Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Simple Bot Motion

Here is a quick tutorial on simple animation for non-deforming characters (such as robots). First create 3 poly cubes and 2 poly spheres spacing them roughly as shown in the picture below. Open the outliner found by going Window/Outliner. Your outliner should look like the image below. If it is a little different that is OK. Next, change the center point on the two right most cubes so that they are centered on the spheres to their left. To change a center point, select an object, choose the move (translate tool) and press the insert key (the home key on a Mac). The curser will change and you can now move the center point freely. Now go into your outliner and select "Sphere1", after you have it highlighted middle mouse drag Sphere1 on top of pCube1 (do this inside the outliner not with the actual objects). This establishes a parent child relationship between pCube1 and Sphere1. Do the same for the other objects until your hierarchy looks the same as the image below. Once you have your Parent relationships set up, select Sphere1 and notice that it selects all of the objects beneath it. Those objects are considered children to sphere1 and will rotate or translate based on the motions of their parent. This parenting of objects combined with keyframing is the basis for simple animation of non-deformable objects. Deformable characters utilize rigs made from joints and splines. The concept is not all that different from the methods used in this tutorial, just a lot more options to choose from.

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