Flag waving effect

How would I go about making a nice waving flag (assuming that I’ve created a mesh plane and mapped the flag material onto it)? The first thing that comes to my mind is animating a lattice around it, but maybe there are some super-cool better ideas out there.

Use the wave effect under the animation buttons. This is the way to go for flags it takes some tweaking but you can get a really nice blowing effect if you stick at it :slight_smile:

You could either use the built-in Wave effect that comes with blender (Under the animation buttons (F7)), or you could use my water script here: https://blenderartists.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3929. Just use the wavetype = 1 for smooth “waves”. This script modifies the mesh object in the direction of its normals, so it looks like waves on a flat, subdivided plane, but it looks like a piece of jell-o if you use it on a subdivided cube. The only real problem you’ll run into with either method will be the part that’s supposed to be anchored to the pole will be moving also. I’ll fix this soon with vertex-painted weights though.

The way I usually do flags and the like is to have an armature with 4 equal bones along the length of the flag, with these rotations:

Frame:    1      6     11     16     21
Bone 1: -15      0     15      0    -15
Bone 2:   0    -15      0     15      0
Bone 3:  15      0    -15      0     15
Bone 4: -15      0     15      0    -15

It’s tedious but more realistic

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interesting method you’ve got there, phlip, how about showing us an example?

Here is a logo i did for a fake company we had to make in the <<shudder>> project management course I’m taking at uni:
The text is just an ordinary texture mapped UV onto a subdivided plane with heavy subsurfs and my flag wavy exactly as above

Wonderful! All good suggestions. I thank you all.

I got an idea…

Use the water script (or built-in wave effect) on an invisible mesh, and have empties vertex-parented to certain locations. Then the armatures could track to those empties, in turn deforming the visible flag. Definitly a possible way to do it, and that way the base of the flag could be anchored.

I put together a quick example because I have nothing better to do. The flag is only using 3 bones, so it’s pretty low-resolution in the waving department, but it should give you the idea. I didn’t take the time to put together any documentation, but feel free to send me emails or private messages, or replies to this thread.


i too think that the blender wave animation effect is the best one to use.

i did a quick test on a multiply subdivided plane, and gave it three different waves: all only on x, one with speed 0.1 and height 0.3, and other with speed 0.2 and height 0.2, and third with speed 0.15 height 0.1 width 1.0 narrow 2. this is for a wind at about 10mph, i would think.

overall, it looks a BIT realistic, but i think by using more waves at different speeds and heights you can get it to be perfect.

edit: instead of making all on x, make the third one x and y, looks way better.