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Building a channel-based animation

From: MODO 501 Essential Training

Video: Building a channel-based animation

In order to build a channel-based animation, we need something to work with. So what I have done here is I have loaded up the hybrid car that came with the Luxology assets and created a scene. And in this scene we have the HybridCarBody, we have a RearPassengerTire, the RearDriversTire, the FrontPassengerTire, and the FrontDriversTire. Now each of those are in their own layer. So we have five meshes altogether. The reason they are is because I want to be able to rotate each one of these tires. I will press Shift+A to bring that into view, and with that FrontPassengerTire selected, I am going to press the Y command, and then I am going to rotate it, and look what happens.

Building a channel-based animation

In order to build a channel-based animation, we need something to work with. So what I have done here is I have loaded up the hybrid car that came with the Luxology assets and created a scene. And in this scene we have the HybridCarBody, we have a RearPassengerTire, the RearDriversTire, the FrontPassengerTire, and the FrontDriversTire. Now each of those are in their own layer. So we have five meshes altogether. The reason they are is because I want to be able to rotate each one of these tires. I will press Shift+A to bring that into view, and with that FrontPassengerTire selected, I am going to press the Y command, and then I am going to rotate it, and look what happens.

Not so good, is it? Well, in order to set up a channel- based animation, we have to make sure--and in this case something that's going to be revolving--that the wheel itself can pivot properly; otherwise, they are going to just fly all over the place. So I am going to show you how to set that up. The other thing we need to do is parent these tires to the car. If I select that car body and I press my W for my Transform and I move, well, the wheels are not attached. So I am going to press the spacebar. Turn that off.

And to parent is very simple. We are going to start that bottom tire, hold the Shift key, and select the top tire, so we have all four selected. Then I will click and drag that group-- I am holding the mouse down--and just drop right on top of the car body, and you'll see it close right up. I can drop the arrow down. You'll see those are now inside that car body group. When I select the body, press W, those wheels stay attached. Now this parenting can be done for anything you are working on modo. Anytime you want something to be parented you can do it, whether it's a logo job or a lamp on a desk.

You can do it this way. We've done this slightly by putting all of our textures into a group earlier in one of our videos, but this parenting also can work for an object like this. So, something to keep in mind. It's also a good way to stay organized. Now to set up these wheels, we are going to go to the Setup tab. We are not going to set up the channels just yet; we are just going to arrange this so that we can animate these wheels properly. I am going to expand the CarBody group, and let's take a look at this first wheel here. So we are going to be here in Items tab and select that wheel right there.

Now this wheel has a center, and it's right at (0, 0, 0) axis, the X, Y, Z axis. If you can't see your centers, press O, get your Visibility tab, and then you can turn on your centers. And if you go to your Drawing, you can make sure that the inactive meshes are the same as the active mesh. So this is where all your visibility will be. You can control your centers right here, and that's why there's a nice big Center button. But you might think to just grab that center, press something like W, and move this over, right? It might be hard to do in Perspective view, so Ctrl+Space will get down to a right view.

Actually, let's just go to the left view. And you might just kind of go like this. And you think, great, I did it. Well, what happens then if you go back to Item and you rotate it, you didn't really do it. The car looks like something is wrong with it. That tire is not quite revolving around itself properly. It's very hard with round items like this to perfectly center the actual center. So here is how we are going to do it. Ctrl+Space back to Perspective view. We are going to select that item, and then we are going to go Polygon mode, and I am just going to just double-click on the tire.

That's all I need, and that selects all those polygons. Up at the top right where it says Work Planes, I am going to click on that and say Align Work Plane to Selection. And if you notice, the icon changed down here in the bottom left of the view. If I go to Centers and that center is now selected, you could see that it's yellow. Under the Setup tab over here on the left, down at the bottom there is Set > To Work Plane Position. And when I click that, that center perfectly moves to that selected work plane, and it's perfectly centered inside the middle of the tire.

I will click to deselect it. Go to Items. Now we can select the next tire. Polygon mode, and we will just double-click, Work Plane > Align Work Plane to Selection. Then we will go to Centers, select that center, and set Work Plane position. Then we will do the others. So a little tedious, but really not very hard to do, and it's going to make your tire rotation perfectly accurate. Align to Work Plane Position, select the center for that tire. If you're wondering where the center comes from, as soon as I select that item, the center appears for it.

