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So I recently tried my hand at non-linear character animation. I set my character up in a way where I wouldn't need to rig it and made both a walking animation and an idle animation. Each of the parts has their own animation data and this character is supposed to be exported into Unity.

The problem I'm running into is instead of 11 animations getting made there's somehow 66 animations and most of them affect the whole setup rather than a single part of the setup. Only a small handful of them are relevant to what I made and the rest are completely irrelevant, in the 2nd example you can see the head is missing and the arms are out of their place.

If it helps everything is parented to the torso in some way (the sword and shield parented to the arms which are parented to the torso.) These 11 animations work in Blender but get turned into 66 animations with random results in both the 3D viewer (which I am using to test this .FBX file) and Unity. So like the title of this post says I want to know why there's 55 extra animations I never made (and some missing) and I want to know how do I fix this problem.

All the Animation Strips

66 is Far too many, and not part of what I made

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    $\begingroup$ If you have all these tracks in the NLA it is because you've pushed them from the Dope Sheet into the NLA, you can remove the tracks you want by selecting them and pressing X $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    May 2, 2023 at 6:14
  • $\begingroup$ I am having trouble understanding what you mean, I've selected every strip and pressed X but nothing happened. Really the only tracks I have are the 11 in the NLA editor (excluding empty data I added to make selecting what animations play easier.) The extra 55 are random animations generated, parts are displaced and at random locations and changes made, one of them is literally just an upscaled floating head that takes the place of the torso, sometimes the legs are horizontal and moving like they're arms. Animations I've never made before have been generated and I don't know how. $\endgroup$
    – Xenoture
    May 2, 2023 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ It's impossible to know how it happened, to remove the tracks you need to put your cursor on the track (not the strip) and press X, to remove the strip select the strip and press X. If you want to use the NLA, select the action in the Dope Sheet (in Action Editor mode) and push it down, don't push all the actions. If you struggle with the NLA maybe follow some tutorials on NLA? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    May 2, 2023 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ So how do I push it down? Like click and drag it down? Also the only tracks in the NLA editor are the ones assigned to the knight. There's nothing else. However my boss did have me import rover model at some point just so I can see the animations and demonstrate what NLA is to me. Though I have deleted that from the project entirely. Is it possible the NLA strips assigned to the object that doesn't exist anymore still exist in the project and are getting applied to my knight? I definitely will watch some tutorials but I'd need to know what to look up as I don't know what this problem is called $\endgroup$
    – Xenoture
    May 2, 2023 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ the actions of an object that has been removed still exist but you can't see them, unless you've given them to another object them pushed them into tne NLA. To push an action into the NLA you have 2 possibilities, either select the action in the Dope Sheet (in Action Editor mode) and press on the Push Down button, or press on the down arrow button of the NLA track. If a NLA strip exists it's because it has been pushed a way or another into the NLA, it can't exist otherwise $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    May 3, 2023 at 3:09

1 Answer 1

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So without knowing exactly what the cause is the solution is somewhat out of reach, but I think the problem is a mix of different issues that snowballed into one big thing. To quickly go over it, the first issue was a lot of my objects hadn't had transformations applied to them before I started animating which would affect how they would come out on export. I had also imported a mesh with NLA strips to see it's animations and hadn't properly deleted it so there is likely leftover data affecting the project. Finally the animation setup itself was flawed, I had designed the mesh to be animated without the need to rig it, putting the limb's pivot points inside of the torso so I could simply rotate the objects themselves and move them up and down, which on paper sounded like a good idea but didn't work in practice.

However after getting some help from a friend troubleshooting this I can conclude that the best solution is to 1. Revert to an older save before any animations were made and before anything was imported (if you imported anything at all.) 2. Add bones to your mesh and make sure the transformation data is applied before animating. 3. Animate via the bones and not the objects. Following these 3 things should get you a mesh that can be exported out with animation data using NLA strips.

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