I'm doing an animation where I have various outfits appear on the character throughout. So I was planning to keyframe each outfit come on and off-screen throughout. When I try to move an outfit off-screen which has the armature applied to it, it does a crazy distortion to it and scales it up. How do i get the mesh to not do this?
This sounds normal. The mesh is still trying to deform to the armature, but from a distance. Since the deform origins are still about the bones’ heads, the deforms end up having a much greater effect when the mesh is far away from them.
If the clothing just needs to disappear, you can keyframe its render visibility, or animate it’s material so that it becomes transparent over time. If you actually want it to move off of the character, you might try a displacement modifier after the armature one. It feels a bit hackish, but I think it would work.