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Thread: Animating individual object instances randomly?

  1. #1

    Animating individual object instances randomly?

    I've got a scene involving trucks driving across a desert, using instances tied to particles.

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    The trucks actually aren't moving, the ground texture is moving under them, so they're just sitting in place. I'd like to animate each instance so the trucks move independently of each other, slightly back and forward and up and down, for realistic movement. I can get all the instances to move using the instancing "Offset" controls, but not to move independently (for example, some going forward and some going backward).


    I've tried the nodes under the instancing panel, but can't seem to get them to have any effect (And I even checked the "Use Nodes" checkbox.)

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    Has anybody cracked the code for doing this?

  2. #2
    What about applying a texture to your particles so they all have a slightly different movement to them?
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ernpchan View Post
    What about applying a texture to your particles so they all have a slightly different movement to them?
    A good idea, but the particles are actually points (single point polygons, really) of an object that I'm using to position the trucks. I suppose it could be done, but it sure seems it should be possible to move the instances independently using the controls in the instance generator. I'm hoping someone will point out some blatantly obvious thing I've missed so far.

  4. #4
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    You could do it easily with nodes.
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    Animate the position of the texture and make sure that offset is set to uniform. Else connect the value to both OffsetMin and OffsetMax, or even a different value to each one for more variation.

  5. #5
    Vacant, pretty vacant pinkmouse's Avatar
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    Or you could just use the deform tab on your base object to actually move the points themselves around.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by pinkmouse View Post
    Or you could just use the deform tab on your base object to actually move the points themselves around.
    Yes, I could do that, and I still might because there's a particle emitter attached to each point, for the dust the trucks will kick up. However, I was interested to see if this could be done purely using the instancing controls. Turns out it can, and many thanks to "MG artist" for showing the way.

    I was pretty close in my initial post, but I missed the step of setting the offset to "Uniform", and also my PC did not have enough CPU horsepower to show the motion of each instance when I "scrubbed" back and forth along the timeline, so I kept thinking it wasn't working. I noticed purely by accident that after leaving the frame pointer alone for a few seconds, then the instances would "jump" to their new positions. So now I guess I need to bite the bullet and buy a faster PC. (Boo hoo.)

    Thanks again to everyone who answered and especially to "MG artist"!

  7. #7
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    My pleasure. Somehow I hadn't noticed your nodes screenshot when I posted mine, your setup would work equally well.
    Last edited by MG artist; 01-05-2015 at 05:53 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention that the value you multiply is how many meters the objects will be offset

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