The AnimButtons

This ButtonsWindow visualises settings associated with animations, most of which are part of the Object DataBlock. It can also be used to create Effects: like the 'Build'- and the 'Particles'-Effect. Hotkey: F7.

The typical 'browse' MenuBut is missing here. Link Objects to other Scenes with the LinkMenu (CTRL+L).


Give the Object block a new and unique name. The Object is inserted again, sorted alphabetically.


If the Object block has multiple users, this button shows the total number of users. Press the button to make the Object "Single User". An exact copy is then created (exlusive the Object block).

Tracking buttons

In Blender, Objects can be assigned a rotation constraint:

Use these buttons to indicate how tracking must work:

TrackX, Y, Z, -X, -Y, -Z

Specifies the direction axis; the axis that, for example, must point to the other Object.

UpX, UpY, UpZ

Specify what axis must point 'up', in the direction of the (global) positive Z axis. If the "Track" axis is the same as the "Up" axis, this is turned off.


This option completely switches off the Object's own rotation and that of its Parents. Only for Objects that 'track' to another Object.


If Objects have an Object Ipo, they can be drawn in the 3Dwindow as keypositions. Key positions are drawn with this option ON and the IpoKeys ON (in the IpoHeader). Hotkey: KKEY.


Limits the drawing of Objectkeys to those selected.


Blender can automatically generate Objects without actually creating them. To do this, an animation system must be created first. A 'virtual' copy of the Object will then be placed on every frame specified. It is also possible to have a virtual copy placed on each vertex (or particle). This can be used as a modeling tool as well. To do this, select the duplicated Objects and press CTRL-SHIFT+A ("Make Dupli's Real").


No matter how the Object moves, with its own Object Ipos or on a Curve path, a copy of the Object is made for every frame from "DupSta" to "DupEnd". The "DupliFrames" system is built for the specified frame interval.


Child Objects are duplicated on all vertices of this Object (only with Mesh).

DupSta, DupEnd

The start and end frame of the duplication.

DupOn, DupOff

Empty positions can be specified with the option "DupliFrames". For example: "DupOn" on '2', "DupOff" on '8' sets two copies on every 10 frames. The duplicated Objects move over the animation system like a sort of train.

No Speed

The "DupliFrames" are set to 'still', regardless of the current frame.


This option is only available if there are VertexKeys. The "Slurph" value specifies a fixed delay for the interpolation of Keys pervertex. The first vertex comes first, the last vertex has a delay of "Slurph" frames. This effect makes quite special and realistic Key framing possible.

Watch the sequence of vertices carefully with Meshes. The sequence can be sorted with the commands EditButtons->Xsort and EditButons->Hash. Naturally, it is important that this occurs before the VertexKeys are created, because otherwise quite unpredictable things can occur (however, it can be nice for Halos).

Relative Keys

This button toggles between using standard vertex keyframing and the use of relative vertex keys. Relative vertex keys allowing mix, add or subtract multiple vertex key positions independently. Best suited for facial expression animations.


The "TimeOffset" value works on its own Object Ipo.


The "TimeOffset" value works on the Parent relationship of the Object.


The "TimeOffset" value works on the Particle Effect.


The value of "TimeOffset" is used to create a 'delay' in the Parent relationship. This delay is cumulative and depends on the previous frame. When rendering animations, the complete sequence must always be rendered, starting with the first frame.


Depending on the previously mentioned pre-sets, the animation is shifted a number of frames. This does not work for VertexKeys.

Automatic Time

This generates automatic "TimeOffset" values for all selected Objects. The start value is the value of the "TimeOffset" button. A requestor pops up and asks for the size of the interval. Blender looks at the Object's screen coordinates in the nearest 3DWindow and calculates the offset values from left to right.


The speed of the Object is printed.

Map Old, Map New

This button can be used to modify the internal time calculation. "Map Old" gives the previous value in frames; "Map New" specifies the number of frames that must be rendered. Only the mutual relations between these values are important. Use this only to speed up or slow down the entire animation system. The absolute value 'frame' now becomes relative, which can be quite confusing if the animation must still be modified.


The maximum speed of the real-time animation playback, expressed in hundredths of a second.

Sta, End

The start and end frame of an animation to be rendered or played real-time.

These buttons are only displayed if the active Object is a Curve.


The length of the Curve path in frames, if there is no Speed Ipo.


Specifies that the Curve becomes a path. Children of this Curve now move over the curve. All Curves can become a path, but a 5th order Nurbs curve works best. It has no problems with movement and rotation discontinuity.


The Curve path passes a rotation to the Child Objects. The 'Tracking' buttons determine which axis the path follows. In EditMode, horizontal lines are also drawn for a 3D curve. This determines the tilt, which is an extra axis rotation of the Child Objects. The tilt can be changed using the TKEY. Curve paths cannot give uniform perpendicular (aligned with the local Z axis) rotations. In that case, the 'up' axis cannot be determined.


The length of the path is printed in Blender units.

These buttons are displayed if an IpoWindow is present in the same Screen.

Xmin, Xmax, Ymin, Ymax

The numbers above these buttons specify the boundbox of all the visible curves in the IpoWindow. Use the buttons to enter a new value.


The new values of the boundbox are assigned to the visible curves in the IpoWindow.


