Where does "Parent Type" fit in the modifier stack?

Hello friends! I didn’t know there was an Animation and Rigging board! That shows that it’s been too long since I’ve been on devtalk. Are we allowed to open discussions here or is it just for meeting notes and such?

Anyways, I discovered something new today – you can set an object’s “Parent Type” to Armature or Lattice, and it will use the parent object as a deformer and a parent. I remember this being used by the Blender Game engine way back when. Why does it still exist? Is it evaluated the same as a normal modifer? And how does it affect e.g. rigging nodes? Should we remove and deprecate this feature or leave it be?

It’s just a little curiosity I wanted to poke about. One of those fun things you notice when you look closely, that most of us don’t know about.

Oh! And I will write a “Introduce yourself” post before long, need to read all of yours first :slight_smile:

Hey Joseph!

AFAIK the special “parent type” is a leftover from back in the day when there was no armature deform modifier. It’s still handled in Blender’s code, and creates the modifier on the fly as “virtual modifier” when evaluation happens.

My view on this: if it’s not clear whether something should be removed or not, it should be kept. The unclarity means that it’s not clearly in the way (like the BGE was) of development of more important aspects of Blender. If the “parent type” actually gets in our way, we can always reconsider, of course.

1 Like

Thanks for your reply, Dr.! I think this kinda thing adds to Blender’s charm. The only thing I’m worried about as far as “getting in the way” is the future plans to re-implement GPU OpenSubdiv. IIRC, the plan was to make Subdivision a property of the mesh (as it was waaaay back in the ~2.4 days) so that it always happens after everything else. Of course, the modifier would still be around. But stuff like parents acting as modifiers under the hood, and maybe Auto-IK (acting as a constraint under the hood) seems difficult to work with. Eh, but it’s OK to make life hard for the developer and easy for the user! Just like it’s OK to make life hard for the rigger to make it easy for the animator.

Oh, the more you know. Kinda like the way Blender lets you parent an object to a curve and it’ll follow it. I guess that was before constraints ?

I didn’t know you could do that with curves! There was a time before constraints?? Was that before Elephants Dream?

Only the elders know of the time before constraints… (counciloftheelders@blender.org) They speak of times dark, where vertices were but a handful of sand scattered in the wind

Well the constraints are a mess, since constraints were additively added through many years by multiple contributors. They break often, work unexpectedly, sometimes they want to set my house on fire only for it to rain etc.

They kinda need to be rewritten as a whole by the same person