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BooleanBloke
01-02-2005, 08:59 PM
I want to put together a 72 frame/3 second animation that runs on a loop. A good example of this would the Moon continuously orbiting the Earth in 72 five degree increments. However, the object is quite complex and although 16 of the 20 layers will be stationary throughout, I'd still prefer to arrange and 'shoot' each frame individually - a bit like a flick-book - rather than use one of these parenting/hierachy tools that I've heard about. The problem is, whilst I'm fairly proficient at using the Modeller, my knowledge of Layout is very rudimentary (using the basic tools to control the camera/light/object). If someone could point me in the direction of a good tutorial which covers these tasks, It would greatly appreciated. Thank you.

PS: Sorry about the lack of paragraphs.

mgrusin
01-03-2005, 12:59 PM
The simplest advice I can give you is, start learning Layout. :D You don't even need to go that deeply into it; even the basic tools can get you animating (and save you a huge amount of time.)

For example, to get a moon object to go around an earth object, you could maually place it in the proper position and orientation for each and every frame. But it's dead easy to get the computer to do basic motions for you: In this case, parent the moon to a null object located at the center of the earth. Select the null, make a keyframe at frame 0, go to frame 72, rotate the null 360 degrees, and keyframe it again. Then if you play the timeline, the null will spin (and the moon will orbit the earth) once over that 72 frames. Even the simplest tools can save you a huge amount of time.

*Tip: for looping animations, sometimes you'll end up with the first frame being the same as the last (because 360 degrees is the same position as 0 degrees). This will cause a stutter when you play it as a loop. Often you'll just use one less frame (71) which will remove the stutter.

There are scattered tutorials out there, but if you want to learn layout quickly and well, my advice is to invest in one of the basic layout-training DVDs (I'm not affiliated with any of them). I find they walk you through things in a more practical need-to-know way than the manual (which is properly more of a reference than a learning tool).

Start simple, experiment a lot, you'll get there! Good luck, -MG.