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Thread: Plugins to help with motion?

  1. #1
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    Plugins to help with motion?

    Hi All,
    Can anyone recommend plugins that help with motion?

    I'd do a lot of work with rockets and things, and keyframing positions can get very messy. I end up doing way too much in Excel, and not enough in Lightwave! And it's horrible to update this.

    I'm looking for something that will, for example, let me set something moving with a velocity, and then apply an acceleration, probably after a short delay, and not necessarily in line with the starting motion... It might also be spinning at the same time.

    Commercial plugins are very welcome.

    I'm still mainly LW 11.6, though slowly shifting to the latest version.
    Specialist subjects: Unflown space projects, and the space program of the Soviet Union.

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  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Try fx motion, it has been there for many years, but do not expect it to be dynamic in the sense to also collide.

    hit "m" for motion options for your object,add modifier fx motion, double click, enter the vector tab..give it y motion, go back to mode and set mode to position and rotation, by default you will have z rotation by wind, you can turn that off, and go to the vector tab and enter rotation for any axis manually.

    So start with a cube and do that, add particles emitting from object line, and per frame, increase amount of particles, set parent motion of particles no 0, calculate..and see some nice trails.

  3. #3
    Super Member Qexit's Avatar
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    It depends a lot on exactly what it is you are trying to do. Just a thought, but if you are doing a lot of calculations and such in Excel, is there a way you can use Relativity to set up similar calculations within LW ? It's a very long time since I had a serious look into what Relativity is capable of but it might be an option.
    Kevin F Stubbs

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  4. #4
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    Would bullet perhaps be a good way to approach this? Thinking in terms of forces instead of animating positions directly? If all you are doing is exerting forces on a Single object the feedback would be more or less instantaneous.

  5. #5
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypersuperduper View Post
    Would bullet perhaps be a good way to approach this? Thinking in terms of forces instead of animating positions directly? If all you are doing is exerting forces on a Single object the feedback would be more or less instantaneous.

    tried that before..but the rocket tilted and crashed in to
    a building

    you cant attach a force on a rocket and have it exert a push on the ground and thereby do a lift off.
    you can have a force pushing the object though.
    but it would indestinctively include all other bullet bodies.

  6. #6
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    Bullet might work for you, but there are some limitations in 11.6 which might be debilitating. I seem to remember that turning on and off the Forcefield with an envelope didn't work back then, but I could be wrong.

    A quick sample LW2019 scene is attached. The basic idea is is to limit the range of the Bullet Forcefield using a Gradient on Distance to Object (itself) and an Envelope to turn on and off the Acceleration produced by the Forcefield. By moving and rotating the Forcefield, you can apply Acceleration to specific locations and directions on the Rigid / other Bullet object.

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    MOV file: Spaceship_Bullet_MovingRotatingForce_2.mov

    Here's the setup for the sample scene:

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    and here's a Preview of the animation showing the ForceNull (Bullet Forcefield) moving and rotating as the rocket changes position to tumble it out of control:

    MOV file: Spaceship_Bullet_MovingRotatingForce_2_Preview.mov

    What I've done in the past is added a Null to control the strength and direction of the Forcefield, using an Expression (e.g. [ForceControl.Position.Y]*500 for the strength). That prevents me from having to open the Bullet=>Item Properties panel each time I want to change the Forcefield.

    Gravity is set to 0.0 in the Bullet=>World tab for this example. I also added a pyramid Item Shape to the Forcefield null to show its direction when I rotate it.

    Good luck!
    mTp
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Would be awesome if they could make a bullet engine with forces similar to real gravity, real exert forces, making a drone work just like a drone in real life etc, aerodynamics, but that would most probably require a magnitude of calculation and simulation that wouldnīt be practical, and taking a lot of scientific work to accomplish, itīs currently quite a challenge to just simulate fluid physics..which still needs to be compressed to remove data for visual effects only and not fully scientificly described.

    Anyone recalling realmotion? a commercial plugin that would allow for vehicle simulated control, like chopper etc.
    Donīt think it had rocket or aeroplaneīs in itīs arsenal though.

    There is flight simulatiors, isnīt there rocket simulators? and a way to export the simulation over to Lightwave..that would be nice.

    Free simulator..
    http://openrocket.info/

  8. #8
    This ones difficult to answer because a lot of animators tend to have a lot of different workflows for getting things done. It sounds like you do technical animation, and if you are looking at spreadsheets to ensure accurate results then hand-animating things just isn't going to cut it. This is an area where python scripting or some kind of equivalent would be highly beneficial.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
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  9. #9
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions - it sounds like there isn't anything that will help much...

