View Full Version : Cascading tiles. I should be smarter than this

Mr. Black

04-02-2014, 12:09 PM

So here's the deal. I'm on a project where I need to have a grid of small squares flip 180š in a cascading fashion following a pattern (think old time stadium cards). I don't want to script the rotation and offset them all manually like a chump (there will be hundreds of them). I want to build one, place them using FX_Link, and run the rotation procedurally.

Now, Texture motion works well for this but it only moves things not rotates. Follower would work but I'd have to adjust each one accordingly, so no good there. Expressions are problematic because when FX_Link multiples them out there's a name change (i.e. card(47), card(48) etc...) and the expression fails. I tried "Textured Channel" on just the rotational channel in graph editor, but it just evaluates the texture driving the rotation at the origin point so all the cards rotate in unison. That's with either an image driving the rotation or a procedural.

Now I would think this kind of operation should be a synch in LW, I'm just not seeing it.

Anybody have to do this before?

Cheers

Jeff

prometheus

04-02-2014, 12:42 PM

Dp-kit and part move?, you can feed textures in to rotate channels in the nodes etc, but you should have all the bricks as unconnected geometry in one layer.

instancing ought to work too...I think....manually rotating one object then instance it.

or use nodes for advanced motions.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dp+part+move+lightwave

Mr. Black

04-02-2014, 01:02 PM

I should mention.. Lightwave 9

RebelHill

04-02-2014, 02:05 PM

Nodes is def what you want here. DPkit will give you nodal motion in LW9.2+... From there, its a fairly simple matter to animate one, and have the others follow based on a time offset factored by their distance on a given axis.

XswampyX

04-02-2014, 05:22 PM

I should mention.. Lightwave 9

Oh. Can you not use DP instances in 9?

It's almost too simple with LW 11.6....

http://youtu.be/qN0zvzNeu5I

Greenlaw

04-02-2014, 05:43 PM

That's looks great XswampyX!

It reminds me of a Scrabble commerical we created in the Box years ago. The animation I'm referring to is the last shot in the commercial. Dan DeEntremont did the nodal setup for me--from what I recall, the setup was similar to what you did. We used actual objects rather than instances but of course we needed far fewer tiles. The maddening thing about this animation was that I had to re-create it for a dozen different languages. (Almost every country had their own unique board and tiles.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsfGoP9CYmk

Sorry for the poor video quality--it was the best version I could find on the web.

G.

XswampyX

04-02-2014, 05:55 PM

Thanks Greenlaw, the thing is, it's a lot easier now than it was back in the day. :D

You can animate 10,000 tiles with just a few drags 'n' clicks of the mouse.

Here's the node set up.

http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr16/xXswampyXx/Tile_Nodes_zpsd6cc6774.jpg (http://s465.photobucket.com/user/xXswampyXx/media/Tile_Nodes_zpsd6cc6774.jpg.html)

spherical

04-02-2014, 07:27 PM

Ok, now yer startin' to get demoralizing... :)

How much do I have to pay you for that scene? With the nodes closed, it's difficult to learn the nuances.

And:

A) Why aren't you doing node tutorials?

B) Where'd you learn the basics that led to this level?

spherical

04-02-2014, 07:32 PM

Hmmmm.... guess I really meant that last post 'cuz the forum said it twice. No way to delete posts is stupid.

prometheus

04-02-2014, 07:34 PM

Ok, now yer startin' to get demoralizing... :)

How much do I have to pay you for that scene? With the nodes closed, it's difficult to learn the nuances.

And:

A) Why aren't you doing node tutorials?

B) Where'd you learn the basics that led to this level?

me wonders too, it could be just as simple as too much free time, and the fact the rascal actually enjoys working with nodes and network based stuff.

I wonder if not houdini would be a good environment for Xswampy to work in as well? those are more complex when jumping in to all possible tools and see how they are built up.

Greenlaw

04-02-2014, 07:58 PM

Thanks Greenlaw, the thing is, it's a lot easier now than it was back in the day. :D

You can animate 10,000 tiles with just a few drags 'n' clicks of the mouse.

