With the Commotion Addon we can make offset animations. We can also use an effector that drives the animation by proximity.

In the past I tried the addon a few times but never got the hang of it. But finally I got it sorted out and want to share you my experience. To show you how it works, I made the video below. And in case you have no access to the video, I will give some tips below.

How the Commotion Addon works

Let’s start with a simple example. Once we get this clear, we can then go further. Simple example:

  • Add a plane to the scene and give it a material.
  • Duplicate the plane with Shift+D, X, 2. And to repeat the last step press Shift+R. That way you can quickly make a row of planes.
  • Select all the planes and duplicate with Shift+D, Y, 2. To repeat use Shift+R a few times. You have now planes in a kind of square.
  • Select all the planes and in the middle of the selection you place the cursor.
  • Select all the planes and make a short animation of all the planes at the same time. So go to frame one and press i. Then go to another frame and do something with the planes like scaling, rotate, etc. Press i again to make a new keyframe.
  • Then in the Commotion Addon you go to the Animation Offset section. Select under Sort By: Cursor, or Name.
  • An operator on the bottom left will appear, and if you want you can adjust the offset. Play the animation and you see the Offset Animation.

In case you cannot watch the video and you want more examples, let me know. There is one thing that I cannot get to work and that is to bake the Proximity Effector properly. If you know why the empty doesn’t bake, let me know.

Where to download the Commotion Addon?

You can download the Commotion Addon on Github. Installation of the addon is as usual. It has an update:Animation Offset: new option Selected Only, when enabled only selected keyframes or strips get affected. And a fix: Animation Utils: Fix error in Copy and Convert to when dealing with NLA strips.