Relevant to Blender v2.31

To manipulate the bones in an armature, you must enter Pose Mode. In Pose Mode you can only select and manipulate the bones of the active armature. Unlike Edit Mode, you cannot add or delete bones in Pose Mode.

Enter Pose Mode by selecting an armature and pressing CTRL-TAB. Alternatively you can activate Pose Mode by selecting an armature and clicking on the Pose Mode menu entry in the Mode Menu of the 3D Window header (Figure 8). You can leave Pose Mode by the same method, or by entering Edit Mode.

Figure 8. Pose Mode Menu entry.

In Pose Mode, you can manipulate the bones in the armature by selecting them with RMB and using the standard transformation keys: RKEY, SKEY and GKEY. You cannot "grab" (translate) bones that are IK children of another bone, since the IK chain must stay continuous.

Press IKEY to insert KeyFrames for selected bones.

If you want to clear the posing for one or more bones, select the bones and press ALT-R to clear rotations, ALT-S to clear scaling and ALT-G to clear translations. Issuing these three commands with all bones selected will return the armature to its rest position.

It is frequently convenient to copy poses from one armature to another, or from one Action to a different point in the same Action. This is where the pose copying tools in the Armature Menu come into play.

For best results, be sure to select all bones in Edit Mode and press CTRL-N to auto-orient the bone handles before starting any animation.

Figure 9. Pose Mode Button.

To copy a pose, select one or more bones in Pose Mode, select the Armature>>Copy Current Pose Menu entry in the 3D Window header (Figure 9). The transformations of the selected bones are stored in the copy buffer until needed or until another copy operation is performed.

To paste a Pose, simply chose the Armature>>Paste Pose Menu entry (Figure 9). If Action auto key framing is active, KeyFrames will be inserted automatically.

To paste a mirrored version of the Pose (if the character was leaning left in the copied Pose, the mirrored Pose would have the character leaning right), use the Armature>>Paste Flipped Pose Menu entry (Figure 9). Note that if the armature was not set up correctly, the paste flipped technique may not work as expected.