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30-12-2014, 07:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 24
Animating a train on a path
Typically my work revolves around modeling but I'm trying out a new project just for fun and I wanted to toss this question out to experienced animators.

The animation is very simple. I would like the train with three or four cars to ride on a track and the path will have a simple turn that enters a tunnel.
The following are the only two questions that came to mind.

1. What is the best way to have the train and cars to follow the path?

2. As for the track, I'm guessing I should create the path I want the train to follow and extrude the rails along that path or is there a better/easier option for an animation?

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Thank you.
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30-12-2014, 10:53 PM   #2
The thin red line
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: England
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If the bend is slight you might get away with a flow path, if not it gets a little tricky as you will have each carriage off set on the curve and aim constraints so the boggy wheel or linkage of each carriage follows the one in front. to make the track you can copy the curve and extrude the metal rail, for the sleeper you can use the create animation snapshot....................dave

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31-12-2014, 01:55 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 24

Thanks for stopping by. I'll give it a try and see what happens. I don't need anything too complicated as long as it stays on the track and moves along.

Thanks again.
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01-01-2015, 02:54 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 109
I did whole mini game like this. I used path and attached model of carriage to it. Then it is just settin key frames for rotation and speed. There was a lot of graph editor work though.
The biggest problem was that if some things went wrong, I had to redo whole sequence. So plan ahead what elements you need. Fx I learned that speed had to be animated first, then rotations of carriage and then details. If you do speed after any other key frames, the sequence will be ruined because of speed inaccuracies.
That's what I created:
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