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This is a simple character mesh: http://www.pasteall.org/blend/31247

  • The mesh has no modifiers.
  • Scale and Rotation have been applied.
  • The Armature's Rest Pose is the T-Pose.
  • The Armature has been posed to match the mesh.

How can i parent the mesh to the armature (with automatic weight from bones) while retaining the armature's original rest pose ?

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I got feedback from Bassam Kurdali on Blender's bf-animsys mailing lists. Here is his slightly edited answer:

There is no "bind pose" in blender. There is just a rest position and a pose. Armature deform happens based on the rest position.

the only exact solution to this problem is:

  1. create your 'bind' pose
  2. duplicate object to a new armature
  3. apply the pose as new rest pose on the new armature
  4. Use the new armature as your modifier target
  5. Constrain the new armature to the old and use the old one as the control rig, if you desire rest pose as T pose.

One more remark: It is not possible to use the Pose library as temporary storage for the original rest pose, because the Pose library stores poses relative to the current rest pose. If the rest pose changes, the poses in the library will no longer result in the same pose as before.

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  • Select the armature change to Pose Mode

  • Select all A (until all bones are selected)

  • Ctrl-A Select: Apply Pose as Rest Pose (from Apply popup menu)

  • Change to Object Mode

  • Select mesh

  • Select armature

  • Ctrl-P Select: With automatic Weights (from Parent to popup menu)

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, stacker. Thanks for the answer. But "Apply Pose as Rest Pose" changes the rest pose. While i must retain the original rest pose :( $\endgroup$ – Gaia Clary Aug 29 '14 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry but this seems to be a requirement, after parenting to the armature you can create as many poses as you like. $\endgroup$ – stacker Aug 29 '14 at 19:37

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