[VIP] OFF-ROAD: Rig and Animate an RC Monster Truck in Blender

  • 07/04/2023
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“The trucking best course to make you a Blender rigging monster”

Starting with a pre-made Monster Truck model, learn how to create a vehicle rig in Blender. No modeling involved, just 100% vehicle rigging and animation skills.

In the second part of the course, we will animate the truck, make it loop around and do a jump with freehand animation.

The best part: this course will give you the skills for *any* vehicle rigging and animation project in the future.

In this beginner-friendly Blender course, you will…

  • start with a ready-made Monster Truck model
  • get a quick primer into rigging (perfect if you are just starting out)
  • rig the car springs and use drivers to make the wheels go around
  • rig the truck

In the second half of the course, it’s all about animation:

  • you will make the Monster Truck drive around a loop path
  • then, you’ll do freehand animation: make your truck jump!

Along the way, you will learn these skills, useful for 100s of other projects in the future:

  •  Python scripting (made easy) – Scared of code? Don’t be: the complex wheel movement is already pre-done for you and I will explain the rest step-by-step. For example, you’ll create a script that runs the wheels and calculates which way they spin. You can use it to make your own rigs in the future.
  •  How to use drivers – Drivers are the glue that attaches the script to our rig. I will demystify drivers and you’ll see it’s just a single line Python expression, used in a powerful way.
  • Simple mathematics – Don’t worry, we’ll take it slow. I will explain all the terminology like what is a ‘matrix’ and ‘vector’ to give you a deeper understanding of the rigging process.
  • Rigging a mechanical model – The Monster Truck is just the beginning. After this course, you’ll be ready to take on a project that is fully your own.


Chapter 1: “Rigging Crash Course”

We will take it slow, starting with a ‘Rigging Refresher’ to make sure you’re up to speed – pun intended.

I’ll give you essential rigging tips and workflow guidance so you don’t get lost in the process later on.

New to rigging?  Check out our Rigging Fundamentals Course, perfect for beginners.


Chapter 2: “Rotating Stuff”

I’ve prepared a few snippets for you. These short, hands-on exercises will buff up your rigging skills before we get started on the truck.

You’ll learn how to create perpetual motion in multiple different ways.

I will also show you how to use drivers and Python expressions to make a wheel that follows a path and conforms to the ground perfectly.

You don’t need any coding experience for this chapter. We’ll take it slow – you got this!

Chapter 3: “Rigging a Spring”

The spring of our Monster Truck is a crucial part, because it will serve as our suspension later.

In this chapter of the course, you will learn the rigging techniques for creating a fully functional advanced spring.

Chapter 4: “Rigging the Monster Truck”

The real fun starts now! We’ve laid down the groundwork, now we get to the meat and potatoes.

In this extensive chapter, we will rig the truck’s body, struts and wheels, as well as the suspension (here is where our spring comes in).

We will also cover these steps:

  • Ackermann steering (like real cars use)
  • Ground detection
  • Fully functional suspension system

We will add the UI script and tidy up and lose ends before moving to the final chapter…

Chapter 5: “Let’s Animate our Monster Truck”

Our Truck is fully rigged and ready to move.

First, we will make our Monster Truck follow a path and loop around the track.

But we don’t stop there…

In an epic feat of ‘freehand animation’ we will animate the Monster Truck over one of the jumps.

While this is the high point of the course (literally) you don’t have to stop there: the Truck is fully functional and ready to be taken on lots more adventures!

About the course author

Wayne Dixon is an Australian animator with nearly two decades of experience in the creative industry. He was mentored by some of the best artists at Dreamworks and Sony and now operates his own studio in addition to teaching animation at CG Cookie.

Wayne is an accomplished stand-up comedian and his signature lighthearted approach translates even to the most technical aspects of his Blender courses.

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