Couple questions

I know I am going to get told to read the manual on this one, but hopefully somebody is in a real helpful mood. If not, you can skip my questions, and sorry in advance, I don’t want to get chewed out. :smiley:


I am making some instructional welding videos with Blender.

I have three problems.

One is that I am trying to make the textured sphere transparent. The one at the end of the cylinder. I want to see what’s behind it but still having it visible. I messed with the settings but can’t get it to work.

The other is that I can get bones to animate when they are linked to an object, but not an object itself moving across the screen. I can’t figure out how to set a keyframe, move an object, set another one and have the object move. I actually want the cylinder to move across the two “plates” and do a circular motion as it moves. The texture sphere needs to follow along with it growing and shrinking and I need a light source that will be inside the sphere to follow along as well with it’s intensity getting more and less at the same rate as the sphere is growing and shrinking.

Then I need to figure out how to get the flattened out spheres that are stacked along between the two “plates” to appear one by one as the cylinder moves across.

Make sense?

If this is too much to ask of you guys, then sorry, you don’t have to help. But if anyone is real helpful, I would love to see how it can be done.

I really don’t want anybody to necessarily do the work for me as much as show me how. I want to learn blender and would like to be able to do this on my own later on. The more I learn, the easier it is to learn and I feel if I can get this down I will not have too many limitations later on when modeling and animating.

Here is the blender file.

Let’s do it in stages. First name your Cylinder.001 “Electrode”, Sphere “Bead” and Sphere.002 “Puddle”. That way we all know what we’re talking about.

Select the Electrode Object and move it to the ‘strike’ position in Object mode (pink). Hit I-Key and choose LocRot. Use the Up-Arrow Key to move forward in 10-frame stepa (25 frames = 1 second) and move Electrode to the end of the completed bead and hit I-Key again and choose LocRot again.

That’ll move it in a straight line left to right (did you intend it to be an overhead weld?).

Once you have that done you can either modify the IPO curves created above or add dLoc and dRot curves to get the circular motion and tilt of the electrode (if you want that). Moving the Object Center to the tip of the electrode (arc side) would be the best way to pull of realistic rotations but don’t sweat too much about that now though. Once you get the drift it’ll be easy to go back and fix it.

Come back when you’re done and we’ll take it from there.


Fligh, are you a welder? Your terminology is spot on. It’s a horizontal weld for this one. I’ll try it and get back to you.


Here is what I have so far with what you told me. It isn’t perfect, but I was just testing your advice. Now I need to figure out how to add to that bead, and make the arc sphere transparent.

Select “arcglow” with RMB and goto F5 buttons. Change the Material color to white. In Links and Pipeline tab turn off Halo and turn on ZTransp. In Materials tab, bottom-right, pull the Alpha slider to the left to abour 0.2. In Shaders tab set Emit all the way up to give it ‘glow’ (there are other ways of doing this with Nodes, Radiosity or the Glow Effect in the Sequence Editor). In F6 buttons, Texture tab, change the tex from Magic to Clouds. Open the Colors tab and click ColorBand. At the top set Cur to 0 and at bottom-left drag the Alpha slider to the right and set its color to white. Set Cur to 1 and change the color to Red (use all three sliders to get the shade of red you want. You can then mess with the Bright and Contrast values to get what you want. You can also mess with any and all of the settings in the Clouds tab, just write down the default settings before you completely confuse yourself. I’ll check in this evening to see if you’re ready to animate the bead.

Others can also chime in with suggestions, alternatives.


Alright, that worked, but isn’t the exact effect I wanted. I put a spotlight in it and it made a great arc but is only visible on the steel plates, doesn’t give off the glow I want.

That is a detail I can work out later.

I am more interested in animating it smoothly and uniformly.

btw, what about making the electrode rotate then looping the rotation in the curve editor as it moves along?

You can animate the circular motion and angle of attack of the electrode using normal LocRot IPO’s. Then animate the progress down the bead with dLoc IPO’s. You need to add the dLoc’s manually by selecting them one by one (probably only dLoc-X) from the right-hand column in the IPO window and adding curves to the grid with Ctrl-LMB.