Rigging cars for animation, what is the best way to do so?

Hi, I am trying to figure out what the best way of rigging a car for Blender Animation to create realistic animations is. I am wanting to create an animation like this (not specifically focusing on crashing though)…

But the issue I am having is there are so many different ways of doing it I am seeing on YouTube but there are so many different parts to it to do what I want to create, and as there are so many different versions but rarely do they have everything I want to do, I am struggling to find a method as I can’t mix and match different methods for each part. To list what I want to do (as its an F1 car I want to animate) here goes.

  • Rig a car that reacts to the track surface, preferrably via Blender physics, where it can go, possibly even jump over kerbs, bumps etc.
  • Have the front wheels turn but only as the car turns a corner, the method i tried, the front wheels stay turning even when the car is moving in a straight line. I also want the steering wheel to move with the front wheels.
  • Have the suspension springy as the car goes over bumps etc. In an F1 car that is visually not a complicated movement, but essentially so the bits connected to the chassis move with the chassis etc…
  • This method needs to be compatible with crash animations as well.

I have tried Rigacar and have found that to be a little restrictive, though if it does all these features I want to do,then I will exploit it more? But the indications for me suggest maybe its best to do it manually?

Any help please :wink:

The best person I know that has done a lot of work with vehicles is Clockmender. You can search for his posts here or try his website. https://clockmender.uk/

And yes it is technical but worth the reads.

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I also recommend Index3d on Youtube…and his All object transform constraints w/ examples as well as the All tracking Constraints explained…

Just about everything can be found in these to be applied to a vehicle suspension…

Why thank you Sir, most kind of you to say so…

Here’s a vid that might give you some ideas:

You will note that the vehicle leaves the surface at one point, this is done by using one curve for the vehicle path and another entirely different mesh for the surface. Incidentally I did a 12 axle version of this, when someone wound me up enough to do it… :rofl:

Here’s a tracked vehicle doing the same course:

All is explained on my website, but feel free to ask questions, this method allows you to route the vehicle anywhere, including jumps, etc.

Cheers, Clock.

Thanks for the response, I haven’t seen the full video yet but seems like it could be very helpful! Only think that is potentially missing is the steering, as an issue i have with methods I have seen is when the car turns and then straightens, the wheels are locked in that turning position when I want them to straighten with the car realistically…

You would still use restraints as well as copy rotation…but it would be key-frames by hand when you want it to turn…or use the follow path method…there are many different ways to do this…
Also to get a good starting rig you might use the Rig a Car add-on

and the older videos for 2.79 still work…