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Old 02-11-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
ben hobden
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Default What is the difference between....?

...parenting, and using a 'parent constraint'.

This came to me reading a thread in the wip section the other day... When I go to animate the first part of my planned helicopter animation, im going to have the helicopter on the landing platform, which will rise up, and the camera will follow on along side it, as illustrated in the quick sketch below. I may just hand key everything, but if I set up a connection between the camera and the platform/helicopter so that it followed its movement upwards, what would be the difference between straight parenting, and using a parent constraint??
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:41 PM   #2
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This is quoted from something I made a note of when I was wondering the same thing. I forget where I got it but it's in my file of Maya questions and answers that I have been accumulating over the years....

Creating a Parent setup (what i usually call hParent) places the child object under the heirarchy of the parent. The child object is free to move independently of the parent.

If you set up a Constrain Parent (cParent) will establish a link between the channels of the parent to the child. You cannot keyframe it independently of the parent.

So if you want to move around the child after you parent it id suggest just to parent them (press p)
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:21 PM   #3
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I think you might be right there ctbram, but I look at it a different way.
If you parent something, they are inseparably linked in the hierarchy. If you ever want to turn off that relationship, you can't. Now, a parent constraint you can key on and off as necessary. There's no inherent connection between them in the hierarchy, so you can create groups and other controls independently.
I'd use a parent constraint if you ever want to "unlink" the connection.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:31 PM   #4
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Yes agree with you stewart. My description does not address dynamic parenting which is something that you get only with parent constraint.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:47 PM   #5
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ah, ok. I see what you mean about the blending Stwert, I just set this up quick in Maya with a cube and a sphere, and there were two nodes in the attribute editor to do with the constraint. One of which had the 'blending weight', which I guess is what you mean. But when I set up the same thing with a camera, the node with the weighting attribute wasn't there. (?) Perhaps the aim constraint would be more suitable for my purpose, as I want the elevation of the camera to taper off slightly towards the end, so the lift and helicopter travel just a little higher than the camera.

I think I need to play with some of these methods on some simple block geometry, really too tired right now.

Thanks both for your input, gives me a good basis to start tackling this and learn some new things.
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