Here's the node set up.

http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr16/xXswampyXx/Tile_Nodes_zpsd6cc6774.jpg (http://s465.photobucket.com/user/xXswampyXx/media/Tile_Nodes_zpsd6cc6774.jpg.html)

Thanks for sharing that. I'll check it out tonight. :)

XswampyX

04-03-2014, 12:36 AM

Here's the scene..... No charge. :D

I've learnt the node stuff on this very forum, trying to workout & help other people with their problems is a great way to learn & I love a challenge, I treat them like crossword puzzles.

Have fun, Cheers!

Ztreem

04-03-2014, 02:11 AM

Here's the scene..... No charge. :D

I've learnt the node stuff on this very forum, trying to workout & help other people with their problems is a great way to learn & I love a challenge, I treat them like crossword puzzles.

Have fun, Cheers!

Thanks XswampyX!

How do you constrain it to just rotating 180 degrees and hold it there? As I understand it, its the gradient that's doing it but how did you come up with the values in there? It's annoying to have the scene in front of you and still don't fully understand how it works. :cry:

RebelHill

04-03-2014, 06:29 AM

Nodes are just logic... you just gotta follow the data that's passing from one to the next and keep "count" of how its getting transformed along the way... To that end, all you gotta do is understand the fundamental building blocks of any network, which are the data types themselves, and start putting all that together in a workflow... This set'll introduce those not familiar to the grounding basics...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1C4072533A16B807

Beyond that... its not really something that can be "taught"... You just gotta try and think up processes for yourself.

One SOLID piece of advice I'll give though is this.... When a node network isnt working, the most common question folk ask themselves is... Why isnt it doing what I want?... This is entirely the WRONG question to ask. Instead, follow the data along and ask yourself... Why is it doing what it is?

probiner

04-03-2014, 11:41 AM

Here's the scene..... No charge. :D

I've learnt the node stuff on this very forum, trying to workout & help other people with their problems is a great way to learn & I love a challenge, I treat them like crossword puzzles.

Have fun, Cheers!

Same here!

One SOLID piece of advice I'll give though is this.... When a node network isnt working, the most common question folk ask themselves is... Why isnt it doing what I want?... This is entirely the WRONG question to ask. Instead, follow the data along and ask yourself... Why is it doing what it is?

Context data display a la ICE would help a lot more though...

RebelHill

04-03-2014, 11:54 AM

Context data display a la ICE would help a lot more though...

Hellz... YES!

prometheus

04-03-2014, 05:01 PM

[QUOTE

One SOLID piece of advice I'll give though is this.... When a node network isnt working, the most common question folk ask themselves is... Why isnt it doing what I want?... This is entirely the WRONG question to ask. Instead, follow the data along and ask yourself... Why is it doing what it is?[/QUOTE]

Indeed so, the why isnīt it doing what I want...Is the "illusion"... the why it is doing what it does... is the "dissecting" and mapping of why it does what it does, and not what I want it to do:) ...ahh, I would need my brain to be dissected, just to see how it is wired in order to understand why I give these replies sometimes.

Michael

XswampyX

04-03-2014, 05:12 PM

Thanks XswampyX!

How do you constrain it to just rotating 180 degrees and hold it there? As I understand it, its the gradient that's doing it but how did you come up with the values in there? It's annoying to have the scene in front of you and still don't fully understand how it works. :cry:

The gradient does the magic, It's set up to take a value from 0 to 1, as the amount to turn the tile and outputs a value in radians, the node uses radians for it's input.

See radians : - Radian describes the plane angle subtended by a circular arc as the length of the arc divided by the radius of the arc. One radian is the angle subtended at the center of a circle by an arc that is equal in length to the radius of the circle. More generally, the magnitude in radians of such a subtended angle is equal to the ratio of the arc length to the radius of the circle; that is, θ = s /r, where θ is the subtended angle in radians, s is arc length, and r is radius. Conversely, the length of the enclosed arc is equal to the radius multiplied by the magnitude of the angle in radians; that is, s = rθ.

As the ratio of two lengths, the radian is a "pure number" that needs no unit symbol, and in mathematical writing the symbol "rad" is almost always omitted. When quantifying an angle in the absence of any symbol, radians are assumed, and when degrees are meant the symbol ° is used.

