Pose Libraries

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Pose Libraries

Pose Libraries act as a way of storing frequently used poses or already created poses, so that they can be quickly accessed and applied. This is useful to help maintain consistency and speed up the animation process for workflows. Other packages often exhibit similar functionality, but often in a different way.

In Blender, a Pose Library can be any Action. However, for the Action to be usable as a Pose Library, it must contain a set of markers, which are used to denote where a 'pose' occurs. Each armature object can have a Pose Library, which is separate from it's normal Action(s). Applying/Previewing Poses

One of the important aspects of working with Pose Libraries is the ability to retrieve poses from the library, and apply them. To do so, there is an interactive pose-browsing mode in Blender, where poses from the Pose Library can be viewed 'in-place' in the 3D-view before being permanently applied.

This can be activated with the hotkey Ctrl-L in 3D-View while in Pose Mode. Firstly, ensure that the armature has a Pose Library with some poses defined. Also ensure that the bones which you want to the poses to be browsed on are selected. If no bones are selected, it is assumed that the pose(s) will be applied to all bones.

Once Pose Browsing has started, the pose can be changed in the following ways:

   * ScrollWheel Up/Down - this 'scrolls' through the poses, moving backwards/forwards 1 pose at a time in a cyclic fashion
   * Page Up/Down - the same as for ScrollWheel Up/Down
   * Left/Right Arrow - the same as for Page Up/Down
   * Up/Down Arrow - this 'jumps' through the poses, moving forwards/backwards 5 poses at a time in a cyclic fashion
   * Home/End - this 'jumps' between the first/last poses
   * TAB - this 'toggles' between the pose currently being previewed, and the starting pose. When TAB has been pressed, no pose previewing will be able to be performed until TAB has been pressed again

In addition to these, it is also possible to limit the poses available for browsing by specifying a filter-string, which is used to define the subset of poses that can be browsed through. Simply start typing using normal keys to start filtering, and the set of poses available will be automatically adjusted. Please note that only a few basic text-manipulation tools have been implemented (i.e. Backspace, Del, Home, End, and text-cursor movement) The standard pose-browsing tools can still be used within this subset of poses, except those which have been remapped for search-string editing.

Pose Browsing can be confirmed/cancelled at any point in time, in the same way as for Transforms. Keyframes will be inserted for the relevant bones (if confirmed) if Auto-Keyframing is on. The viewport can still be manipulated with the standard viewport navigation tools (i.e. MiddleMouseButton, NumPad) at any time. Preparation from 3D-View

To create/prepare a Pose Library from the 3D-view, there are number of hotkeys which can be used to store/edit poses in the Pose Library:

   * Shift L - this hotkey stores the pose of the selected bones in the armature's Pose Library as a new Pose (Add New), or replacing one that already exists (Replace Existing). A new Pose Library is added if there isn't one active. New poses will be added on the first available frame in the Pose Library action.
   * Ctrl Shift L - this hotkey pops up a menu to select the pose to rename
   * Alt L - this hotkey pops up a menu to select the pose to remove from the Pose Library

Editing in the Buttons Window

The 'Links and Materials' panel in the Editing Buttons also presents a few buttons for editing the armature's Pose Library.

In the first group of buttons for Pose Libraries, the action that the armature uses as it's Pose Library can be chosen. This is to allow the changing of Pose Libraries with different sets of poses, and also to allow to use of hand-defined (see Preparing Existing Actions) Pose Libraries.

Below this, there's a button labelled 'Auto-Sync PoseLib'. This button automatically detects poses in the nominated action, by finding all the frames that have a pose, and marking a pose there. It will remove Pose Markers from the frames that don't have any keyframe(s).

The second group of buttons for Pose Libraries allows the editing of the active pose (which is set after every operation). The buttons below this function in the same way as Shift-L does in the 3D-view.


Preparing Existing Actions

Existing Actions can be prepared for use as Pose Libraries by adding Pose Markers (a set of markers which belong the Action). These are shown as blue (pale-blue = unselected, mid-blue = selected, bright-blue = active), bone-shaped icons which are drawn behind standard scene markers. They define the frame on which a 'pose' occurs.

These markers can be edited using the same hotkeys as the ones used to edit Pose Libraries in the 3D-view:

   * Shift L - this will add a new pose marker to the Action, with the name you provide when creating it
   * Ctrl Shift L - renames the 'active' Pose Marker
   * Alt L - removes the selected Pose Markers
   * Ctrl L - moves the selected Pose Markers

Issues yet to be resolved:

   * Pose Markers in a NLA-scaled action will be drawn in their local time, not in NLA-scaled time
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