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Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?

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Gareth RandallReplacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 5:13:43 pm
Last Edited By Gareth Randall on Mar 20, 2014 at 5:15:40 pm

The TV channel I work for is going to be showing the movie The Green Hornet, and I'm making the promos for it. I'd quite like to try tweaking the "rotating licence plate" shot, so that I can replace the word HORNET with our channel logo.

The shot in question is here:

rotating licence plate



I tried a few experiments in Motion 4 drawing a rectangle shape and rotating/repositioning it to match the licence plate, and despite moving the anchor point around it seemed like the rotation of the shape was never going to follow the rotation of the licence plate.

I started thinking that the way to do this would be to recreate the rotating licence plates in 3D space, but square on to the camera, *then* move the camera to try and match the viewpoint of the original shot, and finally use a mask to put my plates over the top of the ones from the movie.

Before I get too deep into possible frustration, do you reckon I'm on the right lines, or do I need to rethink?



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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 5:33:37 pm

Add a camera to your scene.

Keep your live action background plate as a 2D group.

Add a Grid and make the BG Opacity zero.

Adjust your camera so the grid lines up with the perspective lines of your car number plate.

At that point when you add in your new number plate - also in a 3D group it will be easy to line it up pretty much perfectly.

It stop position has an X rotation of about 14-15 degrees so you'll need to work with that.

hawaiki.co


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Gareth RandallRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 7:55:59 pm

Brilliant - thanks!



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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 8:06:38 pm

Good luck with it - should look pretty cool when you're done.

hawaiki.co


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Don SmithRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 8:33:05 pm
Last Edited By Don Smith on Mar 20, 2014 at 8:47:47 pm

Figured out Simon's trick. Thank you!


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 8:45:34 pm

I just meant add a Grid Generator as a 3D layer which makes it easy to then line up the camera - using the interactive controls.



Happy to do a quick demo video if it's still not clear.

Superimposing a grid is the classic way of solving this problem because it becomes really easy to judge the correct camera position from the perspective of the underlying scene.

hawaiki.co


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Don SmithRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:01:55 pm

Like your picture Simon I can get the grid to align with the license plate either horizontally or vertically but not both at the same time. Must be the a secret sauce in there somewhere! :)

The workflow is genius in its simplicity and I would like to practice it for the day I will need it.

Thanks,

Don Smith

NewsVideo.com


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Don SmithRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:06:45 pm

Hhhmm.. it would seem that I align the grid horizontally.. put in my graphic and then rotate the graphic to satisfy the vertical edges.

NewsVideo.com


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Don SmithRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:14:27 pm
Last Edited By Don Smith on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:15:13 pm

Got it. Thank you.


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:22:13 pm

Oh shucks - I've just done you a tutorial video which I'll upload in a moment.

There's a useful tip for adjusting the camera's angle of view which might help you.

hawaiki.co


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:25:48 pm

Here's a quick demo video on how to do this:







Hope that helps.

hawaiki.co


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Don SmithRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:02:32 am

Thank you! Yes, the camera angle of view is the secret sauce!

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to make this demo for us. I'll put it in my pocket and look like a genius one day when a similar need arises.

Don Smith

NewsVideo.com


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 9:22:19 am

Thanks, Don :)

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Andy NeilRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 10:47:26 pm

Simon, that's a really great trick. This kind of thing is super helpful to people when working in 3D and you don't see people show it off much in tutorials.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Mark SuszkoRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 27, 2014 at 6:45:19 pm

Simon, what about a different method, using the tracker and parenting the replacement logo plate to a null with the tracker?


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 27, 2014 at 6:50:02 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Simon, what about a different method, using the tracker and parenting the replacement logo plate to a null with the tracker?"

My understanding was that this was a locked off shot with just the licence plate flipping over, so there's nothing to track except the plate and there's nothing you could track off that.

Unless I'm missing something.

The actual rotation animation part of this is surely really simple though, isn't it?

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Gareth RandallRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 31, 2014 at 6:50:44 am

Thanks again to Simon. Just FWIW, here's what it eventually ended up as (these shots were intercut with other clips):

rotating licence plate final





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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Mar 31, 2014 at 8:52:56 am

That looks great - nice job!

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 3, 2014 at 1:03:03 am

Great tutorial. " The actual rotation animation part of this is surely really simple though, isn't it? "

I'm trying to follow along, after using the camera and grid to help align my rectangle/outline (to round the edges) I still need to use the distort tool to make things look right. All is fine until I try to rotate the rectangle. I'm not even close. Any chance of you finishing your tutorial. Would you say that Gareth used a Photoshop file to fill in the license plate ?

thanks in advance

BB


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Gareth RandallRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 3, 2014 at 12:31:22 pm
Last Edited By Gareth Randall on Apr 3, 2014 at 1:16:21 pm

[Bruce Breidbart] "Would you say that Gareth used a Photoshop file to fill in the license plate ?"

I did, mainly because PS has much better tools for doing that sort of thing than Motion does.

For the actual rotation, I moved the anchor point of the plate back in Z space just a little, and then keyframed the X rotation. After that it was just a matter of animating a mask to prevent parts of the licence plate being visible where they shouldn't have been.

Here's the project file for you to dissect. Unfortunately I couldn't include the media, because the source clip I used is 1.3GB (1'25" of 1080p ProRes 422) and the Cow only allows 100MB maximum per upload. Motion doesn't seem to offer a way to consolidate project files to only include the specific frames of the source media that actually get used in the project.

7320_licenceplaterotatenomedia.motn.zip


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 3, 2014 at 2:29:45 pm

[Bruce Breidbart] "I'm trying to follow along, after using the camera and grid to help align my rectangle/outline (to round the edges) I still need to use the distort tool to make things look right."

You shouldn't need to use Distort and in fact if you do you won't b able to get the rotation to look right.

You need to make sure you adjust the Camera Angle of View precisely as it's this that gives you the final result - I went for a value of 35 degrees which seemed about right to me but I could be wrong.

[Bruce Breidbart] " Would you say that Gareth used a Photoshop file to fill in the license plate ?"

As Gareth says, Photoshop is the easiest place to do a great-looking job, but I did knock this up for you entirely in Motion just to show you that it's possible to do something OK:



I'll try and do a proper tutorial on this shortly if I can find a moment.

Thanks for your interest.

All the best,

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 3, 2014 at 4:47:19 pm

Thanks for the quick response Gareth & Simon. I'll try tonight to work on it again. It seems so easy when others do it.
I would normally create the artwork myself in Photoshop, but Simon you created my name on the license
plate with just a texture, maybe an emboss or extrude and a light, i think ?
Made my day.

thanks again

BB


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 3, 2014 at 5:01:44 pm

[Bruce Breidbart] "Simon you created my name on the license
plate with just a texture, maybe an emboss or extrude and a light, i think ? "


Yes, kind of -

I used a rectangle shape and rounded the edges, added some circles for the rivets, a text layer, then I used the rectangle to mask a texture from my image library and adjusted the blend mode and opacity to give just a hint of it (a bit corny and not the right texture, but you get the idea!).

I made a group of all that and applied the incredibly useful Indent filter to it and adjusted the lighting angle to get the faux 3D bevelled effect. The key thing with Indent is to adjust the relative brightness of your separate components to tell the filter which was is out and which way is in ...

I added a light source for a bit more realism and I also added a feathered dark solid to top the of the numberplate which I masked using the original rectangle just to give a bit of shading to the top, as Gareth did very nicely.

Good luck with your version - I look forward to seeing it ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 4, 2014 at 5:11:38 pm

Simon I'm getting closer thanks to you.
Hopefully I was able to insert my screen cast.

Still some questions if I may.
1) I've created my rectangle and added a outline so I could create rounded edges. Did you just edit the points of the rectangle/ smooth and round the edges that way ?
2) You mentioned that you added a feathered dark solid to give the top a bit of shading. I ended up using the rectangle tool and feathered it out. When I first tried the color solid I didn't see controls to feather it out unless I did a little mask, but then when I added the layer mask it didn't work correctly. Yours looks great, mine not so great.
If that was my only problems I would be happy as clams. Obviously my camera alignment/camera view is nowhere close. This pains me, so much time spent, it seems so close, but yet so far.
Thanks

BB


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 4, 2014 at 5:33:21 pm

Looking very good, nice work!

[Bruce Breidbart] "1) I've created my rectangle and added a outline so I could create rounded edges. Did you just edit the points of the rectangle/ smooth and round the edges that way ?"

You don't need to ad an outline to achieve the corner roundness - simply go into the Geometry tab for the shape and use the roundness control that you'll find there.

[Bruce Breidbart] "You mentioned that you added a feathered dark solid to give the top a bit of shading. I ended up using the rectangle tool and feathered it out. When I first tried the color solid I didn't see controls to feather it out unless I did a little mask, but then when I added the layer mask it didn't work correctly. Yours looks great, mine not so great."

