I currently trying to join two rigged (and animated) models, which both has separate meshes, separate bones and separate animations. The first mesh is the horse while the second mesh is human: enter image description here

So I am interested to join human model onto horse model to make a rider: enter image description here

I think the best way would be to make horse as a parent and human as a child during the join process. In that case I would like that all horse animations (there are 3 of them - idle, walk and run) would remain as they are, while I can lose human animations, as I will need different ones for it. I was also thinking to make human root bone as a child of one horse back bones, that when horse moves up and down it would move entire human mesh together. It would be also good to keep the same weights that human bones would not start deforming horse mesh and vice versa.

I tried to use Ctrl+J by selecting various combinations between bones and meshes in object mode, however, I noticed that it messes up scaling and rotation of the child object. So I was wondering how it would be possible to properly join these models to create a rider?

  • $\begingroup$ Object level transforms must be applied or same, else you won't be able to join. First join the armatures with Ctrl-J, then join the meshes with Ctrl-J. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


Have you tried doing exactly this selection?

  1. Select the rider armature (in object mode).
  2. Shift-select the horse armature (also in object mode).
  3. Then do Ctrl+J.

If you've already tried this, ensure all the meshes' object transforms are zeroed out first, and then repeat the above. If that still doesn't help, check out any constraints/controls you have. If you have a master-slave style rig, you'll probably have to re-apply the constraints after doing the join.

Posting a .blend would help too.

  • $\begingroup$ Ok, so applying transforms helped to avoid messing up. However, after joining armatures there are some bones disappearing (dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/248943005/FailingRider/rider.png). I noticed that these disappearing bones are IK bones (yellow) and their neighbours. So, is there a way to do it that all bones would be joined without disappearing? $\endgroup$
    – chanfort
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ That's strange. Are the bones simply becoming invisible, or are have they actually vanished from the new armature? Posting a .blend would really help this. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ So here is .blend file: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/248943005/FailingRider/… . It is saved before joining, so just select armatures and join them. I checked some bones, which disappears. It seems like they are still present in objects tree beneath new merged armature. However, I can't see them anywhere in the scene. So not quite sure what's happening yet... $\endgroup$
    – chanfort
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 21:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ you just had the sword guy's ik bones on a different bone layer. Merge them like before >> goto the bone icon on new armature >> select the layer below on the far left. It'll show everything. You'll notice that the character is no longer deforming from your armature after the merge. No problem just goto the modifier's section on the sword guy's mesh, click on the 'Object' field and a dropdown menu should show you the only remaining armature. Click on that to get it deforming again. You're good to go! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 21:59

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