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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.
Setting up rigs in modo, whether it's a schematic or inverse kinematics, is not so difficult to do once you understand the process. In the previous video, I showed you how important those centers were to rotating the tires on a car. Well, they're just as important if you are going to set up an arm that you wanted to animate. Now I've got two of them set up here, and I want to show you the difference. First we have a nice little arm right here, and I can go back to the Items. And each one of these is a separate item, separate mesh layer, and that's important because I want to animate each one of these. But notice that the root of it is down at the 0 axis.
That center is at the 0. And very much like the car wheel, we need that center to be assigned to each one of these appropriately so that it can bend. And why do we want to do that? Well, here is another variation of it. On this one, if I take my Move, I can actually grab the tip and I can move this around, and I can just pick things up using constraints, which is in the Modifiers tab. And that allows us to actually parent an unparent over time as we need. But on a larger scale, this inverse schematics setup is very easy to do, and you can set it up for all kinds of things, like desk lamps and arms for characters, robots, things like that.
So let me show you how to set this exact thing up with this set right here. First, you need to make sure that the parenting structure is just the way you need it, meaning that the arm would be parented to the elbow, just like it would be on your own arm. Then the elbow has to be parented to the base. So I am just dragging each one of these in. So the arm is parented to the elbow, which is parented to the base. For the arm, we need to have that pivot, or that center, down at the bottom.
So I am going to select the base, and even though it looks like it, we are going to make sure it's accurate. We are going to set a few polygons here and then press the L key and then Work Plane > Align Work Plane to Selection. We will choose a center and then, just like we did earlier, in the Setup tab, we are going to set to Work Plan Position. Next we will take the elbow, and we can take the polygons right here in the Center, press the L key for loop, Align Work Plane Position to the Selection, choose the center, which I know is way back here, so we will zoom out, and then we are going to set that to the Work Plane Position.
It's important to set up the polygons in the center. If I chose just the end, it could work okay, but we really want that centered, and we want that Center item centered. And then finally, the arm itself. Now you would think that the arm would pivot from here, but its not. The way the inverse works is that we are going to grab it from the tip up here. So, back to polygon mode. We will select a few polygons here, press the L key to select a loop, then Align Work Plane to Selection, select Centers, choose that center, and then Set to Work Plane Position. Then we will save of course.
Finally, all we have to do is apply the inverse kinematics, and the way to do that is to select the base, hold the Shift key, select the arm, and we will see that all three centers are now in place. We are going to go to Modifiers and hit Apply IK, inverse kinematics. Now you are going to get a little warning here that's saying that they are needing to be on different axis and click OK, and it will be fine. So just click OK when that comes up. And what you will end up with is a Base IK goal, and it puts a math functions there, a dual joint plane IK, automatically adding this.
You don't have to do anything in the Schematic window. And what's nice about is that we still have our parenting structure set up, but this is now assigned to those, and what that means is if we press the Y command, we can click and drag this around, just like that. Now I probably would go back and take this polygon and attach it to the base rather than to the elbow, because that's rotating with it, and that's only because I have placed it, that final polygon, in the elbow. So, not a problem to change that. But the idea here is that you can very easily set up animations within inverse kinematics. I think some people often scared when they here that term, but it's not that difficult.
modo's inverse kinematics work on three items, so that's what we've done here. So you have an arm, an elbow, and a base, and then you can always just grab that and move it around. Very easy to set up and very easy to use when it comes to more complex animations.
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