I am new to Blender. I have made strides learning modeling and material creation, but now looking to take my modeling a little further.
I want to be able to create a complex model with multiple interacting parts, but create "Rules and Limits" to posing the model. I do not know enough yet to know if I should look into "Rigging" and learn that... or learn about constraints and using empties... or maybe even something else that I'm unaware of.
SPECIFICALLY: Imagine a drummer's Cymbal Stand. There will be individual parts like the tripod base... the telescoping upright tubes... a rotating ratchet where the extension boom can rotate on an axis, the extension arm that is held by the ratchet, the upper elbow and spindle that holds the cymbal... etc.
EACH of those will have specific constraints; The telescoping tubes and move up and down (within limits) on the Z-axis and rotate fully on that same z-axis, the rotating ratchet pivot point can rotate on its own axis, and also rotate on the Z-axis of its parent upright tube, the extension arm can extend or retract (with limits) into and out of the ratchet pivot based on the pivots rotation, but also rotate on it's own (local) Z-axis... etc. etc. etc.
The end result I seek is having both-ends of the heirarchy able to be manipulated individually, but the interim parts adjust and accommodate appropriately within their constraints.
I move the Cymbal Stand base close to the drums, the entire stand (and cymbal) move with it. If I grab the cymbal and adjust it's height, angle, etc... the arms & hinges react appropriately to accommodate the movement but the base stays put.
It SEEMS to me that it's similar to Inverse Kinematics and character rigging... but I need no deformations - just hard-surface mechanical constraints.
Can anyone please point me in the direction for me to go learn and research...? I appreciate your assistance.