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IMI
03-01-2009, 02:09 PM
Can I model a spline, or a chain of single point polygons and put it into Layout and force the camera to travel along it?
That is, I have an animation I'm trying to do where the camera is constantly pointing at a target null, but I want a very smooth motion for it to follow as it travels around the model - an elliptical path, but it's proving to be more of a problem than I expected. If I could model that path it would be so much easier.

Thanks. :)

SplineGod
03-01-2009, 04:12 PM
You can export a spline from modeler as an animation path or export teh spline and use curve constraint.

I usually prefer the first one since you can easily edit the motion path in layout.

IMI
03-01-2009, 04:17 PM
Thank you! Thank you very much!

IMI
03-01-2009, 04:27 PM
Wow, that was easy. That's exactly what I needed, much appreciated. :)

SplineGod
03-01-2009, 04:48 PM
NP. Also when you export the spline as a motion path every knot reprsents 5 frames. So you need to determine how long the animation will be. Plus if you want a nice smooth motion path make sure the knots are equal distance apart which is hard to do if you draw the path. What you can do is rail extrude a single point polygon using your spline. Use the select loop command to reselect the new points and hit ctrl + p to make a new spline.

IMI
03-01-2009, 05:02 PM
Yes, I see now it's a matter of learning how to optimize such a path. Thanks again for the advice. :)
Do you have any of your KURV videos specifically dealing with this and similar things? I'm pretty much just starting into learning more complex animation.

dwburman
03-01-2009, 07:11 PM
Did you try using nulls to control the camera?

Parent the camera to a null. Put the null at the center of the object or wherever you want the center of the rotation to be and rotate the null. That works for perfect circles. I imagine you could do ellipses by move the camera in the Z axis carefully over time or by adding another null to act as the camera base.

SplineGod
03-01-2009, 07:53 PM
I dont have anything specifically on animation in general ATM. I do have one that covers pretty much anything you can do with splines including the creating of motion paths and a few other interesting things not specfically related to modeling. This for example was mostly modeled and animated using the same spline:
http://www.vfxcast.com/media/1324/Roller-Coaster/

Danas suggestion about using nulls is a good one too.

IMI
03-01-2009, 09:56 PM
No, I didn't even think about that. Honestly, I doubt I would have even thought to try that, but it definitely works well enough. Thanks. :)

THREEL
03-02-2009, 07:59 AM
I thought I'd post this here, sicne it deals with the same issue. I'm trying to Export a PathToMotion from Modeler to Layout. But, when I go to save it, no file extension is available. Therefore, I'm unable to save the Exported motion file and/or bring it into Layout.

Any ideas on what may be causing this?

tHANX!

AL

SplineGod
03-02-2009, 08:48 AM
Put a .mot after. In layout did you try also show all files?

IMI
03-02-2009, 09:08 AM
I noticed that too of course - just last night on my first attempt. I just assumed it's for the same reason that there are no file extensions in the image export box or when you set up an image sequence. No idea why.
I just saved it out with a name and then opened the folder to see what extension had been applied to it, and of course it was .mot.
I don't know about XP or Mac, but in Vista, clicking on the "save as type" down arrow doesn't open anything up - there is no "show all files" option, but Modeler adds .mot to it on its own.

THREEL
03-02-2009, 11:38 AM
I must be doing something wrong somewhere, because I still am not getting any files to show up, even after adding .mot at the end of my file.

Here's what I'm doing:

1. In Layer 1: Add Points (make 1 point)
2. Change to 1 pt. polygon by hitting p
3. In Layer 2: Make a spline using Spline Draw
4. Layer 1: FG, Layer 2: BG, I do a Rail Extrude
5. Layer 1 Selected: File>Export>PathToMotion
6. Export File: I've tried without and with .mot ext.
7. Open Layout
8. Select Camera
9. File>Load>Load Motion File
10. Go to appropriate File
11. Nothing shows up under Motion, or All Files

Am I missing something?

tHANX!

AL

IMI
03-02-2009, 12:08 PM
I saved the path as a layer in a scene object then went into the camera's motion options panel then to AddModifier>CurveConstraint. The spline path then shows up in the list of objects in the Curve selections and the camera "attaches" to it.

Maybe that's not the best way - I dunno, but it works.

Although also if I go to File>Load>Load Motion File my "splinepath.mot" I exported shows up in the file browser and I can load it and see it and use it in the same way. Seems like it may be a better option though, not sure yet.

