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I have a .blend file (Blender 2.9 not 2.8) with a model parented under an armature. In my coworker's computer the mesh is properly rigged and animated but when they send me the file the mesh is no longer affected by the armature and its animation.

The mesh is still parented under the armature in the Outline panel and if I reparent it specifying "Armature Deform" and "Automatic Weights" with some minor adjustments to position and rotation it works again.

Any idea on why this is happening and how can we fix it?

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  • $\begingroup$ If your coworker has 3.0, it's because opening a .blend saved in 3.0 in an older version will lose vertex groups (link). $\endgroup$
    – scurest
    Jan 6, 2022 at 7:47

2 Answers 2

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The mesh gets deformed if:

  • it has an armature modifier targeting the rig
  • the mesh has some vertex groups with the same exact name of the bones of the rig, and some vertex weights assignements
  • the rig is in pose position and not in rest position

The most common problem of breaking the rig is when you import a datablock into a file which has already another datablock with the same name: a .001 suffix is added to the imported one, so the name corrispondence is broken and the rig doesn't work anymore.

To avoid those kind of problems check in your broken files the names of:

  • target rig in the armature modifier vs name of the rig
  • vertex groups of the mesh vs bones of the rig.

During automatic weighting the parentship relation between mesh and rig is added for convenience, but it's not crucial.

It's a good habit, but it's essential when dealing with multiple Rigify rigs into the same file, to generate from metarig using the advanced features that let you assign an unique name to every armature. If not name conflicts like this will arise.

If this doesn't solve, please upload your broken file.

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Found the problem. The file was saved in Blender 3.0 while I was trying to load it in Blender 2.9 (correction from original question in which I said 2.8).

After updating blender to 3.0 the issue was fixed

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