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Author Topic: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever  (Read 3054 times)

Francesco

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Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« on: December 03, 2008, 04:05:51 pm »

Well, I stomped on this and I wonder if it has been noticed before.

In scene mode, if you set an object to be the child of another object, then this will be moved along with its parent when the parent moves. But if you select both the child and the parent and you move them you get a double (cumulative) change that allows making really cool things - at least they are cool for me :P).

I discovered it by mistake while making the framecounter. Instead of selecting the box alone, I selected all the counters and the box, and when I moved them, it "exploded".

Digging this effect, I've made a simple example of a moving dragon's neck, and once I was there, I took some snapshots to illustrate the work.

So here are the steps I did:

I made a simple object containing one sphere and I called it "sphere" (clever, isn't it?)

I put two copies of it into the scene, setting one to be child of the other, and I left all coordinates to zero.

I saved the project and I opened it in a text editor.

The project saves the idea of "parent/child" with a simple and effective nesting:

  objectelement { "eobject01" "sphere"
    loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject02" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    }
  }


So I duplicated the green lines till reaching ten objects, I renamed all the newly created objects (marked in blue) and I added a row of eight additional closed curly braces (marked in red):

  objectelement { "eobject01" "sphere"
    loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject02" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject03" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject04" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject05" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject06" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject07" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject08" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject09" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    objectelement { "eobject10" "sphere"
      loc { (0 0 0) }
    }}}}}}}}
   }
  }


I saved the file and I opened it again within Anim8or.

And now from the pictures you see some steps used to make the animation:
1 - All the objects in the scene, all rushed together around the origin
2 - Selected them all (with the drag-select tool)
3 - Moved them (and so on, you guess the tools)
4 - Rotated them (with the right mouse button)
5 - Selected half
6 - Counter-rotated a bit (again right button)
7, 8 - Messed a bit by rotating with the left button
...and so on, setting different keyframes.

I didn't spend too much time on it - I preferred to share it beforehand.

I think that using rings you could make a really cool shaking chain - it may be useful and handy to use two different objects, set at two different angles in object mode - where you can take care of the center of rotation - and then alternating them in scene mode.

I think that adding such a multiple manipulation method for figure and sequence modes could be a really cool feature - just imagine it!

Hope you enjoy this, it really amazed me when I discovered it.
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Dreadkb

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Re: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 11:49:06 pm »

I've been trying to figure out how to get an effect like this for about 3-4 years now. I have got to try this out sometime. Ty so much for this post.
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Francesco

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Re: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008, 02:15:21 am »

You're welcome Dreadkb, you could have stomped on it just like me, and you would have shared it in just the same way. It's handy to live a community isn't it? :D
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hihosilver

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Re: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008, 02:29:40 am »

Awesome find there, the method looks great, and makes me want to try it out!
I do wish that something like this could then be achieved somehow with bones or one solid mesh, but even this is a great step in the right direction!
Wonderful find, I hope to try it out sometime.
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Dreadkb

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Re: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 07:14:38 am »

It's handy to live a community isn't it? :D

Absolutely.

I do wish that something like this could then be achieved somehow with bones or one solid mesh

I got an idea about how that might be done. I'm trying a combination of this technique, morphs, and figures to try and make it look like a single elongated object instead of a stack of balls. If I get it to work right, I will post it asap.
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Francesco

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Re: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 11:01:26 am »

I'm looking forward for your mix of techniques, if you succeed this will become a serious leap forward for Anim8or's users - and eventually for Anim8or too, if some of this stuff will make it in one of the future releases.
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Dreadkb

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Re: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2008, 08:04:57 am »

Got a prelim video ready, still working out some bugs, but I think I'm getting some good ideas about this stuff.
http://img531.imageshack.us/img531/1695/cumulativefix20293224hb3.flv

I'm having a hard time trying to explain what I've done so far, so I'm just including my .an8 file.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 08:08:44 am by Dreadkb »
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Francesco

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Re: Tails, chains, ropes, whatever
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2008, 01:04:41 pm »

Well done so far Dreadkb, I knew that this feature was leading to something really cool.
Now the problem is that, currently, making such stuff is a pain, since it involves manual editing of the project (I mean, it needs manual editing to speed up the process, unless other programs like Terranim8or or Cre8or could be of some help here, I didn't try them out yet and it would be nice to hear other opinions about it) it is particularly painful if you make an animation and you want to duplicate it into the same scene. I really hope that Steve will consider adding such a multiple-bone manipulation method, eventually along with the ability to rotate the bones over all axes at the same time, as it is possible in figure mode and as suggested somewhere else. As for the present time, making chains and robotic stuff can already take advantage of this technique.
I'm working on a small waving chain, a thing that will allow me presenting another feature request ;)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 01:08:17 pm by Francesco »
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