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Rigging Jet Engine Nozzles in Blender

  • Software:Blender 2.69  ·
  • Difficulty:Intermediate

Making your models move is wonderfully satisfying. But before they can start moving they have to be rigged. Rigging can so often be a tedious and overwhelming task. However, it doesn't have to be! This tutorial demonstrates an easy way to rig many mechanical elements without armatures.

Mechanical Rigging without Armatures

Using just empties and constraints, this tutorial will teach you how to model and rig the exhaust "cone" on the back of a jet engine. This particular mechanism is typically found on modern fighter aircraft (such as the F-18 Hornet), though it has other applications as well. The tutorial assumes a familiarity with the Blender interface, and an ability to do basic modeling. This technique is quite straight forward. After modeling the individual blades, rigging is done using Empties, parenting relationships, and the "Locked Track" constraint. No armatures are used. Once everything is said and done, the nozzle is easily animated by scaling a single control empty.

Want more?

If you liked this tutorial and want some more, then be sure to check out the full course on Mechanical Rigging of a Fighter Jet in Blender