Animation

Leaving Footprints in the Snow

Step 1
The snow surface
From the Get > Primitive > Polygon Mesh menu chose Grid. In the PPG set the U Length to 20, the V Length to 10 and change the U Subdivisions to 100 and the V to 50. Next, add a Randomize operator from the Modify > Deform menu. In the PPG, set the X,Y and Z Displacement 0.1 and the Repetitions to 15. From the Modify > Deform menu, chose Smooth. In the PPG, set the Strength to 5.

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Sucked Trough a Straw

Step 1

The scene
Start by opening the scene Garden_hose.scn. The scene contains a garden hose, a curve which the hose is extruded along (and can be used to animate the hose) and a low resolution melon which will deform the hose. If you need the melon to be visible outside the hose as well, simply parent it under the low-res version.

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Tail Motion

Step 1
Hierarchies
The truth is that it will be a whole lot harder setting up the simulation than doing it by hand. While the motion may appear complex due to all the action going on at the same time, it’s in fact really easy to recreate in XSI. From the Create > Skeleton menu chose 2D Chain and draw a chain with 7 bones or so in the Front viewport. Now, select all the bones, press [C] to activate the Rotate Tool and press the Add button in the Transform Panel.

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Exploding Wall

While constructing scenes certainly is rewarding, it just won’t come close to the fun of blowing it all up. If you don’t’ have a brick wall at hand you can use the brick_wall.scn scene included on this issue’s CD. Select the ground_object and press [4] to switch to the Simulate Toolbar. While the ground object should be included in the simulation we don’t want it to be affected by the gravity, so from the Create > Rigid Body menu chose Passive Rigid Body. Scroll down to the Rigid Body Properties section and set the Elasticity to about 0.2 and both the Static and Dynamic Friction to about 0.75. The complete opposite is true for the bricks, so select all of them (66 in total) and from the Create > Rigid Body menu chose Active Rigid Body. Click the Lock icon in the Rigid Body PPG to lock it in place as you’ll return to it in a second. From the Modify > Rigid Body menu chose Edit Simulation Properties… In the PPG, change the Play Mode to Standard and check the Caching Checkbox. You’ll probably want to increase the Accuracy later on, but leave it quite low for now due to the otherwise decreased performance.

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Propeller Rotation

Dive right into the solution by opening the scene submarine.scn form the CD. The easiest way to achieve a smooth and fluid motion for your submarine is to animate it along curve (path). In addition to controlling the sub’s actual position, this approach will enable you to automate the rotation of the propeller based on the speed of the sub.

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Animating a Rolling Tire

There is a number of ways to make the tire rotate properly based on its movement. On the following two pages we will give you an idea about how to approach the problem, and show you two different ways to solve it. Regardless of which of these techniques you end up using you will need to know the circumference of the tire. So the first thing we will need to do is to dig up the old trigonometry books we all loved so much at school.

After flipping through the book we know that the relationship between the circumference of a circle and its radius is the number π (pi). This means that once we know the radius, we can easily calculate the length the tire has to travel to make a full rotation by setting up the following equation, where C is circumference and r is the radius: C= 2π*r

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Adding Random Motion

The first thing to be considered is the structure of the animation. If we apply the judder directly to any of the axis of the object, it will be difficult to control or make changes to the general animation later on in the production. So the idea is to split the jiggling and overall motion into separate components, so they can be controlled independently from one and other. Granted that at a first glance, it might not appear as elegant as with the use of expressions but once you’ve set it up, you’ll se just how much more straightforward and intuitive this approach will be.

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Toothpaste Animation

Step 1
Load the scene toothpaste.scn from the cover CD. Select the null called tube, click Animate>Create>Path>Set Path and pick the toothpaste_curve. In the Path Constrain PPG set the Y offset to about –0.5. Select the toothpaste object and apply a bend deformer. Change the Axis to X Axis, set the Bend Direction to –90 and lower the Radius to about 1. Lock the PPG in place by clicking on the lock icon.

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Animating a Writing Pen

This is an interesting question, which of cause calls for an equally interesting solution. But as always before moving on to the fun part of actually animating, we need to go through the obligatory tedious theoretical details. As we start playing with the project, we will soon realize that we are facing two different difficulties; making the movement of the pencils appear natural and making the pen actually write/draw something on the paper.

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Sound Vibration

Step 1
Install the addon
Start by installing the Sound2Curve addon by Guy Rabiller, which can be found at http://grabiller.3dvf.net/site/content/addons_s2c_eng.html. This script creates an fcurve based on an audio file (.wav) In case you don’t have any audio file to actually sync with or just want the random motion, you can use the random fcurve script instead, which can be found in the netview

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