Hi folks. Ive been continuing to slowly mock up the animation for my Hind helicopter scene. But I've hit another couple of snags. Im thinking both these problem's answer might lie in the same area, but Im not sure...the books I have dont address these issues.
The first one is attaching the Hind to a motion path. The Hind is sitting on the lift shaft, and I have keyframed the lift and the helicopter identically so that they both rise up at the same time, start and stop at the same place...etc - but - I then need to attach the helicopter to a motion path for the take-off part of the animation. But because the helicopters translate Y channel already has keyframes set on it, it's not allowing me to attach it to the animation path. Is their a way around this? Theres only two keyframes on the translate Y channel, one at frame 20, and one at about 360. Im trying to attach the motion path at about frame 410.
My second question is about the pre and post-infinity options that you can set on keyframes. On the landing lights on the platform I have keyframed the lights flashing on and off at the start of the timeslider,and then set the post-infinity option to cycle. Considering it is called 'post-INFINITY', is it very stupid of me to wonder whether this can be disabled later on in the animation. When the lift gets to the top, and, skylight, I want the lights to turn off, but they would still be turning on and off for a good 360 frames before that. Is their some way I can convert the 360 frames I already have to keyframes, without manually cutting and pasting lots of frames? Or will I just need to key the whole lot? I notice theres a cycle with offset option, but having read about this, I dont think that'll be suitable as it tails off the animation rather than cutting it dead...
couldn't you parent constrain the helicopter to the platform? That way you could just keyframe the platform on the way up, with the parent constrain keyed on. Once the elevator stops you could key of the parent constrain then begin the helicopter's animation.
Gubar: The day before yesterday, I played with a camera and simple cube to see the difference between 'parenting', and a 'parent constraint.' It is the 'weight' attribute isnt it, that you would set a key on for this method? Its a floating point value between 0 and 1? So I would have the weighting of the constraint set to 1 right until the lift stopped, and then the following frame would key right back at 0? I think at the time I decided not to use the parent constraint, because I was worried that once the weighting was keyed off, the helicopter would tumble back down to the floor again....???
Tweet: I ended up doing just what you suggested. Duplicated the scene file, so that I can animate the lift rise part seperate from the take-off part. Same lights, render settings, camera etc. Broke the connections on the helicopters translate channels, and then attached to the motion path. Which actually worked slightly better than I thought it would, although hand keying the rotation of the helicopter as it travels the path was difficult and left me with a very messy looking timeline. The 'bank' attribute didnt seem to do alot. And the helicopter seems to speed along the first third of the curve and then take it's own sweet time travelling the rest of it. Whether this is just perspective, as it travels away to the off right, or actual real speed, Im not quite sure. i think I read there is a way you can control the spacing of the curve to alter the speed, but not quite got that far yet.
All: Cheers for the comments, I'll upload the playblast I have so far and then post a link here, if I cant adjust the timing of the motion along the path, I'll break it all and try again, or another method.
No probs man - will be following this thread closely as the next few days I am going to do a small animation of my spaceship I won 3rd place for, and I`ll need alot of the same tricks your doing right now.
Tweet: Cool. Good to have you on board. Be interesting to see how you get on.
Im just uploading another playblast to Vimeo, I've made 8 so far trying to get this right! In the last one I broke the connection of the paths U value so that I could hand key the speed the helicopter travels along it, the initial lift off the floor was just too quick. I think the speed now the helicopter travels along the path is better, although all the Hind Groups rotation keys are still there from the default speed so they now look out of place, have to re-key all of those. The Vimeo link above will get to the videos, but the latest 'more correct' playblast is still uploading right now. Should be good to go in 30-60 mins or so
If I remember right, one of the 'Tips' tutorials Maya comes with (not one of the beginning ones - there's a whole bunch of other tutorials or 'how-tos' scattered throughout the documentation) covers the question of how to get animation to/from motion paths.
Other than that, I'd reccommend attaching the hind to both the platform and the motion path with a parent contraint (well, you probably need to attach a curve to the motion path, then parent constraint to that). Then, to animate moving between the two, simply change the weighting between the two different parent constraints. You should be able to get the helicopter to point 'along' the path by attaching another obect to the curve at a different u-value, and giving it an aim constraint.
It's just textures displayed in the viewport ('6' button), plus in the lighting tab of the viewport I have 'use all lights' checked.
I never went into the lighting tab until I did a lighting course, but now I use it all the time. You can switch of all the lights in the scene, and just use the default, or you can just have one on at a time (handy when placing lights), or, as in the playblast, all lights.
P.s Bullet. Sorry man, havnt checked the last attachment you sent, am about to do so now....!