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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
In CG, you can't simply tell your characters to meander around; you have to give them specific direction. One of the ways you can give them direction instead of just manually keyframing their location is to have them follow a path. In this case, I have the standard Lighting Rigs File and the camera, as we discussed tracks to the center, but as we proceed through the animation, you will see that it spins around and it's following this path. There aren't actually any IPO curves for this at all.
What I have done is I have created this zero circle called path.005 and I have told the camera to follow it by entering the name of the path right here in path.005 in the Target Object. Now the other way, I could do this is to set the camera to follow this path and if it wasn't constrained to look at the Empty in the middle, I could change this to Y and now notice how the camera rotates, so that it maintains a constant offset or viewpoint as it spins around the circle.
So this is sort of like looking on a merry-go-round, looking forward as we go around and around, and that's what the curve followed us. Let's say you are animating a hover car and it's going over some bumpy ground, would you want to use CurveFollow, so that the car twists and turns and follows the contour of the ground. Now this path is designated as a path by coming over here to the Editing panels and under the Curve and Surface, I have enabled CurvePath and this enables this curve, which is standard Bezier Curve, to function as a path.
The PathLength here at 100 frames determines the amount of frames that this camera or anything that follows this path will need in order to fully traverse one circuit of the path. So if I want to make this spin around faster or slower, I would change the PathLength here. This Blue dotted line that you see here indicates a relationship between the path and this object. So that's the way you can very quickly animate objects to move through 3D space by having them follow a predefined path.
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