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    Tutorial : Mixing Bones and FK in an Animation by Kevin 'OpieJuan' Barnett  
We start out with a cylinder attached to a bones skeleton and 3 cubes glued using the 'glue as child' tool. The process for this is as follows. Select the bottom cube, click the glue as child tool and select the next cube up. Exit the glue tool. Now press the down arrow key, then the right arrow key so now the center cube is selected. Again use the glue as child tool and add the top cube, Exit the glue tool and press the up arrow key a couple of times until the whole group of 3 cubes is selected. For each cube the axis has been moved from center so that they will 'hinge' off each other. If you need to move the axis, do it BEFORE a single keyframe is set or trueSpace will not let you move it at all. I scaled the axis of each cube larger to show the placement and then rotated the cubes to show how they will move.
After rotating the cubes back to their original, locate the cube stack on top of the cylinder. Select the cylinder and press the down arrow key on the keyboard. Next left click on the top most bone to select it.
DO NOT USE THE ATTACH OBJECT TO BONE TOOL HERE.

Use the Glue as Sibling tool to attach the bottom cube to the bone. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT ! Now to make it all work. First a few guidelines that you MUST follow or suffer a problem I call the Random Axis Syndrome...or RAS. Don't follow these guidelines and you will quickly see what I mean and you may find that there is no way to correct it and your animation is scrap! OK

1. Make sure that autorecord is ON (see the trueSpace manual or ask in the forum if you don't know how to check this)

2. ONLY click the keyframe record button when the complete object is selected. In other words, DO NOT manually set a keyframe if only 1 or more of the boxes is selected.

3. DO NOT MOVE THE BOTTOM CUBE. It's very easy to do even when you try to grab the top bone, so make whatever adjustments are needed to make sure you leave it alone.

4. ALWAYS make sure the correct object Move, Scale or Rotate button is selected and use the object manipulation widget for these operations. 

5. When rotating the object(s) check that the object manipulation widget has updated and is lined up with the actual axis you intend to rotate on. If not, then select one of the other buttons, say the move button, then reselect the rotate button to update it.

5. Take your time and don't get in a fluster, that is a sure way to fall prey to the destruction of RAS.

 

With the complete object selected, press the down arrow key and then click on the top cube. This should select just the top 2 cubes. 

Now, advance the frame counter to the first keyframe of your choice. Here I am using frame 20. Use the arrow keys to to move through the hierarchy and rotate, move or scale as needed. 

Make sure you ALWAYS keep an eye on the frame counter in case it forgets where you want to be. 

Repeat as needed for additional movements / rotations at other keyframes.

You can also manipulate the boned object at any time as long as the whole object is selected. Notice how the cubes follow right along as they should.

 

Here is a short test animation I made using this procedure.  

It's in WMV format and is only 240KB

 

I know it's tedious, but I do not know of another way to do this. Also, I was working in trueSpace 6.0. Hopefully later versions of trueSpace will not have this same problem....or if they do, that this workaround will still work :)

 

 

Copyright 1997 - 2007 Kevin 'OpieJuan' Barnett. All Rights Reserved.