A complete revolution is 2 pi radians (shown here with a circle of radius one and thus circumference 2 pi).

It follows that the magnitude in radians of one complete revolution (360 degrees) is the length of the entire circumference divided by the radius, or 2 pi r /r, or 2 pi. Thus 2 pi radians is equal to 360 degrees, meaning that one radian is equal to 180 / pi degrees.

Radians can be converted to turns (complete revolutions) by dividing the number of radians by 2 pi.

Or 3.14 for 1/2 a turn (180 Deg) flip

Or pi.

It's confusing I know.... I just use the rule "if it's not rotating like you expect, it's probably in radians!" :D

Hope that helps. :stumped:

spherical

04-04-2014, 03:01 AM

Here's the scene..... No charge. :D

Thanks!

I've learnt the node stuff on this very forum, trying to workout & help other people with their problems is a great way to learn & I love a challenge, I treat them like crossword puzzles.

That's why/how I help people, too. I see a query from someone in the marsh and either know the answer or think that I have an inkling and go to find out if it's correct by experimentation. Along the way, I always learn something. We both benefit.

spherical

04-04-2014, 03:06 AM

Nodes are just logic... you just gotta follow the data that's passing from one to the next and keep "count" of how its getting transformed along the way... To that end, all you gotta do is understand the fundamental building blocks of any network, which are the data types themselves, and start putting all that together in a workflow...

I see it as programming. I'm a Fortran Guy. Advanced through many subsequent languages through the years. Just haven't found the keystone of the nodes "language" that makes it all sing.... yet. I know it's in there. Just have to identify it—then it all falls into place. Until then, it's all stabbing in the dark.

prometheus

04-04-2014, 03:26 PM

Itīs unfair, I am not a math guy or progammer, visual images I can see in multitude of layers of shapes and colors and connected with sound in my brain cells, maths is hidden somewhere amongst those suspected 100 billions of cells in my brain.

Got to find some time/inspiration to revisit math courses, do a lot of geometry stuff etc.

Update...error on brain disc, faulty cell of dyslectic diagnosis, i am not neither a progammer or programmer:)

Michael

vonpietro

04-08-2014, 07:39 PM

wow, first i'd like to say, wow, thats some real power user stuff. Very nice work.

second, i was wondering about an alternate method of turning the tiles using raycast, but i'm not familiar enough to make it work and i may be misunderstanding its capabilites.

Could you use raycast with say a large rectangular box sweeping the tiles and "touching" each one via raycast and somehow

telling that chip to rotate 180 at some settable rate say 5 frames.

I saw a raycast youtube thing with a laser hitting the floor and particles emitting from the spot the tube touched.

so i'm wondering if making an event like rotation is possible, where it touches.

that would be neat as you just wave your box around and the tiles rotate, multiple boxes - multiple tiles rotating ect.

any ideas ?

Ztreem

04-09-2014, 01:46 AM

The gradient does the magic, It's set up to take a value from 0 to 1, as the amount to turn the tile and outputs a value in radians, the node uses radians for it's input.

See radians : - Radian describes the plane angle subtended by a circular arc as the length of the arc divided by the radius of the arc. One radian is the angle subtended at the center of a circle by an arc that is equal in length to the radius of the circle. More generally, the magnitude in radians of such a subtended angle is equal to the ratio of the arc length to the radius of the circle; that is, θ = s /r, where θ is the subtended angle in radians, s is arc length, and r is radius. Conversely, the length of the enclosed arc is equal to the radius multiplied by the magnitude of the angle in radians; that is, s = rθ.

As the ratio of two lengths, the radian is a "pure number" that needs no unit symbol, and in mathematical writing the symbol "rad" is almost always omitted. When quantifying an angle in the absence of any symbol, radians are assumed, and when degrees are meant the symbol ° is used.

A complete revolution is 2 pi radians (shown here with a circle of radius one and thus circumference 2 pi).

