Animating with Constraints

Constraining is a way of increasing the speed and efficiency in which you animate. It’s a way of animating one object “via” another one’s animation.

In terms of saving time, the value of constraining objects is considerable. Suppose you want to animate a group of people at an air show watching a plane fly overhead. If you used keyframes to animate, you would have to generate function curves for each head movement as well as the plane. With constraints, however, you constrain each spectator’s head to the direction of the plane and then animate only the plane itself.


Each type of constraint is described in detail in this chapter except for Constrain > Curve (Path), which is described in Animating along Paths and Trajectories.

For information on using constraints in character rigs, see Constraints and Rigs [Character Animation].


Overview of Working with Constraints

Selecting Constrained or Constraining Objects

Viewing Constraints and Their Information

Position Constraints

Orientation (Rotation) Constraints

Direction Constraints

Distance Constraints

Scale Constraints

Pose Constraints

Symmetry Constraints

Constraints between Points

Object to Cluster Constraints

Surface and Curve Constraints

Bounding Volume and Bounding Plane Constraints

Up-vector Constraints

Tangency Constraints

Creating Offsets between Constrained and Constraining Objects

Blending Constraints

Activating and Deactivating Constraints

Removing (Relaxing) Constraints

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