I am trying to bake a simple animation made with a Rigify Human rig. My rig is a humanoid mesh (the Unreal Engine mannequin but configured for use with Rigify). I have placed a "child of" constraint on the left IK hand, parented to the right IK hand so that they move in sync w/ the tool or weapon that the human mesh is "holding". A screenshot of the configuration with the right hand selected in pose mode:

enter image description here

A gif image of it playing to demonstrate the (very simple) animation: https://imgur.com/a/SvwQXy3 It's not particularly pretty but this my first time attempting this. The animation works as I expect. I have only placed a keyframe on the right IK hand for now, and the left IK hand follows along.

How the constraint is set up:

enter image description here

Now I would like to bake the action that I have created so that I get an animation with a pose on every frame that respects the constraint without actually having the constraint in place. Following guides I have seen online, I do this by selecting my animation in the dope sheet, selecting the armature in object mode and doing: Object -> Animation -> Bake Animation.

I have tried many combinations of the following options in that tool:

  • Visual keying
  • Clear constraints
  • Clear parents

No configuration behaves as I expect - namely that the left and right hands should keep the same poses they had before, but the constraint is removed. Instead, the left hand goes back to the rest pose and follows the animation from that starting point. The right hand adopts another incorrect pose. Screenshot of the pose of the baked animation on the first frame (this is with the option to enable visual keying, but other options turned off):

enter image description here

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what this tool does? Or maybe baking the rigify rig is the wrong course to take? Should I create a separate skeleton, constrain all its bones to match the rigify rig, and then bake that instead? I'm a little unclear on what best practice typically is when doing this sort of work.

Thanks in advance for any assistance. Let me know if any additional details would be helpful. I have attached the blend file here (pre-bake) if you would like to take a look.

  • $\begingroup$ You should be baking action with visual keying + clear constraints-- otherwise, defaults. Obviously, make sure your animation works before baking (scrub through timeline). If problems, we'd need file to recreate, as well as Blender version; I understand there have been some changes to the bake action operation, and bugs are always possible. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Mar 24 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Nathan Thanks for your assistance. I baked with the options you described after checking through the animation (it looks correct pre-bake). These are the options, if I understand you correctly: imgur.com/a/DGd4IRa I am using Blender 2.91, and the blend file is attached to the original post in a link at the bottom $\endgroup$ – gxcode Mar 24 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ Hit enter too quickly - derp. When using those options the arms do not move at all. I can see the right hand IK bone moving (in the wrong position/pose though): imgur.com/a/Igpq5vX $\endgroup$ – gxcode Mar 24 at 16:22

Ok, maybe this is not the best answer but it worked:

I duplicated the skeleton (just the deform bones from the original skeleton, NOT the rigify stuff). Then I added copy-transform constraints to all these new bones, mapping them back to the original.

Now on the new skeleton I can bake and everything works. I suspect the issue is that "clear constraints" does something that does not play nicely with Rigify, but am not sure. Duplicating to a new skeleton that copies the original worked.


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