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13-10-2002, 08:37 PM   #1
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Is it possible to loop animation?
Is it possible to loop animation made with keys or expressions? I was having my mech warrior shoot red lasers at something, .:mingun: but got tired of having to key the laser at the barrel of the gun and then key it again at the target. I want to have the laser shoot from the barrel, hit the target, then loop. I could simply copy and paste the keys, but it would be more organized if I looped it and I need to know how to loop stuff for future use anyway
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13-10-2002, 11:51 PM   #2
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try this ...

graph editor / curves / infinity
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15-10-2002, 04:55 AM   #3
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ok, I've decided to just post this question here b/c I don't like making multiple threads. I am animating a mech warrior shooting lasers. As of now, I have lasers positioned inside each barrel at the begining of the animation. The lasers are just really thin cubes that are red and have a glow to them. I have "hide source" checked for each laser, too, which gives it a better look. Anyway, the four vertices at the east end of each cube are in clusters. I key both the cube and the clusters at frame 0. They are inside the barrel where you cannot see them. At frame 1, I move the clusters out of the barrel quite a ways and key it. Then, I go to frame 15, select the cube, and move it far away from the barrel. I key it there. Now, if I play the animation, I get a laser being lengthened b/c of the clusters and see it shoot out. It's even cooler if I make ten lasers and have the animation loop on all of them. However, I have a problem. If I turn the mech warrior, the lasers aren't shooting out of the barrels any more. If I parent the lasers to the mech, it will work, but when the mech moves, so will the lasers that are currently suspended in air, which doesn't look right at all. So, I'm thinking that it might not be possible to make him shoot lasers with this particular setup. I really don't want to have to animate 50,000 lasers throughout the war. Another thing, is that I want to make the lasers dissapear when they hit something and make a *small* explosion upon impact. Like a minerature shockwave or something. This, I'm sure is very difficult to do. I was thinking about doing it in the expressions thing, but I don't know enough about it to do anything this complex. Any ideas would be gladly accepted.
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15-10-2002, 06:29 AM   #4
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perhaps a particle instancer... instance the laser object with the laser beam with the emitter parented.... I think that should work.
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15-10-2002, 09:53 AM   #5
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You're gunna have to spell it out for me partner. I'm a newbie at Maya. Sorry.
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26-10-2002, 10:20 PM   #6
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ok, never mind about the last thing. New question - how do I loop animation when I have an object on a motion path? The path is a nurbs circle. I can get the object to go along the circle all the way once, but can't get it to keep going around. I can't seem to use graph editor>curves>infinity unless the motion path is a curve.
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27-10-2002, 12:40 AM   #7
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Hey, sorry about that. I must've missed your post. You can instance geometry with particles. For instance, if you wanted to do a swarm of bees, you could have one bee model and instance it with particles. Each particle would become a bee.

So, you can make a particle emitter, set it to emit just one particle at a time, at the right speed and so on. Instance your laser beam geometry with it. I believe you select your object first, and then the particles, and Particles > Instance (Replace) or something similar. You would animate your original laser beam geometry somewhere off camera and your instaced copies will mimic it. Parent the emitter to your gun and it should follow it wherever it goes.

As for the looping path animation, I believe you'd need to do it fairly manually. When you attach a motion path, you'll notice that two numbered handles appear on the path, indicating the location of the attached object at the start and end frames. You can add additional keys to this. So, For example, if you have an object on a path that starts at frame 1 and ends at frame 100, if you go frame 200 and key the U Value under the Motion Path Channel Box options, it adds a new numbered indicator. You can then grab these indicators and move them around.

Hope that helps some.
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