Tourbillon spring animation

hi i have a question regarding the spiral spring of the watch tourbillon

I would like to know how it is possible to make the rig

to make the movement of the tourbillon spring in watches, which wraps and unwinds

Hey, That is a good question :question: for @Clockmender :watch:, maybe PM him, or he might stumble across your post.

@cromos - Indeed it is, Breguet’s masterpiece of so many years ago - 18th century I think?, but I have a question, or two:

  • Do you want to just animate the tourbillon movement?
  • Are you considering a double tourbillon?
  • Is it the main drive spring you are referring to?
  • Is it the escapement spring, you want to animate?

As far as the tourbillon itself is concerned, that is pretty easy to rig, if you have ever done an epicyclic gearbox, or rear axle differential, if not, it is not easy at all! :joy:

For an escapement, or main spring, the best approach will be a curve object, probably Bezier, with a bevel object to get the 3D form, then use a series, of hook modifiers linked to bones in an armature to simulate the winding/ unwinding of the spring.

A chain of bones with drivers on each such that they rotate in unison is a good start. So bone 1 has bone two parented, for each rotation of bone 1, bone 2 has an equal amount as a driver - thus if bone 1 rotates 10 degrees, bone two also rotates 10 degrees relative to bone 1 meaning 20 degrees in total. It may be better to gradually reduce this as you go down the chain so the movements get smaller the nearer to the centre of the spring you are.

Or, it could be done with a IK chain, I would need to play a little.

Many years ago I built and rigged a complete long case clock mechanism - on here somewhere… so an anchor escapement rig is already there, I will see if I can find it… (here it is) I will need to find the blend file though.

Right now I am freezing my ass off in Stockholm, so don’t have access to my server and all my blend files of this nature, so it will be a week, or so before I can extract one of those. However, if you would like to have a go based upon what I have said I should be happy to help.

Cheers, Clock. :stopwatch: :mantelpiece_clock: :hammer_and_wrench:

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Tank you very much for reply. :slightly_smiling_face:

I see your wonderful watch, congratulation!!!

For now i would like to animate

only the spring of turbillon

I would like to learn to animate
with bones and drivers
the spring
tourbillon seen in the image

with the spring movement that tightens and widens

Can you help me step by step with the rig?

the spring molla

Have a great time and stay safe

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Can you post the blend file with just what I see in your image please, I might as well do yours as guess one… You could use and pm me the link if you do not want to make this public.

Cheers, Clock.

this is thw filw blend with the spring
cheers cromos

Thanks, I’ll look at it when I get back home at the weekend.

Hi, quick update:

I have a system that works and looks right, but it is stupidly complicated so I have to re-work it. Unfortunately I am away for a week starting Saturday and don’t have much time before then so I will carry on with the issue and report back later.

Cheers, Clock.

hello Clockmender

how are you, its all right?


Oh Sh*t I forgot all about this, must get back on it next week… Sorry!


how are you?

This one is still getting the better of me! I intend to solve it, but after many attempts that do not quite work, I am running out of options, I will stay with it though. There must be a solution that is convincing without being stupidly complex…

tankyou very much

i have and idea
if can useful

if you post the problem where you have difficult

other can help to resolve the problem

@cromos Did you succeed in your quest? I am a total n00b, but I learn fast. Hoping to learn from your solution!

Ok, I am getting somewhere at bloody last!

It’s not exactly as I would want it yet, but I think I may have something to work on now.

Here’s the blend file: spring.blend (554.9 KB)

Just press Play on the Timeline, I need to work some more spring coils in and probably write a bit of code to make the spring and add the Hooks, it will be a right PITA to do all this by hand for say 10 coils of spring!!!

Cheers, Clock.

Well, here is a first try at getting it right, it will need some tweaking, but at last it works and is not mega-complex to do…

Blend file: hair-spring.blend (1.1 MB)

Just press Play…

Cheers, Clock. :beers:

amazing :open_mouth:
you did a wonderful thing
you are very strong :muscle:
but how did you do?
would be a tutorial on such a difficult topic
Tank you very much :grinning:

There is no tutorial for this, I only just worked out how to do it! I will try to give you some hints as soon as possible. I have a lot of work to do at my flying club, so please be patient!

Cheers, Clock.

Tank you very much :grinning: