I have a certain combat airplane model and i need to create all the animations to be able to use it in a game. I've got this:

wireframe screenshot

I need to rotate the elevator mesh (The one not selected) around the selected mesh. I've tried using the rotate tool but it always ends up moving the elevator mesh (rotating and translating around the center point/3d cursor) and that is not i want. I want the front of the mesh to go up and the back to go down, taking the little mesh as a pivot, so the mesh moves like an actual elevator would.

How should i go about this?

  • $\begingroup$ This sounds like a job for armatures. $\endgroup$
    – Mutant Bob
    Jun 20, 2015 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


At a guess you want to select the elevator mesh then Shift-select the pivot or controller mesh. With the elevator selected and the control mesh selected and active press Ctrl P to parent the elevator to the pivot or control mesh. The first choice in the drop-down list should work: 'Object'.

However, do you need the pivot mesh? Perhaps you should use an empty object instead to control the rotation.

You can also move the center of rotation of an object. In edit mode select the front vertices of your elevator then ShiftS then U to choose "Cursor to selected". Tab out of Edit mode back into Object mode and then ShiftCtrlAltC to bring up the Set Origin dialogue and press shortcut T to move "Origin to 3D Cursor".

An absolute must-read is Witold Jaworski's excellent reference work Virtual Airplane which can be found on his site: Virtual Aircraft

Here is a quick blend file showing one way to control a surface: controlled_elevator.blend

Under the Properties tag you can lock rotation in the x, y, or z axis:

lock rotation

Under the Constraints tab you can limit the rotation of the controller (the empty):

limit rotation

As a follow-up, and keeping within the aeronautical theme, here is a link to a blend file of a variable pitch propeller, controlled with bones and drivers:



  • $\begingroup$ The attached blend is describing a possible solution quite nicely, i'll try to emulate it fitting my needs and report back $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2015 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ I did not use exactly your method but something really similar. blender.stackexchange.com/questions/16045/…. Given the similarities i will mark this answer as accepted. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2015 at 22:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks. Blender Cookie may also be a good place to learn some useful tips. $\endgroup$ Jun 23, 2015 at 0:03

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