You are not going to see the center of the other items at this point. Now we will say align that to the work plane position, and then we will select this item, Polygons, we will double- click, and then we are going to Align Work Plane to Selection, Centers, select the center, and set to Work Plane Position. Then I am going to save this as something different. Now I have it set up as CarRevolve, already done, but we will set this up as CarCentered.

So you are welcome to load that up and use this one if you like, just to see how it works. So now when I select one of these wheels and I press the E key, now you can see that that wheel is perfectly revolving. I am just clicking and dragging on the Rotation Channel, because now it has its own center to revolve around. At this point, this scene is ready to go for channel animation. We have now set it up properly. We have the four tires parented to the body and when we move the body, those wheels stay with it. The wheels themselves have their centers adjusted so that when we rotate them, they rotate properly.

So now all we need to do is set up the modifiers and animate the channels so that when the car moves, the wheels move with it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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MODO 501 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 4650 viewers

Dan Ablan
Author

 
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 26s
  2. 42m 37s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 30s
    2. Understanding the workplane
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding Action Centers
      4m 12s
    4. Working with the modeling tools
      5m 10s
    5. Understanding surfaces
      7m 12s
    6. Selecting elements
      7m 33s
    7. Understanding the elements of a 3D model
      4m 3s
    8. Understanding symmetry
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Building a model
      8m 56s
    2. Editing geometry
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling geometry
      10m 31s
    4. Bending geometry
      6m 42s
    5. Adding detail with edges
      5m 37s
    6. Editing polygons
      10m 27s
    7. Extending polygons
      9m 34s
  4. 42m 53s
    1. Understanding subdivisions
      3m 49s
    2. Understanding Pixar-based subdivisions
      2m 48s
    3. Creating a basic model
      7m 51s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      6m 6s
    5. Adding detail to models
      8m 54s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 48s
    7. Cloning
      5m 37s
  5. 49m 32s
    1. Creating with Radial Sweep
      4m 44s
    2. Working with text
      8m 40s
    3. Understanding replicators
      7m 22s
    4. Instancing objects
      7m 0s
    5. Working with Curve Clone
      4m 36s
    6. Working with Curve Extrude
      2m 25s
    7. Modeling with Array
      8m 50s
    8. Understanding Mesh Paint
      5m 55s
  6. 1h 4m
    1. Introducing the Shader Tree
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring layer-based shading
      4m 29s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      7m 41s
    4. Editing surfaces
      7m 4s
    5. Applying procedural textures
      7m 38s
    6. Applying image-mapped textures
      6m 2s
    7. Working with transparent images
      5m 48s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      8m 49s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      3m 25s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      3m 27s
    11. Working in glass
      5m 28s
  7. 39m 9s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      2m 49s
    2. Working with different light types
      8m 26s
    3. Lighting a 3D scene
      12m 51s
    4. Reflecting light
      5m 23s
    5. Lighting environments for realism
      4m 18s
    6. Blending light sources
      5m 22s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Understanding the MODO 501 camera
      5m 39s
    2. Setting up a camera
      5m 42s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      7m 11s
    4. Animating cameras
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 58s
    1. Understanding the timeline
      7m 16s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      3m 22s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      6m 17s
    4. Animating nontraditional elements
      4m 31s
    5. Animating colors
      4m 39s
    6. Animating displacement maps
      3m 53s
  10. 13m 57s
    1. Working with Hair Guides
      3m 18s
    2. Creating human hair
      4m 7s
    3. Creating the hair's surface
      1m 30s
    4. Generating animal hair
      1m 48s
    5. Building enhanced hair textures
      3m 14s
  11. 26m 21s
    1. Working with the painting tools
      6m 14s
    2. Painting on multiple layers
      9m 37s
    3. Sculpting models
      5m 45s
    4. Tweaking and finishing with the sculpting tools
      4m 45s
  12. 25m 56s
    1. Working with the Schematic interface
      1m 20s
    2. Understanding channels
      4m 9s
    3. Building a channel-based animation
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a schematic network
      6m 26s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    6. Adding the finishing touches on schematic rigs
      3m 41s
  13. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      12m 43s
    2. Setting up a render project
      4m 51s
    3. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      9m 13s
  14. 3m 23s
    1. Exporting an object
      1m 2s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      2m 21s
  15. 2m 2s
    1. Next steps
      2m 2s

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