Bending/warping an object in Animation


I used to use to do a lot of casual Blender work back in early 2.4 and have recently upgraded to 2.62. I haven’t even used it in a while and the new layout + not using for a while has left me with very limited knowledge.

Anyway my main question for today is how to animate the warping or bending of an object. I know how to use bones/armatures (or at least I did) but I want the top of the object and the bottom to remain in their position and just the middle to warp. So for example I have a can and someone squishes the middle of it: What is the easiest way to do that?

On a side note, anyone have a suggestion for how to animate or simulate confetti? I may as well pop my final question out here too… Again with the can, is there a way to have a light source inside of it streaking out the sides. The best I could get was an area light, but it really just exposed the edges of can rather than actually pushing out streaks of light. Kind of as though there is dust on the outside. In principle this picture seems similar

Thanks for your help, Brendan
You can add more shape keys or just refine these better for more realistic results

simulated confetti could be done with a particle system with a lot of “brownian” noise in it, you could model a single piece of confetti and assign that mesh to a particle system (which i dont think has changed too much)

as for “beams of light” … I’m not sure, but it sounds like something you may need volumetric materials for,. IDK if cycles has those yet … seen as I never use it

Rich33584 that is really really useful, my only issue is now how to animate this? The start of the animation I want the can to be normal but then get squished in the middle of the animation

just an fyi (seen as you havent used blender in a long time (pre 2.5)) holding your mouse over almost ANYTHING you can change in blender and pressing “i” will add a keyframe to that value… this includes shapekeys influence, material settings, render options and pretty much everything else… In this way you can add the keyframes you need to the shapekeys created in the above example by rich33584…

ALSO to make shapekeys easier to animate you can use the dopesheet screen , where it says “dopesheet” ,change this to shapekeys… its basically an action editor for shapekeys… very useful, you can also use IPO curves to modify shapekeys in the curve editor

Oh, thanks heaps! I knew about ‘I’ to place keyframes but didn’t know that you could hover it over anything to get it to work, awesome