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I have a set of tank tracks that rotate around a curve constantly. This works very well, and it is precisely what I am looking for in terms of movement, however I cannot seem to make this into an animation. I have searched for dozens of hours to find a solution but I am just at a loss on what to do. I have uploaded my blend file here.

I cannot export this file to other software and use this animation, since technically without the blender curve modifier, the only thing that is happening is that the Y transform is being moved by - 1 over the course of one second. Is there a way to convert this curve into an actual animation?

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  • $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean by an animation? A way to do this without the curve modifier? $\endgroup$ – Billy S Oct 2 '16 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @BillyS If you hit apply on both the curve modifier, and the array modifier, you will notice that all that happens is that the tracks just slide off a little on the Y axis and then back again. This is what happens when I export it to another program. I want to be able to "Bake" the animation I have currently, so that I do not need the curve modifier. (Which will allow me to export my model with a proper animation.) $\endgroup$ – Brandon Stephen Hayden Oct 2 '16 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ You could maybe specify which "other software" can't import this animation, and in which format, too, as it could help understand possible conversion path, maybe. Also, specify blender version, since new versions could have new features could help in this respect. $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Oct 3 '16 at 7:33
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Select your object and Export as .MDD - you might have to enable it under preferences. Apply the Curve Modifier to your object.

In a new file append your object and remove any animation curves from the Graph Editor. With the object selected Import the .MDD file - you will see per frame that curves have been added to the graph editor. You might have to move the frames to correspond to the peaks of the action. In my example I just started before the first frame and stopped before the last...

enter image description here

Update: While the above method does work, there is also Alembic .abc export which you might try. Export the number of frames you want - when you import the .abc file in a new Blender you will see the animation is baked in. There are no key frames in this export.

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