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Caterpillars of tank

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Do you need the tracks to appear in the ground or the actual treads (machinery) that turn?


I will assume both.


There are several approaches to making the treads

There is only one really decent approach to making tracks in the ground IMO.*


Robert Holmen outline one method for animating tank treads from simple patches using displacement maps. That might be the way to go in some instances.

The benefit to this approach is that the rotation of the treads doesn't even have to be animated as the map itself can accomplish that.

That leaves just the turning of direction to be animated.


Here's his topic on that subject:




As for tracks in the ground displacement can handle this as well.

The trick being to view the ground plane from underneath while the treads (actual geometry would be ideal) appear through the ground.


Here's a tutorial that describes an approach to making tracks in the ground (footprints in this case) and it also talks of a plugin/script.

The script isn't required but was the focus of that topic.




There are some other similar topics in the forum.

If you are wanting to set up an actual tank tread that rotates that also can be done.



*An alternative way would be to use Boolean cutters to cut tank tread shapes out of a ground shape.

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Tank treads are a bit tricky. A solution with Path constraints is probably the easier to understand for new users, but still tricky.


Here is an old, old tut that visits the problem


Sherwood Tank tut (Some parts of the A:M interface may have changed since then but the concepts are still valid.)


Give that a look and if you get stuck or have questions, be sure to ask!

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