Making a 3D Object Follow Another 3D Object in Blender

Danan animation, blender, how to, Quick Tips, tutorials Leave a Comment

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a 3D object follow another 3D object in Blender!

Perhaps you may have wondered how to make your 3D models stick on, or follow, another 3D object. For example, you may have wondered how to make a hat model stick on to your character model, even if he moves. You may have wondered how to have your character(s) stay in a boat as the boat moves, or stay put inside a car, no matter which way the car drives. You might have wondered how to make a ball stay in the hands of a person no matter where that person’s arm moves.

You could do everything manually. Like with the hat, you could manually animate the hat movements as the character moves. But that is so time killing, boring, repetitive, and just unproductive. There is a better way..

In Blender, we can simplify this process using constraints! In particular, the constraint I use the most often is the “Child Of” constraint. This can help you too!

Here are the steps to pulling this off in Blender:

  1. Open up Blender and have 2 models ready and position them to follow. This could be a hat and 3D character. But to simplify the process, I’m going to use a cube and a sphere. The cube is going to act as our hat, and the sphere is going to act as our character.
  2. Select the object that you want to follow. In my case, I select the cube.
  3. Go to the Object Constraints tab in the Properties Window on the right.
  4. Press Add Object Constraint and choose “Child Of”.
  5. Your object now has a constraint to follow. But we need to specify which object that we want to follow. Select that object next to Target. I chose the sphere.
  6. Your cube might pop out somewhere else. I don’t really know why it does this, but to get it back just press Clear Inverse and then Set Inverse. It should pop right back.
  7. Now select your main object (the object that you want to be followed). In this case, I select the sphere.
  8. Move the object anywhere and observe the following. Congrats! You can now make objects stick and follow!

If you go back to the “Child Of” settings, you’ll see there are extra settings you can play with. For example, un-check the Z location and see what happens. If you move the sphere now, the cube will still follow but will not follow any of the Z-movements.

Under that, you’ll see a slider called “Influence”. 0 influence means the object won’t follow at all, and 1 means it will follow it strictly. If you put it somewhere in the middle like 0.5, it will follow but not really, it will lag behind. Like a dog not really willing to go for its daily walk.

That’s it! Have fun making stuff follow around. It doesn’t apply to 3D models. You can make your cameras follow as well (like simulating a GoPro on a 3D character), or have lights stick to your car’s headlamps so that no matter where your car moves, the lights realistically move along as well. I hope this tutorial has helped you and thanks for reading!