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I have these flap things rotating around a very irregular shaped track. While I was able to rotate each flap from a center point perfectly, I was not able to rotate them around this irregular track perfectly. So I had to translate them along Z and simply eye them to their correct spot right along the track. The problem with this is that not all of them are equally protruding from the track.

Is it possible to translate the objects perfectly around the track equidistant from one another?

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Would you like to rotate around the global x-axis or around their 'length'-axis? :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ I want to essentially rotate around an oval, like the track you see in the photo. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ So actually you want to snap the bottom of the meshes to the normal of the track $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I guess that's what I want. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael, if you used the techniques in the youtube tutorial, attaching your "flap things" to the parts of the track, would that give you the result you are looking for? $\endgroup$
    – brasshat
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 7:52

1 Answer 1

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you can use the path constraint to do exactly this.

  1. Select all the objects you want to follow the curve, and the curve last.
  2. Press ctrl + P to bring up the parent menu. (see pic 1 )
  3. Select path constraint. Follow path is the old way of doing this, but the path constraint is easy to change settings.
  4. In the constraint panel, change the XYZ axis to match your objects rotation. (see pic 2)
  5. You may need to clear the location and rotation of the blades ,depending on the location and any other parents the object has.
    • ALT + G (clear location)
    • ALT + R (clear rotation)
    • and/or ALT + O (clear origin)
  6. You can then use the offset on each item to change the position around the curve.
  7. To change the speed, in the curve options you can change the frames (see pic 3), or the evaluation time in the curve editor.

parent constraint

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, this looks like it's gonna do it but I'm getting all of the items rotating perpendicular to the curve instead of right along the curve. Like this: i.imgur.com/hTM72ut.png And messing with the object constraint axis' only make the objects fly to the center of the grid or do nothing at all. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ it looks like you have not cleared your location with ALT+G $\endgroup$
    – wardrums
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ I did clear everything, that's no it. Can you please do a simple example of this in action? I've tried it in a new document with same results. Why is the path not aligned to the objects? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ pasteall.org/blend/36694 simple blend file of the follow path constraint. maybe check your object scale and rotation. also i normally put the origin of the object at the part you want to make contact with the path, as you will see in the blend file. hard to tell you what the problem with your file is with out seeing the .blend $\endgroup$
    – wardrums
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ please take a look! pasteall.org/blend/36696 It would help me so much to know exactly what I did wrong as I am just now learning this program. Also one thing I find unpleasant about this setup is the appearance of all the items shown in the scenes panel instead of being grouped as a hierarchy $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 11:08

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