Lifting an object

Ok, so I’m making this little exercise in which a guy lifts a heavy object and then drops it. It’s all coming together except the actual lifting part lol ;). How can i animate the object moving with his hands without sliding around? I tried to use some copy location constraints, but i just can’t make them work :S. Any advice?
Thx in advance.

I’ve been playing in Maya recently (I have to - I’m studying Animation and Maya is what we’re bing taught on. Nice program) and lifting stuff it pretty much what’s expected that everyone can do. So, from Maya perspective…

  1. Get character to grip the object
  2. Keyframe a hand “lock”, where hands actually get parented onto the object.
  3. From then on, move the object and hands should stay in place (IK). until unlocked. You probably still need to keyframe both the box and the hands each move… the parenting helps with your positioning.

Okay - that’s the way Maya does it. Haven’t tried (yet) in blender but imagine it’s much of the same (unless blender can’t do the parent hands stuff, in which case I’d be worried… let me know).

In terms of lifting an object, the hands should remain at one place in one action before moving to another place for another action. Think of how a mime has a hand or part of his/her body ‘held’ in one spot to simulate something like a wall or climbing a ladder.

So once the hands are in that place where you want to lift it, the copy location, which is deactivated, should be activated. I assume you have a disconnected but parented bone placed above the palm in which to do this. Whilst the hands are in that place, copy location should still be active in the IPO until you might want to move the hands to a different spot or place the object on the ground.

Maybe having a bone inside the object may help move it around too, there are a couple of way of doing it but the copy loaction one is best and similar to how Lancer described it!

Phoenix: that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do, but unfortunately without success. The moment I trigger it in the IPO curves it just flies away and locks on some other location. Any suggestion?

Here’s a quick and dirty. I did it in two sessions while answering questions so there may be some unnecessary stuff in there (like an ObIpo for the Armature), but the constraints and stuff should give you the idea.


Quote me if I’m wrong but maybe the copy location is moving to the object centre, which isn’t placed in the middle of the object that you’re lifting. So instead, you’ve manipulated the object in edit mode and this in turn has caused the object centre to be outside of the object mesh that it’s supposed to be the centre of. The object centre moves with the object in Object mode but in edit mode, the object centre remains stationary and you have to recentre it with the ‘Centre New’ command in the Transform menu. And when you do activate copy location, the activated armature moves to the outside or through the object mesh, any way really, just to get to the ‘object centre’ when it isn’t actually placed centrally within the object at all, if you know what I mean…

Just double check and see where it goes to, it should be correct, but I’m at work & I dont have a copy of blender on this computer to see if I’m right or not to help you out…

Did you specify a particular bone in the copy loc constraint? If you only entered the armature name, then that might be the problem.

You also probably want to change the interpolation mode for the constraint inf IPO to be constant.


Agree, copy location should do the trick, here you can find example file too:

It may be doing the CopyLoc to the object center of the box. In fact, it probably is. To get around this, you can put an Empty at the connection point, make the box the child of the empty, then CopyLoc constrain the empty to the hand. It’s kind of like setting a “custom” attach point for the constraint transaction.

Additionally, if you’re clever, you could rig it so each hand has an empty target and the box works out it’s orientation between them, so you animate the both hands and the box follows.