An experiment with the Active Connections featuring in Bongo’s WIP 8

I have a feeling that with the Active Connections Bongo steps into a totally different approach of animation. Away from the painstakingly and meticulous analyzing and unraveling of structures and their motions. Instead a mechanical structure can be assembled with Connection (the passive ones) closely matching the real mechanics. Then the Active Connections allow to put the action (the driver, the motor, the piston) faithfully at the exact spot it would be in reality. Hence the structure of the model to be animated is very close to the real world.

The tricycle in this video is an excellent illustration. The trike contains 5 elements:

  • Main beam with seat
  • Steering fork
  • Front wheel
  • 2 Rear wheels
  • 2 Pedals

They are all united in a coherent structure with Spindles (rotational connections) in straight forward combinations (e.g. steering fork to main beam, front wheel to fork etc….)

To make the tricycle move forwards and backwards the Spindle connecting the front wheel and the steering fork is animated by means of keyframes.

The trajectory of the tricycle is solely defined by animating the Spindle connecting the handlebar to the main beam.

Physic’s Gravity and Friction take care of everything else.

Active connections make animating a completely different experience. I’m thrilled.


Finally a step into a mechanical assembly instead of key framing!
It’s time to try it.

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Well, now. That’s truly something! Are you up for improving the example by putting an articulated human manikin on the seat with it’s feet on the pedals and having the pedals align with the feet? :slightly_smiling_face: Oh, and of course the arms should move with the handlebars while steering.

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To be honest I was rather pleased that I managed to create the illusion, with a few keyframes, as if there was a child on the bike.

While I type these last words I realize WIP 8 does not yet features keyframe manageable active connections but purely the (kind of permanent) motor/servo attribute. So it makes no sense that I post the model now. You’ll have to wait for the release of WIP 9 by the end of this month.

But hey excuse me ….I’m so trilled… these keyframe controllable connections are really great. :partying_face:

BTW @AlW I fear manikins are rather Bongo 13 (or more) stuff :crazy_face:.


Hi all,

I’m very pleased with your enthusiasm for my video. As I wrote earlier, in my ectasie about Active Connections I overlooked that I was working with a preliminary version of Bongo’s WIP 9.

Now since WIP 9 is released I proudly present you the model :Tricycle.3dm - Google Drive

Have fun,