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Roller Coaster Effect

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Eric Darnell
Roller Coaster Effect
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:38:50 pm

1. I have a (silhouette/side view only) of a roller coaster and I want to animate the cars traveling up and down the track.

2. Is there a parenting or expression trick that would allow me to animate the lead car on a path and then have the other cars follow along in a natural motion?

cheers.


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Kevin Reiner
Re: Roller Coaster Effect
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:57:24 am

Depends on how complex of an animation you want. Do you simply want all of the cars to follow the same motion path in a line? Or do you want more complex interplay between the cars (like they stretch out a bit going up hill and then compress a bit when they hit the bottom of a slope)? That would take some expression work most likely and I would post the question in the AE expression forum as well as read Dan Ebbert's website on expressions at http://www.motionscript.com/.

For the simple way. Make a motion path that follows the path of your rollercoaster (making a mask path and then copy and paste into the position of the target layer). Then select Layer/transform/auto-orientate. Then duplicate that layer and replace the new copy with the second car. Shift the layer downstream until it is where you want it.

That is a quick way of doing it. There might be better ways though.

good luck,
Kevin


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Eric Darnell
Re: Roller Coaster Effect
on Sep 20, 2012 at 1:59:17 pm

Thanks Kevin. Creating the paths then staggering them is what I did. It just took forever.

cheers.


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Roller Coaster Effect
on Sep 20, 2012 at 7:37:20 am

Mr. Darnell

Have a look at this tutorial.








This will help.

Vishesh Arora
VFX and Motion Graphics Artist

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Roller Coaster Effect
on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:04:30 am

You'll need auto-orientate to kick in as the car moves up/down the path. Parenting won't work cos the Parent Layer will dictate the center of rotation for the Child Layer - this will screw-up the auto-orient feature, which is a main requirement for what you want to achieve.

You'll also likely need to set the Anchor Point to the bottom of the wheels and centered to the length of the car. If you want some variation then its best to create a position/mask path for a single car and then copy-paste the path onto other car layers. Then offset + stagger keyframes to obtain variation. Just remember to set Anchor Point and Auto-orient (along path) before you apply position keyframes.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Eric Darnell
Re: Roller Coaster Effect
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:01:50 pm

Thanks Roland. I used this technique. It worked but it took forever.

cheers.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Roller Coaster Effect
on Sep 20, 2012 at 3:55:58 pm

Meh? Good things take time. The valueAtTime Expressions method would have helped to speed up the set up but your cars will look less natural as they would be moving in somewhat identical speed. Of course there are things like the noise Expression method but again, those will take time to tweak till you're happy with the results.

For now, at least you'll be comforted to know that you'll be much faster should you have to do something similar in the future. :-D

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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