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If an armature has been created with X-Axis Mirror enabled and we are renaming our bones to something more intuitive, and one half is done (example: arm_upper_L, arm_lower_L), how can we copy the names over to the other half of the armature?

I tried doing W Flip Names, but it did not take the names from the other side. I tried this with both the source side selected and then with the destination side selected, but I didn't get the desired result (which would be arm_upper_R, arm_lower_R).

I have been copy/pasting and typing in the difference, but if there's a better way I would like to know about it. What is the correct way to mirror the bone names over to the other side of an armature? Thanks.

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2 Answers 2

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make Sure you are in Edit Mode!

Step One: Create just ONE side of the armature and name the bones.

Step Two: Select Bones Wanted to copy to across an axis.

Step Three: Set 3D Cursor to origin by hitting Shift-S: 'Cursor to Selected' (Make sure origin is in center of armature). Step Four: Press Shift+D and click the mouse button

Step Five: Hit Cntrl+M and then hit X (Or y if you are using the y-axis)

Step Six: Click the mouse button and hit w and select 'Flip Names'

Profit!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I had never used the Mirror operation until now - always just scaled -1 on the axis... good to know about that, and it works on meshes too, I see. So Flip Names looks for a bone named something_L.001 and converts it to something_R for example... got it. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Dec 27, 2015 at 7:26
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A small update to this for blender 2.8. When duplicating with ⇧ ShiftD, check the bottom left for options and you should see a toggle for "Flip Names" and this will actually flip all the bones for you on the axis and link them as if you used ⇧ ShiftE to mirror extrude them.Duplicating options for bones

Also when parenting meshes to the rig, you probably want to check the "x-mirror" toggle parent with automatic weights options

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Blender Stack Exchange, and thank you for contributing an answer. Can you please explain what has changed about Flip Names in 2.8 ? $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Nov 19, 2020 at 10:40

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