NLA Editor - Adding Animations

The NLA editor is not working as I expect it to.

  • I am animating a robot bowing, removing his hat, and then throwing it into a crowd.
  • I animated the right arm to the point of the release of the hat, with 3 positions; the starting position, a slight wind up of around 24 frames, and then the throw which i animated over around 5 frames.
  • I decided that the throw might be too quick, so i split the strip between the wind up position (position 2) and the finish of the throw (position 3). I then moved the split clip - "Throw Hat.001" and added a transition to interpolate between the 2 positions giving me control over how fast the throw action would be.
  1. The first problem is that the 3rd position still existed in the strip, and blender did not honour the end of the strip. The strip ended before any further animation, but the transition did not work. Once I deleted the animation, the transition worked.

Is this a bug?

  1. Then I wanted to add some movements to the left arm. Instead of creating a new action I added it to the end of "Throw Hat". I split that clip made a new track and tried to use the "add" setting to add those movements to existing animation. The only animation data was for that arm, and what I think SHOULD happen is the actions should be added to the position of the left arm only. But that is not what happens - the WHOLE model just gets completely messed up.

I tried all the different extrapolation methods, but nothing works. I tried moving the "add" strip below, but as expected it is overriden by the tracks above so it didn't work either. I must say the NLA editor is fairly confusing. What I am trying to do is to get some flexibility in constructing an animation.

So to make this work:

  • I had to delete the animation
  • Create a new action strip
  • Add some dummy animation
  • Push it down
  • Change it's blend mode to "add"
  • go into tweak mode and make the animations I wanted to.

This worked but it seems pretty fussy. Have I missed something?

  • $\begingroup$ It's a bit complicated to understand but why don't you simply edit the original action? NLA is useful when you want to repeat and combine reccurent actions, but it's not particularly convenient to edit an action with the NLA strips $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    May 21 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ Well that's exactly what I do want to do. But also I want to be able to separate the actions so that I can change the timing and placement of them individually. This being a perfect case. $\endgroup$ May 21 at 20:50


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