Animating aircraft spoilers

I’m trying to model an aircraft for private use in Microsoft Flight Simulator X as a way to teach myself how to use blender (I’m crazy, I know). I was animating the spoilers and it’s components, made up of cubes, with simple keyframes, when I noticed, the point of contact between the arm raising the spoiler, and the spoiler plate, was moving. For an example of what I mean, click here (gfycat).

I don’t think there is an easy way to keep the animation similar, but have the point of contact stay the same, by rotating the middle block and then the outer, for practically every frame, which is why I’m here.

Is there any way to do this animation, and keep that point of connection constant, with a system of bones? If so, how?
I’m still learning the ropes with blender, so I don’t really know much about dealing with bones.

The additional challenge, is when this is exported, it can’t have bones. So while I’m hoping the bones can be used to create a smooth animation for the spoiler, when the time comes to push it to FSX, I’m going to need to convert that animation to keyframes on the cube objects, and delete the bones.

The .blend file is here: Spoilers.blend (1.13 MB)

Thanks in advance for helping, and also apologies in advance for my not knowing anything!

Patrick Gelvin

Yes, I would advice you to use armatures, with bones with IK constraint. I did one on this file. And it’s quite complex to use, so check a few tutorial to understand how it works.
But that should send you already in the right direction! :wink:



Spoilers02.blend (1.13 MB)

Your right, that looks complex :eek:
I’ll start looking for some tutorials on armatures and IK then

Using an armature and bones would be my preferred way of doing this, in blender.

Since you are exporting and can’t export the armature/rig, I’m not sure what’s the best way to do this.

In blender, the animation would have key frames on the bones, and the bones would control the mesh objects. The mesh objects have no animation data, so when exported, I would expect them to have no animations in the software you plan on using them in.

In this case, you maybe better off not using an armature, and instead, rigging the objects.

I would start by creating a test. A simple cube with animation exported and imported into the flight sim software. See how that goes first.


well, depending on how it should be exported, he could bake the animation for the bones to the object, then the object would have the animation data! :slight_smile: