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View Full Version : Awesome product animation (for headphones), how to do it in LW ?



Emmanuel
05-15-2014, 03:27 PM
This is brilliant: http://vimeo.com/35145361
Trying to reverse engineer some of it in LW, I cant figure out how to "radial array" an object that has bones in it for deformation.
Instancer seems to ignore bones/joints in an object :(

Ryan Roye
05-15-2014, 03:53 PM
These tools come to mind and would do the job:

- DPkit part move for radial delay motions (this would be my main tool if I replicated this in Lightwave).
- DP kit animated boolean
- Morphs + bones with "use morphed positions" enabled.
- Cyclist
- Proximity node/channels for expanding/contracting surfaces
- Bullet softbodies (or syflex) for jittering stop-movements
- Flocking for shape forming shapes from a disorganized crowd of pieces
- Instancing

Tartiflette
05-15-2014, 03:55 PM
Oh yes, you found this breakdown !

First and foremost Paul Clements is a very high profile in C4D's MoGraph community so his level is already "quite" difficult to reach, even by heavily trained C4D users. (it's a bit like Taron who was already able to model a head from scratch in LightWave in about an hour, back in 2000... ;) )

And i guess a lot of this animation is not really reproducable in LightWave.
I know you can do so much with DP Part move (and it's great to have access to this in LightWave, open up a great deal of possibilities !) but it's far from being as straightforward as C4D in this department, plus the fact that almost anything, including modeling, is animatable in C4D, while you'll have a hard reproducing this in LightWave.

So i'd say that LightWave isn't probably the most indicated 3D app to accomplish this kind of task, but i'd sure like to be proven wrong. :)

Anyway, this animation is really a great one, beside the high level technically speaking the mood and timing of animation is spot on, in my opinion.


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

Slartibartfast
05-15-2014, 04:01 PM
Cool video!
The deformations made by the bones on the original object will be applied on all the instances, so no need to make instances of the bones. The tricky part is how to cascade instances deformations in time... AFAIK you can only set time delay on translation, rather than deformation. Easier to do it with "real clones" I think.

Emmanuel
05-15-2014, 10:59 PM
Hey thats a good idea, thanks !

raw-m
05-16-2014, 03:19 AM
It's a good exercise in learning LW but time wise, as far as animated extrusions, lathing etc, what will take you 30mins to setup in LW will take 30secs on C4d. As mentioned, a lot of animated modelling techniques can be replicated using Instances in LW. If you have access to C4d you could quickly do your animation there and export via the alembic format - LW is in another league when it comes to texturing!

Fertilizer will help you
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?140031-Animated-lathe-the-easy-way!

Lewis
05-16-2014, 05:04 AM
C4D benefits here for being unified app and having timeline aware modeling tools. Doing this in LW would be very very tricky and lot of plugins/hacks and who knows would it be even doable at the end.

raw-m
05-16-2014, 05:09 AM
C4D benefits here for being unified app and having timeline aware modeling tools. Doing this in LW would be very very tricky and lot of plugins/hacks and who knows would it be even doable at the end.

Haha, yes, I was being extremely optimistic with my 30min setup time!!

Ryan Roye
05-16-2014, 06:44 AM
Not sure why people think it's anything LW can't do just as easily. 1 minute of work and...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XZAhuYKzD0&feature=youtu.be

I think the amount of work to do this in LW would be no more than that required in C4D. Nearly the entire demo shown in the original post consists of displaced pre-made animations that link together in chains... nothing difficult about it, but it is a bit of work in either application to get it all put together. I'm very certain a lot of planning was done on how the device was to be constructed; to me that's the biggest challenge which they tackled quite effectively.

Now, what would be difficult is if you ended up with things that DID require animated modeling functions... such as doing things what MetaMesh does but in animated form or welding geometry together to form a seamless geometric object (animated welding is not possible in LW at this time, you can only fake it with DP boolean).

jeric_synergy
05-16-2014, 09:41 AM
The more I view what you posted there, Chazriker, the less I can figure out how you did it. :cry:

Ryan Roye
05-16-2014, 10:30 AM
The more I view what you posted there, Chazriker, the less I can figure out how you did it. :cry:

I'll do a quick demo video and throw in some sample files either later today or tomorrow. There's a bunch of different ways to do this stuff in LW without convulted or confusing workflows or "hacks", contrary to popular belief.

Slartibartfast
05-16-2014, 01:07 PM
I just had to give it a try also :-) Although not as good looking as chazrikers. But it might be one technique..
Don't know if YT destroyed the video or if its visible, but it's an ordinary spline/bonechain setup with a channelfollower on the first bone's z-envelope. It reverses the position of the spline control so it appears stationary.


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

jeric_synergy
05-16-2014, 01:11 PM
Slartibartfast, could you package/zip/post the scene, please?

Slartibartfast
05-16-2014, 01:36 PM
Slartibartfast, could you package/zip/post the scene, please?

Doh, I didn't save but sure, it's a quick thing to remake. Away from computer until tomorrow evening though.

jeric_synergy
05-16-2014, 01:45 PM
Thanks man: it's always trickier than it looks, ime.

Ryan Roye
05-16-2014, 09:37 PM
http://youtu.be/c7fRuOk_pWs

Also, a simple demo scene. Though, I found it rather difficult to get proper time offsets with instancing when using MDD files, so I'd likely take care of cascading using DP kit cache+nodes instead.

Also, it should be noted that CageDeformer lets you skip creating MDDs and eliminates a few steps from the process shown here.

121916

Also, I included a fake extrusion test.

121917

raw-m
05-17-2014, 12:20 AM
Chazriker, that's great. A lot to pick apart there, esp the Relativity tricks.

More tutorials along these lines would be extremely attractive to new (and old) users as these techniques are far from obvious. Glad you're there!

Emmanuel
05-17-2014, 12:21 AM
Ok. You are a genious and I definitly know not enough about Lw to give an educated opinion. Thanks for that video, its good I was wearing a helmet.

Tartiflette
05-17-2014, 07:13 AM
Wow, great video, Ryan, thanks for taking the time to show how you would do that, it opens up a great amount a things that can be done within LightWave. :bowdown:
I saw a lot of great techniques in this video that i wouldn't have thought of before watching it, meaning you always learn ! :thumbsup:

I still think that a lot of C4D's effects in the video are not really reproducable in LightWave, at least not as easily or editable as what you can do with C4D's MoGraph tools.
That said i'd rather do my MoGraph work in LightWave than in C4D, given i really dig LightWave's way of doing things more than any other 3D package.
And your video opened a lot of possibilities in that regard so thanks again !


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

Lewis
05-17-2014, 08:12 AM
Great video Ryan - thanks, but as i said it would be very very hard to get that complete video/effect in LW (not just hand picked part but comlete video effect ;)), especailly that easy due fact that you can't animate modeling comands in LW and that lot of stuff is made as destructive workflow/baking, also as i said you'll need lot of 3rd party plugins and i've noticed 2-3 in your speedup video already :). Aslo that effect you showed (although great no doubt there) is maybe like 4-5% of stufff going on in that video and the guy don't need to bake mdds to do it, when you bake Mdd and client says "..i want this to be little differently rotated, bent..." oyu are back to begining of workflow to workaround :) :). Also as you mentioned since we can't ofset animations at Instancer panel it kinda requires more workarounds or 3rd party plugins so somethign what shodld be easiyl done sicne let's say HDInstance had that anim offset many many years ago...

But just the fact that guy in C4D can attach anythign to a spline (editable OFC) and animate start/end effect (like in AE) to extrude, rotate, rail.... anything along spline (or nurb curve) and all that in non destructive way (no baking, no creeiting short planes/boxes with lot of segments to be able to extrud e it in layout wiht enough segment etc. etc..) with splines and nurbs gives a BIG advancement in speed/flexibility and possible adjustments in the process (whcih we all know happen all the time with client work ;)). Or the thing that they can use hair, instancing/cloning and dynamics together to interact to each other is a great toolset. Really C4D mograph is way beyond LW league in ease and featureset for motion graphics stuff. That doens't mean LW can't do many of such effect but workflow is not pretty/easy or fast and flexible as is in C4D and as I said requires lot of workarounds and hoops and loops to get some stuff which is very simple in C4D and mainly due split app nature and destructive ieology/workflow form old days whcih is still mainly present in tools being it's own island(s) in most cases not talking to each other as we would like them to do. Granted we all hope that will change soon in next LW version :).