In certain cases, the exact speed of a translation caused by Object Ipos must be determined. Proceed as follows to do this:

Anim Effects: Build

Three effects are currently built in: "Build", "Particles" and "Wave". Effects are a fixed part of the Object; they cannot have any links or multiple users.

New Effect

Create a new Effect.


Delete the Effect.


Select an effect. The Build Effect works on Meshes, which are built up face by face over time. It also works on the vertices in Halo Meshes. The sequence in which this happens can be specified in the 3DWindow with CTRL+F: "Sort Faces" (not in EditMode). The faces of the active Mesh Object are sorted. The current face in the 3DWindow is taken as the starting point. The leftmost face first, the rightmost face last.


The total time the building requires.


The frame number on which the Effect starts.

Anim Effects: Particles

Particles are halos (or Objects if the option "DupliVerts" is ON) that are generated more or less according to laws of physics. Use Particles for smoke, fire, explosions, a fountain, fireworks or a school of fish! With the Static option it is also possible to make fur or even plants.

A Particle system is pre-calculated as a pre-process (this can take some time). They can then be viewed in the 3DWindow in real time. Particles are a full-fledged part of Blender's animation system. They can also controlled by Lattices. Only Meshes can have Particles.

Recalc All

Recalc the particle-system after changing the animation of the emitter mesh. This updates the particle-system.


Making static particles. Particles now don't animate or move anymore, they follow the Object's transformation. Static particles are generated one at each 'frame' for the entire 'Life' value. Use the "step" option to control this; step=2 means a particle at every two frames.


The total number of Particles. Particles require quite a bit of memory (not in the file!) and rendering time, so specify this value carefully.

Sta, End

The start and end frame between which Particles are generated.


The life span of each Particle.


Not all Particle locations are calculated and remembered for each frame for the entire particle system. This is only done for a fixed number of key positions between which interpolations are performed. A larger number of "Keys" gives a more fluid, detailed movement. This makes significant demands on the memory and time required to calculate the system.


Particles can 'multiply themselves' at the end of their lives. For each generation, certain particle settings are unique. This button determines which generation is displayed.


The Material used for the current generation of Particles.


This determiness whether the particles multiply themselves. A value of 0.0 switches this off. A value of 1.0 means that each Particle multiplies itself. The particle system itself ensures that the total number of Particles is limited to the "Tot" value.


The age of the Particles in the following generation.


The number of children of a Particle that has multiplied itself.


A factor that ascribes the age of Particles a (pseudo) random variation.


The offset in the random table.


With this option particles are not only emited from vertices, but also from the faces of the mesh.


The Particles are interpolated from the keys using a B-spline formula. This give a much more fluid progression, but the particles no longer pass exactly through the key positions.


This gives particles a rotation direction. This can be seen in the Halo rendering. Particles that duplicate Objects now also give a rotation to these Objects. VectSize (TogBut) The extent to which the speed of the "Vect" Particle works on the dimensions of the Halo.


The extent to which the vertex normal of the Mesh gives the Particle a starting speed. If the Mesh has no faces (and thus no vertex normals) the normalised local vertex coordinate is used as the starting speed.


The Extent to which the speed of the Object gives the Particle a starting speed. This makes a rotating cube become a sort of 'sprinkler'.


The extent to which a (pseudo) random value gives the Particle a starting speed.


The extent to which the Texture gives the Particle a starting speed. For this, only the last Texture of the Material is used, in channel number 8.


Use of damping reduces the speed, like a sort of friction.

Force X, Y, Z

A standard, continually present force. This can simulate the effect of gravity or wind.

Texture X, Y, Z

A standard force that works on a Particle, determined by the texture. Textures can have an effect on the movement of Particles. The 3D coordinate of the Particle is passed to the texture per Particle key.


The Intensity that is passed back from the texture is used as a factor for the standard texture force (previous three buttons).


The colour of the texture has a direct effect on the speed of the Particle: Red on the X, Green on the Y and Blue on the Z component of the speed.


The gradient of the texture is calculated. This is the mathematical derivitive. Four samples of the texture are combined to produce a speed vector. With procedural textures, such as Clouds, this method gives a very beautiful, turbulent effect. Set the number of "Keys" as high as possible to see the sometimes rather subtle twisting.


The dimension of the area in which the gradient is calculated. This value must be carefully adjusted to the frequency of the texture.

Anim Effects: Wave

The Wave Effect adds a animated Wave to a Mesh. It is not limited to flat objects but can also be used to make a sphere 'wobble'.

The Wave Effect can be accessed from the AnimButtons F7 while the mesh is active. Choose 'NEW Effect' and change it with the MenuButton to 'Wave'.

Wave Type

Per default you have then a XY Wave on your Object. With the Buttons X and Y you can enable or disable the wave generation for an axis, look at the image below for the three basic effects. The Button "Cycl" makes the generation cyclic in the animation.

Time Sta

When (in frames of the animation) the wave generation should start.


How long (in frames) a wave exists


How many frames the wave schould extenuate.

Sta X, Sta Y

Starting Position of the Wave


Speed the Wave travels, can also be negative.


Amplitude of the Wave.


Width of the wave (wavelenght)


How narrow the next wave follows.