- [David] Animating in Blender couldn't be easier, and in this week's Blender's Tips, Tricks, and Techniques I'm going to show you how to animate using functions and not placing any more than a single key frame. Let me show you. First let's delete this cube. And hit shift C, shift A, and let's go ahead and put armature and single bone. Let's zoom in a little bit, tab. Let's hit one on your numpad and five and then period. If you don't have a numpad you can always go to view, front, and then we're going to switch to orthographic and finally numpad period.
View selected, so you get a nice view here. Now hit E, Z, one, E, Z, one again. That's it. Let's come back over to pose mode. Click on this one, switch to animation, and actually we want to click on all of these, hit I, location rotation scale, we need at least one keyframe to use a function, let's bring this up here and move it over a little bit, zoom out a tad, hit this little button here, and let's start with this bottom one.
Let's open this up, and let's just go to Quaternian X, shift H, come over to modifiers, add, built-in function sine. Whoa! And if I just play that, you're going to get this ridiculous thing. Let's come in here, let's make that amplitude .1, see what we get. In fact, you can always just hit the play button, or hit alt-A on your computer, and then change these functions and in real time you'll see what's happening.
So let's pick something like that. That just lets you make the phase tighter, longer, so I can zoom in here, see what's going, and then offsets are always handy. This looks good, so let's click on this copy button, click on Y, shift H, paste. There we go, now we can offset this one a little bit, let's offset in this direction, and let's go to Z. Shift H, paste, and let's offset that one too.
Now that is looking pretty crazy. Let's do it again. Let's click on the middle bone, X, shift H, paste, we're going to offset it this time negative a little bit, same with the Z. Shift H, paste, offset it in the negative direction, that way it happens later, if you will. Here's what I mean by that. If I go to these two Zs and shift H, you can see that one happens later.
So, this is the middle bone, this is the bottom bone, so when the bottom bone is at its top Z, the middle bone is not just there yet, but it will eventually get there. In fact, we can make the amplitude a little bit bigger, too, if we want to. Let's do that to the X, shift H of course, phase offset a little bit, maybe a little bit more amplitude. Now let's go up to the top and let's come over to X, paste, phase offset a bunch, same with the Z.
Paste, phase offset it by a bunch, and in this case, we'll do the Y as well. Phase offset, and let's just do that. Now you get this kind of wicked little thing, and if you really want to, you can, of course, compare the axes and make sure that everything is offset correctly, so that you get a nice offset on everything. But there you go, you've now animated-- well, I don't really know what you've animated, but you've animated something, and that's the point, that you're able to use a function to do some pretty cool stuff.
Now, that's not the only thing you can do. You can, let's come over here, add modifier, noise. Noise is going to be really crazy. So, let's go ahead and say, make it additive, and let's bring it down, bring it down on all the sides, scale as well, and let's just play that. That's pretty crazy. Now it looks like it's being hit by a wind of some sort.
And the cool thing about this, if I just go ahead and go to layer 2, so let's just go to layer 2 here, let's just add a cube, shift A, cube. I'm going to hit I, location rotation scale, come to another part, if you're at the beginning that's okay too, you can just key it somewhere, and then key it somewhere else. That way, when you play it, you have this.
And now that you have this, you can also go ahead and use a modifier and add noise. Let's go here, add it to the Z value, shift H, noise, strength, let's bring that strength down a little bit, and if I scoot this over a little, you can kind of see what's happening here. It's actually adding the noise on top of what's already happening. So that's really, really handy. That way, you can have regular animation, and then just add noise or whatever you wanted on top of all that.
Now, one more cool function. Let's say you had a whole bunch of animation, like you do now, let's go to this bottom one for example. Let's say you had this kind of crazy animation. And you couldn't really change it because there are so many key frames. What you can do is go to envelope, and with envelope here, you're going to want to set the minimum, and you can hold down shift to get it just about right, maximum, there we go, add a point.
And what that's going to do is it lets you effectively scale this, so I can make it really big, or if I think it's way too, too much, I can just scale it. And then I can shift it down or do whatever I want with it. So that's a really handy tool you can use in your animation. An envelope, which lets you adjust animation without necessarily destroying it, it's just a non-destructive process.
See that? If I turn it off it's crazy, if I turn it on, you can see I've really limited what's going on there. That can be really helpful for cleaning up animation or just shifting things around. Like all things in Blender, there are tons of modifiers in here, stepped interpolation's really handy for animation if you just want to quickly preview how it looks stepped, or blocked, it's a really handy function. Of course, noise limits. Other cool things you can do, you can even write in some Python if you'd like. And there you go. Using a few modifiers, you're able to quickly animate a crazy bunch of bones, even make it look like it's being blown by the wind, and of course, you've even learned how to use an envelope, which lets you rescale animation without destroying it.
Also a really helpful little tool. Like all things in Blender, get in there. Play with it. See what interesting things you can come up with. And until next time, this is David for Blender's Tips, Tricks, and Techniques.
Skill Level Intermediate
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