Launch Control // Auto Car Rig

by Daniel Vesterbaek in Addons

Animating cars should be Fun!

LC (Launch Control) strives to make vehicle animation accessible and eliminates the usual problems you stumble over, when turning your action-sequence dreams into reality (a virtual reality, that is).

The simple interface packs a ton of power and in the "Manual Gearbox" you have a world of customization options to tune LC to your liking.

1. Lazy Rigging

- one-click setup!

Well... The headline kinda says it.

When rigging with LC the add-on recognizes a long list of tags to automatically detect wheels, body, brakes, headlights and with some math-magic rigs your 4-wheeled car for you.

Helpful pop-ups will appear if naming adjustments of wheels, body etc. are needed. (Please check the documentation for requirements for one-click rigging)

In the "Manual Gearbox" it is possible to alter rigging options to make LC play well with your own pipeline.

2. Animate like a BOSS

- with neat presets!

Do you want your ride to jump, drift, wiggle, do donuts, go offroad or all of the above?

LC is designed to take care of all of these things. The presets give you a headstart no matter what you want your new "wheels" to do. 

2.1. Make it your own!

Once you are set up with a preset, it's easy to build on top of it.

Add as many extra control points as you want and hit the "Update Driving Path" button.
This makes sure that the existing animation will not be offset like it normally would when animating without LC.

3. Art Direct Physics

- for Trucks, Super cars, and even RC cars!

Simming can be a pain.
That's why LC has dialed in presets that will cover you in most cases - and most importantly... LC bakes FAST! 

If you want full control, head into the "Manual Gearbox" and reveal the physics sliders to manually set the weight, softness, wiggle speed and more.

3.1. Fast iteration with PostFX!

Sometimes you just want more body-roll, less body-bounciness and a tad more pitch.
- Well, in that case just fix that in real-time with PostFX - No need to re-sim over and over again.

What The Artists say:


     David Schäfer
     CEO Mondlicht Studios

"This is the best rigging solution I have ever worked with.
It gives you full control over all aspects you want to be able to control,
which makes it an artist's and creative's dream for animating cars."

     Sven Giera
     Artist at Mondlicht Studios

"Launch Control is in my opinion one of the best tools for car animations I have ever used. 
It has all features you need in a compact format and an easy-to-use interface,
giving artists full control over every aspect of their project."

And lots of extra Goodies!

Quick Export to Unreal Engine 5
- and other epic DCCs

With the quick export menu you can painlessly export to Unreal Engine 5, Nvidia Omniverse, Cinema 4D and more. LC takes care of the translation of the data so it reads correctly when imported.
Quick Export works with "light" models and uses the native Blender FBX exporter. If you want to use LC in your UE pipeline you can also use datasmith to translate the data. This way you have more options and preferences to play around with when exporting.

Ackermann Steering Geometry
- you might not know it, but you need it in your life!

You probably tried other rigs where everything looks great... - until the car is going through a curve. How hard can it be to make a car turn in CG?! - Quite hard, I figured...

Until I discovered the Ackermann Steering Geometry. It's fully built into the core of the rig and saves you a bunch of fiddling with messed-up steering.

Automated Ground Detection
- optimizing detection on the fly

When you have built out your stage, drop all the objects that will affect the movement of the car into the "groundDetection" collection. High poly, low poly, messy - doesn't matter, just throw it in there.
A grid is wrapped over this collection, removing any unused areas to save performance. You can preview the grid and increase/decease the quality in the "Manual Gearbox".

Automatic Camber and Caster
- the small details that makes it all pop!

Maybe you have heard about camber and caster angles? Well, I hadn't...

But! Because of the advanced suspension geometry in cars today, wheels do not just turn around the Z-axis like most of us imagine. No, no, camber and caster tilts the rotation axis in 2 unique ways and even though the rig does not physically do this, it takes care of visually copying this behaviour for you. And with the UI slider above the car, you can control the amount of camber/caster to your liking.

Plays well with "Car Transportation"
- and other epic model libraries

With "Car Transportation" and Launch Control together, you will be able to drop a wide range of cars into your scene and rig them with Launch Control with just 1 click. 
Check it out over here:

- helps you animate for realism

Photo-realism is often a pain to get right. And one of the things that often feels off in car animations is the speed. - So that's why LC has a speed-o-meter that shows you the speed of the car in real-time for you to ground your animation in reality (I mean, if you want - I don't judge if you want some TrackMania-type craziness.)

HDR Headlight Texture Presets 
- well.. They are headlights

6 included headlight presets can be applied to make your night renders look even more real. Both high and low beam spot lights are set-up in the rig and will be automatically rigged if headlights are detected in the car mesh.

Jump generator
- with projectile Physics!

It turns out that it's quite difficult to make a car jump look real - So I thought... Why not simulate it with projective physics? And well.. See result above.


Simulation Nodes in Launch Control! - Version 1.3.5 is out:

With the launch of Blender 3.6, we open up the doors to a new world of possibilities with Launch Control!
Automatic Skidmarks generated in Real-Time is just the beginning!

Apart from that, we also made it easier and quicker to animate the car using your own Custom Path.

Launch Control will take care of animating the car so it stops at the end of your desired path. 
All you have to do is to draw the path, define the start and end frame for the animation in the scene and off you go!

More Sim Nodes madness to come!

We are currently working on a new and improved physics system based fully on Simulation Nodes!
It will take the realism of the motion to the NEXT level!

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Sales 1000+
Customer Ratings 16
Average Rating
Dev Fund Contributor
Published over 1 year ago
Blender Version 3.6
License GPL
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