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Advanced object animation along a path (centrifugal force)
Advanced object animation along a path (centrifugal force)
by Krzysztof Bednarski on Aug 17, 2019 at 8:52:20 pm

I just joined. First of all - a big thank you to the community here. Your knowledge has helped me solve many problems.

My problem
Imagine a snake. A simple vector stroke. This snake creates different line/stroke logos. From one logo it morphs into another.The simplest way would be to use "trim paths" and have it move along a motion path.

Now let's take it up a notch. The snake is moving very fast so to create a more natural looking movement during sharp turns, the back part of the snake needs to be thrusted outwards for a while (to simulate centrifugal force). I visualized roughly what I mean here:

So, I must have a motion path, to begin and end on the desired shape/logo. But while moving, I need to independently move only the back part of the snake off the motion path and back on it.

There are scripts and plugins like "Omino" to bend layers along a motion path, but that doesn't really help with having that natural movement of the back part of the snake which goes off the path. I also tried Newton (joining many dots with joints and later connecting them via a script "connect layers") but Newton doesn't work for me in this case - too wiggly/wobbly ☺

Any ideas how would you approach this in the most efficient way? I have a couple of these to do, so also, if you know any scripts or plugins which would make this easier, I would greatly appreciate it.


Re: Advanced object animation along a path (centrifugal force)
by Graham Quince on Aug 23, 2019 at 10:34:56 am

Have you tried DUIK and creating a tail rig? That might get you what you’re after. - Free FX for amateur films - FX blog

Re: Advanced object animation along a path (centrifugal force)
by Andy Engelkemier on Aug 23, 2019 at 3:03:06 pm

Check out Motion V3. You might need Midas, by the same people, but those tools might be built in now.
Also, you might also want Rubber Hose, but I haven't used that one, so I can't speak for it.

Mt Mograph has a youtube showing a few tools that will help you out though, the makers of Motion V2 and V3. I think V3 is a bit buggy, but it's a lifetime license, so I'm sure you get both. I think it's like $60. And I use it Constantly, for simple things.
From what I can tell, that'll help you out quite a bit. It won't do the work for you, but it should take care of the fake physics calculations.

Re: Advanced object animation along a path (centrifugal force)
by Krzysztof Bednarski on Aug 28, 2019 at 8:39:47 am

Thanks so much for the recommendations!
I'm starting doing this now, I'll let you know what worked for me best and why.

BTW. I got Morgraph motion, I never used it before. Not necessarily for this project, but these tools are such a timesaver, I don't know how I lived without it so far ☺

Re: Advanced object animation along a path (centrifugal force)
by Andy Engelkemier on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:42:21 am

Right? The price is right too. If you're a Really frequent Illustrator user, Astute Graphics has some awesome tools, but they are Expensive, so you Really have to make good use of it on a daily basis.
This tool is cheap enough, you can use it once on a good sized project and still be happy about it.

Rubber Hose is one that I see frequently for bendy character animation. I haven't seen really other examples of it to know what I might use it for, but I'd love it.

Particular became a necessity for a couple projects, but Wow it's expensive. So I only buy it when a project absolutely calls for it, then I quote the job a bit higher because I'm usually out of practice at it.
It's funny, the most common thing I do with it is draw a mask. No joke. It's faster than writeon. So if you just need an object to leave a mask reveal behind, then have it drag a bunch of particles. I haven't compared the speed of particle world lately though.

I'm going to keep following this, because I really want to see how you end up accomplishing this. I'd probably just say, F it, and do it in Blender. But that might not be what you're after. And Blender has a wicked steep learning curve, even if you're pretty good at another 3D package.