Laser Cutter Animation

We’ve all seen at least one of those little looping renders/animations where a cute machine makes something fun and then the process repeats itself forever. I was feeling inspired by those and wanted to make one for myself, and thought it’d be a fun little experiment to practice working with armatures and physics simulations.

Here’s where it’s at with the latest test render:

I’ve made a few small tweaks to it since, smoothing out some of the drone animation, extending some of the smoke simulations that ended too quickly, and adding one more smoke sim near the beginning. I’ve also added some color correction and effects in the compositor (you can see the difference between this and the still render above).

Initially I thought this project would take just a few days, but I kept adding more and more things, then re-doing old things, and constantly finding ways to apply techniques I had a passing familiarity with, but hadn’t really ever explored much, such as dynamic paint, drivers, constraints, etc.

Well, a month has gone by now and I am in the final stretches of this thing! It includes a laser, mechanical arms/clamps, a quadcopter drone, and a cheeky little laser carving I’m sure some of you will recognize.

I’m rendering out the final animation as I type this, but each frame is taking between 20 and 210 seconds to render, depending on how heavy the volumetrics are, so it’ll be a while before that’s finished. In the meantime, I’m adding some light music and sound effects to the test footage.

And here’s an early fluids test that just looked… a little bit too poopy for me. :laughing:


Really good, I like the way you fabricated the default cube!

And yes the final fluid is much nicer than the poop. :rofl:


Thanks! That’s funny, I hadn’t really even thought of this as working on the poor old default cube, but you’re absolutely right. Going to have to steal that! :grin:

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Now it needs sound.

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