You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Tutorial on using the Blender Physics system


From Jeremiah W.

Hello there! I have posted a tutorial on using the Blender Physics system (aka game engine) to animate falling, tossed, and hard to animate movements with objects. You can see the tutorial here

This is the animation that I show you how to create.

I included a number of screen shots, Blender files, and video.

I apologize that the screen shots are small, you will have to click on them to enlarge them.

I hope this is helpful for all of you Blenderheads!


  1. I think the quality of the posts here should be really reviewed. I guess not everything should be put on the frontpage of BlendeNation. If u want, give it to the tutorials section for (absolute) newbies, but don't bother people reading news about blender... ;) I think BlenderNation is sort of representative site and not everything from the forums should be linked to here, or we get a duplicite site to

  2. @ Vilda :
    I don't read often blenderartist and I'm happy about blendernation post.
    May be try to submit yourself best link and best news.

    About this tutorial :
    Nice tutorial, I never thought to 'parent' my complex object to simple shape to compute physic anim faster.
    This is a nice tip.

  3. Urm... well... not sure if I'm missing anything, but I don't see the point of this parenting business. There's already the "bounds" option and it automatically computes the chosen boundbox primitive to enclose the mesh, no need for all this extra stuff.

  4. And, it's really nice that people try to help others, but the author of this tutorial clearly has problems understanding what he does himself. The fact that he uses a $1000 (or something) NLE to merely speed up an animation that could just have been setup correctly in the first place (i.e., stick to the 1m = 1 BU convention) underlines this.

  5. This also looks a bit redundant to me. There really is no need for all the parenting unless the original objects have been scaled in object-space. And that's something that should be avoided in animations at all times anyway.

    "I have just discovered this technique about 2 days ago..." was probably a hint to not write a tutorial about it just yet.

  6. @ Vilda and Alexander :

    Instead of complaining about what other have made why did you not make yourself a tutorial ? Maybe the tutorial is not perfect, maybe this tutorial is by newbee for newbee, but the guy take the time to write something. So, Please share your technique so everyone will profit, send him comment on how this can be improve or made an other way.

  7. Wow! When I see the 'atmosphere' here on BN in recent weeks I think Bart's decision to bail out was right! What a bunch of negative @#@$#@%$#@-ers!

    Get a life, guys! Don't spoil the experience for others who DO have a positive attitude!!

  8. I gotta agree with ATB... (hey, that rhymed!) The attitudes on here are pretty dismal sometimes... just cheer up.

    BTW, thanks! The tutorial does look sweet, despite what others may say. I don't know how to use the physics stuff, so it will be helpful.

  9. I wasn't complaining about that somebody did take time to work on tutorial! I think such a person deserves to be thanked from people for whose it was usefull. But I just said It isn't necessary to put it on frontpage.
    regarding tutorials i wrote, there are some on my site for the scripts which I wrote, and also a little part of the wiki manual. Besides that I made 1 of the physics demos distributed with bullet files.

    Alexander himself is blender developer, and I think critical comments from his side are quite objective.

  10. Nice tutorial - although the methods described might not be the best/most effective one can still learn from it. For example I didn't know about the "Record Game Phyiscs to IPO" option, and probably wouldn't have stumbled across that for quite sometime had I not read this post :D.


  11. Thanks for posting !
    My understanding of the physics in B is quite limited, so i am happy to have a nice little tutorial to refresh my memory.

    Maybe the title is too vague and promising: you might be tempted to think you'll learn EVERYTHING in this tutorial... It must be why some people were disappointed...

    Keep it up !

  12. For some reason I can not get the Blender files to work, I am going to try to send them to a friend and see if he can get them to work. I am also going to try to get a video tutorial of this up, which if I do, should go more in-depth, and have new features I have learned from this. Plus I plan to use other objects too.

    @Alexander Ewering
    I did not realize there was a way to change the frame rate of the simulation, which I now do. As far as the $1000 NLE, you could probably do the same with some of the free editing programs out there, or even free applications that come with your Mac, PC, or Linux computer.

  13. To all the negative comments recently......

    I'm a teacher, and teach blender in my spare time to students who are incredibly enthusiastic and imaginative. They go through so many different ideas and often come with questions I just don't know the answers to!

    When someone like Jeremiah W comes up with an enthusiastic tutorial, it deserves ONLY praise or POSITIVE criticism. Anything else (in my humble opinion) just makes people want to stop contributing to this site. (So to Jeremiah W - a good job with your tutorial!)

  14. As long as we dont see 50 new tutorials a day in here, I think every tutorial is better then non, so all praise must go to jerhemia for making this one . Alexander makes a valid point that using the bounds option is a smarter solution, so i dont see why that cant be said here. Together they can make the tutorial better by explaining the bounds option too. Its the end result that counts.

    jerhemia, try changing the file extentions or zip the file, some servers filter for not common extentions.

    @ATB "
    I think Bart's decision to bail out was right! What a bunch of negative @#@$#@%$#@-ers!"

    a load of bull 3 years ago when I made myself a tutorial for getting started in blender cause many people complained it was so hard. He didnt want to link to it for some obsure reason.
    I think he did a geat job setting up this Blog, but see its manged well without him. Nowadays setting up a blog like this is about 5min work so if he wants to stop it there will be surely tens to take his place within a day. For me its not clear why he stopped anyway did some apple users threathen to burn down his house cause he mentioned vista as alternative?
    what I want to see added to blender nation is a feature wish list and paypal donation system so new developers can be attracted and old ones kept.
    for starters I myself want to contribute 10 euro for a caustics implimentation in blender.

