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Hi I have a mesh which I have already defined vertex groups for the bones but have not parented to the armature yet. I want to parent the object to the armature without losing my vertex groups (whenever I press armature deform envelope weights or automatic weights, my vertex groups are cleared and blender inserts its automatically calculated vertex groups for the bones). Is there a way to do this?

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You can select your mesh, go to the properties panel, assign an armature modifier and choose your armature as "object".

If you use Ctrl+P , "Armature deform" is the same, as long as you are sure not to have choosen "with empty groups", nor "with envelope weights", nor "with automatic weights".

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  • $\begingroup$ I have forever wondered what "Armature Deform" might do different from the other options in the Dropdown. It just adds the Armature Modifier without any groups! Thank you for sharing, this one is not even in the documentation! $\endgroup$ – Ben Jan 14 '18 at 0:22

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