Blender tricks

I love finding new things in Blender. Actually, last night opened up a world that was briefly open to me years ago and shut down again due to the lack of flexibility in the X-Plane object format.

I’ve been working on some new developments that we’ll announce shortly, but long story short, I’m building and having to animate more complex systems. And in order to do it to the fidelity that I like, it requires keyframes, and lots of them. I do believe that the 777 gear all is roughly 30 keyframes per strut just in the retract and extend cycles. All of the scissor drag links are a royal pain as I’m sure many of you out there in dev land know. To get to the point, I have rediscovered inverse kinematics. By adding IK constraints to my armature rigs, I am able to forego manually setting up animation strings, rotating each bone a few degrees and praying that things all will still line up keyframe after keyframe. Now all I have to do is define how the bones in my armatures should behave in relation to each other and other geometry. The biggest advantage to this is simply the time saved in order to pull entire complex systems together. To quote Mr. Spock, “Admiral, if we go ‘by the book,’ like Lieutenant Saavik, hours could seem like days.” Now I’m not going to elaborate on the technique specifics in this post. I’ve just been playing with stuff in my test files and I’d rather have something 777 related to show it off with. Stay tuned for Blender tricks part 2, and developers, I promise, if you’re not doing this already, you’ll like it :) It turned my animation world upside down when I found out how to overcome the last few obstacles. Happy building!



About this entry