[EN] Blender : Animation Tab

This article discusses how to create a basic animation from Blender (We used version 3.0) to create the movement of the robot arm as shown in Figure 1. The content of this article introduces Animation Tab, model preparation, and put on the skeleton and Key Frame animation as a basic guide for those interested in creating further animations.

Figure 1 Mechanical arm example

Animation tab

Let’s first get acquainted with the Animation tab. The look of the screen of the tab is as shown in Figure 2. This screen has 3 main functions: the camera result screen as shown in Figure 3, the timeline screen as in Figure 4, and the adjustment screen as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 2 Animation tab
Figure 3 Result in camera view
Figure 4 Timeline screen

From Figure 4, you can see that it is the screen for viewing the timeline of the created animation. The timeline numbers start from 1 to 250. The number of frames can be changed by double-clicking the number 250 in the lower right and changing the number to the number of frames you want. It also has buttons to play animation, pause, and move frames like a normal movie player.

Figure 5 Animation editing screen

If you want to adjust the display resolution or adjust the frame rate of the animation can be done from the Scene tool as in Figure 6.

Figure 6 Scene editing window

Recording as a video file

Saving the rendered output as a video file can be done from the Scene tool in the Output section as shown in Figure 7. The File Format is set to Avi Raw for uncompressed AVI files and the important thing is the name and address of the file must be specified.

Figure 7 Format section for rendering AVI Raw output.

Mechanical arm

The characteristics of the mechanical arm to be built have the following properties (as shown in Figure 1).

  • There are 3 points of rotation: shoulder, elbow and information.
  • The end is the hand.
  • The bottom (shoulder) is attached to the base.
  • have upper and lower forearm

Build a robotic arm model

Start by adjusting the Cube to be the base to width, length and flattening as shown in figure 8, on the left, then add a UV sphere to join the header file as shown in Figure 8 on the right.

Figure 8 Base and shoulder

From the shoulder, add a Cube and adjust the size and make it taller for the upper arm as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9 Use Cube as your upper arm.

Add part of the elbow with UV Sphere as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10 Part of the elbow

Do the same for the forearm by adding a Cube for the forearm and adding a UV Sphere for the data as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11 Parts of the forearm and wrist

Finally, add a Cube as a hand as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12 Part of the hand

Put on the skeleton

Add Armature to the scene, which will appear the name Armature in the Scene Collection as shown in Figure 13 and click to turn on the front bone display (In Front) over all objects to make it easier to see by setting it in the Properties section of the Viewport Display as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 13 Armature in the Scene
Figure 14 Armature properties screen and open In Front.

And in the screen of the first skeleton will be found as in Figure 15, adjust the size and position it as in Figure 15.

Figure 15 First bone added

The next step is to add the ulna bone instead of the bottom. By clicking to select Armature and changing the mode to Edit Mode as shown in Figure 16.

Figure 16 Edit mode
Figure 17 The part that must be selected to add the next bone.

From Figure 17, press E to Extrude to add the bone. Move the mouse until the next bone meets the wrist, as shown in Figure 17.

Figure 18 lower arm bone

Extrude again to make bone for the hand part as shown in Figure 19.

Figure 19 Part of the hand

When viewed in the Scene Collection, it is shown in Figure 20: The hand bone is the child of the lower arm bone and the lower arm is a child of the forearm bone. When we move the upper arm, the lower arm and hand will move as well. And likewise, moving the upper arm will cause the hand to move accordingly. Additionally, the bone names have been changed to BoneBase, BoneArm and BoneHand.

Figure 20 List of bones within the Armature

Connecting the bones to the model

The process of welding the bone to the model made is as follows.

  • Select every object as shown in Figure 21.
  • Select the last bone as shown in Figure 22.
  • Press Ctrl+P and select Automatic Weights welding method as shown in Figure 23.
Figure 21 An example of the results of selecting the entire arm model
Figure 22 Example after adding Armature
Figure 23 Menu when pressing Ctrl+P

Weight Paint

After linking the bones to the model is complete. The next step is to check the relationship of the bones to each model by adjusting the model’s Weight Paint, the process of making it consisted of the following steps.

  • Select an object.
  • Change the mode to Weight Paint.
  • Choose a bone piece and paint appropriately
    • Red means there is a strong relationship.
    • blue means no relationship

Selecting the object to check the relationship. The example in Figure 24 is the selection of the shoulder. After that, select Weight Paint mode.

Figure 24 Set the mode to Shoulder Weight Paint.

The correlation is determined by selecting the draw as shown in Figure 24 and Weight being 0 will be painted in blue and 1.0 for painted in red.

Figure 25 Example of correlation weight coloring

Selecting the bone you want to examine or color the relationship with is done by clicking on the tool as shown in Figure 26 and a list of skeletons will be displayed according to the preset list. Click on the object name and check the color of the bone’s relationship to the model.

Figure 26 Bone list screen

The relationship between the shoulders and the BoneBase is red, and for the BoneArm and BoneHand is blue, as shown in Figures 27, 28 and 29, respectively. This means that when the BoneBase is moved, the shoulders will move accordingly (Color value affects the proportion of follow-up shift).

Figure 27 The relationship between the shoulder and BoneBase.
Figure 28 Shoulder’s relationship with BoneArm
Figure 29 Shoulder’s relationship with BoneHand


The pose can be done by changing the mode of the bone to Pose Mode by selecting the Armature and changing the mode as shown in Figure 30.

Figure 30 Gesture mode selection

Bone movements can be rotated, repositioned, or resized (allow the reader to play around and see the picture).

Adding Key Frame

When the object’s posture is done, press I on the customization screen (Figure 4). After that, there will be a menu item to choose from as shown in Figure 31. Before selecting, make sure that the frame number is selected in the Timeline section. The process of adding a Key Frame consists of 2 steps:

  • Select a frame (Figure 31).
  • Make a pose and press I to remember the value (Figure 32).
Figure 31 Example of clicking on frame number 20
Figure 32 Frame memorization menu item

The next step is to Add keyframes and gestures after that remember the value until it meets the desired example in Figure 33, then render the animation into a video file as mentioned earlier.

Figure 33 Adding Key Frame


At this point, we hope that readers will have a guide to creating animations with Blender that can add skeletons to created objects. And can do Key frame animation. Finally, have fun and try.

(C) 2020-2022, By Jarut Busarathid and Danai Jedsadathitikul
Updated 2022-02-08