Conveyor Belt.....

hey blender peeps,

Im in the middle of designing a semi complex animation with gears, steam engines and conveyor belts.... problem is... how do I develop a smooth belt that runs in a ovular path. Similar to the belts you see at the grocery store when you check out. Any ideas?!


this reminds me of a tut’l I saw once (but never actually did :wink: ) about tank treads. i think there’s a link to it from (or something like that) and there may also be one on Ingibee’s page. a tank tread is probably close to what you want (in principle anyway).
Hope that helps.

If it is an ovular pattern, then you need a specialist in human reproduction possibly.
But for a conveyor belt could it be as simple as texturing with an image, creaitng an empty at the center of gravity of the belt, choosing the projection ‘object’ with the empty in that role and last animating the empty which should produce a good illusion.


You could try using an animated texture

Thanks Gr8RedShark, thats EXACTLY what im talking about!!!

whoohooo, im off to make my machine world!!!


a tank tread wouldn’t really work for this. Unlike the tank, a conveyor belt is the same all the way around. The only way we see it moving is it has irregularities which we see moving. These would be added by a texture, so rotating the texture is the only way to do it.

Have a look at the chain animation on my site ( ) too, made accordingly to the Tank track animation but with tracking constrains too.



Those movies on your site are AWESOME!! Probably the best showcase I have seen so far, anyone who needs convincing about using blender has got to see these.

The chain one particularly, but what is meant by cinematically correct?

Also, any clues on how these were done? (to stay on topic - the chain)


Thanx :slight_smile:

I inverted quoting because answers comes logically in this order :slight_smile:

The basics of the chain are in the Tank Track tutorial, which was on old Blender site, which now is up again, and mirrored on Ingiebee site.

The Tank Tracks made accordingly to the tutorial are nice but only if seen from far away. If you go close you’ll se that the liks ending don’t match correctly.

In the cayn they do. This because each link has 2 axis of rotation, one at each end. In the Tank track the center of the link follow a path, and the two ends don’t (and this is not cinematically correct)

In the chain one axis is bounded to the path, and the other tracks the following link. This makes BOTH axis stick to the chain path, and the axis of joining links be always co-incident. THis is correct :slight_smile:

I think the you can do nice conveyor belts with that tutorial and by paying attention to where you place each elemen’t center and with a trackTo constrains to the followig element.


Wooooaah!! Got to try and get my head around this one.


maybe some vertex keyframe stuff… (im not that great, but that might prove to be helpful 8) )

i think i got it! maybe a tube with lattices around it to help it keep its shape when it rotates :smiley: