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Connecting limbs in animation to make 'joints'?

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Nic fforde
Connecting limbs in animation to make 'joints'?
on Jun 26, 2014 at 9:07:15 am

Dear cowsters,

For the first time I'm having to create an animation with characters in Apple motion. Normally if I use motion, it's for graphics for a video project, but today I find myself in somewhat unfamiliar territory. This is not for video, but a web banner and the graphics I'm working with are cartoony (in a simple, paper cut-out style) and it's a fairrrrrly straightforward-sounding task: to make a few cyclists pass the frame right-to-left, with a simple background. All we see of the riders are a pair of legs and I only need to animate the calf and thigh of each leg as though they were pushing the pedals round. I don't need to animate the feet and there are no spinning wheels or chains or even pedals to complicate things.

Right now, I'm keyframing the position and rotation of each calf and thigh roughly every half rotation of the pedals. The problem is, it's taking a bit of tinkering to create the illusion that the feet are going 'round and round' as opposed to just 'up and down'. I'm wondering if there was a way I could connect the feet to an invisible rotating disc (where the chainwheel would be) in order to create the right illusion, and to hopefully save me a bit of time as I have six of these riders to animate.

If it's possible, I wonder if there's a way of taking that technique further and then connecting the calves and thighs together like joints, and animating them with some sort of behaviour, saving a whole load of keyframing and tinkering!

I hope I've clearly illustrated my aim, and I'd be most grateful if anybody could point me in the right direction.

Yours,

Nic


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Nicholas fforde
Re: Connecting limbs in animation to make 'joints'?
on Jun 26, 2014 at 4:55:37 pm

So far I am making do with oscillate and motion path behaviours, but getting the limbs to sync up correctly at the joints is pretty fiddly!


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Nicholas fforde
Re: Connecting limbs in animation to make 'joints'? - A test render.
on Jun 27, 2014 at 4:38:07 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Simon. I've just finished the first draft animating all the limbs with oscillate and motion path, but that is very handy for the future, or perhaps if I have to redo it, god forbid...I'm pleased with the result, I just hope the client doesn't ask for too much when they take a look at it.
At least now if I need to make the legs pedal faster I can export them to prores 4444 and then reimport them into the project and crank up the speed.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Connecting limbs in animation to make 'joints'? - A test render.
on Jun 27, 2014 at 4:58:28 pm

Glad to hear you got it to work - hope the client is happy ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Connecting limbs in animation to make 'joints'?
on Jun 27, 2014 at 1:46:00 pm

You can create some pretty cunning linked assemblies using Match Move - it's a bit tricky to explain but it works. Have you tried that yet?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com


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