View Full Version : Gradient Controlled Motor Assembly

07-19-2011, 11:01 PM
This isn't particularly good eye-candy. I just built this scene to demonstrate the use of a gradient to control a complex assembly for use in a tutorial that I'm working on.

There's only one object with one layer in the scene. The animation is controlled by moving a null in the Y axis.


07-20-2011, 07:08 AM
Well that's kinda nifty. Nice!

07-20-2011, 01:30 PM
well that's kinda nifty. Nice!


07-20-2011, 06:34 PM
I love it when a plan comes together.

07-21-2011, 02:13 AM
very cool idea... when are u thinking to release the tutorial?

07-24-2011, 05:30 PM
Hopefully September. :)

07-24-2011, 06:44 PM
wow nice

07-25-2011, 02:10 AM
very interesting mate! canīt wait...

07-25-2011, 10:47 AM
been thinking and i can not even think how it is done
so you can bet i will be waiting for the tut...


07-25-2011, 11:06 AM
I'm guessing it's some combination of a morph map/weight map combination controlled with the null via a gradient...

07-25-2011, 11:57 AM
The Morph Map moves the parts into the exploded position, the Weight Map controls the order of the parts' movements, the gradient controls the amount of the morph, and the null controls the position of the gradient keys animates the move.

I'd say you were close. :)

07-25-2011, 05:55 PM
I wanna see the tut

tut tut

hehehe :)

07-26-2011, 03:24 AM
Very nicely done. I still haven't worked out exactly where I would apply the gradient though.

07-26-2011, 05:15 PM
I don't know if this can be seen as 'complex' since it uses a morph, meaning if you want to make a screw spin or some part make a slight rotation before it disconnects/connects, or anything other than a linear movement a morph won't do it.

It's nevertheless very handy and something that everyone should know the principles of.

Adding a Bone to the object makes the OGL refresh automatically, otherwise the timeline has to be scrubed to update.


edit:Part Move Node 'Index' divided by the number of parts, could be an alternative to the weight map. And combining it with the morph could add rotations, like spinning, and more.

07-26-2011, 09:10 PM
True, the screws don't turn and morphs have their limits.

My initial thought was to move the parts with DP-Kit's Part Move, but I wasn't sure how to move the parts in different directions (eg. the radial array of screws), and I wanted to do something that was a little more complex. I didn't think to use part move in conjunction with a morph, though I'm not sure how I'd define the orientation for the rotations for all of the screws since they'd be different.

Thanks for the tip on the bone. I wonder if turning on FSPE would work too.

07-27-2011, 03:48 PM
Oups you are correct.

When i replicated your video, for the sake of just getting there I didn't do a Radial Array, just a Linear Array. so when i spinned stuff with DPont's Part Move they looked good.

Apparently "Normal Rotation" option doesn't define a custom axis from which each part will be rotated on, but it makes a "Rotate to Ground" and then it rotates it like it would anyway. So it's more like a custom orientation of the part with the rotation embeded, instead of what I was expecting, a custom axis for the actual rotation :(


07-29-2011, 06:45 AM
Very nice, congrats!:thumbsup: