[Bf-funboard] Empties in the bone hierarchy

joe joeedh at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 13:05:35 CEST 2009

I'm still confused why you'd want to do this at all.  We don't support
the concept of character sets, so it doesn't make as much sense to
have non-armature controls.  You can mix bones and non-bones just fine
(situations the parenting system doesn't support, constraints do), but
generally non-armature helper objects are used behind the scenes,
controlled by bones.  Also, empties as controls wouldn't have a rest
state, the way armature bones do.

I don't see how this adds any power at all. . .abstractly, a bone is
simply an empty with length.  Getting rid of the length isn't going to
help you any.

> The reason I coded the new empty shapes that blender already has is so that
> the rigger didn't spend his time modeling icons for his rig controls.This
> would just take Blender's rigs to another level.

You realize modeling icons for a rig only takes up a very, *very*
small percentage of the time?  Why would this "take Blender's rigs to
another level"? What power does this add?  Modeling icons simply isn't
a time-sucking activity for riggers.  Besides, different people have
different tastes in rig controls.  I myself prefer very visually
minimalistic controls, while others prefer more prominent ones.

A better solution is probably to have an option to put an empty shape
on an armature bone directly.  Using empties simply for their shapes
is a bad solution, I think.


On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 3:10 AM, David Bryant <aceone at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> You could be right but, the action editor should be able to use anything you
> throw at it ( as far as rigging is concerned). You should be able to use
> bones and non bones together. If the empties could be directly used in pose
> mode you would have the full range of all the shapes available and use them
> to their fullest potential.Object to bone level is not new.Proprietary
> animation systems in VFX and animation studios already use this technology
> for complex rigs.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jason van Gumster" <flaw at misaligned.net>
> To: <bf-funboard at blender.org>
> Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 4:59 AM
> Subject: Re: [Bf-funboard] Empties in the bone hierarchy
>> "David Bryant" <aceone at bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>> If the empties can be used without using them as a object shapes "in
>>> pose mode" you can directly use them. As a matter of fact, Lightwave
>>> has just put this empty into bone heirarchy functionality into their
>>> package in their new version 9.6. Maya and Max can do the same as
>>> well.It's not a new idea. Most high end packages have had this
>>> functionality for years.
>>> You shouldn't have to have a bone "drawn" as an empty to use it in
>>> pose mode.Just be able to use an empty itself in pose mode if you
>>> want to use it in heirarcy.
>> Ah... but that's the rub, isn't it? An Empty has no notion of what
>> "pose mode" means. As far as what the other packages have done and can
>> do, who knows how that's implemented? From userland it may look like
>> you're adding a regular empty to the Armature hierarchy... but under
>> the hood it may just be a bone drawn to look like an empty. The user
>> just isn't told the difference.
>> Now, if this is the route you want to go, have a go and try. It'll
>> probably work fine since the changes are largely cosmetic. If you're
>> pushing Objects to bone-level, though... you may want to wait until the
>> animation system in 2.5 is fleshed out.
>> But... I'm no authority.
>>  -Fweeb
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