first major project (arachnid)

This is my first post on blenderartist, I have been through the threads and through MANY other site tutorials learning much in the past months. I have been blending for about 3 months intensly. I started with autocad 3d rendering, and being thoroughly dissatisfied with it as a renderer, I wised up and found Blender. Here is my first major undertaking. My goal is to make a robo-spider or scorpion for the sake of learning the many aspects of armature and constraints and animation sequences. I have a fairly good grasp of using armatures, but not how to animate and sequence them. Here is a small video of the first fruits of my animation attempts. Note the skips when the loop is repeating. That is my first hurdle and maybe one of you other wonderful blenderites could help me. I am shooting for absolute realism in regards to the motion, and would like to know how to make it better, using gravity and bodies perhaps? Please be critical (but dont be a jerk) I do want to learn things right.

here is a link to the video

a side question: can you use this basic action in conjunction with the physics sim to make the “spider” walk over a terrain using ([procedurals?]-ie bake the action with gravity in account) instead of animating the walk leg by leg? I might be asking too much at once, but if anyone could take a stab it would be appreciated.


there’s a type of constraint called the floor constraint which makes it so an armature, or object can’t penetrate a specified plane. i’m not sure where the documentation for it is though, other than in the release notes, for that version. it’s pretty simple though, as i recall. also, if your walk cycle is skipping, it’s probably because a frame is being repeated. for example, if i key the same position on frames 1 and 20, i only want to go to frame 19 before repeating the action. of course it is not necessary to have an action key for every frame, usually, but anyway, you make the first and the last keys the same, then fill in the in betweens, then just knock out the last key, and duplicate the remaining ones however many times as you need.

I did see something about “floor” constraint. so lets say the elliptical arc of a leg is passing through the plane, with no floor constraint. then when you add the floor constraint, what will happen? will the whole armature move up to compensate and let the arc path continue? or will it simply stop the rotation of the bone? thanks for the reply.

PS as far as my comment on wanting “absolute realism”, I would like to repeal that, and replace it with “look really cool” or something like that. being a first project i dont want to kill myself on too many things.

the floor constraint acts a bit like an ik solver, the bones will bend to adjust to the floor, if you have it keyed to go past the threshhold. i think you have to name the ground plane ‘floor’, or maybe just specify in the constraint.

Here is my spider butt.

Rigged Spider leg