One more time - Thanks for video/scene and effort, i like your videos very much :).

For those who are interested just look at those nurbs animating tools/options for simple rail swwping/extruding/rotatign and how easy to change/parametric it really is - http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/tutorials/cinema-4d-basic-tools-primitives-splines-nurbs-deformers-and-mograph/

Ryan Roye
05-17-2014, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the commentary Lewis, and I'm not saying I disagree that Lightwave could improve in some areas... I blew away about 10 seconds just to add the relativity modifiers... (most of the video is not timelapsed, by the way). LW desperately needs bulk management tools to help take care of workflow kinks like this. Even so, I disagree entirely that it is difficult for an experienced Lightwave animator to achieve these effects and edit them according to what the client wants. The workflow in Lightwave is the same: You have a base motion, and if the client wants something changed, you edit the base motion and apply it to your WIP animation . 90% of the headphones video used a single technique to get things put together (pre-made animations deformed by splines or bones, like demonstrated in my video). Obviously, I can't do an entire project for the sole purpose of proving *everything* that I say as I have to focus on paying work, but sometimes I have to step in and show people that perhaps the "stigma" people throw on the software isn't entirely accurate.

Lightwave's most effective workflows are destructive and a lot of them do require 3rd party plugins (CageDeformer I consider mandatory at this point); there's ways to work with that efficiently and without re-doing work when clients ask for changes, it just requires what I consider more experience than if one were using an application that has a focus in that area.

Tartiflette
05-17-2014, 08:57 AM
Let's agree to disagree, then, as C4D's MoGraph tools are far more accessible than LightWave's one, even if you've shown that some of the techniques used in this video are doable in LightWave.
But in that case doable isn't exactly the same as straightforward and easy to edit.

Anyway, as i said in an earlier post, thanks for doing this video, i learned quite a few things that i wouldn't have thought of putting together ! :thumbsup:


Cheers,
Laurent aka Tartiflette. :)

Lewis
05-17-2014, 09:01 AM
You have a base motion, and if the client wants something changed, you edit the base motion and apply it to your WIP animation. 90% of the headphones video used a single technique to get things put together (pre-made animations deformed by splines or bones, like demonstrated in my video).


Please check that link to C4D videe i posted with sweeping nurbs and adjusting extruded shapes/vectors, Just the fact that guy can re-edit Bevel on exturded object is nightmare in LW (fully destructive or to say make it agian from scratch geometry type). Or the fact that he changed 8 star extruded/segmented object to 5 star with 1 click is kinda showing what i'm saying then i say in LW it's hard to change stuff when it comes to geometry animated tools, change the shape, offset/rotate, taper and all those wonderfull deformers and modeling tools LIVE non-desructive. I'd bea hppeist if clients would just tell me from get go 100% what they want but reality is that they change their mind way too often nowdays so non-destructive workflow is the key thing :). Alo tak enote that those functions/video are made there 5 years ago (video is from 2009 ;)), today it's even better more advanced in non-destructive stuff.

jeric_synergy
05-17-2014, 11:09 AM
Chazriker, thank you SO much for the video. You the man! :bowdown:


++
And nobody's going to argue that parametric modeling doesn't have significant advantages over destructive modeling -- LWM even destroys things (splines, generally) when IT DOESN'T NEED TO. :devil: ---Especially in rather simplistic mograph-style modeling.

jeric_synergy
05-17-2014, 12:04 PM
Cool video!
The deformations made by the bones on the original object will be applied on all the instances, so no need to make instances of the bones. The tricky part is how to cascade instances deformations in time... AFAIK you can only set time delay on translation, rather than deformation. Easier to do it with "real clones" I think.
Even just THAT would make a good tutorial.

If clone deformations could reference the clone index #, we'd definitely be in bizness...... hmmmmm.... nodal version of Channel Follower... wanders off muttering

You might want to double check that with DP Instancer, if it has significantly different capabilities.

jeric_synergy
05-17-2014, 01:56 PM
re: Time Delay: if you've MDD'd the deformations, isn't there a delay in the MDD reader? And if there's a delay and a Instance Index /Clone Index, couldn't you use the delay to sequence the deformations?