What I did - and it's by no means the only way to do it - was to create a new 3D group in which I created a new black filled rectangle which I feathered quite heavily (about 300), and then I used the original licence plate rectangle to mask this. I then slid the rectangle up and down on the Y axis till I got the degree of shading that I wanted.

Does that make sense?

[Bruce Breidbart] "Obviously my camera alignment/camera view is nowhere close."

If it helps, I'm using these values for the camera position and rotation:



... but I really did just eyeball it very quickly as in the demo video. As I mentioned above, I used a value of 35 degrees for the camera's angle of view.

To be honest, I think your version looks pretty darn good - I like the way you've done the screw heads, very nice detail :)

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 4, 2014 at 7:07:05 pm

" Does that make sense"
So simple I wish I thought of it, go to Geometry.
Even the feathered mask makes sense NOW.

But even after I followed you co-ordinace for the camera it just doesn't work for me. It looks fine
as a still but when I go back to the group and rotate, it's very clear there is something I'm missing.
Very frustrating.

Thanks for all you help

BB


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 4, 2014 at 7:18:18 pm

[Bruce Breidbart] "But even after I followed you co-ordinace for the camera it just doesn't work for me. It looks fine
as a still but when I go back to the group and rotate, it's very clear there is something I'm missing."


Two things:

You need to mask off the right hand side of the licence plate so it disappears into the cavity.

And you need a much darker solid behind so it looks more like a dark hole.

If you'd like to upload your project I could take a look at your camera but I think you've got it more or less right.

But you could always have a good look at Gareth's project (above) - he seems to have done a great job with the camera and animation.

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 6, 2014 at 9:28:31 pm

Still working on it, thanks to Gareth & Simon.
I tried to include my video this time.

Re: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right l...


I needed to focus at this stage more on the movement and key framing of the mask then the final look, I left off the feathered solid & the light just to name a few. If I hadn't seem Gareth's final version I would think I was closer to completion than I really am.
There is an element ( I'll call a clip ) that separates the front plate and the back plate. It's so subtle yet is driving me crazy to create. Is it a separate layer ? how was it created and tracked?
When you created your version I see 2 separate plate with this (clip) holding them together, brilliant.
With mine I don't see my second plate until it rotates past a certain point. Maybe your using different lights on each plate ?
I feel that I'm getting much closer, and with some more help I might even get there.
Thanks again for all the help.
BB


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Gareth RandallRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 7, 2014 at 10:19:29 am
Last Edited By Gareth Randall on Apr 7, 2014 at 10:28:34 am

Hi Bruce,

This might help you - the project for the "missiles to flamethrower" rotation, including the media. You should be able to see how everything works now, including how shoddily I positioned the replacement plates over the originals... ;)

7331_rotatewithmedia.zip

As far as I can tell, the only difference between my version and yours is that I moved the anchor point of the plates back in Z space. That's how you achieve the effect of one plate rotating away into the depths of the car while a new plate moves up to take its place.

Rotating the plate on its X axis *without* moving the anchor point back gives you the effect you've got, which is of the plate flipping over from its front to its back.


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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 7, 2014 at 8:52:47 pm

That really helped, thanks.
My first mistake was I decided to start this project from a capture screen instead of your video. What was I thinking.I've inserted my latest attempt below. When I looked at your time line I only saw your animated mask and 3 key frames for X rotation on the flamethrower. When I made my attempt not only was I key framing X rotation I also needed to keyframe position X and Y for each new plate along with a mask. Yours seems so fluid in motion, while mine jerks as it follows the plate below. I tried to reduce the opacity of the plate while doing my adjustments in X rotation, but I was still was just eyeballing it, and not so great at that. At least I solved the mystery of the ( clip ) that held the 2 plates together, ( it was on the original video). If I could solve the mystery about the fluid motion I'd be very happy. Any tips ?

latest



thank again
BB


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 7, 2014 at 12:09:09 pm

One of the main differences is that Gareth was rotating the licence plate only through 60 degrees not the full 180 that you are attempting - that's one of the reasons it looks more interesting cos you're seeing more geometry in the background. With a full 180 you don't get to see anything interesting behind the plate.

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 9, 2014 at 12:32:47 pm

Hi Simon,
I've posted my version of the license plate in the above response. It's a little jerky as it follows the movement. The only thing I was hoping for to put this project attempt to bed, was a smoother track
so to speak of the exiting/entering license plates. One thought I had was to analyze the movement, that didn't work so well. So I key framed every X rotation & X and Y position. It was impossible for me to see exactly how much to rotate each keyframe, hence my problem. Gareth posted his timeline, but sadly it didn't help me in that respect.
I guess purchasing Mocha Pro might solve this problem quickly, but I'm not sure that's what Gareth did.
Your thoughts would be gratefully appreciated.

thanks in advance

BB


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Simon UbsdellRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 9, 2014 at 12:46:32 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Apr 9, 2014 at 1:41:37 pm

[Bruce Breidbart] "One thought I had was to analyze the movement, that didn't work so well."

