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Blender IPOs by Xptiger

BLENDER IPOS Friday 6th March

In this tutorial I am hopefully going to give you an insight into the world of making things move in blender. Not only is this very useful for making games it also is essential for making movies. In my last tutorial we used IPOs to make the wheels move when you turned in the car. IPOs are very simple to get the hang of all you need to know is one hot key and how to access the IPO editing window.

IPOs are basically a recording of the position, rotation and scale of an object in a specific frame. These positions, rotations or scales can then be transfered to any object which will then follow that recording as well. You can give an individual IPO to any object so you could have as many objects moving independently as you won’t.

So the first thing that you need to do is open up blender, and select the cube if it isn’t already selected or if it isn’t selected press the b button to open box select and drag the box around the cube. Now as shown bellow create a new window in the blender file so we can see and edit the IPOs as well as create them. Right click where the right arrow is pointing and select split area then move the line that appears into the centre of the screen and left click.


Now we’ve split the window we need to open the IPO editor so open the drop down menu (highlighted in red) and select IPO Curve Editor (Highlighted in yellow)


And this window should appear, don’t be worried by all the words down the side. Although these are all types of IPOs were only going to be using 9 of them: LocX, LocY, LocZ, RotX, RotY, RotZ, ScaleX, ScaleY and ScaleZ. I haven’t even found a use for most of them yet and the 9 above are the only ones you need to make something move, rotate and get bigger and smaller.


So step 1 is to make the starting IPO, you should have the cube selected. We need to add a keyframe which is basically a record of the location, rotation and scale of an object in a frame. to do this wee need to press the i key (this is the hot-key for  insert keyframe) and select LocRotScale (red arrow) in the menu that appears. All this means is that we have recorded the Location – Loc, Rotation- Rot and Scale -Scale of the object in every axis X, Y and Z. So the IPO editing window should look something like the one below.



The colored lines show the position location and rotation in a visual form as curves or lines at the moment. The reason that there are only two visible at the moment is that they a lot of them are the same, but that will change when we create the next keyframe.

Step 2 – next keyframe.

So now we have the starting frame, but thats a bit boring, so we need to create another keyframe so something happens. To do this we are going to move fowards 10 frames by pressing the up arrow once as our hot-key for advance 10 frames. You can also do this with the keyframe indicator thing which should have 1 in it at the moment shown below. To do this press the arrows at the edges of the box or select the middle and type a number.


So now were on frame 11 we can move, scale and rotate the cube. For this we need to know several hotkeys. First is move, you can either do this with the mouse action or with the hot key. The mouse action is simple hold the LMB or left mouse button and drag it in any direction round the screen but in a straight line. Which if you get serious about using blender you should use. and the hot-key is G. Second is Rotate, which if you haven’t guessed already has a mouse action and a hot-key as well. The mouse action is just drawing a circle while holding the LMB down and the hot-key is R. You can also rotate on only one axis by pressing X, Y or Z. The final hot-key is to scale the object which also has a mouse action. The mouse action is just drawing an arrow while holding the LMB down. and the hot-key is S which can also be used with X, Y and Z. If none of these work you need to make sure you have the cube selected. The final note is that if you undo what you last did it will reset to Last keyframe.

Now you can add the keyframe and you should see the lines have split apart in a nice curved line, pretty huh.


Now return to frame 1 and press ALT – A to play your masterpiece.

Different keyframe types

When you pressed the I key there were several different options which i will try and explain the relevant ones to you.


Black : Just insets a Location ipo so the rotation doesn’t change

Blue: Just inserts a rotation IPO so the object can be placed anywhere and won’t move back it will only rotate

Green: just sets the scale of the object

Orange: Inserts a location and Rotation IPO

Purple: Records a location and scale IPO

red: Records a location, rotation and scale IPO

Yellow: Records a Rotation and Location IPO

The best way to find out what these do is to play around with them and try the different

There’s plenty of other types of IPOs which can change everything from the color of an object to the strength of a wind generator. Thats the end of my very basic IPO tutorial and should help any of you budding Animators.

Hope thats helps anyone struggling with IPOs.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thnx, it really helped me :)

Comment by Slavak

Thats OK i’ll probable release the glsl tutorial some time next week

Comment by Xptiger

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