What version LW are you using?

THREEL
03-02-2009, 12:31 PM
ver. 8.5

SplineGod
03-02-2009, 01:28 PM
Youre exporting a spline and not a string of 2point polys right? :)

prometheus
03-02-2009, 05:25 PM
I must be doing something wrong somewhere, because I still am not getting any files to show up, even after adding .mot at the end of my file.

Here's what I'm doing:

1. In Layer 1: Add Points (make 1 point)
2. Change to 1 pt. polygon by hitting p
3. In Layer 2: Make a spline using Spline Draw
4. Layer 1: FG, Layer 2: BG, I do a Rail Extrude
5. Layer 1 Selected: File>Export>PathToMotion
6. Export File: I've tried without and with .mot ext.
7. Open Layout
8. Select Camera
9. File>Load>Load Motion File
10. Go to appropriate File
11. Nothing shows up under Motion, or All Files

Am I missing something?

tHANX!
AL

Well I think youre on a wrong track here..
it seems that youre trying to do an animated extrude and get that to layout..for that I wouldnt use this method.
you could ofcourse rail extrude your geometry and save it..send to layout and learn and use the fertilizer plugin if this is what you want.

Otherwise..donīt make it complex.with layers and extrude, if you want an object or a camera to follow a a curve in layout..
1 create a spline only on one layer..use for example spline draw
2 go to file/export/path to motion
3 name your curve and set file extension to .mot

make sure you know where you saved it

in layout file/load/load motion file...and select it from where you save it.

Michael

THREEL
03-02-2009, 06:33 PM
Youre exporting a spline and not a string of 2point polys right? :)

Oops!!! I must have misread one of your posts. I thought you said to Rail Extrude a 1 pt. poly along a spline and export that. It's amazing how things work properly when done the right way. Export the spline as a motion path and all is good.

tHANX everyone!

AL

IMI
03-03-2009, 12:03 PM
Well congrats on getting it working!

Now that you know how to do it, behold the *really* fun part - timing it. Hours upon hours of quality entertainment to be had doing that. ;)

THREEL
03-03-2009, 12:29 PM
Well congrats on getting it working!

Now that you know how to do it, behold the *really* fun part - timing it. Hours upon hours of quality entertainment to be had doing that. ;)

I here that loud and clear! :eek:

SplineGod
03-03-2009, 09:34 PM
The nice thing about exporting the path is you get a nice consistant motion path. If you need to slow things down or speed up etc its possible to create a throttle controller using relativity.

IMI
03-03-2009, 09:43 PM
The nice thing about exporting the path is you get a nice consistant motion path. If you need to slow things down or speed up etc its possible to create a throttle controller using relativity.

Yes, that was going to be my next question....
I'm getting reasonable results in my experiments so far though. It's a little odd to be trying to second guess the animation timing and the motion I want in Modeler, but not as bad as I would have guessed. For simple stuff that is - I imagine anything really complex could become a real pain.
I guess this is one of those examples where having all Modeler tools in Layout would be a huge plus.

THREEL
03-04-2009, 10:39 AM
The nice thing about exporting the path is you get a nice consistant motion path. If you need to slow things down or speed up etc its possible to create a throttle controller using relativity.

Is relativity possible in :lwicon: 8.5? I can't find it in Layout.

SplineGod
03-04-2009, 10:57 PM
Relativity was purchased by NT and put into LW9
You might find a throttle control plugin on flay or lwplugindb.com
This might work:
http://www.turbosquid.com/HTMLClient/FullPreview/FullPreview.cfm/ID/211972/Action/FullPreview

THREEL
03-05-2009, 12:09 AM
I just downloaded the EasyPaths Lscript.

Haven't tried it yet, but I will real soon.

Do you think this would work on something like tank treads, or a conveyor belt?

tHANX!

AL

SplineGod
03-05-2009, 12:24 AM
Theres lots of ways to do both of those. I havent used that plugin but it should help give a way to change the speed of something thats following a motion path.

THREEL
03-05-2009, 11:40 AM
I have to keep on looking for something that will work in 8.5.

Evidently, the version of the EasyPaths Lscript I downloaded doesn't.

SplineGod
03-05-2009, 11:35 PM
There used to be another plugin called speed control or something like that. It might still be around somewhere.