It's not something you can successfully track with Motion, I don't think, although Mocha might be able to handle it.

[Bruce Breidbart] " So I key framed every X rotation & X and Y position. It was impossible for me to see exactly how much to rotate each keyframe, hence my problem. "

While that would seem like the perfect solution, it will always result in a jerky movement. You need automatic interpolation rather than any manual adjustment - even if you got every frame "spot on", the resulting movement wouldn't appear smooth on the run.

Your best bet is to set a keyframe for the start and end and - by trial and error, I'm afraid - work out the interpolation method used in the original animation.

If you set both keyframes to bezier you could probably go into the keyframe editor and tweak them to match as you view the composite.

It might even be that a straight linear interpolation is what works best and was what they did originally in the movie. Not having got the live action plate in front of me, I can't tell you for sure, sorry.

EDIT - you talk about keyframing the Y position - but you really shouldn't need to be doing this.

Simon Ubsdell
hawaiki.co


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Gareth RandallRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 9, 2014 at 1:36:24 pm
Last Edited By Gareth Randall on Apr 9, 2014 at 1:38:05 pm

[Bruce Breidbart] "I guess purchasing Mocha Pro might solve this problem quickly, but I'm not sure that's what Gareth did."

I didn't use any motion tracking at all. Just keyframed the X rotation.

I'm no Motion guru, but if you want to post up your project file (as long as it's Motion 4, I don't have 5) I'm happy to have a look at it and see if I can get it to match mine.



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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 9, 2014 at 2:01:37 pm

Gareth, I'm using Motion 5. But I was able to see your timeline when you posted it, interesting.

I guess my question is, X rotation will only rotate the license plate,
how do you follow the movement off the screen if it doesn't need the
X and Y positions adjusted. Obviously I'm missing something.

BB


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Gareth RandallRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 9, 2014 at 3:19:13 pm

As long as you've got the camera adjusted correctly and the anchor point of the plate moved back in Z space, then adjusting the X rotation will make the replacement plate follow the rotation of the original.

I've just tried deleting the keyframes of the missiles plate in the project I uploaded and re-animating it. This is what I did:

Go to the Anchor Point parameter of the new plate, and set Z to -151.65. X and Y stay at 0.

Line up the new plate over the original, then go to frame 4 (where the movement begins), and set an X rotation keyframe. Make the value -7.0

Switch off the new plate, or lower its opacity, so that you can see the movement of the original. Move forward to frame 18. This is where the original plate is edge-on to the camera. I trimmed the new plate graphic to end there.

I moved one frame back to frame 17 and set another X rotation keyframe for the new plate. Then I adjusted the X rotation until the position of the new plate matched the original - the actual value was -77.0.

Then I just turned the opacity of the new plate back to 100% and played. And... that's it :) The movement matched pretty much exactly. Literally just two X-rotation keyframes going from -7 to -77, nothing more.



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Bruce BreidbartRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 9, 2014 at 4:32:12 pm

Thanks.
As it turned out you gave me the key to success at least 3 posts a go.
" For the actual rotation, I moved the anchor point of the plate back in Z space just a little".

Adding a camera & 3D is a little new to me. I moved past the most important part of pulling
this off because I didn't fully understand it, not sure I do now, but it's what makes it work and
I've got it working, boy do I have lots to learn.

Thanks for taking the time.

Now if I can only figure out how to take my name off the Top row of the Motion blog.
When I tried to send my video along with my post I must of hit the wrong key.

BB


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Gareth RandallRe: Replacing the writing on a rotating licence plate - am I on the right lines?
by on Apr 9, 2014 at 7:33:34 pm

[Bruce Breidbart] "As it turned out you gave me the key to success at least 3 posts a go.
" For the actual rotation, I moved the anchor point of the plate back in Z space just a little"."


Aha :)

Yes, you have to think in terms of how the plate-rotating mechanism would work if it was real. That gives you the clue as to where you need to position the anchor point around which the plate will rotate. If it was real, then obviously the plates would be attached to a rotating bar further back inside the car's bumper, so then it's just a matter of experimenting with pushing the anchor point back in Z space until you find the distance that works to mimic the rotation of the original plates.



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