Animation help


I created a test model i want to practice animation with. But i am a little confused how to rotate multiple objects around a central point without joining them into one a single object.

But if i join them into a single object then i can’t move smaller parts within it. So i’m kinda confused how you do it.

If you look at my image, I have joined all the parts together, then i plan to rotate it 180 degrees around the center of the circle object.

But equally because the arm is part of the join - i can no longer move the arm up and down.

Have i missed out some fundamental logic here?


This is why you need to rig it. Look up the tut on rigging a piston, great place to start

For a simple mechanical rig like this you can probably get away without an armature.

My suggestion is keep them as single objects and use parenting. Attached is a simple file.
For animation of mechanical things I like using custom properties and drivers. Having all the custom props on one object has the benefit of keeping keyframing of the pump (in this case) to only one action.

Slide the spin and pump props on the cylinder to test. Other relations between parts can be set with constraints.

Hope this helps.


PUMP.blend (81.6 KB)

Thanks i will take a look at the blend file ! :slight_smile:

You do know that you can redirect the Pivot Points of each object right?..
Select your individual object > then on the bottom tool bar (3D view window) > Transform > Origin to 3D Cursor…
By Moving the 3D cursor around (Shift+S) you can set the pivot points of all your separate individual objects all to the same place… or several various places… no need to use Bones… unless it really gets complex…