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3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

Animating constrained objects


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3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Animating constrained objects

So I've done all my Link constraints, and I'm ready now to animate the cylinder falling and I currently have the Add Link button still turned on, so I want to click that to turn it off. I'm not adding any more links. And I am just going to animate this directly. If I wanted to get fancy, I could actually maybe link it to dummy object or something invisible helper that doesn't render, but I don't need to do that actually in 3ds Max because the designers have already thought at this for me.
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  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Prerequisites
      1m 18s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 7m 33s
    1. Using the Custom UI and Defaults Switcher
      1m 35s
    2. Setting local file paths to relative
      1m 27s
    3. Using project folders
      4m 31s
  3. 36m 35s
    1. Getting familiar with the interface
      4m 5s
    2. Touring the command panels
      1m 44s
    3. Creating primitives
      3m 5s
    4. Navigating the viewports
      3m 57s
    5. Using hotkeys
      3m 18s
    6. Choosing shading modes
      3m 6s
    7. Configuring the viewports
      3m 29s
    8. Transforming objects
      4m 32s
    9. Using the toolbars
      3m 33s
    10. Using the Modify panel
      5m 46s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. Surveying different modeling methods
      5m 18s
    2. Setting units
      5m 8s
    3. Setting home grid dimensions
      3m 37s
    4. Understanding the Level of Detail utility
      3m 34s
    5. Working with the Modifier Stack
      3m 51s
    6. Understanding dependencies
      5m 9s
    7. Collapsing the Modifier Stack
      4m 53s
    8. Working with sub-objects
      4m 41s
  5. 18m 32s
    1. Creating shapes
      5m 17s
    2. Creating lines
      2m 56s
    3. Converting a shape to an editable spline
      2m 20s
    4. Transforming editable spline sub-objects
      4m 20s
    5. Using different types of vertices
      3m 39s
  6. 35m 30s
    1. Lofting a vase
      3m 59s
    2. Setting loft parameters
      3m 49s
    3. Editing the path and shapes
      5m 18s
    4. Manipulating loft sub-objects
      3m 55s
    5. Adding a scale deformation
      5m 47s
    6. Adding a shell modifier
      3m 50s
    7. Smoothing polygon edges
      8m 52s
  7. 26m 20s
    1. Setting up the project and scene layout
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a backdrop profile line
      1m 19s
    3. Using Editable Spline Fillet
      1m 24s
    4. Extruding shapes
      2m 36s
    5. Creating text
      1m 21s
    6. Applying a bevel modifier
      3m 57s
    7. Choosing bevel parameters
      2m 33s
    8. Using Display All Triangle Edges
      1m 56s
    9. Adjusting spline interpolation
      2m 22s
    10. Deforming beveled objects
      1m 17s
    11. Exporting paths from Adobe Illustrator
      2m 39s
    12. Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
      2m 22s
  8. 55m 55s
    1. Setting up the scene
      2m 8s
    2. Creating chamfer boxes
      4m 44s
    3. Smoothing edges
      1m 16s
    4. Using the Array tool
      5m 31s
    5. Grouping objects
      10m 18s
    6. Modeling lines
      11m 17s
    7. Using the Sweep Modifier
      3m 0s
    8. Soft-selecting sub-objects with Volume Select
      5m 40s
    9. Removing polygons with Delete Mesh
      2m 37s
    10. Clearing a sub-object selection with Mesh Select
      3m 37s
    11. Adding randomness with the Noise Modifier
      5m 47s
  9. 33m 2s
    1. Understanding subdivision surfaces
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a box and converting to editable poly format
      3m 54s
    3. Using the Symmetry Modifier
      1m 44s
    4. Working with TurboSmooth
      3m 3s
    5. Extruding polygons
      1m 54s
    6. Editing edge loops
      8m 15s
    7. Shaping the model
      4m 57s
    8. Baking subdivisions
      3m 45s
    9. Optimizing polygon Level of Detail
      2m 44s
  10. 38m 45s
    1. Understanding the graphite tools within Editable Poly
      2m 40s
    2. Using the Graphite Ribbon interface
      3m 26s
    3. Using traditional editable poly tools within Graphite
      11m 30s
    4. Adjusting detail with Remove and Cut
      4m 44s
    5. Using SwitfLoop
      2m 46s
    6. Constraining sub-object transforms
      2m 23s
    7. Attaching polygon meshes to a single object
      5m 33s
    8. Bridging parts of a mesh
      5m 43s
  11. 25m 24s
    1. Understanding NURBS
      2m 35s
    2. Creating NURBS curves
      7m 27s
    3. Creating a U-loft surface
      5m 52s
    4. Editing curves and surfaces
      3m 9s
    5. Setting surface approximation
      6m 21s
  12. 1h 0m
    1. Using the Material Editor
      7m 8s
    2. Choosing a material type
      3m 3s
    3. Choosing a shader type
      2m 12s
    4. Adjusting specular parameters
      3m 6s
    5. Setting opacity
      3m 5s
    6. Understanding procedural Maps and bitmaps
      4m 11s
    7. Using bitmaps
      5m 21s
    8. Navigating shader trees
      2m 27s
    9. Tracking scene assets
      4m 40s
    10. Creating simple UVW mapping
      7m 52s
    11. Adding reflections with a Raytrace map
      4m 32s
    12. Creating an environment
      5m 27s
    13. Mapping a bump channel
      7m 13s
  13. 27m 4s
    1. Creating cameras
      4m 1s
    2. Understanding target and free cameras
      4m 39s
    3. Using Camera Pan, Truck, and Dolly
      4m 8s
    4. Adjusting the field of view
      4m 59s
    5. Understanding aspect ratio
      2m 6s
    6. Showing safe frames
      3m 12s
    7. Choosing render output size
      3m 59s
  14. 43m 36s
    1. Understanding CG lighting
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding standard and photometric lights
      1m 48s
    3. Creating a target spotlight
      2m 3s
    4. Enabling viewport hardware shading
      2m 10s
    5. Previewing renderings with ActiveShade
      3m 6s
    6. Adjusting intensity and color
      2m 27s
    7. Controlling contrast and highlights
      2m 52s
    8. Setting spotlight hotspot and falloff radius
      4m 59s
    9. Choosing a shadow type
      3m 56s
    10. Optimizing shadow maps
      5m 46s
    11. Using area shadows
      3m 57s
    12. Creating omni lights
      4m 36s
  15. 43m 33s
    1. Understanding keyframes
      1m 41s
    2. Setting time configuration
      3m 48s
    3. Choosing set key filters
      1m 27s
    4. Using Set Key mode
      2m 39s
    5. Editing keyframes in the Timeline
      2m 43s
    6. Using Auto Key mode
      5m 44s
    7. Creating animation in passes
      2m 40s
    8. Animating modifier parameters
      3m 53s
    9. Working in the dope sheet
      7m 47s
    10. Editing function curves
      5m 28s
    11. Looping animation
      5m 43s
  16. 43m 54s
    1. Understanding hierarchies
      3m 16s
    2. Understanding reference coordinate systems
      5m 51s
    3. Editing pivot points
      4m 40s
    4. Linking objects
      3m 20s
    5. Using the Schematic view
      1m 59s
    6. Preventing problems with scale
      7m 50s
    7. Animating a hierarchy
      10m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning the animation
      6m 47s
  17. 20m 53s
    1. Understanding controllers
      3m 55s
    2. Applying path constraints
      4m 55s
    3. Assigning a link constraint
      2m 27s
    4. Using the Motion panel
      2m 48s
    5. Animating constrained objects
      6m 48s
  18. 28m 29s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 24s
    2. Emitting particles from an object with PArray
      2m 18s
    3. Adjusting particle parameters
      5m 33s
    4. Binding particles to a gravitational force
      2m 51s
    5. Colliding particles with a POmniFlector
      6m 4s
    6. Creating a particle material
      3m 23s
    7. Mapping opacity with a gradient
      2m 1s
    8. Assigning a material ID G-Buffer channel
      46s
    9. Creating a lens effect glow
      3m 9s
  19. 18m 50s
    1. Understanding image sequences
      5m 40s
    2. Setting render options
      7m 53s
    3. Compressing an image sequence to a movie
      5m 17s
  20. 27s
    1. Goodbye
      27s

