General Tools

Relevant to Blender v2.31

There are few Blender features which can make your life easier while animating a character. Let's see them, before going deep into details.

The auto-key feature can be found in the InfoWindow. When it is enabled, Blender will automatically set KeyFrames when you move Objects. This is helpful for people who are not used to explicitly inserting KeyFrames with IKEY. There are two separate toggles for auto-keying: one for Object Mode and one for Pose Mode. These two options can be set independently of one another from the Edit Method group of buttons in the User Preferences Window. (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Auto key options

Auto Keyframe on Object will set KeyFrames for Objects that are moved in Object Mode. Users who are familiar with the Blender interface will likely want to leave this option disabled.

Auto Keyframe on Action sets KeyFrames for transformations done in Pose Mode. This ensures that you will not lose a pose by forgetting to insert KeyFrames. Even users who are familiar with the Blender interface may find this to be a useful feature.

It is possible to display different IPOs in different windows. This is especially valuable while editing Actions, which have a different IPO for each bone.

Figure 2. Pinned Action IPOWindow

You can "pin" an IPO or Action (lock it to the current window) by pressing the pin icon in the header of the window (Figure 2). The contents of the window will stay there, even when the object is deselected, or another object is selected. Note that the colour of the IPO block menu will change, along with the background colour of the IPO Window. These serve as reminders that the window is not necessarily displaying the IPO of the currently selected object.

The browse menu is still available while a window is pinned. In this case however, changing the current data will not affect the current object; it merely changes which data is displayed.