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Animating objects

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Animating objects

In Blender we create animation by setting keyframes, so let's go ahead and create a simple animation and learn about how to set keyframes. I have a simple scene here with a car sitting on a ground plane, so let's go ahead and animate this car driving across the screen. Now before we do this, I'm going to actually scale down the length of my animation. By default, we have this set to 250 frames, and it'll definitely take a lot less than 250 frames for this car to drive across the screen.

Animating objects

In Blender we create animation by setting keyframes, so let's go ahead and create a simple animation and learn about how to set keyframes. I have a simple scene here with a car sitting on a ground plane, so let's go ahead and animate this car driving across the screen. Now before we do this, I'm going to actually scale down the length of my animation. By default, we have this set to 250 frames, and it'll definitely take a lot less than 250 frames for this car to drive across the screen.

So I'm going to go down to my Start and End values here and I'm going to type in 60 for my End value. Now when I do that, notice how a lot of Timeline goes away and my active area just shrinks down to the left side of the screen. Now, I can expand this in a couple of ways, but probably one of the easiest is to grab this little dot here on the side and then just drag. What that does is it scales up my Timeline. Now if I want to center this, I can just left-click on the Timeline anywhere I want and move left or right and that will pan the Timeline itself.

I can also grab the other side, but really any side works, and so what I want to do is get this Timeline centered. Now that I have it, let's go ahead and set our first keyframe. I'm going to right-click to select my car. And what we need to do is position the car at the beginning of the animation and also set the Timeline to the frame that is the beginning of the animation. So I'm going to scrub my Timeline so that my cursor is at frame 1, and you can see that here, and then I'm going to just move this car back to the edge of this plane.

Now moving the car itself does nothing. We need to be able to set a keyframe. We can do that in a couple of ways. The first way is to explicitly set the keyframe. In other words, you tell Blender exactly when and where you want to set a keyframe. We can do that either in the Transform panel of the car's Properties panel, or we can do it here in the Transform panel. These are basically the same value. So it doesn't matter if we do it here on the viewport or in the Properties panel; it's the same process.

Now all we have to do is just right- click and say Insert Keyframes, or we can just hover over that menu and hit I, which is the hotkey. So if I hover over this and hit the letter I on the keyboard, notice how we get this yellowed out, and that tells me that there is a keyframe. I'm going to go ahead and close this Transform window. And so yellow means we have a keyframe here, and also if I scrub my Timeline, you'll see that I have another keyframe here. Again, it's a yellow keyframe.

This tells me that I have a key set in the Timeline. So in order for something to animate, we need at least two keyframe, so I'm going to go ahead and scroll over to, say, frame 50, and then I'm just going to move my car over towards the end of the screen. Now doing that by itself will not animate. In fact, as soon as I move my Timeline, you'll see it snaps back. I have to create another keyframe. Now we can do that in one of two ways.

I can just position the car and hit I again, like I did before. Another way to do it is to just automatically set the keyframe, and we can do that here by pressing this little red button. And what this does is it sets automatic keyframe. So whenever you move the object, it'll set a keyframe to reflect that position. This can be very easy to use. It can also be a little hazardous, because if you accidentally move an object, you'll also create a keyframe.

So be a little bit careful when you use this option. But by clicking this button, all I have to do now is just move the car and you can see how it brings up the keyframe not just for the location of the car, but for everything. And the reason it does that is because next to this, we have an option here. This tells you what gets automatically set for keyframes, basically any Available channel, Location, Rotation, and we can go down to Scale and those sort of things. But it's set to Available, which means it'll set a keyframe for just about anything.

And so once we have this, we can just hit the Play button, and you can see the car drives across the screen and rolls to a stop. Now if I want to, I can create additional keyframes. So let's go over to the middle of this and go to frame 25, and let's go ahead and slide the car over, so let's go ahead and make the car do a curvy path, and as soon as I do that, you'll see I get another keyframe. So once I do that, you can see how the car moves from one place to the other.

But it doesn't look realistic, because in order for the car to move to that spot, it needs to be facing in that direction. Well, we can change that simply by adding a key for rotation. Now if you notice, the first key I set was for just Location. Rotation and Scale are set as green, and what that means is that they don't have a keyframe at frame 1. At frame 25, they're both yellow, as well as 50, they're both yellow, but green means that something is animating, but we're not on a specific keyframe.

So if I want, I can just rotate this car to go into the direction of travel, and now you can see it's driving around that corner. And again, once we get here, we also need to make it pointing in that direction of travel. So now once I have this, I can play it back. So as you can see, there are several different ways of setting keys. You can explicitly set keys in Blender by hovering over any value and hitting the I key.

If we want to automatically set keys, then we need to press this little button on the Timeline and then be careful to only move the object when we want to set a key.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.6 Essential Training
Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 22975 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7 NEW
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 18s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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