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Rotating line of objects by incremental amounts.

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John Hillman
Rotating line of objects by incremental amounts.
on Feb 12, 2016 at 12:15:01 am

Hello all, I'm new at using Cinema 4D, and I have a question.
I have a line of objects, and I'm trying to find a way to automagically rotate each item by an increasing amount, to "fan" them out. The end result would be the first object being rotated -45, the next -15, the next +15, and the last +45.

Obviously I can do this by hand fairly easily, but I'll have something like 250 objects to do this to when it's all said and done, so I'd like to automate it.

I've tried using a Step Effector but it hasn't worked for me with a group of discreet objects.

I tried using Tools>Arrange Objects>Arrange, but it seems to set rotation to 0 if the rotation would cross 360 or 0. Also, while this works in some cases, it has that feeling of being wrong.

Is there a better way to do what I'm trying to do?

FYI, the file is an export from Vectorworks, and I'm using R17


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Brian Jones
Re: Rotating line of objects by incremental amounts.
on Feb 12, 2016 at 4:04:05 am

It sounds like they are not clones, if so if they are all children of each other (a nested hierarchy) you select them all and rotate and each moves as much as all it's parents and it's own rotation so they 'fan'. (there are some scripts to 'chain and 'un-chain' out there which helps a lot when trying to make 250 objects an object hierarchy). Or all the separate objects can be put into a Fracture object and apply a Step effector to that (takes a bit of work as they will want to rotate at the center but it can be fixed). Or are they clones?


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John Hillman
Re: Rotating line of objects by incremental amounts.
on Feb 12, 2016 at 4:20:06 am

They are not clones, they are stage lighting fixtures, each fixture is several nested groups, with a light object nested in the head object (which rotates on the X axis), which is then nested in the yoke (which rotates on the Z axis), which is then nested in a stationary base.

The goal is to have each group of fixtures (between 4 and 8 usually) fanning out slightly, with about 30° of rotation from one fixture to the next, all on the yoke (Z axis).

So I want to grab 5x individual Yoke objects, and have some fancy way of telling them to spread out their rotations.

Please forgive the repeated explanations, I just want to be clear. Also, I hope I got the nomenclature right, I'm used to Architectural or Manufacturing 3D drawing packages.


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Andy Sills
Re: Rotating line of objects by incremental amounts.
on Feb 12, 2016 at 2:39:48 pm

hmmm, I'd like to see a picture of the file tbh,
Also, this sounds like a job for xpresso, I'd look into that.
Do you want each rotation to end up in the same place after the animation is done, or do you want every object to end up in a different place when the rotation is finished?


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John Hillman
Re: Rotating line of objects by incremental amounts.
on Feb 12, 2016 at 8:12:42 pm

Andy Sills: Assuming I've done this right, you should see the before and after images below. I am looking for an automated way to take the parallel light beams and "fan" or separate them out but a fixed number of degrees.
This will not be animated, it will be a still image. I'll have a look into expresso





I did find a way to do what I want, and while it works great, it does take a couple too many steps (I prefer 1 step)
Grab all the objects, set their rotation to the desired rotation of the FIRST object, then put the following equation into the R.H field "x + (num * 15)", which ADDs the index (starting at zero) of the each selected object multiplied by 15 to the existing rotation value. So the first object rotates by (0*15)=0, the next (1*15)=15, and the next (2*15)=30.
The only improvement I'm looking for is to not have to do the math in my head, a simple command to "fan objects by x amount" and have it essentially start from the center and work out, but otherwise I'm happy.


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Andy Sills
Re: Rotating line of objects by incremental amounts.
on Feb 12, 2016 at 9:24:00 pm

Yeah the only thing I can really think of is doing a clone and using the blend feature inside of that, but I havent tried somehting like that, I usually just use it for creating smaller to bigger objects or what have you, but it might work.

Xpresso is a steep learning curve but well worth it, I dont even know that much about it.

Also another idea that just came to me is a clone effector, like take your clone and put a linear effector on it with the effector affecting the rotation, seems like that would be a sweet work around but itll take some tinkering.


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