Preventing bending of individual track piece in tank track animation

Greetings to blender community

Well into the business…

Usually when i need to make a tank track animation… i used a curve path and array modifier to make the track links and a set of drivers to ensure that the track can turn left and right without going out of proportion.

A collegue who was also 3D professional however told me that it’s not the “right” way to rig a track due to bending of individual track piece as the curve path will actually deform the track segment while moving. I see it not a problem for small polies but it become significant in hi poly models.

This is the problem in question…sorry kinda large bandwidth unfriendly image so i think a link would be apropriate

One work around which my collegue show was to actually rig each segment manually using bones… 10 segments might not be a problem… but for a large track where it can go 100 segments or more… well doesn’t mean to offend but i see it as inexpedient.

Anyway is there any alternative workaround on this in Blender ? Of course while still using that curve path and array modifier. Or if there are no way around then how i could actually rig a bone into a track segment ?

Thank you for any response provided.

in case of someone need the blendfile :smiley:


case study.blend (522 KB)

Here is good tutorial using DupriFace for the track:

Duplication function will not deform the object. Here is my T34 tank track model using DupriFace method. The main thing here is the track position and curve location. I had to place the track hinge line on the curve for them to hinge properly:

Many thanks for the lookup… i tried that method before but i’m having problem with the track piece suddenly goes “out of proportion”… But I’ll give a second shot :smiley:

OK…i think i managed to get it work :smiley: and yes the face duplication does not bend/deform the track segment… even it’s high poly.

Here’s a comparison

Top-simple path curve
Down-With face dupli

Okay… i’m going face dupli.

Now let’s see how it behave with drivers and constraints.

Boy am I glad I clicked on this thread