n00b: Animating a Mesh

Hello Blender people,

I am working on a logo animation. I’ve imported the logo, and it’s in the form of a mesh. The different parts of the logo are supposed to fly together during the anim so they form the logo. I’ve managed to animate the camera, and I’ve gone through the helpful animation with the bouncing red box. But I’m having trouble getting my shape to change over time.

On my initial frame I do “I” and insert a key. I’ve tried Mesh, I’ve tried Layer, LocRotScale…

I move the frame on to approx 100.

I go into Edit mode, select part of the mesh (select vertex, then Ctrl-L to select the connected vertices) and move it to where i want it. Then I do “I” and insert another key. But when I move through my animation (sliding the green bar in IPO Curve Editor) the logo doesn’t change shape.

Help! What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance for your help.

The problem is you cannot add key frames to a mesh in Edit Mode unless you’re using Shape Keys
(which I’ll talk about in a minute).
Edit Mode is to change the actual geometry of an object. So you’ll want to
do it all in Object Mode.

Depending on what you want to do, I suggest this:

-First, select your object and Duplicate it (Shift+D) and move it to a different layer you’re not using.
(Do this by pressing ‘M’, choose one of the layers and then click ‘OK’.)
(This is just so you have a backup copy in case something gets messed up). Then go back to the
one you’re going to be editing.

If you want different parts to move, change size and/or rotate, you can enter Edit Mode
and make separate objects for each part by selecting the vertices and then pressing ‘P’
to separate. Each time you do this that part will stay in it’s original place, but not longer
appear as part of the same object. So just do that to each part.

Another thing you can do if you want the object’s geometry to change over time is use
Shape Keys: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual/Animation/Basic/Deformation/Shape_Keys

If you’re a beginner it might seem a little complicated at first, but it’s really just as simple
as giving an object’s geometry 2 or more different shapes. (Each shape is a shape key)
and you can animate each key’s influence over time. This can also be used at the same
time with the previous solution from above.

Sorry if I’m jumping all over the place. I hope this helps.

Ok, this is the simple way: First, seperate all the pieces of your mesh, that are going to be flying hither and thither. Now go to the frame of the anim where everything comes together to form the logo. That is to say, the frame, where they are all in their final position. Now make keyframes for loc and rot for all of the pieces. Now, reverse back to frame 1, move and rotate your various pieces off to the sides, or wherever. Make keyframes for all the pieces again. And that should do it.

You can press Alt + A to play your animation instead of sliding the bar.

Thanks everyone who replied. It got the job done :slight_smile: