Rotation (of an Object and/or Camera)

I really can’t afford to make the mistake of posting queries in the wrong section(s) anymore. As it is, I can’t even afford the night pass to come online tonight, and am going to be offline for the rest of the month. So I’ll ask this now:

I selected Add Modifier/Subsurf to turn my basic startfile cube into a round sphere, yada yada. I have my round planetoid sphere, and I’ve applied my Earth map texture to it. I can make a very nice JPEG a-ok. But I am trying to make my ‘planet’ rotate in place as my stationary camera looks on, basically see the planet rotate as you would expect of a planet. In the process of inserting Keyframes with I-key, I then select Rot from the pull-down menu that appears when you press the I-key. Then in Object Mode with my ‘planet’ object selected, and in solid mode, I press the R-key and rotate the planet 5.00 degrees at each keyframe (during this first test, I inserted a keyframe with the I-key every 5 frames). I assumed this would rotate the planet, showing the camera the other side of the planet sooner or later. I know it can be seen somehow, because if I move the camera around to the other side, and render a frame for a JPEG, it clearly shows the other side of the planet (texture-map-wise).

But it’s not working.

I need to know how to rotate a object that remains fixed in place in my animation, and alternatively, it would be nice to know how to rotate the camera around a completely unchanging motionless object in an animation also.

I have the .blend file and the outputted Quicktime .mov file that I created after rendering 2 seconds worth of the above (50 frames). I can upload these if someone wants to take a looksee at them in their effort to help answer my query. Where should I look for help regarding this? Here or at And which section specifically at either forum? I feel ridiculous asking such a question, seeing as I am an intelligent person with eyes and the ability to read and reason for myself, but apparently I misjudged where to properly post my last query (regarding Shockwave .w3d files). I thank you in advance for your kindly prompt help regarding all of this.

Please don’t tell me that I’ve been given the cold shoulder by the Blender community before I practically joined it, or that you folks just have disdain for newbies - I’d understand such a sentiment if Blender created any kind of comprehensive tutorial(s) and made them available to the public, but they don’t and so learning Blender is neccessarily a process of scrimping and scrounging from those with more experience.


‘VoradPlochenko’ (Rachel)


Work out how many seconds you want one rotation to take (eg 5). Multiply that by 25 (25 frames per second) (eg 5X25=125).

On frame 1 hit I-Key in the 3D window and choose Rot. Use the arrow keys to advance to frame 125. Hit N to bring up the Transform Properties tab. Shft-Leftclick on Rot-Z (or whatever axis you want to rotate around) and type in 360 then hit Enter. Hit I-Key in the 3D window again and choose Rot. Shft-leftArrow to get back to Frame 1. Alt-A to see the result.

Now open an IPO window (IPO Curve Editor). Select “Rot-Z” (or whatever) in the right column with Leftclick. Hit A to select all points then goto Curve >> Extend Mode >> Cyclic. Ta-da!

Now goto F10 buttons and in the Anim tab set the number on “Endframe” to whatever multiple of 125 you want to render.


learning Blender is neccessarily a process of scrimping and scrounging from those with more experience

You learn fast! :slight_smile:

Dear Fligh,

I must admit, on first glance at your post, it’s half Klingonese to me ;). BUT I have a very good feeling that this is just my noob-ishness, and that your instructions are exactly what I am looking for and that they will indeed work! :slight_smile:

So thank you from the bottom of my heart, sincerely. You rock! :slight_smile: HUGS So often it’s not the daily work of creation that is daunting, so much as it is the learning of the basic functions & tools that you’ll use with and apply to your work. Thanks again, I’ll let you know how it works out next time I’m online (end of November). If it does, I’ll be using this quite often.

One last query, your instructions were for rotating my ‘planet’ object before a stationary camera, correct? If so, might you have any instructions on how I could rotate the camera around a motionless, stationary object in an animation? So far when I’ve attempted to do this, each time I move the camera’s position in a keyframe, it moves in all the other keyframes and frames as well.

Thanks in advance (and for everything so far!)


VoradPlochenko (Rachel)


You parent (Ctrl-P) the Camera to a Curve Circle (Bezier or NURBS Circle) after RightMouse selecting the camera and then Shft-RightMouse selecting the Curve Circle and choose “Follow Path”.

Then, in F7 buttons you select the Camera and add a TrackTo constraint to it and enter the Object Name of your globe (Cube? as you explained it above). You may have to fiddle with the Track and Up coordinates in F7 for the camera.

The default length of the Curve is 100 frames. To change it goto F9 buttons, Curve and Surface tab and change the “PathLength”.


I would suggest you take a look at Greybeard’s video tutorial on keyframing and Ipo curves. It’ll get you quickly up to speed on how to use Ipos, which is the main issue you’re dealing with here. What Fligh is telling you is to simply make one single Ipo, in a straight line at an angle, which extends forever. This will produce constant rotation. But without an idea of how Ipos work, it’s hard to visualize this.

Here’s the video tutorials page. Find the one on keyframes and Ipos.

Dear Fligh,

Again, thank you very much indeed. Good karma to you indeed - you’ve saved me loads of time that I would’ve spent trying to hit on the solution(s) by accident, through trial-and-error. I really can’t thank you enough, and just wish I could do something for you. Tell you what, if you’re ever in Toronto Canada (where I live), coffee AND and a donut on me, friend!


‘VoradPlochenko’ (Rachel)

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Adding this since I saw there is a reply from bugman_2000. Thank you bugman_2000, I will proceed to the link you provided and download those video-format tutorials straightaway. Though I am confident that Fligh’s solutions will work very well for what I am attempting to achieve. Basically for now, as a noob to 3D modeling and 3D animation altogether, my initial goal is to create short animated sequences, export them as digital videos, and use them as such throughout the mostly 2D game I’m making now in Macromedia Director MX 2004. As to having interactive models in a game environment, with bones and such, well I’ll wait until I can get some professional (or extremely comprehensive and clear) tutorial materials on that before I start getting into that more complex area of the 3D artist’s toolbox. Thanks again for your added help.

Rachel :slight_smile:

P.P.S. ADDITION Dear bugman_2000, thought you should know for future reference that the videos at the tutorial page link you gave are either temporarily down or the links are dead. Thanks anyway. :slight_smile:

Rachel :slight_smile:

Hi Rachel,

Though it won’t give an “interactive” model, this tutorial Intro to Character Animation , written this past summer as part of the “Summer of Documentation” by Ryan Dale, is one of the best ones ever written for Blender. He covers modelling a simple character, rigging it with bones, then animating and creating lip sync.

The support thread is here :

You can download the finished file here:

If you’re interested in creating games, you may or may not know that Blender has an integrated game engine. There is an intro to the Game engine on the Summer of Docs section (links in my signature).

The other “Summer of …” Tutorials are also great. The Intro’s to Modelling, and Intro’s to Materials might be ones to start with.

If you’re interested in character animation there have been some great finished/rigged characters posted here on the forums, I have links to them in my “Best of Blender” thread, including a really great fully rigged Horse.

Colin Litster’s water/ocean/smoke/effects …etc tutorials at are really great too.


Dear Mike_S,

Thank you very much indeed for so thoughtfully leading me to what is surely a treasure trove of tutorials & instructional writings, written not just with know-how, but with love by fellow Blender artists who have been around much longer than me. Last week I’d never even heard of Blender!

Mike, I am very grateful indeed and your post was just so thoughtful, y’know? I sound like a broken record, lol, but thank you really, very much. Your intent and action here today are both very appreciated by me, and will be remembered.


Rachel :slight_smile:

P.P.S. ADDITION Dear bugman_2000, thought you should know for future reference that the videos at the tutorial page link you gave are either temporarily down or the links are dead. Thanks anyway. :slight_smile:

Not for me they’re not.

Dear bugman_2000,

I checked again and this time it worked, albeit the rate of download was wobbly. Regardless I am very grateful, the tutorial on Keyframes & IPO looks smashingly good and long! Thanks hun.

Rachel :slight_smile:

Thanks for the posts everyone. Fligh…as a relative beginner in animation myself…1 small detail that may throw someone off…after entering N key/360…need to IKey again and Rot. This may sound self evident…but at my level it’s not always :slight_smile:

Thanks for pointing that out. Edited the post.


Dear Fligh (and everyone else),

Hi all. OK Fligh, your instructions for rotating my Cube in place worked perfectly…so long as it was a plain cube. I have tried a zillion different times, and no matter what I do, when I turn my cube into a sphere (by Add Modifier/Subsurf/Cadmill-Clark and setting the Levels to anywhere from 3 to 6, you know, I want it to be round, not blocky) and apply my simple Earth map JPG to it as a texture.

The weird thing is, when I go to Play the Animation in the 3D Window, before rendering, I can see my sphere going round and round as a planet would, just the way I am trying to get it to! The speed, angle, everything is fine. But when I go to render the animation, our view through the camera never leaves North America (the side that we begin on). It does a tiny little twitchy thing, but it’s not working and since I WAS able to make your technique work perfectly with a cube, can you help me out here?

Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that the cube has become round, a sphere. Perhaps I need to join the texture jpg together with the mesh somehow, a la ‘Flatten Selection’ in Macromedia Fireworks to merge everything into one thingamajig, instead of separate levels? I’m just guessing of course, I have no idea what it is that I am doing wrong.

Please let me know, and thank you in advance Fligh (and everyone else too, but especially Fligh). :wink:


Rachel :slight_smile:


Upload the file to or some other free hosting service (, megaupload … 4shared is the one I use) and I’ll take a look at the file.


is there supposed to be audio with that tutorial file? I can’t seem to hear anything but a loud screech at the beginning of the video…

Dear Mike S,

Thanks for your offer of assistance the other day. My friend’s tentative net connection went down otherwise I would have uploaded the .blend file to you for you to have a looksee at.

But all is well - my problem with rotating my planet as my stationary camera looks on has been solved. I hit on it by accident.

Turns out it was a problem in the Texture settings. The sphere object (i.e. the cube, altered into a sphere with Add Modifier/Subsurf/Cadmill-Clark) was rotating perfectly, but the image texture applied to it (a JPEG map of the Earth’s surface) was NOT rotating, rather the texture was remaining stationary while the sphere object nonetheless rotated.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong, and at the moment, since I’m not at my own computer with Blender installed, I can’t remember the exact thingamajig that I believe made the texture rotate properly with the sphere object. I believe it was selecting the ‘Normal Map’ button in the F6 texture buttons, but as I said my memory isn’t spot on and I’m only guessing.

Regardless, I can now rotate my planet! Thanks to all for your help, I couldn’t have come this far without you. And I suppose I need to accept that no one goes from Noob to Pro in a day. Or even a year. But someday…:wink:

Thanks again! Now if only I can find out about exporting .blend files to Shockwave 3D files (.w3d files).


Rachel :slight_smile:

Hey Rachel. Congrats on getting that figured out. If you remember what you did to fix it, I’ll buy YOU coffee and a donught if you’re ever in the SA area. I tried setting my to normal map like you said you did, but no go… for some reason, it’s still not moving. Like the map is locked into place or something.

For a globe of the earth, the best way to map the texture is probably UV mapping.

The same video tutorial website I mentioned before also has a great tutorial on UV mapping.

I haven’t tried that exercise, but take a look at Coln Litster’s
Intro to Materials. It might touch on something that could help.

Also check out his web site for some great tutorials on creating really stunning ocean water and clouds effects.