How to rig 3-Part Extendable Pillar?

Hello dear Blender friends,

I am trying to get a simple 3 part pillar rigged for a platform but I just cant get my head around how to do it so i have attached a blend file with the 3 part pillar on layer 1 and an example animation on layer 2 on how the rig should behave when finished.

Hydraulics.blend (490 KB)

I have tried to follow up the hydraulics tutorial on Blender Cookie but that did not help me much :(. Maybe I have to look for another type of tutorial?

I guess it must be embarissingly easy but I just cant get it to work. Can you guys help? Thanks!

I have tried to follow up the hydraulics tutorial on Blender Cookie

Witch one? There are number of way to do what you want to do. But your pillar seems to be working when you hit play animation.

The old one from 2.49 i think where he is just explaining one hydraulic. But i think it is unsuitable anyways for what i want to do, not sure. I can not relate to what i need to do :/.

Okay, it might be fine like that if i put in the keyframe animation of the 2 upper parts by hand but i need some way to control the whole movement without setting keyframes on the upper 2 parts everytime it needs to go up and down (like in 2nd layer) and i wish to just have to use one keyframe at the end which sets how far the animation goes percentage wise back and forth.

And the problem is that the pillar itself might be moving around while performing the extension so i dont know a simple animation will help here like in layer 2.

Is there a cleverer way of doing this? Maybe rigging is not what i need?

Thanks for your reply though :).

If you have never rigged before there are a lot of tutorials you would find informative. Humane rigging by Nathan Vegdahl is the best. Buy the DVD because you should have it for reference but all the videos are online for free too.

Post what you have so far, screenshot indicating what is wrong and .blend file to and we’ll go from there. Or you could say what part of the process in the other tread you did not understand?

Thanks for the help DruBan

Meanwhile I think I might have come up with my own workflow.

What I am basically trying to do is animate an extendable table.

Basically what I did is placing empties at every originpoint of each element and parented them, then created a child relationship from empty 3(Top) to empty 2 (Middle) and from empty 2 to empty 1(Bottom).
After that i added a “Copy Location” to the Empty 3, lowered the influence and added a “Limit Location” to the Empty 2 for it to only be moved in z space.

Now it basically has the desired effect as seen in image 1 and 2 I attached when moving the middle empty 2.

The only problem I am having is how can I get the whole table to be controlled by a global transformation which moves, rotates, and scales the whole table without causing weird transformation issues like shown in image 3 below. I was trying to attach all 3 empties to a master sphere empty. I think this is because of the contraints I have set. Any ideas? Thanks :)!




@Defkaunta here’s one way to do it…

HydraulicsNorvMod_001.blend (915 KB)

take note of the driver’s that are attached to the ‘Z’ channel of the object ‘Middle.001’ and ‘Top.001’

open a graph editor window and set were it say’s ‘F-curve’… to ‘drivers’ to see what is going on…

you may have to hit the ‘N’ key to open up the Right hand tool bar to see…

note in the ‘drivers’ box… the information there…

@@DruBan just opened up your file and took a look at your thread on this… very cool setup … nice and clean rigging… Thanks for the post…