Monday, August 15, 2011

GSoC11 - Select Grouped by Keying Set

Just a quick feature update: I've just added tools to the "Select Grouped" operators (Shift-G) which allows you to select all the objects/bones that are affected by the active Keying Set.

Example Uses
In Object mode, this is mostly useful for selecting all objects that a absolute Keying Set includes.
1) for doing mass prop animation, you'd include all their location properties in a Keying Set
2) for checking which objects already have animation, change the active Keying Set to "Available" and run this operator. This will get you all the objects which have animation channels already, which can have further keyframes added

In Pose mode, the uses for this are more obvious:
1) Select all bones included in an absolute Keying Set to just move those which are keyable
2) With "Whole Character" Keying Set, use to check which bones it will affect

There are probably many more uses for this kind of functionality. But use your creativity!

Back when researching the idea of having Keying Sets for Blender 2.5, I came across the "Character Sets" for other animation packages from the "other" big A.

Those things there are quite comprehensively integrated into the whole way that animation controls are visible, presented in Graph Editors, selected, and/or generally behave. However, I'm also aware that they had some rough edges, where they'd end up being a bit too restrictive on what you could do while they were active. AFAIK, they acted more like "selection sets" for objects, with "marking" properties for keyframing separately based on current selections being the other common workflow.

While this does move things a step closer in that direction, I still don't think it's necessary or perhaps desirable to go all the way down that path. Nevertheless, it's probably cool to have one more neat way of selecting related data, which may hopefully speed up workflows in some cases.


  1. You're right. character sets in Maya are mostly selection sets. Locking or hiding channel is really what makes everything more clear. It is highly desireabke for a rigger to be able to lock down and hide channels that he doesn't want to be keyed, and you know, animators like to put keys everywhere ;)

  2. +1, I second Gianmichele's words. Animation, IMO, is one area where Maya has some very solid approaches, comparatively speaking.

    The ability to finally "select grouped" is VERY welcome. Blender's animation capabilities(especially for animators specifically) have come a VERY long way, thanks to your talent & hard work! Thank you! :-)

    on a totally un-related note:
    A feature that I personally would like to see in blender, is a "real" right-click(style) menu for the dopesheet(and the graph editor too), or at a minimum an additional menu in the title-bar(pose, for example). By this I mean, having to go into the 3d view just to access valuable tools like your pose-propagate tool, are a bit cumbersome IMO. Pose propagate would be most useful if it was accesible inside the dopesheet, amongst MANY other features exclusive to the pose mode. Yes, if your mouse is in the dopesheet window, I understand that the pose menu is (currently) not available(whereas it would be if the mouse was over the 3d view), but at the same time, having tools such as those in the pose menu(among others) available inside the dopesheet(& graph editor) as well could be helpful to some animators, me in particular. Just a side thought. I can completely understand the argument to keep these aspects of blender separate, just wanted to share a though.

  3. So does this mean that we're ultimately eschewing bone groups altogether? We've already lost the ability to organize the Dopesheet/Action editor by bone groups and an addition such as this takes away one of the few remaining uses for bone groups.