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3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
10h 4m Beginner May 26, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the 3ds Max interface
  • Creating shapes and splines
  • Modeling Loft objects
  • Creating motion graphics
  • Modeling with polygons and subdivisions
  • Modeling with NURBS
  • Shading objects with materials and maps
  • Setting up camera and scene layout
  • Lighting basic scenes
  • Animating objects with keyframes
  • Editing keyframes in the Curve Editor
  • Constructing and animating hierarchies
  • Using animation Constraints
  • Animating particle systems
  • Rendering animations to disk
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Aaron F. Ross

Animating constrained objects

So I've done all my Link constraints, and I'm ready now to animate the cylinder falling and I currently have the Add Link button still turned on, so I want to click that to turn it off. I'm not adding any more links. And I am just going to animate this directly. If I wanted to get fancy, I could actually maybe link it to dummy object or something invisible helper that doesn't render, but I don't need to do that actually in 3ds Max because the designers have already thought at this for me.

And in fact, this constraint is actually blending with the standard transforms through something called a List controller. So up here in this Assign Controller rollout in the Motion panel, if I open this up you'll see here-- it's kind of little bit hard to see because the window isn't really wide enough. But it says Transform: Link Constraint and then below that it says Link Parameters and if I open that up, you'll see that it's still got the Position, Rotation and Scale Transform channels available.

So it's actually automatically sort of layering the constraint with standard animation transforms. So that's pretty cool! So in other programs it doesn't work that way. When you constrain something it's sort of locked to that object and you can't really animate the constrained object. But in Max you can. So what I want to do here is I want to set a Position key right at this point in time when it's about to make the drop. We'll actually want to animate Position and Rotation. So I'll go into my Set Key Filters down here, open that up, and I want to activate Position and Rotation because I am going to make it fall and also tumble and maybe roll away or something like that.

Okay, so on Set Key Filters, Position and Rotation are active. And I'll enable the Set Key mode and just click the big Set Key's skeleton key button, and now I've got an actual keyframe there for Position and Rotation. And it's not going to take very long for it to fall, only a few frames really. So I'll go forward, let's say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 frames maybe, and let's go out to an Ortho view so we can see where the floor is.

So I'll hit Alt+W, go into my Side view, and move this down and click Set Key, and let's rewind and play this back. I've got a Camera view here, so let's see what it looks like in that Camera view. So far so good, cool! So it's falling. And you notice that since it's now constrained to the floor or to the room that the motion of the robot arm does not affect the cylinder any longer. Excellent! So I can mix this up a little bit, make it a little bit more interesting, maybe I'll grab the Rotate tool and make it spin around, and click Set Key again.

Just scrub through there. Maybe I'll make this bigger, Alt+W. See what I have done, cool! And then just a couple of frames later, I'll just animate this tumbling and falling, maybe going up and down, and hitting Set Key and just creating a couple of more keyframes so that it's a little bit more believable. Set Key. Go a couple frames forward.

W to move and again I might want to hit Alt+W and go into Side view so I can tell if it's going through the floor or not. E is rotate, W is move, key it then. Cool! So let's see what we've got. So I'm done setting keys. I'm going to rewind and see what I have got. All right, so I can finesse this a little bit by going into the Graph Editor > Track View - Curve Editor.

I am concerned with this region here so I'll zoom in on that, and what I'm seeing here is the Position, Rotation, and Scale. So I can grab my Move Keys tool and I just want this to happen a little bit faster. So I can grab all these and use my Move tool, move these a little bit. I can do this in the Dope Sheet too, but I like doing it in the Graph Editor because it's showing me the curves. I just sped that up a bit. Maybe I want it to bounce up a little bit higher when it hits the ground.

Scrubbing through here, that's when it's hitting the floor. So maybe when it bounces up I want it to go up a little bit higher than that. Back in my Curve Editor. So my Z-Position is going to be one of these blue curves. So let's check it out, Z-position, here it is. So if I want that to go up a little bit higher, I'll just move this up and when I release the mouse it will actually change. Now unfortunately, what I'm seeing here is this actually the Z-Position is calculating relative to the object's parent, so it may not be doing exactly a linear motion.

So unfortunately, I am going to have to do undo that, Ctrl+Z, and looks like I'll have better luck if I do it from the viewport directly. So if I want to update this, actually I'll just go into Auto Key mode and pull this up a little bit and that's going to automatically update it. Okay, so I could finesse this a little bit more and play around with it, but you get the idea here that we can animate a constrained object independently of its parent, and have fun with this.

We'll actually be rendering this in the later exercise. So that's a good introduction to controllers and constraints.

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