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View Full Version : Animating roller coaster problem...please help!



Simon-S
04-05-2011, 03:50 AM
Hi,

I'm trying to animate a roller coaster train and I'm having some issues with the set up.

I'm creating this roller coaster for a game engine that currently only allows node animation so I'm having to animate and set up everything using standard parenting or motion modifiers (so no deformations or bones).

I have my train moving along the track, moving from A to B (using curve contraint for each car and offsetting the frame range) which looks ok but thats all. It looks a bit boring with no acceleration/deceleration.

OK so I then went on and added some weight to the front car and its looking really nice.

My problem is the setup of the others cars in the train. If I offset the frames as before the cars separate as the one in front accelerates.

Is there a way of setting up my train so the cars dont separate, without the use of any deformation plugins?

Cheers in advance,

Simon

Simon-S
04-05-2011, 04:06 AM
Also, I was wondering if anyone knows any 3rd party alternatives to lw's native curve constraint modifer?

Cheers.

Simon-S
04-05-2011, 05:20 AM
Worked it out. All sorted now.

Thanks anyway.

jeric_synergy
04-05-2011, 10:38 PM
So, what was the solution?

Simon-S
04-06-2011, 01:43 AM
The solution was fairly simple in the end.

I created a null and assigned curve constraint to follow my coaster spline, then baked the keys out using MFMotionBaker (http://mentalfish.com/).

Then I animated a single car using a script called PathAnimationIA (http://thespread.faulknermano.com/_theoldspread/index.htm) which allows you to envelope path animation using a motion path as reference, in this case the baked out null. This allowed me to create some nice acceleration/deceleration as it travels around the track.

I then duplicated the car and in the PathAnimationIA graph editor curve (which plots distance along motion curve against time) I shifted the values of the distance travelled up or down to make the car shift along the track until it was in the correct position for my train, whilst still keeping the acceleration/deceleration keyframes in the same place on the timeline.

The result is that all of the cars accelerate at the same time whilst having slightly different positions on the track.

Done.

mav3rick
06-17-2011, 03:38 AM
The solution was fairly simple in the end.

I created a null and assigned curve constraint to follow my coaster spline, then baked the keys out using MFMotionBaker (http://mentalfish.com/).

Then I animated a single car using a script called PathAnimationIA (http://thespread.faulknermano.com/_theoldspread/index.htm) which allows you to envelope path animation using a motion path as reference, in this case the baked out null. This allowed me to create some nice acceleration/deceleration as it travels around the track.

I then duplicated the car and in the PathAnimationIA graph editor curve (which plots distance along motion curve against time) I shifted the values of the distance travelled up or down to make the car shift along the track until it was in the correct position for my train, whilst still keeping the acceleration/deceleration keyframes in the same place on the timeline.

The result is that all of the cars accelerate at the same time whilst having slightly different positions on the track.

Done.

hmm simon :) doin somethin similar to you .... i dont get part with offset (shift) of trains ... for some reson my trains do not follow with correct offset .. care to post scene with nulls ?

Simon-S
06-17-2011, 04:49 AM
Hi, I have attached my basic scene file for you to look at.

If you select any of the cars and hit m for motion options, open up the path animation modifier and click edit channel, which will show the envelope curve which plots percentage along the reference objects motion path against time.

Each of the cars has the same curve but the values are shifted up or down in percentage to offset them on the track but making them start/end their animation at the same time.

Hope this helps.

Simon

geo_n
06-17-2011, 05:16 AM
Looks like it might be useful for a paid project one day. :D

mav3rick
06-17-2011, 05:22 AM
Hi, I have attached my basic scene file for you to look at.

If you select any of the cars and hit m for motion options, open up the path animation modifier and click edit channel, which will show the envelope curve which plots percentage along the reference objects motion path against time.

Each of the cars has the same curve but the values are shifted up or down in percentage to offset them on the track but making them start/end their animation at the same time.

Hope this helps.

Simon

no .lws inside :(

Simon-S
06-17-2011, 05:25 AM
Sorry...here it is again with scene file this time ;)

Simon-S
06-17-2011, 05:42 AM
Also I forgot to say, once you've animated your first car using path animation and you are happy with it...clone it for your other cars but make the first one your middle car in the train. That way the weight of the coaster looks more natural as it accelerates/decelerates.

Cheers

mav3rick
06-17-2011, 07:32 AM
thanks a lot SImon.. finally got it work.. it is important to have correct path out of modeler. i was wrong with using curve instead bezier tool. it is important to get correct point placement on path.. other than that there is dpont item motion node that delete need of path animation and motion baking and works perfectly...