I now have an object that has the instancing enabled with a child object that i don't want to deform. It goes around my curve as intended and looks good. Now i would love to make the instanced objects animate along the curve, think conveyor belt with segments.

When I make the parent object follow the path it just keeps it shape and moves the whole belt along the curve which is not what I'm looking for.

Has anyone figured out how to do this?

A million times thanks for your help!

P.S. I can supply the blend file if you need it, but it is just a bunch of segments along a curve that don't deform due to the parent with its array.


One way, if you need a large number of identical items to follow each other along a curve:

  • Prepare supports for the final, visible objects that will make up your conveyor. These could be an Array of simple planes, given a Curve modifier. The supports will deform as they go round the curve, but it doesn't matter.....

enter image description here

  • In the Object tab, Duplication panel of the support array, set Duplication to 'Faces'
  • CtrlP parent your conveyor-plate object to your support array. It will be duplicated on every face, and follow the curve without distortion:

enter image description here

The plates can be animated by moving the support array along the dimension of the Curve modifier's deformation, and cycling.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ oh yes of course, good trick $\endgroup$ – moonboots Aug 1 '19 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ We'd decided, at some point, this was one of the basic ways around Dupliframes, I think? $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Aug 1 '19 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I need to get used to it $\endgroup$ – moonboots Aug 1 '19 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for explaining! I will test this on my end! Edit: I did and it worked like a charm! I was so close with my file that I feel dumb for not just trying to move my object. $\endgroup$ – Bas van Dijen Aug 2 '19 at 8:02

Edit: Robin's solution seems more adequate but here is an alternative.

If you want an object to follow a path and some copies to follow behind, without deformation, you could:

  • Give your first object a Follow Path constraint. Click on the Animate Path button and activate the Follow Curve option.
  • Link-duplicate the object as many time as you want (altD then directly press Enter).
  • Change the Offset value of the copied objects.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This solution seems to be not convenient at all. Since the overall animation would require keyframing many objects. With array modifiers, simply one object needs to be animated. $\endgroup$ – Brasil May 16 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ you don't need to keyframe the objects, you need to keyframe the curve, actually the only thing you need to do is change the Offset value for each instance, but yes, Robin's solution is a bit simpler $\endgroup$ – moonboots May 17 at 4:43
  • $\begingroup$ But this only works when the curve is a circle. If it is more general curve (like ellipse, or rectangle), then how to work arround? $\endgroup$ – Brasil May 17 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ no actually it works with whatever kind of bezier you want $\endgroup$ – moonboots May 17 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ But how? If I want a final result where the meshes rotate along the path, how to animate an asymmetric path to achieve such a result? $\endgroup$ – Brasil May 17 at 12:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.