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Old 29-06-2017, 10:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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Default Rigging Motion platforms in Maya

Hello community.

My first post so apologies if anything is not the norm!

I am using Maya to rig & animate motion platforms. The movement data is exported as CSV points and inputted into a motion controller which drives the rigs.

Here is a link to a screencast of the project in question.

The pistons and ram bodies are connected with Aim constraints and the ram is parented to the top plate. So as the top plate moves all 6 rams react, however I am having a couple of issues with rigging the model.

1. Limiting the stroke length of the rams. I have limited (attribute editor, limit information) the Y translate on the controller so the rams are limited at 0 and 300 (stroke length).

However I can't find a solution for limiting the rotation. If the rig is lowered at a 0 position and only 2 rams are raised the other 4 should not lower past 0.

see attached photo 1

Likewise at the top position no ram should go above 300.

see attached photo 2

I need a way to either add limiting positions to each object or perhaps add a box around the model which could dynamically stop the rams going past a specific point. Or any other suggested ideas!

2. Exporting distance (measure tool) as CVS points.

At the moment I have parented a small cylinder to each ram and exported the movement data of the cylinder to CSV points.

I would like to connect locators to the ram and ram body to monitor the distance of travel throughout a move but I can't find a way to export the distance data from the measure tool (0-300) as CSV points.

see attached photo 3

Is there a way you can view the measure tool distance in the channel box?

I have struggled to find any info online so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	2. rams out of body.jpg
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Name:	3. distance measure tool on ram.jpg
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alcalc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-08-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1

Hello alcalc,
I have, word for word, the exact same problem. For the past 5+ years I have, on and off, been troubled with this problem. I am not convinced there is a simple method to achieve this, the motion platform is constructed from 6 'actuators' that push the top platform around, that in turn, is restricted by universal joints. This is easily achievable when controlling the individual actuators but becomes a crazy 'cyclic' relationship when attempting to control it via a central IK.
I wish I could offer some actual, practical, advice but I am actually writing to find out if you managed to find a solution.
Please let me know, maybe between us we can get a semblance of something workable.

drKhawonaha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2017, 10:14 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1

Hi alcalc,

I have created tools for the data export to motion controllers with either .txt or .csv files, I am happy to discuss with you. Where are you based and what kind of productions are you working on?
ajf46 is offline   Reply With Quote

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