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Blender 4.1: Animation & Rigging

Bone Collections

Bone Collections are now hierarchical (129fb2eab8). The collections are shown in a tree instead of a flat list, where they can be rearranged and nested via drag-and-drop. The outliner also shows the bone collection hierarchy (2e2b5dcd52).

Screenshot of the Bone Collections in the Outliner in Blender 4.1

Visibility is determined by the bone collection itself, and its ancestors: a bone collection is only visible when its parent, grandparent, etc. are visible (6cfbf9ef2f). In other words: hiding a bone collection will also hide its children.

Screenshot of the Bone Collections panel in Blender 4.1

Python API

import bpy

# Create bone collections
armature = bpy.context.object.data
bcoll_root = armature.collections.new("A Root Collection")
bcoll_child = armature.collections.new("Child Collection", parent=bcoll_root)

# Moving the bone collection after it has been created.
bcoll = armature.collections.new("collection")
bcoll.parent = bcoll_root  # Assign a new parent collection.
bcoll.child_number = 0     # Move to be the first of its siblings.

# Access to the top level (aka 'root') collections:
for bcoll in armature.collections:
    print(f'Root collection: {bcoll.name}')

# Access to all collections:
for bcoll in armature.collections_all:
    print(f'Collection: {bcoll.name}')

# Assigned bones can be retrieved hierarchically:
bcoll_child.assign(armature.bones['thigh.L'])
for bone in bcoll_root.bones_recursive:
    print(bone.name)

NLA

  • Add new channel options to Action bake (dd5b870d15).
  • Add bake custom properties to Action bake (4ddb52a775).
  • Rename "NLA Channels" to "NLA Tracks" (661e7e451a).
New Bake Options Bake Custom Properties

Weight Paint

Bone Selection

The bone selection mode is made explicit when you enter weight paint mode with an armature. It now has an icon and can be accessed with the hotkey 3. The following selection tools have been added to make bone selection easier:

  • Tweak

Commits: edcac1f48b

Keying

  • Pressing I in the viewport will no longer pop up a menu of keying sets. Instead it will read the User Preferences which has a new setting to define which channels get keyed. (a99e419b6e)
  • There is a new hotkey K in Object and Pose Mode which pops up the Keying Set menu. This shows the menu even if a keying set is active in the scene. (87fc8e8ddd)
  • The hotkey to change the active Keying Set has been changed from Ctrl+Shift+Alt+I to Shift+K. (87fc8e8ddd)
  • When the User Preference option "Pie Menu on Drag" is enabled, holding I and moving the cursor will show a pie menu to insert one of Location, Rotation, Scale and Available. (87fc8e8ddd)
  • The User Preference option "Only Insert Needed" is now split between manual keying and auto-keying. (5e28601d69)

Drivers

  • Single Property and Context Property driver variables now support a fallback value to use if the RNA path lookup fails. (d0ef66ddff, Manual)
  • Drivers that failed to evaluate are now underlined in red in the channel list of the Driver Editor. Previously that only happened for drivers attached to non-existing properties. (b9074381e5)

Graph Editor

  • Scale from Neighbor operator (b27718a9e7, Manual)
  • Add an option to automatically lock key movement to either the X or Y axis. This can be found under View » Auto-Lock Axis. (446b92d2ce)
  • Add option to right click menu on animated properties to view the FCurve that animates it. For this to work the object/node has to be selected. (a91a8f3fed, Manual)
Demo of viewing the F-Curve of the animated property

F-Curve Baking

A new operator "Bake Channels" has been added to the Graph Editor. (1e931f5bd7, Manual)

It allows you to:

  • Specify a range to bake.
  • Define the distance between baked keys, e.g. 2s or 3s.
  • Remove keys outside the baked range.
  • Define a interpolation type for new keyframes.
  • Bake modifiers to keyframes.

It is found in the Graph Editor under Channel » Bake Channels.

Dope Sheet

  • Speed up Dope Sheet by only calculating keyframes that are visible in the current view. (f06fd85d97)

Motion Paths

  • Add an option to create motion paths relative to the active camera. This means the motion paths will appear in screen space when looking through that camera. (79f84775f2)
Demo of motion paths in camera space