It follows that the magnitude in radians of one complete revolution (360 degrees) is the length of the entire circumference divided by the radius, or 2 pi r /r, or 2 pi. Thus 2 pi radians is equal to 360 degrees, meaning that one radian is equal to 180 / pi degrees.

Radians can be converted to turns (complete revolutions) by dividing the number of radians by 2 pi.

Or 3.14 for 1/2 a turn (180 Deg) flip

Or pi.

It's confusing I know.... I just use the rule "if it's not rotating like you expect, it's probably in radians!" :D

Hope that helps. :stumped:

Radians you say, not that user friendly as degrees but it explains alot. Thanks!

probiner

04-09-2014, 03:36 AM

Not as friendly but fortunately Sensei in his node pack let available two nodes to convert between those, so you can have more interesting inputs and still have the calculations go right.

http://www2.trueart.pl/?URIType=Directory&URI=Products/Plug-Ins/TrueArt%20Node%20Library

Cheers

RebelHill

04-09-2014, 04:36 AM

Radians you say, not that user friendly as degrees but it explains alot. Thanks!

They seem weird when you're used to working in degrees... but for working with any geometric shape, they're actually far more friendly once you get used to them due to the use of pi as a "single unit"... makes finding, or performing relations between shapes much simpler...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Radian-common.svg

raw-m

04-09-2014, 04:57 AM

Lovely setup, XswampyX, thanks for posting! I would normally play around with the Time Offset but this is a lot more of a visual approach.

ernpchan

11-11-2014, 05:21 PM

Here's the scene..... No charge. :D

I've learnt the node stuff on this very forum, trying to workout & help other people with their problems is a great way to learn & I love a challenge, I treat them like crossword puzzles.

Have fun, Cheers!

Thanks XsX! Is it normal for the scene to take awhile to get loaded into Layout? I assume it's because of the high number of instances?

ernpchan

11-11-2014, 05:43 PM

The gradient does the magic, It's set up to take a value from 0 to 1, as the amount to turn the tile and outputs a value in radians, the node uses radians for it's input.

See radians : - Radian describes the plane angle subtended by a circular arc as the length of the arc divided by the radius of the arc. One radian is the angle subtended at the center of a circle by an arc that is equal in length to the radius of the circle. More generally, the magnitude in radians of such a subtended angle is equal to the ratio of the arc length to the radius of the circle; that is, θ = s /r, where θ is the subtended angle in radians, s is arc length, and r is radius. Conversely, the length of the enclosed arc is equal to the radius multiplied by the magnitude of the angle in radians; that is, s = rθ.

As the ratio of two lengths, the radian is a "pure number" that needs no unit symbol, and in mathematical writing the symbol "rad" is almost always omitted. When quantifying an angle in the absence of any symbol, radians are assumed, and when degrees are meant the symbol ° is used.

A complete revolution is 2 pi radians (shown here with a circle of radius one and thus circumference 2 pi).

It follows that the magnitude in radians of one complete revolution (360 degrees) is the length of the entire circumference divided by the radius, or 2 pi r /r, or 2 pi. Thus 2 pi radians is equal to 360 degrees, meaning that one radian is equal to 180 / pi degrees.

Radians can be converted to turns (complete revolutions) by dividing the number of radians by 2 pi.

Or 3.14 for 1/2 a turn (180 Deg) flip

Or pi.

It's confusing I know.... I just use the rule "if it's not rotating like you expect, it's probably in radians!" :D

Hope that helps. :stumped:

Eh I'm so lost. :bangwall:

XswampyX, you wanna throw me a bone and show me how you get a tile to flip 180 and stay that way? I'm trying to recreate a basic scene to get more used to nodes. I'm close, just not understanding how you'd complete a half revolution and stay there. My co-worker and I looked at your attached scene but we're not following the math.

XswampyX

11-11-2014, 07:02 PM

Will do, but it's 2AM.... ZZZZzzzzz calls.

