Lifting a container with a crane


I just started learning to use blender a few weeks back and decided to incorporate blender’s animation capabilities to my university assignment. I’m supposed to design a crane to pick up containers from a ship. The problem is that I really can’t get my head around how to animate the cable to reel out and in again and in the process grabbing a container. It would even suffice if the cable was to be streched so that it would look like that it was reeling out. Apologies if this question is answered with a technique showed in one of this site’s tutorials, but I just weren’t able to find one. :confused: I’ve added two fotos illustrating the case. I’ve tried resizing the cable seen in the picture, but I don’t know how to set the pivot point to the lift it is connected to and merely stretching it and saving the size and location just won’t work in the animation. Thanks in advance!


You can animate scale. In your case, rope can be animated to scale down in Z axis. Remember that scaling takes place from object center. You need to put the rope object center at the top by the rope drum with this method.

Other simple way is to use ‘Hooks”. Hooks are designed to manipulate object vertices in Object mode where animation key frames are set. Animating hooks animates object shape. Simply select the rope object and set to Edit mode. Then select the rope objects bottom end vertices. Hit hot key [Ctrl][H] or menu select Mesh > Vertices > Hooks and pick “Hook to New Object”. An “Empty” object is created by the vertices, which is attached to those vertices you have selected. You animate this Empty to stretch your rope.