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I want to built a tower out of these cylinders and animate the X-Y Scale of the individual cylinders over time in a wavelike pattern.

Is there a quick way to to that ?

enter image description here

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You could use a sin() function and a driver to animate e.g. the X scale. In Object Properties under Transform for one of the cylinders, click the number in Scale: X and type in something like:

#1.0 + 0.2 * sin(frame * 2.0 * pi / 30.0)

That'll vary scale every 30 frames between 0.8 and 1.2. For later cylinders you can offset the phase a little:

#1.0 + 0.2 * sin((frame + 5) * 2.0 * pi / 30.0)

That'll put that cylinder 5 frames ahead in the animation.

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You can use the wave modifer. It should result in about what you're looking for, and it can be adjusted to fit your model.

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    $\begingroup$ Some questions only require a one-line answer (e.g. Where is a certain setting in a menu?). This question imo requires a little more effort. This might be better placed in the comments section or else elaborate more on how the OP can use the wave modifier to accomplish this. $\endgroup$ – bertmoog Sep 9 '17 at 2:37

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