View Full Version : What is the best way to set up vehicle suspension?

05-07-2003, 09:59 AM

The render represents place-holder objects for a truck suspension system that I am trying to figure out how to set up for animation. I would appreciate any input on the best way to proceed. I don't do a lot of animating, and I have not tried something this complex.

Each side of the front suspension is made up of four basic objects: upper and lower linkage set, axle carrier, and axle/wheel/tire.

Each side of the rear suspension is made up of six basic objects: upper and lower linkage set, upper and lower trailing arm, axle carrier, and axle/wheel/tire.

I originally thought to use targeting for the rotation of the linkage and trailing arms, but at least one of the two would have to rotate on Bank. No luck there.

I thought about using morph targets, but then I couldn't rotate the tires.

I've tried IK, but I'm not having any luck. I figure I'm probably doing something wrong here, but I'm not sure what, since I don't really use it.

I haven't tried expressions yet, for a lack of time.

What would be the best method to use, and the best way to start?


05-07-2003, 03:57 PM
here's what I did for a horse buggy.
not quite the same but I had to bounce the tires and compress the spring at same time and ran into same problem

morph and rotating tires:mad:

so I put tires on seperate layers (each tire, not the front set and rear set, because I had to go into potholes and only 1 tire would be moving at a time)

Then I made a point at the end of the axel where the tire center would be but on ANOTHER layer from the axel (all 4 tires)

so I had 1 layer (axel)
4 layers (points)
4 layers (tires)
set morph targets for my moves ALSO using the correct point layer
(Highlight both when doing target).

so say the driver side front had a morph of up-center (base)- and down that included the point layer for that side of axel.
did all 4 axel ends the same.

Saved it

in layout

loaded model,
added nulls for each point and parented to the points (which move because of the morph target):)
parented tires to nulls (because now they follow the points in the morph):)
set the rotation of tires (which are on seperate layers now so can be done)
set the morph targets along timeline

played out
bouncing tires that rotated :D

probably could be done easier with expressions, but I don't do expressions.

hope that helps or gives ya some other ideas

05-07-2003, 04:17 PM
there is a downloadable tut on Suspension rigging at this site....Check it (http://www.geocities.com/lightwavespread/tutorials.html)

Maybe it will help ya,, I never used it, but your request for help made me think of this tutorial.

05-07-2003, 05:34 PM
Thanks for your replies. I'll try the suggestions.

05-10-2003, 08:03 AM

Thanks for the tutorial link. I'll have to modify it somewhat, but that's what I'm looking for.

One other related question.

Is there a way to set position limits, like there is to set rotation limits?

Thanks again.