Odd question: properties linking?

posted to: Ocean Animation

This doesn't quite have anything to do with the ocean lesson at this point, but this made me think of an odd question and I figured I'd ask anyway:

I'm used to working on Adobe After Effects and often times, particularly when making loops, I use property linking and/or expressions (javascript code). Those are handy because if I change my mind after a little bit and want to change the properties on the first ocean modifier (for eg.) it will affect the second one exactly the same (or in the same way I determine with the code) without having to do it manually. Somewhat like duplicating an object with a link (alt+D), but for any properties.

Does that exist inside of Blender? 

I work with sports graphics and often have the same animation for several teams. By using this type of property linking I can toggle one team and change colors, decals, text, and so on, saving me hours of work... Just wondering if that's something I can do in the 3D world too... Like finding my preferred settings for a calm ocean, or a choppy day and swap them easily later.

Just curious...

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  • Martin Bergwerf replied

    HI Nathalia,

    That's a good question!

    Now, I don't know After Effects, but (if I understand you correctly), you can use Drivers for the Settings you want 'linked' and then you can, by changing one Value (you can make it a Custom Property, if you like), change the corresponding Setting in the Modifier for all Modifiers that use that Driver...

    It's a bit complicated to explain, but, yes, it is possible, but it takes a bit of work...(chances are, that there is an Addon for that...)

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  • Nathalia Tappan(nathicastro) replied

    Yep! That sounds like the right thing! Thanks Martin!

    It always takes a bit of extra prep work, but in the long run the payoff is often a no-brainer. 

    I'll add drivers to my learning list 😅

    If you have any recommendations on CGC courses that either focus it or use them throughout (or any resources really) I'm all ears!

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  • Omar Domenech replied

    Kent uses a Driver to drive the Yin Yang pencils:


    Drivers are mostly used in Rigging,so Wayne's courses is full of setting up Drivers:



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  • Nathi Tappan(nathitappan) replied

    Awesome! I'm just at the ocean chapter now, will tackle the pencils next I believe! 
    And very much looking forward to the Fundamentals of Animation and Rigging after I'm done with Texturing. 

    Just excited that this workflow is somewhat translatable!

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  • Martin Bergwerf replied

    Those are great links that Omar provided...I'd actually start with the third one, if I were you...then the pencils, that is probably on your wanted list already anyway.

    The monster truck is pretty advanced (but well explained!).

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  • Nathi Tappan(nathitappan) replied

    Noted! Thank you!

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  • Dwayne Savage(dillenbata3) replied

    So, drivers was my thought also, but for more advanced setups you can use python scripting. Also I believe there is a way to link drivers and python scripts. 

    I haven't started learning Python yet, but it's pretty easy to do things if you have done other programming/scripting languages. I mean I've created 4 addons to make my life easier just by looking at the templates and using developer extra and python tool tips. I also learned a lot from rigify's UI script. One day I'll learn Python properly. 

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  • Nathi Tappan(nathitappan) replied

    I thought Python would be an answer... but that is a rabbit hole I'm not quite ready for... I can do basic coding in javascript, enough for my 2D animation needs but I'm by no means an expert. And the big learning project I'm tackling now is the basics for Blender... maybe the next one!

    I also hear if you have enough of Blender and coding basics you can have ChatGPT help with the creation of addons and scripts... 🤔

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