View Full Version : Newbie question about Layout motion keys

01-01-2006, 09:07 AM
How do you make any given layer or object only appear in particular motion keys and not others? I've tried fiddling about with the visblity menu on the scene editor panel, but it always applies the settings to every frame for the selected items.

I've reached the limit of my knowledge here. Please help.

01-01-2006, 09:53 AM
I'm not sure i understand you correctly...

But one way of editing specific motions only, for any one object, is to create selection sets in the graph editor. it can be bit of a pain setting it up, depending on how many channels you want to edit etc... but it should work.

Or, maybe try adding keys to the modified channels only... you do this in the lw options panel, via auto key create and select 'modified channels'.
(instead of all)

hmm... but i've a feeling i still dont know quite what your asking..

01-01-2006, 10:07 AM
You have to put an envelope on OBJECT DISSOLVE, in the ObjectProperties>Render panel. Set the envelope to 100% where you want the object hidden, and 0% where you want it visible.

01-01-2006, 01:37 PM
I think I'm a bit out of my depth - what I know of LW is almost all self-taught, so the advanced stuff is... mysterious to me. I tried the methods you both described, but to no avail. All I want to do, in effect, is to introduce a new layer/object part of the way through an animation sequence without it appearing in all the other motion-key frames. Surely this is quite a common task? I'm thinking about improvising by moving the objects way out of visible range when unwanted to achieve the desired effect, but it's not really ideal.

Thanks for the help.

01-01-2006, 02:20 PM
What Dodgy suggested should do exactly what you want (atleast the way I interpret it). Mind you, if you want to animate dissolve, you have to work with the graph editor and the envelope. You cannot simply scrub to a frame and set the desired value in the properties panel. Only channels with envelopes can be animated. If it has no envelope it can only hold a static value.

If you're not comfortable working with envelopes I suggest you create a control null. Then you'll be able to animate the dissolve via the nulls motion channels (motion channel envelopes are active by default) just like you do everything else and won't have to bother with the Graph Editor.

1. Create a null. Name it something smart and maybe parent it to the object being dissolved so they stick together.
2. Select the object you want dissolved. Enter Object Properties panel and go to the Render tab. Hit the envelope button right next to Object Dissolve. This creates an envelope for the dissolve channel which allows it to be animated over time and makes it possible to reference the channel so you can attach modifiers to it.
3. The Graph Editor opens up. Go to the Modifiers tab. Click Add Modifier and select Channel Follower.
4. Double-click the Channel Follower entry to open up it's interface. Within the Channel Follower interface simply scrub through the list of items and channels until you find [Nulls Name].Position.Y. Select it and hit OK.

Now when you animate the Y position of the null you also animate the dissolve. With the null at 0 meters the object is fully visable (dissolve at 0%), at 1 meters the object is completely hidden (dissolve at 100%).

Sorry if I told you something you were already aware of. :)

Barry Oborne
01-01-2006, 02:25 PM
Dodgy :dito: is correct I think slect the object> itiems properties you will get a panel then click rendering you will see a box with object dislove with a little box with an E click the E for enevleope and you should get a graph editor that will give you control over the visibility of the object as it apprears through out the time line. So you can creat curves in out in out. On the graph editor make say three key frames move the middle one change its value
and do a quick test render it is pretty simple with a little practice.
lone waver

01-01-2006, 02:44 PM
I don't want to test your patience, but is there any way to hide the objects in real-time (other than moving them out of view)?

Thanks again.

01-01-2006, 02:54 PM
Don't think so. The surface property Transparency is hocked up to openGL transparency, but Dissolve is not. Animating just Transparency however is not enough to hide an object. You'll have to animate about half the surface properties to make an objects surface dissappear completely. It's quite abit more work setting up envelopes/controllers for all an objects surfaces when compared to using Dissolve.

Barry Oborne
01-02-2006, 03:54 AM
I don't want to test your patience, but is there any way to hide the objects in real-time (other than moving them out of view)?

Thanks again.
I don't think so either. disolve is an effect that you see in the rendering aspect of LW. I think you should just render out something simple until you get a feel for it. Good luck not to worry everyone was new once.
lone waver

01-02-2006, 05:08 AM
Yes you can. You can change the display properties for individual objects or groups (selection sets) of objects using the scene editor. To the left side there is a panel with a tiny eyeball at the top of the column. You can make objects hidden, view as vertices, wireframe etc. This is useful if youre animating a lot of objects or you have too much clutter and want to reduce it a bit while animating. If you want to animate an objects visibility youll have to do the way the others have described. :)

01-02-2006, 10:33 AM
here's a plugin that speeds up the process...

01-02-2006, 06:26 PM
I feel like I owe you guys an explanation - I really appreciate all the expert advice.

I've been trying to animate a bicycle chain. The chain is composed of hexagonal and rectangular prisms (extruded templates). I wouldn't know where to start if I had to animate it the proper way, so I thought I might be able to do it the 'cheaty' way by having three different versions of the chain in the scene. The idea being that, in terms of cog teeth/links, each one is 1/3rd advanced on the previous one - chain A appears in frames: 0,3,6,9,12,15... chain B appears in frames 1,4,7,10,13,16... and chains C appears in 2,5,8,11,14,17. I arranged frames 0,1,2 by dropping the two unwanted chains -y 500m, then repeated these motion keys every three frames.

This system worked pretty well, except it created an optical illusion whearby the chain appeared to be slowly travelling backwards. Oh well, I guess that happens in the real world as well as virtual ones.

Many thanks

01-02-2006, 09:43 PM
Heres a quick example of animating a bicycle type chain using dynamics. Ive also uploaded the scene file.