EDIT: how about this: modulate the MDD application using Weight Maps? In Chazriker's example, you could w.map each leg/petal of the object with identical w.map values, and use these values as a time offset (via a gradient) to offset the Frame Offset of the MDD reader? To adjust the time, you adjust the gradient, not the w.mapping.

I may HAVE to invest in Chazriker's videos, as his WORKFLOW is something I'd never think to do in a million years. EG, cloning an object and then extracting its bones and deleting the clones, well, that' just brilliant. For one thing, I'd never have guessed the bones would STAY in their cloned position. --wait, why DO they stay in their cloned position? ::watching again::

Ryan Roye
05-17-2014, 02:11 PM
re: Time Delay: if you've MDD'd the deformations, isn't there a delay in the MDD reader? And if there's a delay and a Instance Index /Clone Index, couldn't you use the delay to sequence the deformations?

All of the experimentation i've tried to do haven't yielded any results. My guess is that cascading MDD playback on instances is no simple affair, and from what i've gathered from others it isn't something that is easily done with DP kit instancer either.

One quick way of getting a lot of the cascading motions seen in the video involves cloning an object that references a chain of nulls, and using their distance between eachother as the defining element of offset (or an equivalent solution), using a simple control null to adjust the positioning of every item in the scene. This lets the user just clone their objects repeatedly and get the offset. This however isn't an instancing solution so the user would have to be careful about the density of their objects and therefor utilize more destructive workflows as playback becomes a problem. My solutions as they are now work decently for 5-20 objects... but when you want things normally only doable with instancing it can be difficult to manage (IE: peeling 200+ layers of cable off of a wire). Of course, how many objects you can clone depends heavily on how dense they are in terms of deformations and whatnot.

LW may not feature the most optimal toolset for mograph work, but improving instancing would give LW quite a boost in that department nonetheless.

jeric_synergy
05-17-2014, 02:49 PM
Chazriker, I can't express how much more your input means than my blue-skying! ;)

One REPEATED issue I see with the devs, a syndrome if you will, is that they use very limited data sets to test their features. They may get something working, and it works well for up to, say, five entities, but working with more turns into a horrendous PITA. As per your notation on the video.

This extends even to names: the space allocated for filenames is IMO ludicrously short.

The ability to do things en masse should be foundational to all new features-- 'going forward' I hope that is a priority to the coders.

Ryan Roye
05-17-2014, 07:32 PM
Proximity-controlled MDD displacement example:

http://www.delura.tanadrine.com/image_manualupload/proximitydemo.zip

Some notes:

- Playback is jittery when you scrub the timeline fast. Use make preview or render for flicker free results.
- This works because the moment the logic node returns "true", it uses the start node to expand the proximity range of the object. (the start time influences mapped time)
- Multi-selecting then checking nodes will allow you to toggle playback on/off; notice it does get sluggish the moment the null is near enough to influence the objects.

jeric_synergy
05-17-2014, 07:45 PM
::slaps head:: "Parent In Place"..... of course..... ::slinks off::.... :bangwall: :foreheads

Slartibartfast
05-18-2014, 04:50 AM
Jeric_synergy asked for this scene-file. Here you are. I haven't read previous posts yet so it might be obsolete now.

121924

dee
05-18-2014, 05:02 AM
Here's how he did that cable animation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9yE8pJTy9o

unstable
05-18-2014, 07:25 AM
I was trying to duplicate what chazriker did in his demo, but while the bones do what they're supposed to do, the mesh doesn't move. Can anyone point me in the right direction from here? These are the steps I've taken just in case I did something incorrect (obviously) up to this point.

1. Sent mesh to layout
2. Added child bone and positioned at end of mesh strand
3. Added additional child bones
4. Added relativity to all bones except the first bone
5. Selected first bone and rotated. As I said, all bones spiral in a tail curling fashion just like his, but the mesh doesn't move an inch.

Thanks

Ryan Roye
05-18-2014, 07:42 AM
Whoops, it looks like the MDD file that's supposed to play wasn't included in the first sample scene. I forgot package scene does not automatically grab MDD files.

Also, I'm not sure how MDD pointer or similar tools reference folder names and file heiarchies between different computers, so if the animation isn't playing you may have to hit "Edit Nodes" (object properties), double click on the mdd pointer and point it to the correct file.

121926

Ryan Roye
05-18-2014, 07:44 AM
2. Added child bone and positioned at end of mesh strand
3. Added additional child bones

You have to rest the bones, which also automatically activates them.

Some other notes:

- You can scale the first bone on its Y or X axis to determine how much curl/taper you want. So, if you don't want the long looping strands like in my demo, just shrink the first bone until you get the look you want; you see the changes interactively. Remember that rotation AND scale are being cascaded, so it will smoothly transition out of any changes you make in the first and second keyframes.

- After cloning the bones and getting to the finished product, you can twist the bones on their bank for a twisting motion. Use world axis coordinate system to allow for proper rotations after doing this twisting action (or use IKBooster handles).

- With IKBooster tools, you can wrap bones around objects and automatically have them conform to its surface. Combine this with morphs and you can, for example, grow straps around complicated surfaces.

... I guess I'm going to have to put mograph on my "hitlist" for commercial tutorial content :D

EDIT:

ApplyServer ItemMotionHandler Relativity
NextItem
adding these two lines in lscript commander and pressing execute will allow you to add relativity to bones rapidly. Assign this to a hotkey or put it in your Lightwave menus so you can save yourself all the mouseclicking you'd otherwise have to do. If you're a script nerd, you could make this even more efficient by making this command apply to your entire selection.


EDIT2: I figured I'd throw two lscripts out there that automatically adds relativity to selected bones/items. You can also use these as a template to mass apply/remove other plugins. Not really optimal that lscript is required to do this, but at least its a holdover until bulk management functions become native in LW.

121928

unstable
05-18-2014, 09:16 AM
You have to rest the bones, which also automatically activates them.


... I guess I'm going to have to put mograph on my "hitlist" for commercial tutorial content :D



Thanks for that information, my mesh is reacting properly now.

And let me know when you finish this one on your hitlist, I'll be a buyer.

jeric_synergy
05-18-2014, 10:40 AM
I was trying to duplicate what chazriker did in his demo, but while the bones do what they're supposed to do, the mesh doesn't move. Can anyone point me in the right direction from here? These are the steps I've taken just in case I did something incorrect (obviously) up to this point.
Thanks
Most likely you didn't REST the bones in their , well, REST position. I work w/Bones infrequently and that got me too.

2nd most likely is ENABLE DEFORM is turned off-- this must be on, TMK, or NO/NONE/ZERO deformations of any type occur.

I'm going to just repeat Chazriker's demo over and over, like musical scales, until I can do it start to finish without watching the video AGAIN. There's like SEVEN brilliant time savers in there, esp. the LSCommander bits (custom macros!) and the "interpolated position trick". (!!!!)

The latter is worthy of an Erikalst quicky: "Easy Placement of Symmetrical Elements En Masse" could be the title. ;)


EDIT: I see you found the problem.

THANKS Chazriker, both for the educational demo and the LScripts.

Ryan Roye
05-18-2014, 10:52 AM
I'm going to just repeat Chazriker's demo over and over, like musical scales, until I can do it start to finish without watching the video AGAIN

Keep in mind that I use a lot of hotkeys and custom menu setups to speed things along. In the beginning being the mouse menus, and towards the middle I make heavy usage of Lightwave's native (but hidden) assign tools to parent the bones and move them in a radial fashion. You can't see it, but I also created a null (ctrl-n default hotkey) as a radial center point for that assign, which I envelope to adjust the strength at which the bones are pulled towards it.

If it were a real tutorial, I'd use more native UI setups/buttons and visibly use menus rather than what was shown.

(Random tip: You don't have to use any pickers with relativity; you can just type the name of an item and it'll find it.)

jeric_synergy
05-18-2014, 11:33 AM
Oh I figured you have whole CHORDS of hotkeys, but some of the terminology, eg "assign tools", threw me.

I'm pretty sure I have all the technique grokked now, but practice is fundamentally different from theory, so I'll run this thru a couple more times, or six, fer shure.

You have a Splinegod-like touch for using things we all "know" in surprising ways, that would be the very essence of "The Lightwave Way". Lining up symmetrical elements using Motion Controllers!? WACKY! And totally logical at the same time!

