What do these icons mean? Why does the man with the ball have the bones?

enter image description here

In another blend file, the running man has all the bones instead, and there is no ball man.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Hello, we lack informations, what icons, which bones are you talking about $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots All fine, I know what's going on. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ Oh ok I get it ;) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


The answer is quite simple: in the first image you are in Object Mode or Edit Mode. In this case the bones are shown under the Armature which is the man with the ball:

armature object mode

In the second image you are in Pose Mode, in this case the bones are shown under the running man symbol:

armature pose mode

Now here are the differences between the different armature symbols: the orange "Armature" is the object. It can contain an armature of one or more bones.

The green "Armature" (the man with the ball) is the object data. Like other objects you can have linked object data or single user object data. This means, you can have two orange objects "Armature" and "Armature.001" for example, but they can share the same object data, the green "Armature". Which means, if you change one of those in Edit Mode, they will both inherit the changes (like linked mesh objects).

The green "Pose" (the running man) now is the pose you are creating in Pose Mode. This is individual for individual (orange) armatures - and even if they share the same (green) armature, you can individually change the poses.

  • $\begingroup$ Extra confusion: if Blender opens to pose mode, the armature item is entirely absent from the outliner and is created when I switch to object mode. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ @AnsisMāliņš Maybe some kind of different setting...? In my outliner for example the hierarchy is always: Armature (object), Animation, Armature, Pose, Bone Groups. Whereas your outliner shows the Armature at last... which Blender version are you using? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 12:35

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