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johnliebler
11-21-2011, 01:11 PM
Hi Helpful Lightwave community, :)

I find myself frequently having to offset the action of several objects in animations. For instance I have a chain of several hundred bones, with a starting and ending pose, but need to have each one offset from the previous by a few frames. I typically do this in the dope editor, or in the old scene editor, but it can get tedious after the first hundred or so. :)

I'm wondering if there exists some tool or script that allows for the distribution of several objects keys.

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks!
John

evenflcw
11-22-2011, 12:58 AM
How is the previous and next item distinguished/determined? Always parent/child or vice versa? Got any ideas for a good flexible interface? I assume you might want to be able to have value or time increase along the length of the chain and have it work additively and interactively?

I'm still undecided whether it is smart to keyframe hundreds bones, even with the aid of a clever interface.

Alternatively, if you are animating a tail, whip or whatnot, is to separate control and deformation rig. So layer another, less detailed bone rig, ontop of what you got and use those bones as animation controls for the deforming high detailed rig. Use something like plg curve bone so you don't have to use fixed ik goals.

In the attached video the 5 red strategically sized bones are keyframed about every 10 frames and the blue bones are linked to those using plg_curve_bone. Deformations work out ok. Animation controls are few enough to still be in control without a headache.

johnliebler
11-22-2011, 07:03 AM
Hi Evenflow, thanks for responding!
In this case the bones are all in a parented chain. The object is a protein modeled from a pdb data file. I converted the backbone into a curve, then made an extruded object and a chain of skelegons. I need to show the protein folding, so I use the pose that the bones are created in as the end pose at about frame ten, then zero out the rotation and the z position for the start pose at frame zero. Now if the animations for each bone are offset, it gives a reasonable facsimile of the protein being extruded and folding up.
I vguess the script I imagine would allow you to select number of objects in order, select a range of keys then distribute those keys in a predefined range. I've seen features like this in xsi, where I think you could multi select objects, then use a specific string in the numeric entry to get an evenly distributed range. I guess it's kind of like illustrator's :align and distribute" function only applied to keyframes over time.
I don't think plg_curve bone could get the very specific tight folding needed in this case, although I really like your approach to the tentacle rig. Are the red bones the assigned handles for the plg_curve, or do you need to have nulls parented to them as handles?