Here's one issue I have: I'd find EXPAND HEIRARCHY (RECURSIVE) a lot more useful/convenient if it weren't buried in a very fussy little menu. Selecting that thing is VERY slow (vfs) for me. Like a lot of UI commands, it doesn't show up in LSCommander. Is there any way to make that thing (and menu choices LIKE it) hot-keyable? --It's seriously aggravating.

Ryan Roye
05-18-2014, 12:19 PM
Here's one issue I have: I'd find EXPAND HEIRARCHY (RECURSIVE) a lot more useful/convenient if it weren't buried in a very fussy little menu.

In the scene editor: Hold alt, click the little arrow. Recursive expanding/retracting of child items.

Hold alt and shift, click, selects all child items. You're welcome :)

jeric_synergy
05-18-2014, 01:14 PM
In the scene editor: Hold alt, click the little arrow. Recursive expanding/retracting of child items.

Hold alt and shift, click, selects all child items. You're welcome :)
And Thank You!

SO MANY things to remember... and so many things I've forgot!

OBLIGATORY DEV NOODGE: hey guys, anyway to expose UI commands to the scripting language?

jeric_synergy
05-18-2014, 01:50 PM
In the scene editor: Hold alt, click the little arrow. Recursive expanding/retracting of child items.

Hold alt and shift, click, selects all child items. You're welcome :)
Sadly, this seems to have some peculiarities (on my system, W7):


It doesn't work for multiple selected items, i.e. only the item associated directly w/the little arrow gets recursively expanded

(IOW, it isn't like AE, which I'd very much prefer.)
IF the item is selected/highlighted, ALT+CLICK selects/highlights the expanded child items
ALT+SHIFT+CLICK works when the item is already expanded. However, it will also select anything between the currently highlighted and the item being clicked on, which IMO is very clumsy. As the item is already expanded, it seems to be the normal "range select", ie SHIFT+CLICK works just as well, assuming the bottom of the list is visible onscreen.


A bit too many "If/Then" rules for my stamp of approval. But the ALT+CLICK is a big win, thank you!

jeric_synergy
05-18-2014, 02:25 PM
ha! Good thing I'm practicing!

I keep flubbing SOME critical step, where my cloned bone chains lose their rotation values and all move in parallel rather than around the circle. I think it's when I move each chain to the One True Object. :bangwall:

IOW, all the bone chains are curling in the +Y direction, instead of around the "petals".

121930


Good times! :cry:

:D

chikega
05-18-2014, 05:17 PM
Good stuff!

Ryan Roye
05-18-2014, 06:15 PM
I keep flubbing SOME critical step

Baking. Because the relativity motion modifier is using the object's numerical value in the name to determine the cascading motion, you have to bake the motion before duplicating and re-parenting to the original object. MF motion baker or an equivalent solution is needed; LW's native methods for baking are almost useless as it ignores world coordinates, motion modifiers and sofourth in most cases.

unstable
05-19-2014, 07:42 AM
This is probably a dumb question, but I saw there were plenty other Doctors available besides Dr Follower. Is there a book available that explains how to use these? I didn't see much of anything in the LW manual. (maybe I missed it?) Or are there tutorials already available. This is pretty nice stuff but I could spend years trying to learn this via trial and error, because with me its mostly error.:D

jeric_synergy
05-19-2014, 08:37 AM
Theoretically, all Relativity 'professors' should be covered in the manuals. I'd check YouTube for demos.

++++
I'm a bit appalled by the lack of native support for motion baking in LW, if the manuals are any indication. Maybe I was looking in the wrong g.d. PDF, but info seemed VERY scarce. Thank god for Mental Fish.

Scattering documentation over several PDFs seems a bad idea too.

Ryan Roye
05-19-2014, 09:24 AM
This is probably a dumb question, but I saw there were plenty other Doctors available besides Dr Follower. Is there a book available that explains how to use these? I didn't see much of anything in the LW manual.

