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Thread: How to animate the dis-aasembly of a multi-part object

  1. #1
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    How to animate the dis-aasembly of a multi-part object

    Hi guys,

    I have a ball-shaped object comprising 50-60 segments, with each segment in a separate layer. Each segment is simply a collection of points that will have HV applied to them.

    I need to animate all these segments slowly drifting radially away from their initial [assembled] positions with random paths, velocities, and rotations. However, this is not an explosion, just a gentle dis-assembly.

    To manually key-frame the motion of each individual segment would obviously take an age to do, so how would you go about automating the animation of this effect?

    Any suggestions gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance.

    Peter
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  2. #2
    Super Member nickdigital's Avatar
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    So the ball is just a collection of points? You could probably do this with a morph target on the points to explode them out. If these are actual geometry parts DPKit might be the way to go as you can animate parts via the node editor.
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  3. #3
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdigital View Post
    So the ball is just a collection of points? You could probably do this with a morph target on the points to explode them out. If these are actual geometry parts DPKit might be the way to go as you can animate parts via the node editor.
    Many thanks for your response - much appreciated.

    If you image that the ball object is a bit like a soccer ball with each segment in a separate layer and each segment just a cloud of points - no actual geometry - then you've got a reasonable idea of what I am playing with.

    I want each segment to gently detach and drift away along a unique meandering path and tumbling slowly as it goes.

    I tried using Bullet Dynamics on the ball segments, but everything just exploded outwards within a few frames (i.e. it looked like an explosion), so didn't meet my requirements.

    Like you say, DP-Kit would have been ideal, but only if I had actual geometry to apply it to, which, alas, I don't.

    Cheers,
    Peter
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    Super Member nickdigital's Avatar
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    Well morphing a cloud of points would work...though I'm unclear how a cloud of points w/o geometry is creating an actual soccer ball.
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    Angry Mac User Otterman's Avatar
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    Sounds like a job for Video Copilot Element3d. Tis sooo easy to use and looks pretty slick. Will make you look like a hero with the minimal amount of effort as well. Or you could just wrestle with Lightwave. I'm sure there's some cracking results to be had if you got the time and patients. Good luck anyhow

  6. #6
    Super Member dwburman's Avatar
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    You could split the point cloud object into sections and make your general large movements (position, rotation) by hand and use morphs and or displacements to scatter the points into a more random looking pattern.

  7. #7
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    Many thanks for replying and all your suggestions - I'll give them a go.


    All the best,
    Peter
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  8. #8
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
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    You might model the object like a soccer ball then break out the segments as separate pieces (unwelded) but in the same layer. Subdivide them to get lots of points.
    In layout use bullet or hardfx with a wind emitter or something similar with a low amount of power to slowly break it apart and push it the pieces apart. You should be able
    to randomize it all to get the parts to drift slowly etc. The speed is not important because you could md scan it and then playback the mdd file at a slower speed.

  9. #9
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SplineGod View Post
    You might model the object like a soccer ball then break out the segments as separate pieces (unwelded) but in the same layer. Subdivide them to get lots of points.
    In layout use bullet or hardfx with a wind emitter or something similar with a low amount of power to slowly break it apart and push it the pieces apart. You should be able
    to randomize it all to get the parts to drift slowly etc. The speed is not important because you could md scan it and then playback the mdd file at a slower speed.
    Hi Larry,

    Many thanks for your suggestions.

    Alas, the "ball" object starts off as just a set of layers each containing a cloud of (script generated) points that form the given "segment" - there is no initial geometry at all to play with. Apologies if I didn't make that clear.

    I'll investigate your suggestion of using bullet or hardfx/wind-emitter with the MD scan trick - sounds like a great idea!

    Cheers,
    Peter
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  10. #10
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    I found that Larry's suggestion of hardfx/wind-emitter was the best solution.

    I placed a wind set to explosion at the centre of the ball and then applied hardfx to each segment. The hardfx was set to 1-piece, resistance = 1.0 and Rotation/Wind-Effect to spin. Although a bit tedious to set up for 50+ segments, it seems to work well.

    Thanks to all your various suggestions.

    All the best,
    Peter
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  11. #11
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
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    Hey Pete, Glad it worked out.
    Going a bit further I was thinking that maybe you could create simple segments that could be animated in the same manner but then Hardlink
    you segments to the simple proxy sections.

  12. #12
    Super Member inkpen3d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SplineGod View Post
    Hey Pete, Glad it worked out.
    Going a bit further I was thinking that maybe you could create simple segments that could be animated in the same manner but then Hardlink
    you segments to the simple proxy sections.
    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for the suggestion - could you explain what would be the advantage of using proxy sections over using the actual sections themselves? For example, does it reduce calculation times, etc?

    All the best,
    Peter
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