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22-08-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
danielames
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 17
"Binary Counting Machine" Sim - Workflow Advice?
Hey everyone.

So this is a simple 'machine' that counts up to a number you specify in binary. It takes 3 inputs:

1. countTo - the number to count up to (from 0)
2. startDelay - How many frames to wait before starting the count
3. delayBetween - How many frames to wait between counts

These inputs are attributes added to the locator named "number" (located at the origin). You just plug in some values for these attributes and press play. The binary counter will then count (in binary) up to the number you specified, and then stop. Each 'bit' is mechanically controlled by the bit before it via a 'cog'. It's almost impossible to explain in writing. Best to just see for yourself (project attached).

The reason I'm posting this is because I'm a Maya n00b and I really would like some insights on how a real production house would've done this. I originally tried to do it purely with dynamics, letting maya figure out the mechanics for me, but after several failures in maya's ability do this (http://simplymaya.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36128) and the advice of some forums, I finally gave up on this approach and made the whole thing with animClips controlled by a script. It works, but as a newbie, I really have no point of reference to know if the way I did this is the most efficient way or not. I know there's not necessarily any single right way to do most things in maya, but if I watched over the shoulder of a pro, would they have done it completely different, using simpler techniques to finish the project in a fraction of the time? I have no idea. This is just a small sample of the type of sims that I intend to do in maya. Any insights into how a pro would do it would definitely improve my workflow for future projects!

Some notes on the attached project:
-You'll likely need to fix two broken references to file nodes for the texture
-The falling 'cog' animation was baked in from a falling cube dynamic sim
-I hopefully put plenty of comments in the script to make it clear what it does
-The render layer "backPlaneLayer" is only there for post-compositing purposes (to motion-track a background with AE)
-The attached project is a rar within a zip. Sorry, it's the only way I could get it under the 1mb attachment limit of the forum.
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Last edited by danielames; 22-08-2011 at 06:30 AM. Reason: Forgot to attach thumbnail
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