  15. This tutorial seems pretty cool, but it would be even more awesome if Blender didn't go all bonkers
    and throw the rigid object all over the place in every wrong direction. I heard you have to apply
    any rotations and all that, but it still sprays terds everywhere. Maybe it's just how this MacBook Pro
    running Blender 2.46 w/Python 2.5.2 runs things in my neighborhood. I miss playing with the
    physics system.

    Thanks for getting me interested in it again.

  16. "and throw the rigid object all over the place in every wrong direction."

    It doesn't, unless you make it do that. One way to make it do that is to have collision objects overlapping in space when you start the simulation, another way is to fiddle with the scale after you've already set the bounds without updating the bounds to suit the new scale.

    Thanks, Jeremiah, for the nice introductory tutorial. There are a few things I would have done a little differently, and (shameless plug) people interested in those things might want to check out my upcoming book, which features a fairly big full chapter all about exactly this kind of stuff. I'll announce that as soon as it hits the shelves, which should be in a couple weeks.

  17. emc_deux: I don't have time nor the motivation to write tutorials, however, telling him how to improve it is exactly what I did.

    Jeremiah: The basic flaw in your tutorial is that it is not needed - i.e., the whole technique is superfluous. The "Bounds" option does exactly what you do with parenting - it "emulates" a "virtual" object around your real object, used for collision detection.
    I'm not aware of a way to change the framerate of the simulation directly, however, it is enough to simply correctly scale your scene (1 meter = 1 Blender Unit), or alternatively, you could obviously just scale the resulting IPOs in the X axis. It's just that the way you did things clearly show that you shouldn't have written a tutorial yet. I and others appreciate your work and will to give stuff to a community, but in this case, you're just teaching how to do stuff the hard way.

    It MUST be allowed to express constructive criticism, and I will continue to do so.

  18. The comments criticizing this tutorial had valid points and were written in a friendly and factual tone, so there really shouldn't be any problem with them.

    Just like Alex Ewering said, constructive criticism must be allowed.

  19. Perhaps if the tutorials were 'released' on the blenderartists forums first? That way all of these comments could be done in semi-private instead of these little bash-fests that have become popular. Then, if they survive the forums they can be linked, improved and linked or slowly fade away.

    I haven't even looked at the tutorial so I can't comment on it but I can make a couple of general comments:

    1, if everyone who 'discovered' a way of doing something in Blender made a tutorial of it, we would have a much larger tutorial base.
    2. Having more than one way of doing something is always better. Sometimes you need a nail, sometimes you need a screw, sometimes you need glue. Maybe you can't imagine a place where this technique would be better, but I can almost guarantee that someday you'll hit a situation where this technique will help you solve a problem. Maybe not in this form, but somehow. Thats how life works.

    Thanks to those who take the time to make tutorials.


  20. @all
    i'd like to make a valid point about blender and blendernation
    blender (let alone 3D in general) is a hard concept and program to master there arent too many people that are masters of blender also the ones i do know are MPAN3 and the creators of blenderNation blender nation isnt about feeding the 'elite' users the news and best links blender nation is a neutral platform for everything blender rather it be a tut or otherwise, i think blendernation is doing a incredible job in displaying blender as a community, and anyways its always good to review the basics ^^
    also making tuts are hard as hell itried making one it really didnt work out i prefer to teach what i know on hands nice work blenderNation and tut maker
    blender isnt the most detailed documented program out there even with the books there is so much out there yet to be discovered, in my opinion its best to discover for your self and tell others remember blender is open source and is in the ring to go the rounds with the big boys

  21. Rakunko: You didn't get my point. I do not have any problem with tutorials targetting beginners, I needed those myself back on IRIX when I started with Blender. But this tutorial is WRONG and does not HELP beginners, but shows them W R O N G tactics to do things. It's like opening a walnut with a hammer, and breaking half the stuff inside along the way (because the can doesn't even touch the plane it rolls down, and animation speed changes are done using Premiere).

  22. I`m sorry, but I can`t help comment on this.
    First of all I`d like to thank the initial poster for sharing his idea, although it is not a correct way to utilize the GE, it started this discussion that brought about simple facts that might help both himself and others (including myself)on how to use it. I think it`s the sharing of ideas that is the strongest asset we Blenderheads have. I do however agree with Vilda that there should be some kind of quality filter on the tutorials posted here. This posting does imo belong on the blenderartists forum and not here. One way to implement this would maybe be to put all things like these through some filtering on that site and then either voted on or picked out by people that have the skills as a useful tutorial. Also I`m rather opposed to using Commercial Software in the pipeline for a blendertutorial, since the fact that Blender is Open Source Software and in that sense an equal opportunites kinda thingamajig. I sure as donkeypoo ain`t going to get hold of a copy of Premiere *rolls eyes and looks at his mothinfested wallet* to finish a tutorial. *wanders off while mumbling incoherent words about himself having used lowres meshes to try simplify physics calculations*

  23. @Ghost_Train

    I had the same problem on pretty much same system, and it was being caused by the can (or whatever object) slightly overlapping with it's containing cube. Because it was parented, it would follow the bounds and it would still be overlapping. Try scaling the inside object (can) a bit smaller. It worked for me.

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.