Jump from One Moving Vehicle to Another

I want to animate one character jumping from one moving vehicle to another vehicle moving in the opposite direction. I have never done anything like this. So far I have a character walking around a moving vehicle setup. It’s hard to believe how easy it was to set this up with Blender Empties and Constraints.

Now I need to make the other character that is traveling in the opposing direction leap to safety on the next moving vehicle. Do I target an Empty or something? The character is already parented to an Empty on the moving vehicle to keep him in position on the vehicle while it travels. Do I just unparent the character to the other Empty on the target vehicle that he will jump to at the moment of the jump frame point? Then at the same jump frame point moment parent this character to the target Empty that will keep him it place on the other moving vehicle. I couldn’t be that easy right?

Thanks for your help.

Blend on!

Well I am making progess on this little test project that I will use for more complex work later.

I tried theeth’s temp-parent setup. I have not been able to lock the keyframe the constraint influence of the first position of the character. The jump -to target position constraint influence keyframe works. The character jumps but it moves out in the middle of the scene when the when it’s back at frame 1 again losing it’s first starting position. This looks like it could work but I’m missing something.

Any ideas?

I mocked up a .blend that I can post if someone has any tips to share.

Maybe you have a particular need to do this in a single render, but if it were me I would composite the thing. Do one shot of background; one of vehicle #1; one of vehicle #2; and a final layer of the brave-fool. Obviously if you are trying to do this real-time as part of a game you can’t do this.

The timing of the shot is worked out second by second, frame by frame. It’s easiest when you do render each of the vehicle strips separately so that you can easily make timing adjustments just by slightly moving the strips until it’s all perfect. As long as you make sure that the path taken by the brave-fool originates on the line taken by vehicle #1 and ends precisely on the path of vehicle #2, you’re in business. The only cleanup task you’ll have is to render two small shadow-layers to apply to each of the cars as the brave-fool passes over each one.

Compositing is nice but it’s not something that I want to do for this setup. It looks like I will have to use the invisible keyframe layer trick that I have read about. Thanks for your tips. I will try the compositing trick later on in my work.

Blend on!

I’d like to have a look at your file. Maybe I can fix it.



Here is a link to the file. It has a note inside also that details the goals of the animation.


Sorry, I meant to set the camera view in the top right window.

Well, I have one solution. It’s not the best, but it works. ( I tried it in your blend and it worked alright)

Make 2 new “copy location” constraints, one right below the other, on the object you want to ‘jump’ to the other vehicle. Un-select the ‘Z’ button on both of them (so you can make your object move up for the jump). Make the first constraint object an empty on the first vehicle and make the object for the second constraint an empty on the second vehicle. Click edit for the influence on the first one, make an IPO curve that goes from 1.00 at frame 40 and make a second point at 0.00 on frame 50.

On the second constraint, do the same but opposite, edit influence and make an IPO that goes from 0.00 at frame 40 to 1.00 at frame 50.

And then play you anim. It will make the object take the x,y coords of the first empty until frame 40, then change over to the x,y coords of the 2nd empty at frame 50, blending inbetween.

The only downside is that, because the empties are both moving in opposite directions, where it changes (frame 40 to 50), the movement will be in a slight ‘S’ shape. But it shouldn’t be noticable if you set up the right camera angle.

I hope this helps. If you have trouble following, I can re-post your blend with the constraints.

EDIT: I was thinking about the ‘S’ shaped jump. You could solve it by adding a third empty and constraint. The 3rd empty would move between the two jump points (the take-off point and the landing point) and have the other 2 constraints go to 0 inbetween the jump and have that one at 1.0. Or you could manually edit the empty positions in each vehicle so that it looks right. Both are kinda messy but will work.

Wow! Thanks! That is great. I have tried many combinations but nothing seemed to work. I would love it if you could re-post the blend with the updates.

The blend does not have either of the fixes to the ‘S’ shape problem described in my previous post in it, just the basic constaints.

To see what it looks like, go to your camera view and hit Alt+A, and you should see a sphere jumping from one to the other. (sorry, but I could not tell what object you wanted to have jump, so I made a sphere to do it).

I hope it helps you

Ok, here is the blend:

(if this doesn’t work to download, please tell me :smiley: )

I just added two influence IPOs to the constraints and a LocZ IPO for the jumping UP part. http://www.clubinfo.bdeb.qc.ca/~theeth/Temp/solution_jump.blend

Is that any help?


Looks like we had the same idea. :smiley:

Have you any idea how to solve the problem to make it look more realistic though? In reality, the jumper would still be carrying the velocity and direction of the vehicle he jumped off of until he made contact with the second vehicle.

I guess you could move manually move the empty of the first constraint and make the transition between constraints very short. It would take some trial and error to get it to look right.

Do you have any other idea?

Same link, with conservation of speed. Really easy actually. Instead of using the IPO to make the transition between the two empties I turned CurveFollow on for the first empty and moved it sideways (relatively to the vector of motion) to make the cylinder jump to the other wagon. Using a Constant IPO for the influence, there’s no transition this way.

Please note that to really have conservation of speed, I’d need to copy the path to isolate the “jumping” empty to make sure he moves in a straight line after having left the wagon.


Thank you so much theeth and fakeplastic. Now I’m off to process this information. Hopefully this thread will aid someone else who wants to animate something similar.

Blend on!