Animating a book's turning pages..

Hey guys,

I saw what I consider to be kind of a neat 3D page turning effect in the movie “Election.” It’s pretty simple by movie 3D standards, but looking at the footage quite a few times I couldn’t think of a way to efficiently animate pages that appear to have volume as they turn; in other words, so that you can see the thickness of pages on the left as they stack one on top of the other. It’s simple enough to extrude a segment along a curve and shape key a page turning, I know, and stacking a few on top of each other and offsetting their turning animations is easy enough when it’s just a few, but in the sequence there must be 60 or more and they all seem to have a particular place at which they stop, which doesn’t seem as though it’d be the result of duplicating pages. Maybe it was just tedious as hell and it took a long time, but I have a feeling there’s a simpler way. Thanks.


I’ll do it with the array modifier.
Take a look at this blend I did. Just play the animation.

Now you just have to find out how to bend the pages.

Thanks for the attempt, but an array doesn’t give precise control over the individual elements; I know I mentioned how I’d like it to be a simpler solution, but it also has to allow for stopping the pages at a specific point and as it stands that empty will just spin the pages around indefinitely. And I mentioned how to bend the pages: an array along a curved path and shape keys.

Anything is possible with Blender. Just write a script. A little Trial and Error would get you a long ways.

Here is an alternate to the book, a single page that might offer a little more control.


pageTurn.blend (396 KB)

Good Atom, really helpful, I’ve been thinking how to do that too.

WolRon: I don’t doubt Blender’s capabilities, I just have no coding ability, and I don’t have any intentions of getting any.

Atom: That works pretty similarly to what I had going, but what would you recommend for creating a whole mess of them?

I appreciate the responses, guys.

You can add the Empty and Grid to a group, then use a particle system with it’s start and end time set to frame 1. Set your particle count to the number of pages you want and make the life the length of your animation. Then set the visualization type to Group and type in the group name you specified for the Empty and the Grid. As you playback the particle system, you will see the pages duplicated by the count number you specify but I could find no way to add in a “Delay” on the page turn. They all turn at the same time. This makes me think you might be heading down the path of custom code or simply laying out all the pages by hand. BTW, that’s how I would approach the code. Have the code duplicate the page, empty and IPO, then offset the IPO in time by a delay factor times the page number.

I did a (Shrek like) animation of a book as the intro to the wedding film of good friends. It was supposed to be an album showing pictures of their life up to the wedding. The last page showed a caption of the ceremony. When the camera zoomed in to the picture it comes alive and the ceremony is shown.

You can see the re-rendered video (I removed the textures for privacy until I get the permission to show the textured version) here:

I spent a lot of time trying different approaches to the turning of the pages, even simulating the pages as cloth and turning the pages using a single bone. A single page looked great, but multiple pages stacked on top of each other always began to oscillate like crazy.

In the end I used the direct approach and modeled each page separately using a bone per page for turning and shape keys for the rounding of the pages.

It’s not the sophisticated solution I had hoped for but it turned out all right.

I animated a book for a (Shrek like) intro for the wedding film of good friends. It showed pictures of their life up until the church ceremony. The last shown page had a caption of the recorded ceremony. When the Camera zoomed in the picture came alive and the ceremony was shown.

I did a quick re-render (without the textures for privacy, until I get the permission to show the textured version) which can be found on vimeo (ID 5464623). Sorry can’t post direct links yet. :o

I spent quite some time experimenting with different methods for turning the pages. One that looked really good for a single page was using a cloth modifier (leathery) and a single bone for turning. I just couldn’t get it to work with multiple pages as they started to oscillate wildly (probably due to collisions).

In the end I took the direct approach and modeled it by hand. For each page I used a bone for turning and different shape keys for the bending of the pages.

It wasn’t the sophisticated solution I had hoped for but it turned out all right.

Thanks WolRon ! :slight_smile:

A nice looking book.