How to animate grabbing a hat and throwing it on the ground?

I have a snowman with a hat.

I want to animate the snow mans hand grabbing the hat and throwing it on the ground in front of him.

How would you go about animating the hat being released from the hand and falling to the ground. I need a simple and quick technique as I will be creating a variety of such motions.

Animate snowman’s hand action, then animate hat according to it.

The hat has to be hierarchically independent from the rest of the character, tied to the hand with a childOf constraint. Animate the hand, then on the frame it’s letting go of it, keyframe the constraint influence at 1, keyframe the ‘visual locRot’ of the hat, advance one frame, and keyframe again the constraint influence at 0. You can now animate the hat independently from the hand.

There’s actually a new button in the constraint interface that supposedly does all this for you in one go, but I haven’t tested it, so… can’t say.

There must be an easier way than that?

Thanks that works great. I would really be interested in the New Button you mentioned if you can work out how it works.

Here that’s the one :

your question has been answered basically, but the ‘normal’ way of working in other 3d applications would be to set up a constraint between both objects too, and animate the constraint value.
This would work for e.g. picking up a glass from the table, or throwing away the hat.

So you can animate just the hand and the constraint, and not both objects at the same time with all kinds of other issues. For the hat it would be two position keys and the constraint.
You even can throw in (pun intended) some dynamics, and animate that as well the moment the hat leaves the hand. Mix 'n match :wink:

hope it helps,


I made a one-minute tutorial about something similar: Switch from parenting to physics simulations.