How to Make a Low Poly Ferris Wheel

Today’s tutorial is all about animating a Low Poly Ferris Wheel in Blender. I’ll have lots of interesting tips and tricks when it comes to animating something that doesn’t quite rotate as expected, and show you one way of doing it. Also, we’ll be making use of a lot of modifiers to model this structure and taking advantage of instance duplication, a really useful feature in Blender.

You’ll be making this!

Video Tutorial


I’m not going to do a full writeup for this tutorial as it’s largely visual and the modelling isn’t very specific. I’ll leave a few pointers here and specific things you might find useful.

  1. To make a hollow tube section, add a cylinder, delete the circular faces, and add a solidify modifier.
  2. To make this animation, set the “cart” object’s origin at the top, where it’s pinned to the ferris wheel.
  3. Get a cube empty (or any empty really), and in the constraints tab for the cart, add the “Copy Location” constraint, setting the target as the cube empty.
  4. Move the cart to the top of the ferris wheel, at one of the vertices of the rings, and then parent ONLY the empty to the ring. Then, when you rotate the ring, the empty will rotate in a distorted manner but the cart will only follow its location and the physics of the system are finished.
  5. Use an array modifier to make the ladder-like spokes, and you can try to make it fit a curve with the “curve” modifier and a circular bezier curve, but this can cause warping and it is easier to rotate the ladder sections around the origin by degrees = 360/number of spokes
  6. Go easy on the lighting, and make a simplistic background. You want to create some contrast so don’t make it too flat. Instead, focus on the ferris wheel and its movement.
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