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Path animation

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Path animation

There are many times when you'll need to animate objects in very specific paths, and you can use animation paths to do that. So let's take a look at how to attach an object to a path for animation. Now in order to do this, we need to first create an animation path. Now this is called a curve. And we really haven't dealt too much with curves, but we can find them under Curve > Path. And once we have that, we can zoom in on it, and you'll see it's basically a Nurbs type of curve.

Path animation

There are many times when you'll need to animate objects in very specific paths, and you can use animation paths to do that. So let's take a look at how to attach an object to a path for animation. Now in order to do this, we need to first create an animation path. Now this is called a curve. And we really haven't dealt too much with curves, but we can find them under Curve > Path. And once we have that, we can zoom in on it, and you'll see it's basically a Nurbs type of curve.

Now we can edit this curve by going into Edit mode. You'll notice we have a lot of little chunks there, but you'll see that we have individual vertices here. And just by pushing and pulling those vertices, we can reshape that curve. So if wanted to, I can move this really wherever I want. In fact, if I wanted to, I can go into my Quad view and that might make it a little bit easier to edit. So as you can see here in my top ortho view, we can go ahead and create a nice curve for this object to move around.

So I'm just going to go ahead and right-click on each of these and move them around, and you can see how the curve kind of sticks to those points here. And this is a classic Nurbs-based curve, in that the curve itself doesn't move over the points; it actually moves in between them. So the points define the outer edge of the curve rather than the curve moving through the points. So once I have this curve defined-- and you can actually put the curve into 3D space if you want.

So I'm going to go back to Quad view here, and let's go ahead and take a look at this curve. In fact, again I can select each one of these and just move them up, so let's say we want to have this go up in a little bit of an arc. Okay, so that should be a pretty good curve. So you can make whatever shaped curve you want, but the idea here is to get a curve, and once we're done, we can tab out of Edit mode. Now in order to attach the object to the curve, you need to use what's called a constraint.

Now we've used constraints a little bit, but you can find them here under this little chain link here. So I'm going to right-click on my billiard ball here and click on the Constraints tab. So we're going to add in a constraint. Now we have a number of them here. One is called Follow Path, but that's actually kind of the old technology way of doing it. The better way to do it is to use what's called Clamp To. So I'm going to add in a Clamp to constraint, so this object will be constrained to a target, and that target has to be a curve, and that curve is called Nurbs Path. And as soon as I do, it snaps to that path.

Now we can select which axis of the object we're using to move along that path. Let me show what I mean. If I select X, that means that moving the objects X translation moves it along the path; Y means if I move it along the green axis; and Z means I'll have to move it along the blue axis. So I'm going to keep this on the Y. And then all we have to do to move this along the path is just to set some keyframes. So I can move it over here and basically set a keyframe for location.

So all I have to do is hit I, and you can see I have a keyframe, move my Timeline, and again, red is what moves it. If I move green or blue, it doesn't. Red is X, so I can move this all the way over here, set it another keyframe, hit I, or I can just turn on automatic keyframing, and then I can move that wherever I want. So now I've basically just moved it and wherever it moves, it moves along that path.

Now if you want, we can go back to the constraint, and if you click on Cyclic, it will actually cycle that as well. So those are some of the basics of animating to a path. Now remember, you have to start with a pathed curve, and then once you get your curve into the proper shape, you attach the object using a Clamp To constraint.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.6 Essential Training
Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 25820 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
      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)
      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)
      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)
      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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