Doing animations the right way

How can we create animated models in Blender in way that they work with the Actor object in Blender?

Is there any restrictions like it needs to be a single object parented to a single skeleton with one root?

Can we have animations that work on the object transform matrix on a hierarchy of parented objects (no skeleton) instead of mesh deform with a skeleton?


though I am not an expert on Blender I hope this helps:

I think this depends on what Blender to Panda3d exporter you use. As far as I know there are several different ones. I use Chicken (1.0c), and it comes with a lots of information on how to create content with Blender so Chicken can export it to Panda3d. Here is a link to the Chicken documentation:

Yes, at least when using chicken. For example Chicken won’t work right if the object is parented to the armature. Instead you should use the armature modifiers for animated objects. The Chicken documentation helps with this.

Hmm… to be honest I don’t know.

That link seams to cover all my questions. Thanks.

Just to clear things up, Chicken allows any number of objects with one skeleton that can have any number of roots. The “one skeleton” restriction is somewhat arbitrary; I only put it in there because it doesn’t make much sense to put multiple characters in one .egg file.

In current developments I’ve experimented a bit with exporting animation for objects that have no skeleton, and it appears the only way to do it in a way that works all the time is to use IPO curves. Using the object’s matrix directly only works when a 3D view is open, which is awkward and will not work when exporting in Background mode.

Considering the new intraframe interpolation feature in Panda 1.3.0 I’m considering making the switch to IPOs and keys for both armature and non-armature animated objects. Maybe I’ll even throw in Shape Keys (Morph Targets) for meshes.

Currently I don’t have enough time to implement this, but I will get to it eventually (some time in late December, probably).