View Full Version : Keyframes - Speed - Smoothness

04-16-2005, 11:50 PM
Hi there. Let's be very concise - lol.
I'm a newbie, shy and sometimes I'm affraid to ask questions. I took a BASIC course on Lightwave around here last January but they didn't tell us how to make a 3D object move between keyframes in a smoother way, includding variations in speed (only some reamarks on cruiser and graph editor). When I started with Lightwave I thought any scene showing a 3D object would be the "only one, or the main responsible" for its speed and its smoothness of movement. I mean, the amount of frames in that scene. Let's see this example:
- I have 300 frames (0 to 300). First keyframe is at zero (let's suppose we've got a spaceship here). I set a final keyframe (let's play with only 2 keyframes here) at 300. The more I stretch its path, the faster the ship will move in the final animation. Now, I've was reading about the Cruiser plug-in. Could this one change anything here? I assume when you don't choose to work with layers (but with a single render instead) and with more complex scenes, you must find a way to find a correct speed for each object. How do I set the speed for, let's say some 6 different objects?
Now the second discussion:
I had a short scene the other day, showing a logo. 160 frames. Logo started TURNING at zero and stopped at 100. Camera was MOVING from zero to 160, so after the logo stopped turning at 100, the camera continued running creating the illusion that the logo was going away.. Then I created a keyframe at 90 and dragged it forwards or backwards trying to smooth the sudden end of the turning. Reading the manual, I've found out that I had to select that part of the timeline and then create keyframes (baking), for instance, from frames 80 or 90 to 105, finally choosing to hit smooth (for X, Y and Z). Is this the real and correct way to achieve what I describe here? Can I do that with Graph Editor? Thanks in advance. Help will be greatly appreciated.

04-17-2005, 01:31 PM
Hi Cunhambebe,

The best way to smooth out motions is using the graph editor. Basicly, the shape of the curve in the editor controls the way things move. The fastest way to get your head around this is the good old bouncing ball animation. Just animate a ball bouncing up and down a few times, then go into the graph editor and play around with the shape of the motion curve and see how different shaped curves alter the motion of the ball.

04-18-2005, 12:10 AM
Thanks for taking time to respond. Oh the ball! That's what they taught at that course. Same thing you state here, using the graph editor, etc....but what about baking frames and choosing "smooth" from that small menu?
Thanks again!

04-18-2005, 11:06 AM
Hi Cunhambebe,

To be honest, I'm not sure what small menu the 'smooth' option is on, so I can't really help with that, could you be a bit more specific about that?

On a more general note, if you're trying to get smooth motion in your animations then baking is not really a good idea, as it creates a lot of Keyframes. Idealy you want as few keys as possible to get smooth moves. You can take a baked range and use 'reduce keys' in the graph editor to get rid of redundant keys, but it's better not to create too many in the first place.

Although it sounds strange, having less keyframes actualy gives you more control of the animation, as it allows you to 'sculpt' the curves more easily as they pass through the keys.

04-20-2005, 05:48 PM
Hi there!
This is very frustrating. After the whole file was encoded and ready, after checking the logo...it was there...that __ kick.....(ops...sorry). I'll have to redo that stuff all over again - I'm almost bling looking at my monitor all day long trying to fix this.
In fact I just don't know how to reduce speed - as I have stated before (since it seems speed is ralated to the width of the motion path as well as the size, or better yet, number of frames. I've tried pressing "M" on y keybord - none of those plug-ins have helped....nothing....and about baking...you were absolutely right, Wonderpup. Same thing.
Abou the menu: mouse left click, select a certain part of the timeline (where the keyframes are located, the ones you want to behave smoothly), choose Bake; a small menu appears, etc...

Manual page 73:
When you first open the DopeTrack it just looks like another timeline, only with darker numbers. (...) A right click on the
DopeTrack itself will reveal a menu that gives even more options.

Page 76:
Soft Apply
In the case of “Soft Apply”, a Hermite spline using default Hermite coefficients is generated using
these three keyframes as points to smooth out the intervening keyframes.

I really don't know what do do. As I've said before:
Animation - 160 frames.
Logo - keyframes - 0; 80; 100 (stops)
Camera - is moving from 0 to 160 (2 keyframes - 0; 160)
Someone please help me to make the logo stops moving smoothly as though it was decreasing its speed (it stops abruptly - looks odd). There must be a way to do that!
Thanks in advance.

04-20-2005, 09:13 PM
Ok folks, forget baking frames or creating frames and pushing them bakwards (towards zero on the timeline) in order to make things smoother. I was talking to a teacher around here and he told me to do this in the Graph Editor (tension, etc...)
Here's an image showing what's happening here. As you can see and as I've already said, object motion stops at 100. I want to make the object stops smoothly...Now please, what do you suggest me do?
1.What figures and where should I insert them? (tension, bias, etc - on x, y or z)
2.About the movement: Pre Behavior/ Post Behavior, etc...
By the way, I have attached a zip file with the scene here. (note: the Logo Imagens do Espaço means Space Images).
Help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

John Fornasar
04-22-2005, 11:15 PM
You are on the right track, but the wrong channels..
your logo is moving in the heading and pitch... that's where you want to apply your tension

it sometimes helps to view your animation from a different perspective - try looking at your moves from the top view.

open the graph editor, play your animation and start adding tension to the heading - you'll come to a smoother end.

also, select your camera in the graph editor - you can put some tension on the X axis of the camera for a smoother end

04-24-2005, 06:10 AM
Thank you very much John. I've already fixed it.

also, select your camera in the graph editor - you can put some tension on the X axis of the camera for a smoother end
Thanks for the input :)