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So I want to make a 3d system of gears. Like working gears, with math and everything :) and for ease of use, I can just make the master gear rotate smoothly by 360 degrees over a period of X seconds.

But the thing is, from what I can tell, real gears don't rotate constantly and smoothly. Slow them down and you can easily tell how the gears move, stop, move stop. Spun up they behave the same, even if it LOOKS smoothly.

My question being: is it worth adding the extra effort for that minuscule delay in the animation? The gears will vary in size and speed.

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    If something 'looks' a certain way, that's the way to animate it--even if it's not necessarily reality. – DA01 Aug 23 '14 at 22:07
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Wether it does or not really depends on the gear and the motive power. Gears do exhibit vibration due to very high forces, tiny gaps, unevenness, deformation. There are all kinds dynamic occourenses. You can not observe this easily. Gears can also transfer force unevenly but this depends quite much on the configuration. In either case it is a bit hard to observe by eye, so dont bother.

Mostly they are even enough, or you would need to model in so much detail in your animation to go literally insane. I mean you can literary spend decades doing the details.

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