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Once your armature is skinned by the needed object(s), you can start to pose it. Basically, by transforming its bones, you deform or transform the skin object(s). But you don’t do that in Edit mode – remember that in this mode, you edit the default, base, “rest” position of your armature. You can’t use the Object mode either, as here you can only transform whole objects…

So, armatures in Blender have a third mode, Pose, dedicated to this process. It’s a sort of “object mode for bones”. In rest position (as edited in Edit mode), each bone has its own position/rotation/scale to neutral values (i.e. 0.0 for position and rotation, and 1.0 for scale). Hence, when you edit a bone in Pose mode, you create an offset in its transform properties, from its rest position – this is quite similar to meshes’ relative shape keys, in fact.

Posing Section Overview

In this section, we will see:

Even though it might be used for completely static purposes, posing is heavily connected with animation features and techniques.

In this part, we will try to focus on animation-independent posing, but this isn’t always possible. So if you know nothing about animation in Blender, it might be a good idea to read the animation features and techniques chapter first, and then come back here.

See Also

As usual, see the tutorials for more demonstrative examples, and especially this BSoD one.