View Full Version : Animated arrow flow

02-28-2011, 04:01 PM

I have a solid problem animating arrows starting with 1 arrow at the begining of the animation and then stop after 400 frames at the top of the mauntain showing all the motionpath with arrows

Somthing like this:


See image.

I would appreciate all the help I can get.

02-28-2011, 04:08 PM
You could try building a flat strip of polygons down Z and then deform it with bones. Then use a single image of an arrow that tiles and animate it down the Z axis of the object.

02-28-2011, 05:34 PM
To duplicate that particular animation, I wouldn't use bones (which I find diff. to control, YMMV), I'd just do the deformation in Modeler w/an endomorph.

As long as you use the same process, you could make endomorphs of any complexity using Rail Extrude-- different extrusion curves, but the same numbers in the dialogs. The point order would match up, so the effect would still work. I'm pretty sure there's a plugin that will match an endomorph to a similar (point-order identical) stand-alone object. So your arrow path could be a corkscrew or whatever.

EDIT: Yeah, you could use "BCKG to MORPH".

02-28-2011, 05:50 PM
The only reason I didn't suggest morphs is that if your morph starts to distort the proportions of your model then your texture will distort. By deforming by bones your model will keep their proportions.

02-28-2011, 06:13 PM
That's why I said "particular".

02-28-2011, 06:27 PM
Could an animated texture be used? With a gradient-based reveal?

On Max thats what we would have done, don't ask ME to do it in LW, I'm just not that good yet...:bangwall:

02-28-2011, 07:59 PM
Could an animated texture be used? With a gradient-based reveal?
The pictured texture IS animated, the arrows flow down the polygons. Envelope the X position in the Texture.

A gradient would be trivial. So, "Yes" to both.

03-01-2011, 01:46 AM
I think this would work... model an arrow and animate it through the path you want it to travel. The frame after the very last keyframe, create a keyframe of the arrow at the very beginning again. Go in to the Graph editor and loop animation, so that you have an animation of the arrow looping. Now simply clone the arrow object and slide the keyframes over in the Dope-Editor so that this arrow is positioned where you want it, in front or back of the last arrow. Repeat this process of cloning arrows and sliding the timing, backwards or forwards as necessary until you fill the entire path with arrows.

03-01-2011, 01:55 AM
there is a nice explanation on uv cycling on spinquad:

Enjoy :)

03-01-2011, 10:52 AM
I'm working on something very similar. I'm starting out using that "magical" plugin PX_bezier to get my path. That goes into the background and I'm creating a box with the same amount of polys (in this case 3x113). Trouble is the pointorder of the polys created by the box is all over the place so I get bizarre results when using "Bkg to Morph". Does anyone know how I can re-order the box's pointorder?

03-01-2011, 10:59 AM
Why not just use something like UVSpider to generate UVs on your PX_Bezier model?

03-01-2011, 11:06 AM
Good idea but I also want to try a bit of "growing" using the DP Kit Shifter displacement as well.

03-01-2011, 11:16 AM
UV maps for the marvelous PX_Bezier... can also be easly achieved with the marvelous PX_UVCreeper

For point reordering, Reknitter

03-01-2011, 11:25 AM
Who is this PX fella? With all the great work he's done for us LW users I think NT should send him a free copy, get him out of Discovery Mode :)

Thanks nickdigital, just realised a combination UVSpider and PX_bezier is enough to get what I need without me having to rebuild the path.

03-02-2011, 03:39 AM
Here is a similar arrow effect done with one of the built in displacement plugins-- It's been a couple of years but I think it was called serpent


In the cover shots you can see the arrows are following a wavy path. Go to middle of the animation to see a close up with arrows turning corrners and going around curves.

To do this you need to clone / Array the arrow to get a long line stretching back into z in Modeler. Then you also need a curve with the points spaced evenly for the motion path. If memory serves each point in the curve is a frame in LW, so it is pretty important to have them evenly spaced or the animation motion is jerky.

03-02-2011, 07:46 AM
PX_ == awesomeness on a scale many can only dream of, LW without him is un-possible. :p