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Follow position in one axis only

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John McMullin
Follow position in one axis only
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:08:40 pm

I'm trying to have text fall, bounce around in a natural way and end up in a precise position and rotation. The difficulty is that the letters end up knocking each other sideways and the effective kerning is screwed up as a result. I've had some success with animating follow position to get them to end up in the right place but it's tricky and it kills the vertical bounce. Is there a way to just follow the X and Z position, but not the Y?

Many thanks,

John


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Steve Bentley
Re: Follow position in one axis only
on Mar 16, 2018 at 12:18:40 am

And I take it you don't want the letters to bounce all glued together?

Often for this type of thing, where accuracy matters at the beginning or end of the dynamics sim, we'll bounce something else. Have an invisible stunt double for each letter do the bouncing instead of the visible letters themselves and then, through expresso, link the star letters to the stunt double's motion data and only access the vectors you want. You can also use a range mapper node to ease in and out of the magnitude of what the stunt doubles are doing (so no affect at the beginning and end but follow lock step in the middle of the animation). At the end of the animation position your letters where you want them and then link their nodes to the stunt double's. The visible letters will follow the moving doubles all the way back to the beginning and you can massage how they move. Realistic physics provided by the sim and accuracy provided by your keyframes.

If you want to take it one step further you can nest the stunt doubles to a parent that is animated and the parent kind of steers the stunt double around so that you are adding in some x or z translation on top of the dynamics data to make sure they end up in the right spot. This way you get the best of both worlds: dynamics and trained performing letters.



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John McMullin
Re: Follow position in one axis only
on Mar 16, 2018 at 8:43:38 am

Thanks Steve. That's great.

Just before I try it, the only thing I'm not sure about is how to avoid a kind of kind of "magnet look". Like some invisible force is pulling the letters back to place at the last moment. Also, if the final letters haven't actually got their own dynamics tag, they might pass through each other as they're drawn back to their final position.

Perhaps there's a bit of hand keyframing/cheating involved to make it look more natural. Your method has the benefit that I can effectively unlink x and z axis from the simulation and have the object hop back to place rather than be drawn sideways.

Thanks. I'll it a go this evening.

John


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Steve Bentley
Re: Follow position in one axis only
on Mar 16, 2018 at 11:12:04 am

Here's another approach. It all really depends on what your scene looks like.
http://lesterbanks.com/2016/04/position-c4d-dynamics/



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John McMullin
Re: Follow position in one axis only
on Mar 23, 2018 at 12:20:54 pm

Thanks Steve. I saw that tutorial before but it didn't really work for me 'cause my letters were glancing off each other.

I fiddled around with follow position and rotation and other settings to get something that worked OK for me in the end. Was kind of a learning exercise. It seems that I have to go with the random element - just a slight change in start position for example can make things fall into place nicely. Or slightly retiming things to get the collisions to happen at the correct time when they're not so disruptive. It's the constant caching that takes the time. I was using soft body so each recalculation was quite slow.


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