Animating deformers ... is it possible?

Just wondering if there’s a way to set keys for the deformers …
Let’s say I’ve an array object and I’d like to set count to make it grow, starting from 1 up to 10.

Changing some properties of Lattices is not yet possible. I think you’re talking about lattices right?

What is the effect you want to achieve? There is probably another way to do this that is even better.


I mean something like this:

it’s a simple array object animated by transformation values.
In blender it would be the count value … but I don’t know if it’s possible to animate the array parameters.

Maybe the “build” feature is what you’re after - so your mesh/object “grows”?

Really don’t know what your question is.

hmm … I’ve tried the build modifier but it “build” the mesh as expected - btw it’s based on the subdisivion of the mesh

What I’m looking for is another thing, it’s a shame that the movie doesn’t explain this better then my poor english.

Anyway, very rough, if you apply the Array modifier to a simple cube, the cube is duplicated. You can choose how many clones, 2, 3 and so on …
You do this simply by increasing the value in the COUNT field.
Now, let’s say that I’d like to set the count = 1 at frame 1 and count = 100 at frame 25.
I still haven’t found a way to do that … since I’m not a programmer I cannot imagine if it’s possible to achieve this animation by Python or if it’s just possible via another way.

Hope that this make a sense …

The modifiers are a fairly new system in Blender, so I’m not sure there is any built-in animation possibility as yet.

I think you are going for a particle system effect.

  1. Firstly, create the outline of the shape you want to ‘grow’ as a curve (not sure whether a mesh works though?).
  2. Then, create a mesh that looks like one segment of it.
  3. Make a mesh with one vert, and parent the segment to this mesh. Turn on dupliverts (I think?)
  4. Now, parent the single-vert mesh to the curve, and make sure it is made to follow the curve (test that by moving back and forth along the timeline, checking to see that the empty always follows the curve).
  5. Now, apply a particle system to the empty. Set the end frame to when you want the effect to end. Set the particle lifetime to be longer than the animation lasts.

For some reason, the latest cvs doesn’t seem to work too well with this, but it should work on 2.41 and also cvs builds from 2 months ago.


I haven’t played with the cvs versions so I’m not sure about it. You could try placing your cursor over the input box and press Ikey, to see if you could set a keyframe value for it…
If that didn’t work, you could perhaps create the array, make it real, separate the cubes, then keyframe the Alpha values to either 1.0 or 0 for the various cubes at the different frames so that they appear sequentially and get the effect you want…

Y’know, slap me silly if you like, but it looks to me like the object count doesn’t change on that video clip, the objects just telegraph out of each other. Anyhoo - I vote the particle option above! It’s simplest just to move a single point emmitter over a path and emit objects regularly throughout.

Hmmm, doesn’t dupliframes do that with the right settings? It’s been a while since I messed with that part of Blender (and I never really messed enough to understand it) but I thought the duplication could be delayed across frames.

Maybe check dupliframes in the docs (new or old).

If it doesn’t do this, maybe it should? 2.43?

Only mesh objects can be particle emitters. I tried a single vert mesh, then tried a plane with one extra vert in the middle and made it a group to itself, then emitted from that one vert group but I could not get the emitted object to follow the curve as the emitter did.

Also tried to IPO rotate the child object but it rotates all the emitted particls.

This sounds like an interesting one to figure out

Only mesh objects can be particle emitters

Oops, my bad. Edited previous post.



It’s not currently possible to animate array modifier parameters, but there is a way to do what you want (kinda hacky, but it works):

  • Add a curve with shape keys to change the length (i.e. if the offset is 1 unit, make the curve length 1 at frame 1 and length 100 at frame 25)
  • Set the Array modifier to “Fit To Curve Length” and set the Ob: field to the name of the curve you added
  • The number of duplicates will now be (curve length)/(offset), updated whenever the curve length changesYou can use the “Poly” button in Curve Tools to make it easier to set the curve length precisely.

Here are a couple of examples: