notify-level-assimp debug in Config.prc. You’ll see that the joint nodes are being pruned because the joint tree in Panda normally exists in a separate hierarchy in a PartBundle that is assigned to the Character node, rather than being a regular node hierarchy in the scene graph.
We could import the node that corresponds to the joint but it would not automatically synchronize with the actual joint that exists under the PartBundle hierarchy. Though, if you don’t need this synchronization, it would be possible to add a config setting so that the Assimp loader doesn’t prune these nodes.
To expose a joint as a node, you need to call exposeJoint (and to control a joint by positioning a node, use controlJoint). Though, it would be possible to add a config option to Assimp to set this up automatically.
Oh, apparently there is also an Assimp config setting to disable those weird
$AssimpFbx$ nodes from being generated, which we could also expose in Panda.