I've made a minecraft character. I've added arms and legs as separate objects, with two shapekeys to cause good deformations with the bones movement as shown in this tutorial. Here's a picture of my result.

enter image description here

as you can see, each limb is made up of a separate armature and mesh. I had to do this because otherwise I would have to redo the shape keys for each limb, and that would be time consuming and awful. Now I need to somehow join the armatures and the meshes into one armature and one mesh without removing all my shape key work and weight paints. The problem is I cant figure out how to join them without the shape keys getting all messed up in weird ways. How do i do this?


1 Answer 1


You don't need to combine the meshes; so that will preserve your shape keys. You should be able to combine the armatures simply by joining all of them to become a single armature. Then you unparent each separate mesh from its original armature and parent it to the new armature. Because the bone names don't change, the relationship between bones and vertex groups won't change, and everything should work. Note: 'uparent' here requires both changing the parent in the relationship setting and in the armature modifier.

Unless you used the same name for two bones in different armatures. In that case, you can find what each bone has been renamed to, go to the relevant mesh and rename the vertex group to the new name.

You might want to avoid this by going through your meshes and adding '.L' or '.R' as appropriate and doing the vertex group renames before merging the armatures.

  • $\begingroup$ You were right, it worked! All I had to do was rename the bones, and switch the selected armature to the correct one in each limb's armature modifier, and it worked perfectly. It only fails when bones have the same name. Thanks for the help! $\endgroup$
    – Millard
    Sep 30, 2021 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ What do I do if I join armatures with Ctrl+J, and the mesh is parented, but posing does not move the mesh? $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2023 at 1:02

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