Can you automate the Cycles Modifier

Hi, I’m hoping that there’s a way to do this. I’m doing a fly animation and I want to set up the wing flaps with a cycle modifier. But the fly starts and stops flying during the animation. Is there a way to start and stop a cycles modifier in the time line? I can get it to stop by using “Repeat Motion After”. But I can’t have it stopped at the beginning of the animation or the cycle modifier doesn’t work correctly. Is there a way to automate or switch the modifier on and off? Or a way to tag what frames to cycle? Thanks.


Not sure if this is what your looking for and being new to blender and never used this, dont know if you can adapt it to your needs, but maybe:

@pdg I put this togeather to see for myself how the NLA editor works using this tut as a guide.

My “fly” is animated with bones and has three ‘actions’
1: flapping wings
2: wiggling body
3: flight path

Both the flap wings and wiggle body animation was done in Pose mode with the bones and the flight path was done key-framing in object mode.

The flapping wings action has a duplicate, each has the ‘Repeat’ Playback Setting set to a different length.

The body wiggle has the repeat set to a length.

The flight path is the full timeline.

Heres my blender file (this was done with blender 2.82a):
bug-nla-animation.blend (700.6 KB)

Like said above, im new to blender, so there is probably a better way to do this but maybe this can help you or another person.

EDIT Re-Uploaded animation and blender file.

Thanks, I’ll give that a try. The fly is interacting with another character which will be animated separately. Would that be an issue with using the NLA? Thanks again.

No. The NLA editor is really helpful to store animation patterns that you need more than once or that need to be looped such as your flying animation. Your animations are saved as “actions” which are essentially templates for that animation. You can even overlay multiple actions and choose if the top one replaces the bottom one or adds onto that. For example: I animated a cockroach and gave it an action for “idle” which was just some subtle base wiggle. I also have clean animations for flying, running etc. And I can then loop the flying animation and combine it with the idle animation to create a more organic animation.

I dont think so, from the little i played around with it, seams like it would be the tool for the job, but again, im new to blender and what you see above is the only thing which ive used it for.

From what you described, seams like @As_Sd would be a person (im sure amonst others) that could offer insight.

Thanks for all of your (and very quick) help. Before I went into the NLA (Because I didn’t know it) I tried to set something up with drivers. Discovered that in 2.82a I can’t add a driver (This is on OSX 10.12.6 Sierra). The only thing that comes up in the right click is Copy Driver and no paste driver. Went back to 2.81 and it’s there. Just not in 2.82a. The problem with using a driver was there was no way to animate it on or off. Finally, after a lot trial and error (mostly error) I was able to do what I wanted by using a bone constraint and cycling the driving bone and then setting up a custom property on the driven bone to keyframe the influence. Thanks again.