How to animate and control a fish in blender

In this tutorial, you will learn how to animate and control a fish in blender.

Table of contents

Step 1: Prepare your fish model

Place your fish at the center of origin by pressing ‘Ctrl + A’ and apply all transforms.

Applying all transforms to an object in blender
Applying all transforms to an object in blender

Step 2: Add a path for the fish

Place the 3d cursor on the world origin by pressing ‘Shift + S’ and select ‘Cursor to world origin ‘.

Placing the cursor on world origin in blender 1
Placing the cursor on world origin in blender

Press ‘Shift + A’ to add a path Curve as on the image below

Adding a curve path in blender 1
Adding a curve path in blender

Move the path origin to the beginning of the curve and should face the same direction as your fish as in the image below

Fish and path curve facing the same direction 1
Fish and path curve facing the same direction

In edit mode, subdivide your curve four times and move the anchors to make it wavy as in the image below

Wavy path curve facing the same direction as fish 1
Wavy path curve facing the same direction as fish

Select your fish and add a curve modifier. Under ‘Curve Object’, select your path curve ‘NurbsPath’

Fish model with curve modifier 1
Fish model with curve modifier

Return the 3d cursor to the center of world origin, and add a plane axis empty as in the image below

Plain axes empy added 1
Plain axes empy added

Select the path curve, then the fish, and finally the empty in that order. Press ‘Control + P’ and select ‘Object’ from the dropdown. Now the curve path and the fish should be parented to the empty. You will now use the empty to place the fish anywhere in your scene.

Step 3: Animate the fish

On the first frame select the fish and press ‘I’. From the dropdown, select ‘Location’ to insert the keyframe.

Move to keyframe number 250. Select the fish and move it to the other end of the path curve as in the image below.

The fish at the other end of the path curve 1
The fish at the other end of the path curve

With the fish selected and the ‘Dope Sheet’ window open, select the two keyframes and press ‘T’, and from the dropdown select ‘Linear’.

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