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22-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #1
UndoRedo
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Free animation on parented objects
Hello, I am new here (though I read alot before) and I have just stumbled across a problem which concerns the movement of parented objects. It is probably very easy to solve, but I just couldn't figure it out.

I just finished a large tutorial course concerning modelling, texturing and animation (around 74 videos), when suddenly, as the new dynamics section startet on video 75, the narrator changed and "added a bit of animation" as he said, and he did it in between videos without explanation (probably too much detail work for a course that has to maintain flow). Sadly this bit is completly unreproducable by me, so I got stuck and couldn't follow every lesson to come.

Details:
The course was about modelling an airship and making a scene with it. Here is the version from the video makers:

And what I made:

(it matches pretty closely, but some things like the colored joints don't exist in my version, so he tweaked some minor bits)

Now, the problem concerns the hose, which is parented to the fuel cap there. The build up animation shakes the ship a bit, for a few seconds, during which it is handy that the hose follows the movement. But around the frame 73, the ship breaks free, goes down a bit and flys away.
The parented hose would just continue to follow and point straight into the direction of the aircraft, if nothing else is done.
But the animation from the video makers made it like this:



So I looked into their graph editor and found a mess of individual keyframes..

.. which I am quite sure weren't put there by hand, not even with autokey. So I figured there had to be a way to transcribe the original movement into keys, and then the animator probably just manipulated those a bit.
My tip was the "bake simulation" function, but it didn't actually do it. When I try it on my handle, it just writes down flat lines in the graph editor.

So what is the trick here? I don't think keyframing such fundamental structures like parenting is possible, so there must be another way.

Last edited by UndoRedo; 22-08-2012 at 03:47 PM.
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22-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #2
petersrin
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The key (no pun intended) is the 1K blend. That value is automatically added to a parented object and represents the parenting weight... a blend value of 1 means that the parent weight applies in full. A value of 0 means the value is broken. I don't know precicely how the above were generated as I'm only just learning about breaking parenting, but the blend value is where to start.

You can even change individual weights if you've parented an object to multiple targets, but that's in a different node and not an answer to your question
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22-08-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
UndoRedo
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Thanks alot, I will try that out. (I did allready recognize that the Blend did change from 1 to 0 at some point, but didn't know what to make of it.)

But the animation after that seems still a bit too tricky. It cannot really be the case that they adjusted all those numerous keyframes by hand, or not?
Such jumpy movement over multiple seconds would require insane amounts of input to look good at the end (mainly due to high revision and retweaking work). It's like making a 3d motion path by hand + velocity and inertia information.

Last edited by UndoRedo; 22-08-2012 at 06:13 PM.
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22-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
petersrin
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Well, you'll notice there are bones controlling the hose, with an ik handle at the end of it. It's not the worst to keyframe that one handle around as desired, though they also may have used dynamics with a forward force placed onto the ik chain, and then baked simulation. But as always, there are many ways to arrive at the same product, so I dunno how they did it specifically.
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