How to control multiple object parameters with a single driver? Is this even possible?

So I basically have 4 objects in a scene. I want to rotate two of them by 20degrees, and the other two by -20 degrees.
Easy to do manually, I know. But while I’m at it, I thought I should learn some basic shortcuts etc for the sake of learning.

So I assumed there would be a way (much like joysticks and sliders in after effects) to connect the objects/values to a single ‘controller’ null object (or something), so that when I move the null, all 4 of the scene objects also move at the same time. Making life much easier. In theory.

However it seems to be ending up much harder than I originally hoped? The item i seem to be needing to use is a ‘Driver’, but the tutorials and help on drivers are… terrible. I’m not sure if it’s because they’ve been deprecated by something else, but the bulk of the few driver tutorials I found were from the days of 2.4. And none of the tutorials really seemed to end up capable of dealing with multiple objects from a single driver.

So is there something I’m missing? Terminology? Is there actually an easy way to get this done?

Updated title with better terminology.

Seems so unlikely that a 3D animation program doesn’t have the ability to do this, but I’m not seeing a way for it to be done.

You can do it with the ‘copy rotation’ constraint. Make an empty and copy the rotation of the 2 first objects, in z for example and the other 2, in z invert. Hope it helped!

If I understand you correctly, you expect that one driver drives multiples objects . But it’s the other way around, each objects needs to have a driver on rotation , but that driver can point to the same property (ex : a Null object’s rotation).

But you can setup the driver once a copy-paste it to other objects and just edit the expression if you need object to rotate the other way around.

As roussos pointed out, constraints may be more appropriate here and easier to use. You can also copy constraints from one object to others.

indeed, it does seem like constraints on a null would work in the way I was imagining. I’m not sure why all the googling I tried kept pointing to drivers… I’m still not entirely sure what drivers are even for, now that I can see constraints work much better (for this use case).

I can only assume drivers are for some other … thing.

Ahha! Thanks, yes that would seem to be what I’m after. I should have been looking at constraints. Thanks :slight_smile:

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drivers are useful when dealing with expressions. You can do things like :
if object_A X location is > 10 then copy the rotation of object_B

or build more complex relationships, like changing the power of a lamp depending on camera lens.

Some constraints like copy rotation are doable with drivers but it’s a bit overkill IMO. And some stuff like Shrinkwrap constraints, or follow path are quite hard to reproduce with drivers. So both are useful even if they can do the same things to some extent .

It seems like, for pretty much anything for standard animations and motion graphics, constraints are the main thing I would need.

Anything more complex, I’d probably be learning Animation Nodes for anyway (for mograph). And I don’t think I’d be doing any standard animation that complex.

I’ll ignore drivers for the time being I reckon :stuck_out_tongue: