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As we create these sets of poses and these sets of actions, Blender provides the Action Editor that gives us a tool to manage the complexity of dealing with all of these different bone changes and poses that we're manipulating and going through. So what I have set up is a simple little robot file that demonstrate the concept behind the Action Editor and the NLA. In this action we have selected the Put action. In this Put action as you can see here consists of two bones, I have a Base bone and an Arm bone for the little robot, and he is going to put whatever object he is grabbing up onto the shelf, and that's what that action does.
So I can run this forward and backwards, and see that it just does that. Now the Action Editor I actually have two actions. I also have a grab action. And the grab actions starts from this rest position and takes these two bones, and he goes down, and he grabs the object. But now it needs to bring it back up to the rest position. I want to demonstrate that these keys are selectable. When they are bright yellow, they are actually selected.
So we are going to select these two keys by Shift+Right-clicking on both of them and Shift+D to duplicate just like any other object in Blender. We are going to go ahead and drag these out and drop them right around Frame 21 which is a delta of 20 frames, which is shown down here when you are clicking-and-dragging, Blender often shows you down here how far you've dragged something. So now the little robot goes from his rest position, down grabs the ball, and then comes back up to his rest position.
So that's the way you can manipulate these keys inside the Action Editor. The other thing you can do is when you switch from action-to-action you're generating a list of actions that we're going to in the later combine. You can adjust the timing of any individual arm. Let's say I wanted this arm on this sweeping up motion to a start later in this cycle. So you can just grab this selected key, and move it up, let's say to about here. And now the arm doesn't start rotating until much later in the animation.
I can go ahead and drag this way over here and make it very dramatic. I wouldn't want to design a robot that flips something around like that, but you can. All right, so those are the two actions, and that's working with the Action Editor. There is a couple of other things you can do, you can add a marker into your Timeline to indicate what kind of action is going on at this particular time. You can also work with different keys, and different selections of different channels, you can change the ordering of the channels if things get out of order.
When you get into armatures with a hundred bones, you want to be able to order these channels, so that you can rapidly work with the most common bones at the very top, and then all of the bottom bones you can leave at the bottom, and let them scroll off the list. You can also do a whole bunch of selections, and say if I wanted to drag everything out, I could go ahead and select all of the keys that are head of my Current Time Code. The Time Code is shown here as the green vertical bar.
You can also name the markers by the way as well. So that's the Action Editor. That's what it allows you to do, as you sit here with your armature, you build up a whole bunch of actions that your character would go through. When you look in the BBB you'll see hundreds of actions that each character can perform, and when you think about it there is just a hundred different things that you can do as well. That's the Action Editor in Blender.
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