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Cycles has problems with armatures and deformations
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Here it is a problem with the render result (and viewport result) from cycles when using armatures in a group object, check the attached file for more details. If you switch to the viewport rendering with cycles you should see a weird result right on the screen when the armature is swtiched on but as soon as you turn off this in the modifiers you would notice the right result.
I'm using W7 64 bit, and the official release of 2.65 (52859)


To Do

Event Timeline

here's the file:

The same happens rendering with blender internal it seems, this is a known limitation of our dependency graph / dupli system. We plan to work on that and refactor it to fix such issues, for now there's no quick fix without making major changes to the system.

The workaround is to add the armature to the group as well, otherwise the armature modifier doesn't get evaluated correctly.

Mentioned this report on the todo list here now: