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I am animating a simple car along a curved path, but I would like it to do a three point turn, i.e. Move forward along one path, reverse along a different path, then move forward again on a third path.

I have tried to do this with keyframes but the car "slides" across the ground too much, whereas the path going forward constantly gives the car the correct rotation.

Is this possible in blender, and if not, what is the best way to achieve this animation?

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2 Answers 2

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Conventionally, (a bit like grabbing/releasing weapons, etc, if you want to look up other examples,) set up two or more Empties with the desired motion and timings for the car. Each empty can have its own Follow Path constraint. Ensure they are located and rotated similarly at hand-over points.

Give the car a Child Of constraint for each Empty, and for an instantaneous hand-over from one Empty to another, keyframe the Influences of the appropriate Child Of constraints to 0 and 1 respectively, in consecutive frames.

(Use the Set Inverse switches to ensure the car is all lined up, ready for hand-over)

enter image description here

If you need further control over rotations, moves, you can add another layer of indirection / hierarchy between the constrained Empties and the car: then the car would be constrained to be a grandchild of the path-following Empties.

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    $\begingroup$ It is working great. here is a simple example in a .blend file to demonstrate it. blend-exchange.com/b/vypB0EgJ $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @NisimJoseph thanks for the demo! $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Commented Jan 10 at 9:05
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I'm sure there is a better way, but.. you could have 3 different cars/lines

lets say on frame 88, car one finishes its forward move. on frame 89, car one suddenly moves 300M away, while car two suddenly moves to where car one was. the ol switcharoony.

because they change places within a frame, there's no visible movement.

and obviously car three replaces car two when it's finished moving.

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    $\begingroup$ Be careful to disable motion blur if you use this technique :) $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks - this was my first thought, but I really hoped there would be a better way of doing it! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 12:11

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