View Full Version : Revealing a path over time

01-01-2006, 01:53 PM
Hi there X-perts and Happy New Year to ya´all!

I recently got stuck with an ultra-urgent animation, unable to complete as requested do to my lack of knowledge forcing me to choose an alternate and much less satisfactory solution.

Now I have the time to ask you all:

- How do you reveal a path over time?

I thought it sounded simple when I started. But it turns out this specific path is an animation of a travel route going from one side of mother earth to the other side with the path going both north/south/east&west as the trip progresses!

I tried to make a path in modeller which resembled the route and then rail extrude an object along this path getting a small sort of tube.

My plan was then to reveal that path over time using a null that followed that path.

But as it turned out, since the path doesn´t progresses constantly in any one direction I wasn´t able to use gradients with reveal along x/y or z.

Nor could I use reveal based on distance to null because that would treat the path equally on both sides of the null in stead of revaling just what was behind it.

Any suggestions?

Hope my explanation made some sence...

01-01-2006, 03:41 PM
Thanks for respons bryphi77!

Problem for me there are still many unexplored sides of LW!

Animating a clip map is one...

Texturing wise it´s quit simple. There´s no UV´s involved just a simple color (that I also wanted to give a glow to).

Do you have any pointers/links etc where I could explore animating clip maps?

I´ve looked both at NT´s own tut´s section as well as flay.com without finding any info guiding me in that direction. But then again not knowing exactly what to look for I may have overlooked valuable info.

01-01-2006, 04:29 PM
Hi norlight,

There is a free plugin called 'fertiliser' ( or maybe fertilizer) that can work really well for this sort of thing- it works sort of like a '3D' clipmap, using a weight map as the basis for the reveal. One caveat though- it won't work with sub D objects, so you will need to freeze your geometry first.

Have a look on flay.com to get hold of it.

01-01-2006, 05:12 PM
I would also look at morphing your ribbon shape along a path made of bones. You can also do this with two other free plugins: Shift Spline Transform and DStorms Trailer plugin. Both can be found on flay.com
You could also do it using a spline as a particle emitter and HVs.

01-02-2006, 12:38 AM
Tanks for your inputs guys!

Now that I get pointed in the right direction(s) I´ve got some exploring to do.

Splinegod, just want to use the opportunity to mention that I´m also in the process of exploring 8 Kurv Stud DVD´s of which 7 bears your name.

Good stuff!

01-02-2006, 01:33 AM
Wow, thanks! Glad to hear theyre working out for you. Which ones did you get? :)
The technique I mentioned about using a spline as a particle emitter is covered on the 3rd party content CD that came with LW8. Its the growing vines tutorial.

01-02-2006, 01:55 AM
When I started off on this project I remembered seeing that growing vineyard anim at some place or the other, but the content between my ears just wasn´t able to dig up where this demo was!

But now I know :)

The DVD´s that I purchased are: LW tips&tricks v 1/2/3, Industrial modeling vol 1, Modeling with splines, Cloth&Vehicle dynamics, LW diplacements&endomorphs vol 1/2.

I kinda´ like to shop in bundles, keeps the shipping costs over the Atlantic down.

It also gives me those x-mas vibes a bit more often than just once a year :thumbsup:

01-02-2006, 03:58 AM
That makes sense. Drop me an email sometime. Id like to get some feedback on the videos. Thanks ;)

01-02-2006, 06:13 AM
...Modeling with splines...

heh, you definately have the right source for that one I can tell you! ;)

01-02-2006, 08:32 AM
Yes, I´ve just completed that one.

A lot of new and very useful info it was!

I´m starting to see the see the ladder that will bring me to the next LW-level :thumbsup:

01-02-2006, 02:08 PM
Thanks guys. :)
There will definately be more material on this subject
The one thng I wanted to get across with that first spline video was just how many things can be done using splines.

01-03-2006, 08:52 AM
Hey, Norlight!

I'd never intentionally contradict a Wonderpup, but Fertilizer (sg_fertilizer.p) does actually work with SubD -- you just have to make sure that you set your subD rendering preferences to LAST or AFTER DISPLACEMENT.

It's a KILLER plug -- I use it all the time for an amazing number of things. As a matter of fact I'll be using later this month it for almost the exact same type of project you just had!

You should be able to find it here:


Cool? Cool.

Edit: Make sure you check out the vids -- it should give you a real appreciation for the cool stuff you can do (not just lines...)

01-03-2006, 10:12 AM
Thanks debfrey, I was also wandering about them subD´s!

I have now been able to do what I initally wanted do thanks to this forum!!!

As a first go I tried the Trailer plugin.

I peeked over at fertilizer but at first look it I didn´t get the logic to "sit".

Well, that probably says more about me than anything else :)

However seeing what it can do I want to explore that plugin also.

I need to do some exploring though. I haven´t used weight maps a whole lot (nor clip maps for that matter (splinegod: hint, hint..)).

I was also able to get pretty good results from the particle emitter with splines solution.

Do I love this forum? :D

01-03-2006, 02:11 PM
Glad to see that things are working out. One of the things I am working in is a series of videos on texturing, not just what can be done on surfaces but the many other things in LW that can be effected with textures. Clip maps would be one of those. :)

01-03-2006, 03:04 PM
Looking forward to see what you´ll come up with!

I´m a victim for further tips & tricks... :thumbsup:

01-04-2006, 12:58 PM
Same here! When I find something new in LW that I didnt know I could do its like getting a free $500 plugin. :)