Another confused noob here.

I have a basic model of a paper crane that I'm trying to rig to make the wings flap. It seems like a simple task, but for the life of me can't figure out why its not working. I've watched gobs and gobs of rigging tutorials but can't seem to make the armature control the mesh. Here's what I've done:

Here is the model:

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I then add a bone armature as the main base bone:

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I then extrude another bone for the main wing (just focusing on the .L side now):

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Then, in object mode I select the mesh, shift+ select the armature and press ctrl-P, to parent to armature with automatic weighting:

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I then enter pose mode and rotate the wing.L bone and....

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What am I doing wrong?

To test this workflow, I create three cubes and loosely stack them on top of each other, start with a bone at the bottom, and extrude 2 more to match rough positions of cube. Then I select each cube and parent it to the corresponding bone. The rig behaves how I expect it to:

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Okay, three objects parented to 3 bones is working. How about a single mesh then? - so I create a cylinder, and (just to alter the armature method a bit) create an armature bone and then subdivide with 2 cuts to get a similar armature, select mesh and then armature, ctrl-p to parent, and it behaves the way I'm expecting to:

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Yes, adding loop cuts would give me a properly bending rigged cylinder, but the point is, the armature is working.

So what am I doing differently with the bird? Does it have something to do with not having proper geometry? I pulled up the weight paint view and it's all blue, so things should deform with the rotation of the bones, no?

I am so confused.

Any insight would be appreciated.


I've been taking everyone's suggestions and watching even more tutorials and I still feel like an idiot.

I took the knife tool and added more geometry to make sure there were more vertices:

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I then look at it in weight painting and painted the areas so they can deform:

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I click on the mesh and it seems to be parented to the armature, but in pose mode:

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Thoroughly confused and saturated in Nooby frustration.

File is here, in case any expert wants to take a stab:


Much appreciated to everyone who has chimed in.

Thank you!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Your object has to have subdivisions or it will not bend in the middle. It will deform where there are edges. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    May 17, 2019 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ In some cases the automatic weighting doesn't work perfectly. Use weight painting, or assign vertex groups to solve this manually. $\endgroup$
    – FFeller
    May 18, 2019 at 6:14
  • $\begingroup$ I think that this behaviour is related to the fact that your mesh is non "manifold". If you don't want to modify the mesh, go for manual weighting, as stated by FFeller. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2019 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Autoweights don't work well on non-manifold meshes, and this is probably non-manifold. You're manually painting the exact wrong vertices. Paint the tip of you wing, not the base of your wing. $\endgroup$
    – Nathan
    Oct 25, 2019 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


If the parent armature with automatic weights doesn't give you a result, it just means that blender isn't picking up that the bone is near the vertices that you expect it to move.

This just means you need to assign the vertices yourself. You can use weight painting, or manually assign a weight to the vertices.


You gottta make sure to subdivide all meshes that are being automatically weighted


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