How to add new meshes in an animation

Hi, I have been using blender for a while, but only modeling. But right now I need to make an animation detailing the process of the construction of a bridge. Something like this:

I have been able to model all the pieces of the proyect, the problem is that there are some parts of the animation where I need to modify a mesh or make them appear. The problem that I have encountered is that when I try to modify a mesh to simulate something like the filling of concrete I affect all the frames. So my question is: Is there a way to extrude a mesh and make different keyframes, something like what happens at 1:50 in the video?

I also want to add new meshes as time happens. The problem is that when I add a new Mesh to the animation, it affects the whole timeline, so the meshes appear even before the time they are suppoused to.

If someone could direct me to a tutorial, or explain me I would be very grateful.

Thank you all in advance :yes:

Hi Fang,

My suggestion would be to use the ‘build’ modifier primarily. It allows you to construct a single mesh object over time. Since it is a modifier it can also be used in conjunction with other modifiers, deformers, or even shape keys. The example I attached below uses an armature (on layer 2) for the main support, and shape keys for the wires and secondary supports. It is a quick example just to give you an idea of what can be done with it.

You can customize the way the object is built in object mode by pressing ctrl+f and choosing an option. I usually use ‘from cursor’ since it allows you to easily customize the build direction using the cursor location.

To create the ‘extrude’ effect seen in the video you provided, you could create a higher resolution mesh and make the build direction go straight up.

Just press play or alt+a in the demo file…


bridge.blend (360 KB)

Wow, thank you so much for the example, it was very useful, I´ll try to use it, but i am still having problems with armatures jejeje. :smiley:

Well you certainly don’t have to use an armature, I just did to show you that you can :slight_smile: All it does in the demo file is make the center column wobble a bit.

I am fairly certain that all the effects in the video can be done using just the build modifier. But in case you wanted to spice it up with more modifiers… you know you can :wink:

You can also use the shrinkwrap modifier with a plane to reveal objects over time. The build modifier relies on the order of faces in a model, where the shrinkwrap technique you can control the reveal simply with the placement of the plane.

Drag the plane along the red arrow axis to reveal the mesh.

Woah! That’s really cool! :smiley:

I’ll definitely have to play around with shrinkwrap more, it seems to have such interesting capabilities!

Hey, thanks Atom, it has been useful for some of the scenes that i am doing right now. The example was very clear also.