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Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?

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sean boweringAnimating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:55:08 pm

Hi, I'm struggling with this one... can anyone help me figure out how to 'sphere-ize' a group of animated sweep nurbs over time? i have a flat set of animated paths that represent world flight patterns and i'm trying to get it to slowly wrap round an invisible sphere as the camera pulls back, to make it feel like a globe. each path is animated with a small red sphere (align to spline).

here's the project file (R12):

6204_animatedflightpatterns.c4d.zip

on a minor note how can i get the small red spheres to follow closely the sweep nurb lines as they grow? at the moment there's a lag.



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Ashish GuptaRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:46:53 am

Try using a bend deformer

Ashish Gupta
Motiongraphics artist and 3d generalist

aashi.29nov@gmail.com


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sean boweringRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 1:11:59 pm

thank you! that's an interesting way to do it i hadn't considered. but it still doesn't solve the problem of applying a spherize effect to a bunch of sweep nurbs over time. so it starts with a flat 2D map of animated flight patterns, and gradually wraps round an invisible sphere to become globe-like...

anyone figured out how to apply a wrap deformer to a group of sweep nurbs?



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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 3:55:55 pm

If you group all the sweep nurbs and then place the wrap deformer under the same null it will affect all of the sweep nurbs. Then it's a matter of animating the deformer.

It's not quite as simple as that, however, as the align to spline tags won't take the deformation into account.

Here's how I would do it:

* pull all of the path splines out of the sweep nurbs objects and drop them under a null;

* drag a wrap deformer under the same null and animate it to taste;

* create a mograph tracer for each spline. Set the tracers' mode to "connect elements";

* place those tracers where you had the original path splines, under the sweep nurbs, and connect the spheres' align tags to the appropriate tracers instead of connecting them the path splines.

Now the spheres will follow the deformed splines.

In addition, select all your original path splines and set their intermediate points to uniform. That will insure that the align tag's animation lines up with the sweep nurbs' growth animation.

File: 6210_traceraligntodeformedsplineworkaround.c4d.zip


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sean boweringRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:12:58 pm

thank you adam, my head's hurting just looking at this, but i'll dive in and follow your advice. couple of quick questions:

i'm rendering your file and the animated wrap deformer doesn't seem to affect the existing 6 x animated sweep nurbs... or is that a step i have to take from your advice?

and any recommendations for smoothing out the lines? change type to bezier?



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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:30:31 pm

It's not that bad once you get your head around how it works. :)

Not sure what you mean about the sweep nurbs not being affected by the deformer? The tracers should follow the deformation of the path splines and the sweeps are following the tracers, so they should follow the deformed shape. They do here.

You can smooth the splines by increasing the number of intermediate points.


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sean boweringRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:43:11 pm

mmm, that's strange. when i render your file the animated sweep nurbs are flat 2D, not bending round with the wrap deformer which IS affecting the paths.... i haven't changed anything on your file. or have i missed something? here's a screenshot:

6213_screenshot20130702at2.40.01pm.png.zip



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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:55:30 pm

Odd. Does it deform correctly in the editor?


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sean boweringRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:06:59 pm

the null group of paths do, but the sweep nurbs don't, they are completely flat. do your animated lines deform? is it a r12 thing?



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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:10:32 pm

Yes, the sweep nurbs also deform. It could be a version difference but I don't have R12 installed so I can't check here. I'm using R14.


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sean boweringRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:16:07 pm

agh. ok, well thanks for all your help on this. time to upgrade i guess...



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sean boweringRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 5, 2013 at 5:08:53 pm

yes it was an issue in r12. i just opened it on a friend's r14 and the sweep nurbs are affected by the wrap deformer, thank you again. i went through all your steps and it makes total sense.

the only issue now is a lag/white space between the spheres and the lines during the deformer wrap. (see attached file at frame 73 for a good example). it's fine once the deformer is at 100% but as i'm timing this wrap from 0-100% over 6 secs approx it does look like a mistake. sorry to keep bugging you with this, but do you have any ideas? i changed all the splines and the tracers to uniform/bezier but no difference...

6234_lagonsweepnurbstoalign.c4d.zip



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ronaldo montalvoRe: Animating Flight Paths - anyone done this before?
by on Jul 5, 2013 at 9:50:47 pm

not sure if you have this worked out already but this is another approach that might help you from yader on vimeo (he's got some great tutorials):


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