View Full Version : animating a character to grab an object

04-27-2004, 12:42 PM
I was wondering if there were any tips or tricks to having a character grab an object and then use it?

I assume parenting the object to a characters hand would be the way but since I'm new at animating, I figure I should ask the masters of the digital realm first.

I appreciate anything you can tell me or even anything you can direct me to look at.

04-27-2004, 12:59 PM

You're talking about doing 'dynamic parenting' which is basically transferring an object from one parent to another. (for instance, having a character pickup an object from a table or whatever).

You can do one of three things that I know of.

First, Lightwave comes with a motion modifier called parenter. If you select an object and hit m for the motions panel, you'll find parenter under the motion modifiers dropdown list. It has it's own interface. It will allow you to keyframe parenting but I've had mixed results with it but then I've only tried to use it a couple of times and honestly can't really remember my results.

Secondly, you could fake it. You could have an object already in your characters hand and use it's properties panel to dissolve it out (invisible). You can have a copy of that object that is sitting there and when the first object is made visible, this object becomes invisible. So it only LOOKS like you have picked up an object when really it was always there. The only trick is, you have to have them in virutally the same space when you do the switch. Not an easy task.

Third, there are a few different plug-ins that will allow you to do dynamic parenting. I offer this option last simply because it's the only one that will cost you money. There are a few out there but one of the most well known is the Taft Collection from Worley labs. It's simply called Parent. You can find it here along with all the other plugs that come with the Taft collection: http://www.worley.com/polk/polk.html#toppolk

04-27-2004, 02:53 PM
Hey thanks alot hrgiger! Great information. I applied the second suggestion and got it to work fine.

Does anyone know if LW 8 is coming with a "dynamic parenting" function? I didn't see one listed under the features page.

04-28-2004, 03:21 AM
Toon, did you try the parenter that is already in LW 7?

04-29-2004, 05:27 PM
As far as I can tell, L8's parenter is the same.. and it's not very good. it needs a complete rethink as does much else.. we're not making TRON here guys...

04-29-2004, 09:10 PM
There's a dynamic parenting plugin you can get from http://www.richardbrak.net/plugins/index.html#dparent that works in 7.5 and 8 (tested briefly in 8).

04-29-2004, 10:59 PM
I have used parenting in Lightwave 7.5c under the motion panel but didn't realize that you could keyframe the parenting. Unless there is another function in Lightwave called "Parenter".

The other plugins that are mentioned are great. thank you .

04-30-2004, 01:09 AM
as HRGIGER states, POLK can do it for you, simply and cleanly. 8 hasn't landed through my door yet so I can't comment on what that can and can't do. But, having bought POLK, I can say that the parent plugin provided is foolproof. simple and usefull. They even provide a tutorial covering this. I've not had cause to use it yet, other than a few basic test,which worked flawlessly, but rest assured I will, and I'll be glad I've got it...