficult or not to adjust which axes are the primary bone axes and how mirroring bones works.

My idea is that perhaps an addon could be created with a different type of armature that has different settings, but I don’t know whether it would totally break all the animation constraints and other things or not.


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