View Full Version : URGENT: how to rig a machine and animate visibility of segments?
13-02-2005, 10:39 PM
hi there guys. i hope you could help me on this.
here's a link of the sample i took from the net...
it shows a mechanical object. like a wierd tall pc monitor with feet spinning its head while growing a screen.
here are my questions:
1. how can i make a rig that only does spinning movement? does it still invole ik?
2. the growth of the screen doesnt seem like its been scaled. its like its showing part of itss segents gradually per frame. how do i achieve this?
3dsmax masters out there. pls pls help me. thanks in advance
17-02-2005, 09:08 AM
Couldn't open your link..
Would setting the pivot points accordingly and preparing set driven keys that act to the movement of the joints work with you?
Thats my general pipeline in building almost any robotics that I would want to rig.
And even for such a task that you would describe.. having a part of the character spin 'x' many times can be arranged by simply setting the driven at the max and min points then tweeking the animation curve sounds possible.
Thus I can't really say anythig without seeing what the sample you are talking about is
17-02-2005, 09:54 AM
thanks for replying. the urll i posted is a flash file. ill zip it so you can download it instead. try this.
and how do i setup pivot points? can you give me a few pointers on rigging robotics? that would be much appreciated.
thanks in advance
17-02-2005, 02:04 PM
Yes I must agree that it is definately impressive. Sort of reminds me of this site (http://www.billybussey.com/highband.html) that I occassionally go to to just have the soft music play on the background.
I understnad your concerns on the rotation. But I believe that you could handle it well with the offered method above.
Firstly I must have to sadly state that I have not used Max since 5, and even worse I haven't used it for dynamics or animations as I had personally found it annoying to compair to the controls and freedome that MaYA offers. Soooo this is all written out of mere week memory and nothing that I am doing with running a Max infront of me...
But these are matters that don't REALLY change much through versions. And they are sort of basics so even if you make a mistake at first you should be able to grasp what went wrong fast
Because I presumed the level you are at; I am going to try talk basic (I guess also because of blurred memories :( ) and hope that I can give you an idea on how you could work. Since I would have to open up Max and write down a LOONG tutorial for you to really get some uses to be able to do an effect such. (If I am wrong and you are highly advanced.. just close the window. I doubt these are new to you and I guess I mistook the question)
An easy way to change the pivot would be through the Hieriarchy (Was that how it's spelled?) panel hitting pivot. (Note you might want to leave 'affect the pivot only' button active)
From there you will be able to modify things like the rotation, and translation of the pivot for the selected object. You should also be allowed to alighn it if need grows...
So lets say you make a cylinder and then a box extending from it.duplicate this and then sort of mirror the construction by having the two cylinder bits in order to create a hinge. What you would do is have the pivot point of the cylinders be the pivot point of all of them.
So as you would rotate the objects. they would simulate a hinge effect.
Now lets say you want to add this primitive hinge onto an obect. and don't want to group the peaces or anything.. wait les keep it simple... Lets say you are going to use this hing on a box.. and sort of want a Jack in the box to pop up after you open the lid.
So here is what we could do;
Just think of the box as a primitive box.. and a lid. Forget about the hinge for now.. have the box as four thin cubes. with a last thin one on top. This time select the top (the lid) and move its pivot to one of its edges... thus simulating a hing on the lid this time. (You may want to make sure that there have been no rotations on the lid until now)
Now for the Jack.. lets again go simple and place a cube in the center.
If you click on the lid and then wire parameters from the animation menu, where in the pop up menu you could find the animatable parameters. you should be selecting transform_rotationand then either rotate X or rotate Z from here. Depending where you placed the pivot.when you see the dashed line.. just pull it to the cube that is meant to be the jack. (You should notice some change on the cursor when you get on top of it) Then click on the cube and select hight from the parameters window that it opens.
Now what you could do here is to have it work two ways or one way. Choose only one way with the arrow pointing towards the jack. So the lid being the master.
A VERY simple thing to do would be to just type something like abs(Z_rotation) or abs(X_rotation).in the expressions dialogue box at the bottom. then hit connect
So VERY roughly what should happen is, you should be able to see the box grow bigger as you rotate the lid open.
Now as I sadi earlier this is ONLY to give you ideas.. you could do this with Joints, primitives, dummies.. but only with animatable parameters or objects. Like you could crank the linking to something like double the rotation of the joint.. for the rotation of the screen. Or infact have the rotation of the screen=10"*" the rotation of the joint.
And have the scale of the screen simiallarily set to be two times or even "=" to the rotation of the joint.You are going to have to be sort of creative here. But you should be sort of economical in this.. Expressions sort of speed things. AND slow them down. So wehn you have an expression the computer always calculates if there is a valid situation that would demand the expression to be run or not. The more you have the more things it has to ask per frame.
Now moving one step furthur. Rarely would you want or need this hinge to go all the way in both directions. So you would simply limit the hinges rotation.. like lets say you wouldn't want it to rotate in X and Z... AND that you would want it to rotate only 90 degrees in Y:
So if you open the joint roll outs you would notice the limit and active values.. select limit and set the values accordingly to each rotation axis.
I hope this was of some sort of guidence to you rather than more confusion.Just incase you may want to talk this over with people that are still using max or at least reffer to your manual provided to make sure I got things right.
Or even better.. throw away/sell max and get MaYA :) then I could help better!
17-02-2005, 02:29 PM
wow. you really went out of your way just to help me. thanks so much.
and yes im just a novice when it comes to animation. i only know how to model generally.
ill study your instructions hard and see what i can come up with.
btw, do you know how to animate opacity by fractions? what i mean is for example, a tall box showing part of its subdivisions gradually. not the whole box at once. only one subdivision at a time?
thanks again and more power.
17-02-2005, 02:36 PM
hmm yes I do.. infact a variaty of methods. but not any of them are viw MAX
I never had to do that then. I infact found out methods in MaYA just recently..(like last year or the year before)
One method is to have the surface emitt particles with a distance of zero..and for the particles to get the colour from texture.. and then the particles to slowly get efected by a directional feald to get blown away or vise versa.
Another ouwld be with procedural textures.. like to have an animated transparency texture. If you snapshot the objects wireframe and then fill the image box by box or row by row... you would be able to create an image sequence that MaYA would predict as an animation and change the texture per frame.
These are only a FEW of the methods that come to mind.. but all in MaYA. I am stating them only to give you an idea of what you might want to look for in doing it with max.
hope this helps
17-02-2005, 02:48 PM
yes actually this helps a lot. at least i now know the principle on how they are done.
one question though, is this effect achievable in max?
if you know advanced people who use max pls refer me to them. lol. a lot of advanced people i know do not use max. its the only software i know how to use. and it would take me a long time again if i study another one. in modeling, i have no problems using it but its hard to animate.
thanks again for replying in such short notice
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