new blender user. I'm trying to animate an IK hand in a smooth circular motion, as if you're doing a full circle with a car steering wheel with your hand, but in a much smaller circumference. I'd like to make it in a 30 frame animation.

The methods I tried: Real-time animation - I tried to do the circular motion manually, but it comes out unnatural. So I increased the frames to about 250, so I could do them at a slower motion, still a little unnatural, but I also don't know how to compress? the 250 frames back into 30 frames.

Using a curve object - I made a circle curve, changed the size of the circle, set it right below the hand and added object constraint, "Follow Path" of the IK hand bone to the target, circle. That just makes it goes bonkers and I read that the origin of the IK hand the circle has to align, but I can't seem to align them, I don't know how to align them.

I also read about using drivers but I'm not sure if they're the best method for what I'm trying to achieve.

Are these the methods I should be using or are there anything simpler? If they are, could I get some help on how to do them?


Edit: I feel like follow path is the answer but I'm having trouble with Forward Axis and Up Axis whichever combination I make with them makes the arm completely deformed.

Edit2: I used TheLabCat and Spood's idea to to child the hand IK bone to an empty. I also set the origin of the cube, the circle curve to the hand with the help of John Eason, but as soon as setting the follow path constraint of the cube to the curve, the cube shot up in the air again and started revolving there. (It had the blue dotted line connected from the circle curve (at the hand origin) to the cube (way at the top). Resulting in the IK arm bone to shoot up in the air as well. What I did to solve this was to just manually bring the cube back down and manually lining it up with the circle curve. It solved it, but not really...?

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe put an empty in between? As in, have the empty follow the curve with an offset, and then IK to the empty, $\endgroup$
    – TheLabCat
    Feb 11, 2023 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ So I put an empty in between and first tested the follow path with the empty cube and yes it followed the curve but not at the curve's location but it circled it way up in the air. So I reset the 3D cursor and made another empty and a curve. Then it works fine. I think it has to do with the origin of the empty and the curve right? How can I set the origin of the curve, the empty cube and the hand all the same? $\endgroup$
    – Search
    Feb 11, 2023 at 23:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For your last question: "How can I set the origin of the curve, the empty cube and the hand all the same?", decide which object of the three you want the origin to be at, select it and in Object mode Shift-S > Cursor to selected. Then select the other two objects and use the Object > Set Origin > Origin to 3D Cursor menu. (Also available via the right-click menu). $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Feb 12, 2023 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


One thing you could try is in Pose Mode, with the hand IK target selected, adding a bone constraint to it to make it a child of another object. Adding bone constraint to make it a child This will let you move the IK hand target with an empty or another object, in this case a Cube. Just need to make sure the IK hand target is placed next to the cube in Pose Mode.

Then you could have that Cube object follow the circle.Cube following circle path animating bone following the cube

  • $\begingroup$ So as written on my second edit, I made it work with your idea. But how can I speed up the revolution? Changing the size of the circle curve only made the motion bigger or smaller. $\endgroup$
    – Search
    Feb 12, 2023 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ And using time stretching to change New pararmeters to half makes the whole animation go faster, so that doesn't work. $\endgroup$
    – Search
    Feb 12, 2023 at 1:12
  • $\begingroup$ Select the circle and under Object Data Properties > Path Animation, the frames number is the amount of frames it will take to complete a full rotation. By default I think it's 100 frames but to make it faster you can just decrease that number. It's also keyframeable so with your mouse over it you can press I to insert a keyframe, and adjust the speed over time. $\endgroup$
    – spood
    Feb 12, 2023 at 1:13
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, that seems to have done it! $\endgroup$
    – Search
    Feb 12, 2023 at 1:15

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