View Full Version : How do I turn a curve object into a motion path and then load it.

11-14-2007, 10:47 AM
Okay -- I do Web design and occasionally I use my ancient version of Lightwave ( 6.5 ) to render static graphics or simple animations using the Swift3D plugin.

I understand my hubris.

Regardless, I need help.

I want to make a train run a long a set of tracks.
I made a curve object.
I'm going to use that curve to extrude a set of train tracks.
I want to use that SAME curve as a motion path that describes a set of keyframes for the train to run along the tracks.
I'll attach a null to the motion path and attach the front of the train to the null.
I know this is possible.

Can someone please describe for me, step by step, the process of saving a curve object as a motion path/keyframe set, loading it in layout, and attaching a null to it?

I understand I'm an idiot for not having version 7, 8, or 9 yet.

Any tips would be helpful.

11-14-2007, 11:30 AM
I haven't used v6 in ages, but I don't htink things have changed all that much for the basics. You should be able to export the path as a motion... File/export/Path to Motion

then in layout make your null, then Load/Motion File selecting the path you just saved off as a motion

11-14-2007, 11:40 AM
I appreciate your journey in the wayback machine, Mattyb.

I read enough online to get as far as what you've suggested. But in LW6.5, there is no Export function under File.

I know what I want to do is possible in this version because I've seen it done.

I have an 'Additional' menu with some export functions but I think they're for dealing with different file types. Eg: Export OBJ.

Can you tell me how I'd load it for an object in Layout assuming I managed to export it? Is it in the Motion panel? OBject Panel? Where? How? Who?

11-14-2007, 11:56 AM
Have a look under the Objects Tab/Preferences for Edit Menu Layout. Open it and do a search for "Motion" see if you can find "Path to Motion". From there you can assign it where you want. Path to Motion has been around at least since 4.0 if not before. If it is not there do a rescan of your plugin directory.

11-14-2007, 12:11 PM

That's the function I've been trying to think of. Thanks, Surrealist.

But I followed your instructions and couldn't find that function in Modeler. I couldn't even find a heading for Motion.

How would I rescan my plugin directory?

Why can't I find this? It seems so elemental.

11-14-2007, 12:49 PM
hit alt + F11 to edit your plug ins and scan your plug ins directory.
alternatively you can hit alt + F10 to edit menus and hit search with
"Path" as search word and you should find where it hides in the menus ;-)

11-14-2007, 01:26 PM
Thanks, Arsad but no dice on either try. Maybe something to do with the fact that I'm using a version once used by Ben Franklin.

Would anybody be willing to convert my curve into an MOT for me and then nudge me in the right direction as to it's use in Layout?

11-14-2007, 02:47 PM
Mattyb already explained it: in layout make your null, then Load/Motion File selecting the path you just saved off as a motion

and for the conversion... just upload the path.
but it is strange. normally it should be in your plugins folder.
Maybe do a clean reinstall of Lightwave!?

11-14-2007, 03:59 PM
Thanks, Arsad

I've attached the path. Had to zip it 'cause it owuldn't let me attach a lwo for some reason.

I looked for the ptm function pretty thoroughly, but I'll try again. Sure would like to be able to handle this all myself.

Many many thanks.

11-14-2007, 04:09 PM
Ok here you go. As I use 9.3 I'm not sure that this will work, but it'S worth a try. ;-)

Good luck

11-14-2007, 04:26 PM
Well, either we're dealing with a lack of overlap between version 6.5 and 9, or I am in fact the dumbest LW user of all time.

In my version of the layout, with my null selected, I've got the following relevant menu items under an Actions tab:

Scene Editor
Graph Editor
Clear Save

I still can't tell what to hit to load the MOT file for the null.

And yes, I will be looking into updating to 9 as soon as I am paid for this job.

11-14-2007, 06:13 PM
In my 6.0 preset it is not in the File menu but in the Ctrl Shift LMB menu under File/Load.

If you open up your Layout Config you can search for Motion a few times to get to it and then drag it over to the file menu. Well at least it should be there.

11-15-2007, 09:14 AM
Okay, I surrender.

Arsad, Surrealist you guys are the tops but I'm feeling like a first year intern trying to talk shop with a couple of seasoned brain surgeons.

If anyone can take Arsad's motion I'm attaching, attach that motion to a null and send me a LW6.5-compatible scene file, I would be eternally grateful and would humbly offer a pretty nice, rock-solid model of a Chicago CTA train in return.

11-15-2007, 09:15 AM
Motion attached.

11-15-2007, 09:46 AM
here u go.... :) Now where is the train? just kiddin'

11-15-2007, 10:44 AM
Thanks, Arsad.

As promised, find attached the train object and a road/offramp object I made a few years ago.

They ain't much, but ya' never know when one might come in handy.

Thanks, too, MattyB and Surrealist.

May all your polys be planar.

Peace out.

11-15-2007, 01:07 PM
PixelPilot, thanks for the models! Hope that it worked out for you.

11-15-2007, 02:45 PM

Do you know how I can get this null to orient to the motion path? My train is doing fine in the straightaway, but in the curves it's going down the track sideways. Hate to have to correct it keyframe by keyframe.

11-15-2007, 03:01 PM
Hit "m" for motion options. Then go to the second tab "controllers and limits" and set Heading to align to path.
Then your train should face the path.

One thing though... your train should face (look at) the positive z axis in modeler.
Otherwise "align to path" and stuff like IK wont work right.

11-15-2007, 03:10 PM
You're the man.:thumbsup:

Thanks again!

11-15-2007, 03:32 PM
glad that I can help a bit