Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with waveforms, part of Animating in 3ds Max: Constraints, Controllers, and Wire Parameters.
- [Narrator] In the start scene for this particular exercise, we're working with a simple camera move that slowly pushes in on the subject matter for the shot, which, although in this instance being a robot, could actually be anything that we wanted. So, a building, a character, a product, or whatever, simply because, what we are going to quickly animate now, is the tree, that is also in the shot. Now, as we play the animation through, you can see that we already have some rough and ready animation applied to the leaves, but with the main trunk, our overall shape of the tree is remaining static, something that we want to be able to quickly change.
Now there are, of course, quite a number of ways that we could create this type of animation in Max. What we are going to go with, in this instance, however, is making use of the wave form controller. How can that create the kind of animation that we want, you may be asking? Well, if we look at the modifier stack for our tree, you can see that we already have two different bend modifiers applied, with each controlling a different angle of bend. What we want to do, then, is have our wave form controller drive these two modifiers automatically, in order to produce the kind of animation that we want.
If we come over to the motion tab with the tree trunk selected, though, you can see that we don't actually have access in the control interface to the bend modifiers themselves. Meaning, we will need to open up the curve editor in order to add our controllers to the mix. Because we already have our foliage 001 objects selected, this automatically appears in the filtered view that we see. And if we open out the modified object branches that we have, we can also see that we now have access to both of the bend modifiers that are applied.
Let's open up the initial 01 bend modifier, then, find the angle control, and then right-click on it in order to assign a new control, which in this instance needs to be a wave form float. As soon as we click "okay," we not only get a wave form controller dialogue pop up on screen, but we also see a visual representation of the animation that has now been applied to the bend angle. If we click to play the timeline, though, we can see in the background that our tree is looking a bit crazy in terms of its motion.
To dial this back a bit, let's set the period value in the controller dialogue, so, how quickly the wave form repeats, to around about 150, seeing as higher values mean a longer time between the repeats. Then, let's set our amplitude, or, strength of the wave, down to about six. If we play the animation through again, we can see that we now get a much subtler and gentler form of motion. Let's grab the angle control on the second bend modifier, then, and again assign a wave form float controller to it.
This time, we want to set values of about 170, and four. If we dismiss our floating windows, now, we can again play the animation and see the effect that we have created. And of course, the beauty of this ultra-simple animation setup, is that we can quickly and easily change the type of motion that we are getting by simply altering the two sets of period and amplitude values that we have used.
- Reviewing the importance of pivot points in animation
- Accessing and working with controllers in the UI
- Creating reaction animations
- LookAT controllers
- Wire parameters