Posing Panel in Pose Mode

The Pose Mode is typically used for creating poses and animations. This is where Bone Constraints play a significant role (see below).

But the Pose Mode actually can also be used for editing the Rig. However this needs some extra functionality. This is provided in the Rig Modify Tools section (i.e. Apply as Restpose operator)

Pose Bone Constraints

Pose Bone Constraints

Pose Bones are tied together by constraints. For example you normally can not tear a limb bone out of its bone chain. Or normally the blue Deform bones (the SL Bones) are fully controlled by the green Animation bones. Or the Volume Bones can not be moved away from their parent bones.

However, sometimes you want to get more freedom over the bones, especially when you work with non human rigs you may want to use individual bones for very different purposes and not necessarily in the way the original Rig has been set up. So we added a tool for controlling the Constraints

Bone Constraints

The Scope of the operation. You actually can limit the scope to one single Bone, a group of selected bones, or even all Bones in the Rig. We allow to control 3 sets of constraints…

SL Bone Rot

The Deform Bone rotations are normally fully controlled by the Animation bones. But this operator lets you Unlock the rotation constraints.

Now you can rotate the deform bones separately from the animation bones.

But beware: You want this only(!) when you are testing the Bone Weights. You never use this for animation purposes!

Unlocking SL Bone rotation actually disables the animation bones from animating the Model

Anim Bone Trans

the Animation bones are normally tied together so that you can not move them separately. Furthermore all animation bones without connected bone parents can normally not be moved around. This is good for keeping the skeleton structure intact while posing. Here you can unlock the parent connection so that animation bones can be placed without affecting the placement of their parents.

However note: the unlocking only works towards bone parents. So if you unlock only one single animation bone then you can move it separately from its parent bone while all its children are still connected and move along with it.

Note: You may want this mode especially when you do Facial animations where separate bone movements are sometimes needed. Or when you want to achieve special animation effects on your model.

Important: When you use Bone translation in your animations then you also must tell the Animation exporter to export with Translations.

Vol Bone Trans (very experimental)

We are not sure if the animation of Volume Bones is officially supported. However we added this option to the set. So when you Unlock Vol Bone Trans, then you can place the Volume bones freely.

Some restrictions apply:

  • Currently Unlocking Vol Bone Trans always uses the All bones scope (this is a known bug)
  • The Bone rotation is still inherited from the bone parents. Also the relative Movement of the parent bones is still propagated to the Volume bones. We need feedback to understand what animators expect to get here.

Rig Modify Tools

SL allows to modify the SL Rig by overriding the joint positions of the rig. Avastar supports the Rig editing as well, basically by switching the Armature to Edit Mode and then edit the bones by moving them around as needed.

Why use Pose mode for Rig editing?

Editing the Rig in Edit mode

However, bones are often depending on each other. For example creating an A posed arm is a lot more complicated than it looks on first glance when you use the Rig Editor.

Editing the Arm into A pose may be more complicated as it looks since you have to move the Shoulder bone and all its children manually.

Posing the Rig in Pose mode

compared to using Rig Pose Mode where by just rotating the Shoulder bone all its children are automatically moved along with it. Thus you can create an A pose in pose mode in a snap.

But how can you apply your pose to the Rig?

Blender expert answer: you can use Pose -> Apply -> Apply Pose as Restpose but then you also have to do some manual tweaking (store joint edits) to get Avastar to work with the new rig.

Posing just the Shoulder bone is much easier since all children follow automatically

The main feature in the Rig Modify Tools for Posing is the Apply as Restpose operator which bakes the current pose into the Rig as if it had been edited. And it adds all necessary extra data so that Avastar can work nicely with the modified Rig.

Apply as Restpose

When you call the Apply as Restpose operator then the current pose is baked into the Rig. So all posed bones now define a new Restpose. That means the neutral pose of your rig is no longer the T pose but the current pose.

The options

  • Convert Meshes: When the Convert Meshes option is enabled, then the new restpose is also applied to the bound meshes. Otherwise the meshes fall back to their previous restpose (typically the T-pose) and no longer match to the new Restpose.
  • Only Visible Meshes: The conversion affects only the visible meshes
  • Also Avastar Meshes: The conversion also affects the Avastar Meshes (they will be converted to custom mesh items using the new restpose)
  • Sync Pole Angles: Take care to adjust the IK Rig for the legs and arms according to the new restpose

Note: Normally you would keep the options with their default values. Deviations form the defaults are only rarely necessary.

The Use Bind Pose option

When you enable this option then Avastar is told that your Rig is meant to be a plain vanilla (SL Default) T-posed SL rig with no joint overrides. Then one of 2 situations apply:

  1. If your rig has not been edited at all (is a default SL T posed rig) then enabling this option has little to no effect at all.
  2. If you rig is modified, then Avastar calculates the transformation differences between your Rig and the SL Default T posed Rig. Those differences (also named the bind pose) are later added to the exported Collada file and allow the SL importer to treat your meshes correctly without need to use joint overrides!

A serious word of warning

The Use Bind Pose option should only be used with rigs that are only slightly modified! Here are some rules of thumb for when a rig can be used with Bind pose:

  • Your edited Rig must be created only by using Bone Rotations (You must avoid Bone translation at any costs)
  • Do not rotate the Spine bones (from mPelvis up to mChest)
  • If ever possible adjust only the mHip bones and the mShoulder bones

More detailed informations are available here:

Use Bind Pose