The maths is in the gradient, if I remember correctly. 1 full rotation is 2xpi so 1/2 or 180deg = 1xpi = 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375 10582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706 79821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081 28481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381 96442881097566593344612847564823378678316527120190 91456485669234603486104543266482133936072602491412 73724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364 36789259036001133053054882046652138414695194151160 94330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185 48074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011949 12983367336244065664308602139494639522473719070217 98609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694051 32000568127145263560827785771342757789609173637178 72146844090122495343014654958537105079227968925892 35420199561121290219608640344181598136297747713099 60518707211349999998372978049951059731732816096318 59502445945534690830264252230825334468503526193118 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RudySchneider

11-12-2014, 12:23 PM

What? To only 9294 places to the right of the decimal? You call that precision?

spherical

11-12-2014, 08:29 PM

:) Sometimes, I really love this place. Looks like it's a portion from 100,000 Digits of Pi (http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~huberty/math5337/groupe/digits.html).

XswampyX

11-13-2014, 02:51 PM

:) Sometimes, I really love this place. Looks like it's a portion from 100,000 Digits of Pi (http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~huberty/math5337/groupe/digits.html).

Heh he. Well spotted! :D

http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr16/xXswampyXx/Instance_Rotate_Ground_zpsdcc31131.jpg (http://s465.photobucket.com/user/xXswampyXx/media/Instance_Rotate_Ground_zpsdcc31131.jpg.html)

Here's the same sort of thing, but kept as simple as I can make it.... The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind.

and the scene....

Hope this helps, any questions?

Cheers!

ernpchan

03-10-2015, 03:10 PM

Can someone look at the attached scene and give me an idea of what I have to do to get my tiles to stay flipped?

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?140928-Cascading-tiles-I-should-be-smarter-than-this&p=1407891&viewfull=1#post1407891

MonroePoteet

03-11-2015, 03:16 AM

Can someone look at the attached scene and give me an idea of what I have to do to get my tiles to stay flipped?

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?140928-Cascading-tiles-I-should-be-smarter-than-this&p=1407891&viewfull=1#post1407891

In the TileFlow scene referenced, the Turbulence texture driving the rotation is moving in the Y direction and never stops. If you create a keyframe in the Y Position channel for that texture at (for example) frame 60 and set the Post Behavior to Constant, the Texture will stop and the tiles will have the orientation of the Texture at that Y position.

If you want the tiles to flip 3.141 radians (1/2 a turn, or 180 degrees), then the variation of the Texture influence on the rotation must go away somehow. For example, you could add a Null, and use it's X Scale as a multiplier, going from 1.0 down to 0.0 between frames 40 and 60. You'd need to add 3.141 to end up with all the tiles flipped.

mTp

ernpchan

03-11-2015, 10:52 AM

In the TileFlow scene referenced, the Turbulence texture driving the rotation is moving in the Y direction and never stops. If you create a keyframe in the Y Position channel for that texture at (for example) frame 60 and set the Post Behavior to Constant, the Texture will stop and the tiles will have the orientation of the Texture at that Y position.

If you want the tiles to flip 3.141 radians (1/2 a turn, or 180 degrees), then the variation of the Texture influence on the rotation must go away somehow. For example, you could add a Null, and use it's X Scale as a multiplier, going from 1.0 down to 0.0 between frames 40 and 60. You'd need to add 3.141 to end up with all the tiles flipped.

mTp

Thanks for the insight. I looked at this file but it's a completely different setup than what I originally posted. I went ahead and took off the turbulence node which was actually only affecting the position of the tiles, not the rotation.

I'll see if I can translate your explanation into the setup that I have going on.

MonroePoteet

03-11-2015, 03:18 PM

Yes, I posted a simplified example rather than trying to modify your setup. The basic point is that if you want the tiles to remain flipped over, the vector going into the Move Parts node's rotation channel must resolve to (0,3.141,0) and stay there.

There are many ways to accomplish that, and I chose to eliminate the Turbulence by multiplying it by the X scale of a NULL. If you take the nodes from the example named Null Item Info, Get X Channel, Multiply and Add PI and insert them between whatever Turbulence / Gradient / Other you have driving the rotation and the Make Vector node, the X scale of the NULL (between 1.0 and 0.0) will "turn off" the Turbulence, etc. and leave the tiles flipped over PI radians.

mTp

ernpchan

03-11-2015, 03:40 PM

Thanks! I'll look into that.

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