Trying to Animate a Piston/Crank

Howdy guys, I'm trying to animate a 2D car engine, I drew pictures of the parts (Crank,Rod,Piston,etc) and am trying to animate them in action.

I'm using a Composite shot, and have the crank spinning, but the issue is that if I parrent anything to the crank, the whole assembly spins around.

To sum it up, I'm trying to create something like this: (not my video)

This seems to be a simple task but I can't find the controls to do it.

Tracking doesn't seem to be available with images.  And I couldn't find any "Parenting Settings"  To change what all characteristics to take from the parent (X axis, Y axis, Rotation).

I know I could manually track it, but I'm trying to avoid that due to the time involved.

So is this do able?

Thanks a bunch!


  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,782 Ambassador
    edited May 2017

    Definitely doable.  You'll need to create a little parenting to do the trick.

    Here is a very basic idea of how you can do it.  Just click and download the HF file from the link.

    The "trick" is to add a  point, parent it to the crank and offset it to the side.  Then parent the shaft to the offset point and move the anchor for the piston shaft to the bottom of the shaft. Then line it all up.  You'll need to keyframe the rotation of the shaft so it stays pointing up.

    The crank is a simple one time rotation and the piston head just moves up and down.

    I made my parts out of a simple plane and just drawing a mask.  But you can make more realistic looking parts with a paint program and save them out as transparent png files.