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In this course, author Dan Ablan walks through the process of understanding the MODO workflow while learning to create 3D models and animations. The course teaches fundamental tasks, such as modeling polygons and applying materials with the Shader Tree, while exploring scene building in depth through advanced lighting, camera, and animation techniques. The course also covers MODO's schematic tools and shows how to render animations for various playback media.
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.
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