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Taylor Harcourt
Parenting Questions
on Mar 22, 2009 at 3:39:33 pm

Hey guys, I'm new here, so maybe a little background is in order. I'm rather new on the 3D scene, I took an interest in it about a year back and things have spiraled uphill from there. I've taken some formal instruction, basics mostly, and everything else I've figured out for myself from the internet. I am by no means the most proficient, and I am sure that my methods are pretty coarse, but if I have an idea I can usually figure something out. I do this for myself mostly, for fun, but one day I hope to go to school in it and get a position in the field somewhere. Big dreams, but everyone's got to start somewhere.

Anyway, my problem. As with a lot of people on the internet who have a passion for the 3D (as far as I can tell from Youtube), after seeing the movie transformers everyone wanted to try their own hand at making one. I have a passion for trains also, so I decided that mine could only be an old steam locomotive. My inspiration came from this excellent posting



. I have an excellent tutorial book for modeling with Maya, and I based my locomotive off of the one outlined in that book.

I seem to be rambling, so I'll just cut to the chase (finally :p ).

For the creation of the transformer from the stock train, I cut the train into a bunch of pieces, leaving them in place so the train still appeared to be in one piece. I structured an upper torso skeleton so that when I began to move parts they would have some proportion. I key-framed all of the parts in their original spots in the train, moved them to their new location as the robot (a first draft - they simply fly into place) and key-framed them again at 100 frames. In my outliner, I removed all the parts from one another, except for certain parts that freaked out when they came apart. I knew at this time that my great fear would come to pass; parenting was going to be bad. So, to (finally) put it bluntly, I parented all the train parts to the bones they needed to be a part of, and guess what happened? The pieces fly everywhere. Its ridiculous. You would think had just thrown the pieces all over the place.

Anyway, things are bad. I really do not want to start over again, I've been working on this for quite some time. I can only think that I did something wrong from the beginning, my inexperience getting in the way. I contacted the creator of my inspiration through Youtube, and he was nice enough to put up with me, but unfortunately he used Lightwave 3D and could not help me in this regard. That is why I have turned my attention here. Anyone who can help me out, I will greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance,

-TH


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Alvaro Castaneda
Re: Parenting Questions
on Mar 23, 2009 at 3:35:46 pm

Hi

Nice to hear you have a dream, that's the thing that drives the world.

so to fix your problem is actually an easy one, you need to delete the history on your pieces and freeze the transformations. say whaaaat?

well, when you build something in maya, you are making a series of steps, one ever each other, extrude a face, delete a vertex, add vertex, loop cuts, etc, and all that, is going to your history, when you are done modeling, or once in a while, delete the history on your object so it's more efficient, and you totally have to do it before you animate anything.

To delete it, select the objects and go to EDIT> DELETE BY TYPE > HISTORY

although your pieces are flying because of transforms, this means each piece has values in the transform x transform y, etc, and when you parent those to a bone and transform the bone, double transformations makes the pieces go wild, transforms coming from the bone and from the piece, so you first need to unparent the pieces from the bones and freeze the transforms on everything

menu MODIFY> FREEZE TRANSFORMATIONS

parent the pieces back to the bones and that would work.

if not, tell us the new issues so we can help you

try it!!!

----------------------
varomix - pixelEater
http://www.intelianimate.com


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Taylor Harcourt
Re: Parenting Questions
on Mar 23, 2009 at 11:57:00 pm

Thank you for the speedy response and clear instructions, but it seems I'm having problems already. First, I select all the moving train bits and delete their history. No problem there. However, when I go to freeze the transformations, I get an error message:

"Freeze Transform was not applied because polySurface433.translateX has incoming connection."

Now, polysurface433 is a seemingly inconspicuous part of the boiler that I have not had problems with before. When I try again without that part, I get the same error except with polysurface432 instead. So I would assume that all the parts are having this problem. If you could help me out with this I would be appreciative. Thanks,
-TH


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Alvaro Castaneda
Re: Parenting Questions
on Mar 24, 2009 at 1:17:21 am

that's because. like I said, you need to unparent the pieces first and delete any keyframes on them if you have any, that's why you always need to do this before you start animating.



----------------------
varomix - pixelEater
http://www.intelianimate.com


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Taylor Harcourt
Re: Parenting Questions
on Mar 24, 2009 at 1:38:27 am

I have to delete the keyframes? Well, dang. I was kind of hoping I could avoid having to re-position everything. Oh well, if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. At least I know now. Thanks, I'll re-try it.
-TH


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Taylor Harcourt
Re: Parenting Questions
on Apr 7, 2009 at 3:58:17 pm

Hey, I tried the method as described and it did not work. When I key frame again after everything, and then parent using the outliner, the parts fly all over the place. I did a few extra things involving freezing the transformations and that did not help either. I am certainly doing something wrong, or else the help described is not working on my particular situation. If someone could clear up the problem I would be grateful, or if someone could even present a new method. I'm not going to ask for step-by-step, but I would certainly appreciate it. Thanks,
TH


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