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objuan
07-19-2011, 10:58 AM
I have a fairly complex object which I want to pull apart to show how it is built. I want to have a kind of ghosted transparent bar that shows which parts connect, however I pull them apart.

More or less, I want to have several faces that automatically extrude themselves to the same faces on it's brother object, regardless of their relative position.

An suggestions on the best way to do this?

Dreamcube017
07-19-2011, 12:18 PM
You can extrude them in modeler, then make a morph. In the morph, have them extruded, in the original, have them flat. YOu can do that by moving the faces back down to their original positions. Then in layout, you cananimate the morph so it looks like the faces are extruding.

There's a video tutorial talking about how to create morphs... but I can't find it at the moment. It's within the 24 hours of video tutorials though.

objuan
07-19-2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the response Dreamcube,

Morphing was my first thought as well, but there are quite a few different peices, and they need to pull apart in multiple stages.

I could do it with morphs, but it will be painfulish. I would much prefer to have the flexibility to experiment with moving the different objects in Layout, and have them stich together for me...

Elmar Moelzer
07-19-2011, 12:43 PM
You should give Sebastians Fertilizer Plugin a shot! It probably is the closest thing to what you need. It gives you a lot of options too.
It is free too, though I am sure that he would not mind a small donation.
http://www2.informatik.hu-berlin.de/~goetsch/Fertilizer/

objuan
07-19-2011, 01:03 PM
Thanks Elmar.

Fertilizer looks like a really cool plugin, and it looks like there are a variety of good tutorials on the MDarts webpage.

However, I dont get the impression Fertilizer will work for me in this case. I dont really want to 'grow' the connectors on, I just want them to always be there, connecting FaceA on Object1 to FaceA on Object2, no matter how I move or rotate the two Objects.

Thanks again.

Dreamcube017
07-19-2011, 01:18 PM
Hmm... there has to be something that can do that... this would be useful for me as well. Thanks for the link to the plugin though, this does look interesting.

Elmar Moelzer
07-19-2011, 01:40 PM
Hmm, how about using bones and weightmaps for that?
It could probably be a realy simple setup that way. Two bones on each end and a weightmap on the polygons between each end. So that when you move each end, the polygons inbetween get stretched apart evenly (make more intersections). I might be misunderstanding what exactly you are trying to do though.

objuan
07-19-2011, 03:45 PM
That sounds pretty plausible Elmar, thanks.

I dont really have much experience with weight maps or bones, so I guess it's time to dive in...

Do I even have to make 'bones' - can I lock weight maps to each of the Objects?


So if I have this right: ???

in Modeler I will build my object all exploded, with each part being a different layer, along with layers for the connecting ghosted lines.

on the Connect-AB layer, I select the points that touch PartA, and create a "PartA" weight map, then similarly a "PartB" weight map

in Layout I somehow lock Connect-AB's weightmaps to their relative Part layers, and, badda bing.



Thanks again.

Elmar Moelzer
07-20-2011, 08:37 AM
I would model the AB- connecting object unexploded, or half- exploded. Would have to see the actual situation to judge that.
I would segment the object along the stretch between A and B
Give the half that goes to A a weightmapA and the half that goes to B a weightmap B. Then apply weightblur (I think LW 10.0 has this natively, otherwise you might need to get the plugin).
That way you have a nice transition between the two. You could even add a 3rd weightmap and put that inbetween the two others. That could give you some extra control there.
Anyway, I would simply draw 2 (or 3 skelegons) in the AB transition layer and make sure they are not connected. Then in Layout convert the skelegons, asign the weightmaps to the resulting bones and then parent the A- bone to A object and the B- bone to B object. That should be it.
I hope this is what you needed.

You could even put everything into a single layer A, B and AB and just use the weightmaps to separate them parts. It depends on what you are feeling most comfortable with (I prefer to keeps things separated and structured).