Thread: Model a path for a camera to follow?

1. Model a path for a camera to follow?

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.

2. 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.

3. Thank you! Thank you very much!

4. Wow, that was easy. That's exactly what I needed, much appreciated.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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

11. Put a .mot after. In layout did you try also show all files?

12. 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.

13. 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
10. Go to appropriate File
11. Nothing shows up under Motion, or All Files

Am I missing something?

tHANX!

AL

14. 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?

15. ver. 8.5

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