Simple Animated Piston Setup
[Beginner-Intermediate] [This Setup Does Not Use Dynamic Connectors]
In this Animated Piston tutorial, we’ll explore this amazingly simple setup which uses one Constraint Tag, two Keyframes, and a little bit of simple Xpresso to achieve this very convincing and seemingly complex motion.
And even though you may never have occasion or need to create a Piston/Crankshaft array, you will learn concepts that can be applied to other setups.
Also, just so you know, this is not a modeling tutorial, so all the geometry for the Crankshaft is in the “Piston Setup_Single_Start.c4d” file which you can download below. So let’s jump right in and start rigging this for animation!
(We will not explore textures or lighting in this tutorial either.)
Animated Piston Alternative.
If you followed the previous tutorial, you should already have the setup we are going to use for this tutorial. You may have noticed that there is a slight bit of sliding of the connecting rod to the gudgeon pin. For most animation this would never be noticeable, but if you need to see inside the piston to the gudgeon pin connection, then you may need a more exact fit. If so, have a look at this alternate solution which utilizes the powerful Range Mapper Spline. However, this approach is a bit more tedious, but it yields a more exact result.