Can anyone explain the advantage of using the Armature modifier?

One of the great things about Blender is the speed of development. But sadly enough, for me at least, it sometimes makes it difficult to stay on top of learning new features. In fact I have long since given up trying to stay current. I just learn new features as I need them.

Which leads me to my latest confusion. I had finished setting up the rig for my Valentine’s day animation and it was time to attach my rig to my character.

Now in previous projects I had always just parented my mesh to the armature and chose the “best current option” (this part has changed over the years). But after reading things here and there, I decided to make use of the “Armature modifier”. And that’s when the confusion set in.

I do believe I am either missing something important or I am just not understanding the advantage of using it.

Once I set it up, (and yes I am fairly confident that I have set it up right), I am left with two possible situations.

1- The object is deformed by the modifier but doesn’t seem to automatically parent to it. So if I move the armature in object mode, the mesh gets left behind. Which doesn’t seem quite right or useful.

Or

2- After setting up the “Armature modifier”, I go ahead and parent the mesh to the armature. In which case, why did I need the “Armature modifier” at all?

I have spent the last two days trying to find the answer and at this point I am still stumped.

So in the meantime, I am going to do it the “old way” (parent mesh to armature) so I can finish my little animation while I continue looking for the answer.

Oh and if any of you happen to know the advantage of using the “Armature modifier”, please leave a comment (you might want to leave a detailed comment 😛 ).

This is going to drive me nuts until I figure it out.

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3 responses to “Can anyone explain the advantage of using the Armature modifier?

  • dithi

    The difference is that armature is always a modifier now. Just use the good ol’ method. But now you can “make real” the modifier so you can change some settings, move it to a lower position and be able to use several armatures at the same time.

  • malefico

    Hehehe… well. The advantage of using an armature modifier is exactly that IT IS A MODIFIER. As such, you can combine it with other modifiers in the stack to get different behaviour. For instance you can combine it with a mesh/curve/lattice modifiers to get smooth deformations in parts of the character that are hard to get by using only bones.

    Hope it helps.

  • dreamsgate

    Thank you so much, actually both of your answers helped quite a bit. Since I am doing a really simple animation, I don’t need the “modifier” part of it right now. But it is good to know for future projects.

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