In the previous part, we talk quite in details about the tools Blender features for animation purpose. In this part, we are going to focus on the most important/powerful animation techniques that are available through these tools. Note that often, one technique might use (or will need the use of) several of them together.
There are two main types of animation techniques:
- “Direct” animation directly controls the properties you want to animate (usually through Ipo curves), without any intermediary. For example, direct object animation is done through the Object Ipo curves (and optionally actions and NLA).
- When using “indirect” animation, you’ll use other datablocks’ (often other objects’) properties to animate your target object. For example, indirect object animation can be done through constraints (among which, parent relationships to other objects or to armature bones…), Ipo drivers…
In the next pages, we’ll try to gather all most useful techniques, more or less ordered by the type of animated data:
- Animating Objects – Object Ipo curves, i.e. direct object’s animation.
- Animating Shapes – How to animate objects’ shapes (for meshes, curves, surfaces and lattices).
- Animating Armatures – The specificities of armatures’ animation.
- Stride – A quite useful armature animation’s tool to setup walk cycles and the like.
- Animating Lamps.
- Animating Cameras.
- Animating Materials.
- Animating Textures.
- Animating World.
Note also that a few other animation tools and techniques are treated in other chapters of the manual, among which:
- Animating Sequencer’s strips and compositing nodes (through Time input node).
- Animating particles, and in general, all the physical simulations, that indeed produce animated stuff!