    One of the pains with excel is that my maths is rusty, and it's a real pig to get the numbers over.
    Nick
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  10. #10
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    Also remember in all LW versions you can use mathematical equations in Expressions using the Expressions tab in the Graph Editor:

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    You can then use various channels of a Null or Nulls (i.e. X,Y,Z,H,P,B,XScale,YScale,ZScale) as parameter inputs to the equations.

    mTp

  11. #11
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    Would be awesome if they could make a bullet engine with forces similar to real gravity, real exert forces, making a drone work just like a drone in real life etc, aerodynamics, but that would most probably require a magnitude of calculation and simulation that wouldnīt be practical, and taking a lot of scientific work to accomplish, itīs currently quite a challenge to just simulate fluid physics..which still needs to be compressed to remove data for visual effects only and not fully scientificly described.
    You should try playing with the "aerodynamic" dynamics controls in C4D, you can get rather impressive results, and that's still just Bullet underneath.

    Many of LW Bullet's limitations aren't due to inherent Bullet Engine limitations, but instead because LW devs didn't "expose" everything that Bullet controls/provides through the LW Bullet integration/UI. The Bullet engine is quite capable of simulating fairly advanced aerodynamic forces, but LW devs would need to expose more/deeper world and object params (aero lift & drag, at a bare minimum) to support such sims.
    Last edited by jwiede; 03-30-2020 at 12:37 PM.
    John W.
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    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    You should try playing with the "aerodynamic" dynamics controls in C4D, you can get rather impressive results, and that's still just Bullet underneath.

    Some of the limitations in LW Bullet aren't due to Bullet limitations, but instead due to LW devs not "exposing" everything that Bullet controls/provides through the LW Bullet integration/UI. The Bullet engine is quite capable of simulating fairly advanced aerodynamic forces, but LW devs would need to expose more parameters on objects (aero lift & drag, at a bare minimum) to allow that.

    Hands full with lightwave, blender and houdini, and as I see it, C4D quite expensive..so a bit of reach for me as a current hobbyist, and currently unemployed.
    It will only come to my attention and interest to look in to.. If I feel blender is going downhill, or Lightwave with the next release, as well as other economic factors improving the conditions for me to justify that.

    As for the second part, understood, and we also need the bullet forces to work directly with fluids and particles as well..to me that will be one of the major issues I think they need to take care of.

  13. #13
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    As for the second part, understood, and we also need the bullet forces to work directly with fluids and particles as well..to me that will be one of the major issues I think they need to take care of.
    I just referenced C4D because it demonstrates nicely that Bullet can handle aerodynamic forces, if properly exposed. If they were to do the same with LW, LW would have the same capabilities. As for them supporting advection and related "two-way" interactions between systems, they absolutely need to support them, but they're not doing so great a job of even maintaining Bullet lately, so significant improvements might not be feasible given the current staffing situation.

    Ultimately, either they invest substantially more in engineering resources (mgmt, dev, test/devops), or it's essentially "over" for LW. They're not even keeping up at their current level of output, just falling further behind in more and more areas. There's evidence of that all over LW: An ever-increasing list of significant bugs reported a version or more ago still unfixed (f.e. Bullet has a bunch of those), declining general stability, growing SDK "holes", inadequate docs/educational content, and so forth.

    LW's suffering "death by a thousand cuts", and adding more surface area ultimately just increases blood loss. The only real solution is to start closing all the continual small cuts as they form, as a priority over adding more surface. To be clear, it's only "doom and gloom" if they choose to continue to ignore the growing maintenance issues. To go with a cliche car analogy, it's like driving your car on continuous cross-country trips without doing basic maintenance -- maintenance might not be fun, but it's necessary.
    Last edited by jwiede; 03-30-2020 at 03:41 PM.
    John W.
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  14. #14
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    I just referenced C4D because it demonstrates nicely that Bullet can handle aerodynamic forces, if properly exposed. If they were to do the same with LW, LW would have the same capabilities. As for them supporting advection and related "two-way" interactions between systems, they absolutely need to support them, but they're not doing so great a job of even maintaining Bullet lately, so significant improvements might not be feasible given the current staffing situation.

    Ultimately, either they invest substantially more in engineering resources (mgmt, dev, test/devops), or it's essentially "over" for LW. They're not even keeping up at their current level of output, just falling further behind in more and more areas. The evidence is pervasive: An ever-increasing list of significant bugs reported a version or more ago still unfixed (Bullet has a bunch of those), declining general stability, growing SDK "holes", failure to maintain integrated third-party libs, and so forth. The longer they allow the current situation to persist, the further chances for recovery decrease.
    Sounds very probably to be the case.
    And understood about the perspective of tapping in to the bullet aerodynamic forces, and since I did bring that up...I should take a look in to it really.
    The next LW release will probably tell a lot...about which direction and level it delivers.
    I think I would put the dynamics for bullet somewhere in the third, fourth place of what I think they should do as priority though

    My first order of things would be...
    1. speed of the render engine, wether that takes place in cpu coding or gpu.
    2. getting modeling tools to layout
    3-4...either an extensive UI enhancement, and or Bullet/fluid improvements.

  15. #15
    Dreamer Ztreem's Avatar
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    Sorry to bring this Blender app up again.

    But see it as a free plugin to LW. This is just a quick test, I parented a wind force to a physics object and then you have a rocket. Maybe you can do the same setup in Lw but I couldn't get it to work.
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    Last edited by Ztreem; 03-31-2020 at 03:28 AM.

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