View Full Version : Apply motion path to a Surface

04-18-2005, 06:10 PM
I'm trying to animate cars along an irregular surface, and I've been using the "Vertigo" plugin semi-successfully. The problem I'm running into is that the pitch of the car isn't adjusting to the terrain. The car maintains a flat orientation that is parallel to zero on the Y axis. Under the Controllers and Limits, I set the Pitch Controller to "Align to Path" hoping this would solve that issue. NOPE!! To me that would make sense since "Vertigo" takes my existing motion path and drapes it along the surface.

If anyone has any ideas of how to solve this, please let me know. If anyone has something more effective than "Vertigo", please let me know also.



04-19-2005, 02:59 AM
Hi srhyne,

I don't know the Vertigo plugin, so i can't help with that.

It may be worth creating your path on the terrain geometry in modeler and exporting it as a motion path into layout- you may have more luck with the alignment issue if you stay with 'native' lightwave.

The other thought was the texture channel or texture motion options- but these may not help if your terrain needs to be a very specific shape.

04-19-2005, 10:28 AM
I created a spline by using the Drill tool and stenciling the flat path representing the path of the vehicle. I extracted the points from the surface and created an open curve. From there I exported the new spline to a Motion File. When I bring in the motion file, it creates a 1,000 key frames along the path. That is to much for my need. Is there a way to control this option? Also, is there a better way to create a spline over a surface than the procedure I did?


04-19-2005, 01:57 PM
Hi srhyne,

To reduce the number of keyframes you can either reduce the number of points in the curve in modeler, or use the reduce keys function in the graph editor. I think the reduce keys option may be better because it will try to preserve the shape of the motion.
you can also control the speed along the path by scaling the keys in the dope sheet.

I think the drill method you used is the best way to do the path itself. I suppose you could extract points from the terrain geometry itself, but stenciling gives more control.

04-19-2005, 02:25 PM
Great!! Thanks you for the help. I feel like I have a direction now. Can you also provide some feedback on manuals that are specific to Graph Editor functions and Animation?

Thanks again for the help.

04-19-2005, 09:10 PM
haven't tried this so ......

use another instance of vertigo applied to a null and set to lead the vehicle by x frames. Then use either point at or IK on pitch so either the vehicle null or vehicle itself will pitch automatically.

Don't know if it'll work - but I'd experiment with doing that way. Tweaking the 'x' lead offset lead for best results should give you good pich simulaion.

If you try it let us know how it works out.


04-20-2005, 01:39 AM
You can also create a spline off a terrain by conforming the spline to the background using KO_Pointfit, BGConform etc. You can also simply pick points and hit ctrl + p.
Once you have a spline you can rail extrude a single point poly using uniform lengths to get points representing a constant velocity. You can then select all the points off this using select loop and hitting ctrl +p to again make a new spline. Each control point on the spline represents 5 frames in layout so you can do the math to figure out how many points the spline will need. :)

04-20-2005, 02:06 AM
..although I believe there is a motion plugin that actually allows you to simply load that spline and select it as the spline to use for a motion path, so you shouldn't have to worry so much about 5 frames thing - but the even spacing is important.

Plugin is called CurveConstraint under motion modifiers, it's native to LW.

04-20-2005, 09:53 AM
Thanks everyone for the help. This will make my project go a little smoother.

Thanks for the advice. I really like your approach of using BGConform and the Cntrl+P. It will definitely help me control key frames much better. Unfortunately, the BGConform tool isn't where it should be. I've got a message into NewTek to see why that is.

Thanks again.


04-20-2005, 10:08 PM
Hope it works out. Theres a lot of ways to create those splines :)

04-21-2005, 02:53 AM
Larrys tip is one of those little things many people forget about or don't realise the benefit.
There are many times using this technique of creating a new uniform spline by cloning points is very handy. Now ... what we need is a plugin to do this automatically and then select the newly created points and build the uniform spline automatically for us. Mind you, not checked Flay, what are the odds someone's already done this? :p

edit - dunno if this will work ... http://www.flay.com/GetDetail.cfm?ID=2060

04-21-2005, 03:34 AM
Hi srhyne,

The BG Conform plugin is named spherize.p and can be found in the legacy plugins folder.