So I have a small shack made out of Legos in blender that I want to animate to fall over, the only issue is that the z rotation doesn't work as expected. Here is a explanation in pictures.

First Image

This First Picture just shows my little shack, all the legos making it there need to fall.

Second Image

In this picture I thought that rotating around the z would help solve the issue, nope it moves the same way moving around the x does! I can make the brick sit where it is supposed to but when you play the animation do to all of the different axis movement it does a pirouette in mid-air, I just want it to fall flat. Thanks for your Help!

EDIT: Here is a simplified blend, the walls fall in and then need to tip and fall over.

EDIT#2: That totally works for rotating the object in the correct manner, thanks Markus von Broady! But the issue is when I put a keyframe into the animation, this happens.

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So its all good except for it swings out to the side in the animation! Do you know how to fix that?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So you want to create an effect like a stick standing vertically falling to a horizontal position? $\endgroup$
    – Aster17
    Apr 9, 2021 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ YES exactly what I would like to do! $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ So how would you go about doing that? I am totally stuck! $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 4:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, I didnt get it ... you are using Rigid Body simulation and parts are not responding to your expectations? We would need to know more about your setup. Can you share your simplified blend just with parts needed to replicate the issue blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com $\endgroup$
    – vklidu
    Apr 9, 2021 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ I edited the above post to contain the blend. Its a pretty simple little animation and I am really thankful for your help! $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


On your second screenshot we can see the gizmo showing 3 axes:

The green Y axis is cut off and goes up/down (the letter is up, so the Y coordinate increases up and decreases down), X axis goes right/left (increases towards the right), and Z is in middle - because it goes towards you / away from you.

Rotating something around an axis is like pretending there's a real, physical axis going through that object, think of a wheel in a car and how it rotates around its axis. In other words, if you choose to rotate around a particular axis, every point of the object will remain within the same distance to the axis during the rotation.

👈 rotation around Z axis; all vertices stay at same distance (and in this case they share that distance which is the same as the radius of the black circle)

It seems you either want to rotate around the red X axis or green Y axis:

But since you want to make it flip over, with the lower end not moving, you need to move the axis of the object around which you rotate. All axes go through the origin point, so you move the X or Y axis by moving the origin point. Keep in mind the green and red lines in the viewport won't move, as they represent the X=0 and Y=0 in the world coordinate space, and not object coordinate space:

The effect is the same as if you moved the mesh (in Edit Mode) up to be above the XY axes (both local and world as in this case the origin is at 0;0;0 coordinates):

Keep in mind you don't actually have to modify the origin/mesh of the object. You can position your 3D cursor wherever you want and rotate using this cursor as Pivot Point, instead of Origin:

For a still image it doesn't really matter which technique you use, but for an animation you might run into different problems for each, so I recommend to try each of them and see which of those problems you like the most. Often you will use empties and parent your objects to them, for an additional control.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks that is very informative, the issue with that attempt is that it totally works by pivoting the object the only problem is that the animation spins and does loops! Should I try to put key frames to make it fall down? $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ I edited the main question to further show the issue I am facing. $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ The x rotation is equal to 180 degrees meaning that it does the weird flipping animation. $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 18:12

I have seen your question and the solution is quite simple. Press Shift+Right CLick and set the 3d cursor to at the bottom of the lego. Then, go to the object setting and set the Origin to the 3D cursor, and then it will be set there. Now, try rotating it, it should work. You could alternatively use physics, but I don't think the RAM that will be eaten is worth it.

Hope it helps

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks that’s exactly what I need! $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ So that in theory should work but it doesn't, It still spins and then it also messes up all of my animations for that object. How would you use physics? $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ I just want the animation to interpolate straight down instead of to the sides. $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2021 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ so, you want it like a stick falling straight without bending, like just straight? $\endgroup$
    – Aster17
    Apr 9, 2021 at 23:23

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