Anansi Blender Extensions: a collection of tools for working in Blender, driven mainly by the needs of the Lunatics Project.
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# abx
Anansi Blender Extensions (Add-On)

This is a collection of Blender studio tools used by Anansi Spaceworks productions, which is producing "Lunatics!" Project (

Current Features (Version 0.2.5):

3D View Tool Panels

Copy Animation

Allows animation to be copied from one armature (or proxy) to another, in bulk. It can copy the entire NLA editor contents as well as the "active action" (which is what is normally displayed in the Dopesheet). It can be set to transfer this animation directly or to (deep) copy it. When set to copy, an optional "scale factor" can be applied, which can be used to correctly scale animation to a new rig at a different (internal) scale.

This is primarily useful as a tool for correcting broken armatures (the most common case being a rig whose name has changed in the source file): you can create a new proxy from a character, copy the animation data over to it, and delete the original. In the process you can correct a scale error or give the proxy rig a new name.

Note that you copy **from the active object to all selected objects**. So you click on the armature you want to copy from **last**.

Because that might be a little confusing, the Copy Animation feature automatically sets the "Fake User" on actions it removes from an armature, so as to avoid data loss. But could still make a mess. I highly recommend saving your work before using it.

Ink/Paint Config

Sets up the scene, render layers, compositing nodes, and EXR/PNG output for the signature "Lunatics!" ink/paint compositing system, which uses Freestyle ink on a separate render layer and can support handling of transparent object with ink seen behind them ("Ink-Thru"), with a different ink style. There are also options for correctly processing alpha-transparent billboard objects so that ink lines are masked over the visible part of the billboard, but not the transparent parts. And it can optionally render the sky background on a separate layer, which allows the sky to be handled correctly in compositing.

This is a very specific tool intended to automate our most common configurations. It's not meant to be overly flexible.

Scene Properties Panel

Currently supports "Lunatics Properties" which provide a systematic naming scheme for the file. Should be used to set up the correct Series, Episode, Sequence, Block, and Shot settings for the current scene before running Ink/Paint Config -- it uses this data to name the scene and output image directories for rendering.

The shot naming system is hard-coded in this version of ABX. In later versions, the YAML data system will interpret a "project_schema" in your project source files to determine how scenes and files should be named.

Render Properties Panel

Provides "Render Profiles" with our most common pre-visualization renders and the full render for the Ink/Paint EXR output. These are currently hard-coded.
A future version will allow these to be customized from YAML files within your animation project files.


Blender 2.79 Only

NOTE: This add-in is for **Blender 2.79**. It is not currently compatible with 2.8 or later versions of Blender. As we are currently stuck with 2.79 due to our dependency on the Blender-Internal renderer, it is not an immediate priority to port to later versions. We do have it in the road map already, though, and it's probably not that hard, as the scripting environment has only changed slightly.

Make the Add-on

Run the "" script to generate an installable Add-On for Blender. It will put it in the 'pkg' directory, with a version-coded extension, like "".

Install in Blender

From the "File -> User Preferences -> Add-Ons" dialog in Blender, select the button (bottom middle) that says "Install Add-On from File", then browse to find the package and accept. The package will show up in the window, under "User" packages. Click the enable checkbox.

Restart Blender (Bug work-around!)
There is an unfortunate bug in ABX currently that causes Blender to be unstable after ABX is installed. I think something doesn't get initialized properly, but I haven't figured out what. To get around this, **immediately exit and restart Blender** after enabling ABX.
[Update 2022: I believe this problem has already been fixed.]