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Thread: Flock Director Paths

  1. #1
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    Flock Director Paths

    Hi Folks -
    I am curious if the path that is generated for a Flock Director, (when using a motion path), can be manipulated. Please have a look at the attached.
    Note the generated paths, (in red), follow very well the motion paths - but they are also rather segmented. In the example on the right extremely so.
    The example on the right was created using an imported motion file applied to a null. The example on the left was created in Layout. The addendum manual has a photo in it that shows an example that has a large number of control points which looks as if it would be providing a good deal of smoothness and accuracy.
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  2. #2
    NewTek Developer jameswillmott's Avatar
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    The Path Director uses a simple timestep at the moment to divide up the motion path into segments for the agents to follow, that's why some paths seem smoother than others. It's not exactly related to the number of control points, it's there positions in time.

    In testing this hasn't shown to be a problem yet. Because of the 'spliney' nature of how an Agent moves if it's following a fairly course path , it can't change direction fast enough for you to notice the path's courseness.

    In practice, however, it may be an issue, and I'd like to see if is, and if we need to think about a 'resolution' parameter for path following.

    Thanks for bringing this up.
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  3. #3
    One may be able to cheat this by setting the FPS in the general options to a higher value (say 240fps instead of 24). Then render out every tenth frame (set the motion blur to 500% as well).

  4. #4
    well yes this is kinda issue i run into few days ago and i ended adding more dense points/paths but since i was animating birds flying it wasn't too noticeable BUT what IF I want that my agents DO follow it strictly and sharp corners ?

    so yeah some "spline" adjusting would be interesting, something along the lines of Bezier, Linear and maybe few other spline types for director paths ?
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  5. #5
    NewTek Developer jameswillmott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    well yes this is kinda issue i run into few days ago and i ended adding more dense points/paths but since i was animating birds flying it wasn't too noticeable BUT what IF I want that my agents DO follow it strictly and sharp corners ?

    so yeah some "spline" adjusting would be interesting, something along the lines of Bezier, Linear and maybe few other spline types for director paths ?
    The path is taken directly from the motion path of the director, so in theory you should be able to simply adjust the key frames in the graph editor to get exactly the shape you need. Strictly sharp corners is a little harder with the way flocking works at present but the plan is to implement a smarter behaviour model that allows for both strict control of movement , ie. relatively tight angles, and the free flowing movement of natural flocks like birds and fish.
    Last edited by jameswillmott; 04-22-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jameswillmott View Post
    The path is taken directly from the motion path of the director, so in theory you should be able to simply adjust the key frames in the graph editor to get exactly the shape you need. Strictly sharp corners is a little harder with the way flocking works at present but the plan is to implement a smarter behaviour model that allows for both strict control of movement , ie. relatively tight angles, and the free flowing movement of natural flocks like birds and fish.
    Yeah for Birds and Fishes current behavior works great but i was more into some other stuff like Cars following path which really need to follow it straight, otherwise they will go out of road in curves, esp. 90 degree turns .
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