The LW manual is pretty much the only substantial information available unless you can dig up relativity docs somewhere in some dark corner of the internet. I agree it isn't covered as well as it could be, and there are some really nifty functions (especially for motion graphics) in there. Dr. Delayer, for instance, can let you spam a scene with objects and have them all cascade their motions; this differs from Dr. follower in that the item's motions are not overridden, but instead retained and delayed again using the item name's numerical value as a basis. You can even set up whole animations to trigger the moment a null passes parallel to their path (IE: say you have a military sequence and you want soldiers to salute some emperor as they walk down the hallway).

However, there are some caveats to Relativity's awesomeness. It should be noted that some of the Dr's only existed due to Lightwave's limitations or lacking features at the time relativity was made. Motion blender, for example, I'd never use... camera shaker I'd avoid, and generally if there are better tools that do pretty much the same thing, use those instead.

Other things to note is that some functions can slow down layout's playback significantly with high frame numbers. If you're using beefier equations that use frame time as a basis of their operations, expect problems in longer scenes.

unstable
05-19-2014, 06:15 PM
Thanks for the information. I'll have really look through the manuals. I'm getting strange things up to the portion where you bake the motion. On frame zero, everything works perfect. The bones and mesh roll up and overlay each other. But if put the mesh and bones back in their original position and move to frame 14 and try and roll them up, the last 4 to 5 bones stay straight. So I get this long straight tail as bones 1 through 7 roll up. Then if I delete that frame and move to frame 50, both the bones and mesh roll up perfectly just as they did when I tried on frame zero, but I noticed when I scrub through the timeline they continuing rolling up several frames past 50. Is this common? I can tell this is going to be a head banger.:bangwall::D

Ryan Roye
05-20-2014, 05:55 AM
The bones and mesh roll up and overlay each other. But if put the mesh and bones back in their original position and move to frame 14 and try and roll them up, the last 4 to 5 bones stay straight. So I get this long straight tail as bones 1 through 7 roll up. Then if I delete that frame and move to frame 50, both the bones and mesh roll up perfectly just as they did when I tried on frame zero, but I noticed when I scrub through the timeline they continuing rolling up several frames past 50. Is this common?

It isn't; getting things to work is mainly consistent of understanding how/why they behave that way. All of the animation in the bones after relativity is applied (all bones except the very first), is solely dependent on the movements of the first bone. Therefor, you should bake the motion of the bones, remove relativity as shown, and then remove the keyframe made for the first bone for that carpet-roll effect. Don't forget to restore the scale of the first bone to 1/1/1 on the second keyframe.

Random tip: With IKBooster's boostertrack, you can adjust the spacing between the first and last keyframes for the controlling bone to see your adjustments interactively.

jeric_synergy
05-20-2014, 07:40 AM
There are many steps to this technique, and it's best to moooooooove vewwwwy vewwwy swooooolly...

It's pretty cool when it all works. Thanks again to Chazriker: even when he's not going slowly for a tutorial, his stuff is pretty damn informative.

Disappointing how MOTION BAKING apparently depends on an ancient 3rd Party LScript. wth? And I found documentation on what does exist natively quite scarce.

Emmanuel
05-20-2014, 08:25 AM
I thought there were several ways to bake motions, motion plugins, master plugins..

Ryan Roye
05-20-2014, 08:40 AM
I thought there were several ways to bake motions, motion plugins, master plugins..

Actually there are... it is just that the native methods are not so great.

1) There's a motion modifier called virtual baker mocap, which bakes things as you scrub the timeline on channels you specify. It works most of the time, but it is impractical to apply this to many items like in the bone chain example. It also essentially breaks your ability to press the play button while it is active. I actually do use this occasionally for auto-baking hand rotations when they are conforming to objects as it is very convenient to toggle on/off.

2) You can bake motion modifiers that exist in the graph editor. You can either set your timeline range and hit "B" to bake, or you can use bakezones to bake these types of motion modifiers. For various reasons, I advise against using motion modifiers that are assigned via the graph editor whenever possible as it will break visual feedback if you mix and match graph editor and non-graph editor motion modifiers (i've reported this error in Lightwave's fogbugz system).

3) You can manually keyframe motion-modified things. Obviously, only practical for small numbers of keyframes, such as applying a same as item constraint to onto a dagger following a bullet-controlled object, flying for ~5-10 keyframes.

4) The other methods I know of simply are not reliable enough for practical usage.