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Toggling linked dummies to go on and off when animating.

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Albertus BodensteinToggling linked dummies to go on and off when animating.
by on Dec 2, 2009 at 9:34:10 pm

A robot arm picks up a box and puts it down. The box has a dummy i use for animation. When the hand clasps the box, I want the dummy to link to the hands dummy when it moves it around. When the box is placed down, I want the dummy linked to the hand to turn off again.
Almost like the IK/FK mode in character animation.. Hope you can help! :-)


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Eric BlevinsRe: Toggling linked dummies to go on and off when animating.
by on Dec 24, 2009 at 6:06:43 pm

There are two ways that I know of to do this. One is to use the position constraint and the other is the link constraint. In either case, you will need two objects to link to, like the 'arm' and the 'floor'. (I use dummies for these constraint 'goals' for a cleaner scene but it is not necessary)

1. The position constraint:

a. assign the position constraint to the object. Then choose the object to constrain to. (i.e. the floor, another dummy, the hand) Note that the object will align to the pivot point. Hence the preferences for another dummy.

b. In the motion panel, turn on the button 'add position target' and select another object in the scene.

c. both objects now have a weight of 50 each. You can animate the weights to your liking or you can set up a custom attribute to control this animation.


2. The link constraint:

a. assign a link constraint to the object. Choose an object to constrain to. Your box will NOT move to the pivot of the chosen object.

b. the link constraint is based upon time. So animate your hand without the box. Once you get to the time in your animation that the box needs to be linked to the hand, then go into the motion panel of the box and add a new link. Your timeline MUST be at the appropriate time. You should notice that there is a frame # here. If you change your animation from this point on, you may need to adjust the link appropriately.

c. when you want the box let go, then simply select another object to link to at the appropriate time.

I have uploaded a video comparing two animations. One without the link constraint, one with the link constraint. The only thing animated was the ‘arm’. Note the frame numbers in the lower left hand corner for the link constraint.

Hope that this helps.


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Eric BlevinsRe: Toggling linked dummies to go on and off when animating.
by on Jan 1, 2010 at 3:31:27 am

The link for the video is below:

http://reels.creativecow.net/film/robot-arm-test



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