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I am writing a custom exporter and need to determine which material animations go with specific armature animations. For example, my armature might have an action for throwing a punch, and the face material for the mesh attached to the armature might have an action for a concentrated expression (created via nodes). During the export, I need to be able to tell that these animations "go together." Is there a way to merge them into a single action in Blender? Or another way of associating the two together? Since there may be multiple such pairings I cannot rely on whatever the active action is for each.

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  • $\begingroup$ can you add the paired actions each to the same NLA strip? If you do that, then you could scan the NLA data for the pairs of related actions. $\endgroup$ Oct 21 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ @MartyFouts I think that might work... I create a meta-strip that includes both of the actions. Then I would search through animation_data.nla_tracks for both the material and the armature to find ones with matching strip names. Right? $\endgroup$
    – SAMM
    Oct 21 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ yes that should work $\endgroup$ Oct 21 at 23:05
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Here's a quick draft of Marty Fouts' proposed solution:

import bpy

arma = bpy.context.object

assert arma.type == 'ARMATURE' and arma.animation_data is not None \
    and len(arma.children) > 0 and arma.children[0].type == 'MESH'
    
mesh = arma.children[0]

for track1 in arma.animation_data.nla_tracks:
    if len(track1.strips) == 0:
        continue
    strip1 = track1.strips[0]
    for slot in mesh.material_slots:
        nodes = slot.material.node_tree
        if nodes.animation_data is None:
            continue
        for track2 in nodes.animation_data.nla_tracks:
            if len(track2.strips) == 0:
                continue
            strip2 = track2.strips[0]
            if strip1.name == strip2.name:
                assert strip1.type == 'META' and  strip2.type == 'META'
                arma_anim_name = strip1.strips[0].name
                mat_anim_name = strip2.strips[0].name
                arma_act = bpy.data.actions[arma_anim_name]
                mat_act = bpy.data.actions[mat_anim_name]
                # export actions...

A bunch of ugly asserts that would be better dealt with gracefully, but it captures the idea.

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