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Thread: What is the best way to set up vehicle suspension?

  1. #1

    What is the best way to set up vehicle suspension?

    The render represents place-holder objects for a truck suspension system that I am trying to figure out how to set up for animation. I would appreciate any input on the best way to proceed. I don't do a lot of animating, and I have not tried something this complex.

    Each side of the front suspension is made up of four basic objects: upper and lower linkage set, axle carrier, and axle/wheel/tire.

    Each side of the rear suspension is made up of six basic objects: upper and lower linkage set, upper and lower trailing arm, axle carrier, and axle/wheel/tire.

    I originally thought to use targeting for the rotation of the linkage and trailing arms, but at least one of the two would have to rotate on Bank. No luck there.

    I thought about using morph targets, but then I couldn't rotate the tires.

    I've tried IK, but I'm not having any luck. I figure I'm probably doing something wrong here, but I'm not sure what, since I don't really use it.

    I haven't tried expressions yet, for a lack of time.

    What would be the best method to use, and the best way to start?


  2. #2 much fun ;) prospector's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    state of confusion
    here's what I did for a horse buggy.
    not quite the same but I had to bounce the tires and compress the spring at same time and ran into same problem

    morph and rotating tires

    so I put tires on seperate layers (each tire, not the front set and rear set, because I had to go into potholes and only 1 tire would be moving at a time)

    Then I made a point at the end of the axel where the tire center would be but on ANOTHER layer from the axel (all 4 tires)

    so I had 1 layer (axel)
    4 layers (points)
    4 layers (tires)
    set morph targets for my moves ALSO using the correct point layer
    (Highlight both when doing target).

    so say the driver side front had a morph of up-center (base)- and down that included the point layer for that side of axel.
    did all 4 axel ends the same.

    Saved it

    in layout

    loaded model,
    added nulls for each point and parented to the points (which move because of the morph target)
    parented tires to nulls (because now they follow the points in the morph)
    set the rotation of tires (which are on seperate layers now so can be done)
    set the morph targets along timeline

    played out
    bouncing tires that rotated

    probably could be done easier with expressions, but I don't do expressions.

    hope that helps or gives ya some other ideas

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  3. #3
    there is a downloadable tut on Suspension rigging at this site....Check it

    Maybe it will help ya,, I never used it, but your request for help made me think of this tutorial.

  4. #4

    What is the best way to set up vehicle suspension?

    Thanks for your replies. I'll try the suggestions.

  5. #5

    Thanks for the tutorial link. I'll have to modify it somewhat, but that's what I'm looking for.

    One other related question.

    Is there a way to set position limits, like there is to set rotation limits?

    Thanks again.


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