Path and semi-trailer truck

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Path and semi-trailer truck // Tech Forum

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Post by Emmanuel // Apr 28, 2009, 2:01am

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Hello all,
I hope there is still some Modeler animators in the place because I need their help :)
I need to make a short animation to demonstrate that a semi-trailer truck can manoeuvre in the small space below. The goal is to animate the truck and see the trailer follow it.
Any ideas ?

Post by RichLevy // Apr 28, 2009, 5:11am

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The solution as I see it is not to back down the road as you are indicating :) That is a mighty tight radius :confused:


Sorry, I could not help myself.


Rich

Post by Nez // Apr 28, 2009, 5:44am

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You've obviously got the vehicle tracking path to show it's possible; I always though this should of thing shold be possible on model-side using the defined 'joints' method, where you provide joints with certain axis of movement between parts of the model (i.e. between rig and trailer) - assume it is effectively an IK technique but admit it's not something I've tried yet...

Post by v3rd3 // Apr 28, 2009, 7:17am

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If you want to animate the truck movement for illustrative purposes then a single joint would probably do fine.


If you want to simulate the truck movement you may want to drive your animation by steering the truck. The turning radius for the truck would be larger if using steering as opposed to any direct manipulation of the truck cab. In that case I would suggest 2 joints, one at the front axle of the truck, the other at the hitch. You would need to establish constraints for both joints.


I would suggest that you use a shallow cube in front of the axle like a steering arm to manipulate the rig. You could put an arrow on the cube if you like so that you can see the direction the steering is pointing.

Post by prodigy // Apr 28, 2009, 7:19am

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mmmm

Bones.. you can use bones to make the trailer follow the truck.. i'll try to make an example.. but i can't imagine another..

Post by prodigy // Apr 28, 2009, 7:28am

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Emmanuel.. check inside the tscommunity forum.. ;)

Other could be using the path tool.. i don't use modelside for a very long time.. so im not 100% sure.

Post by Emmanuel // Apr 28, 2009, 8:14am

Emmanuel
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Thanks for your help friends :)

A joint with IK seems the tool to use. At least, it sounds logical.
I glue as sibling the truck and its trailer,
go down in the hierarchy,
select the truck object,
clic the Add Custom Join tool,
clic the trailer object,
then select Add 1D Hinge Join and place the joint properly.
- Okay, I've got a pair of bones to keep the trailer at the back of the truck.

But how can I constrain the rear wheels of the trailer to follow their own path while I animate the truck ?

Post by prodigy // Apr 28, 2009, 8:24am

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Not sure in Model side.. i can't remember.

Did you saw the video?

Post by Emmanuel // Apr 28, 2009, 9:57am

Emmanuel
Total Posts: 439
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Yes, I watched it. Thank you Augusto.
There is also an alternative way to create a train, or any object that follows an other object : that's the Tail plugin from Nick Robalik's animators toolbox (http://emmanuel.asset.free.fr/tsxarchive/index.htm) !

Problem is that both the bones and the plugin solutions actually make the back of the trailer to slip on the ground... If you take the example below, how can you make the red dot (back of the trailer) to follow the same path as the green dot (front of the trainer and axis location) ?

Post by RAYMAN // Apr 28, 2009, 10:03am

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Emmanuel I made it with grouping and positioning the widgets for the group

where the turn points are... please excuse the flicker but I was in a hurry to show you and sort of messede up the lighting..

Post by Emmanuel // Apr 28, 2009, 10:26am

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Great Rayman ! I will pass the job to you :)

Note that the mark on the ground comes from an office that probably uses Autocad. I think there is a tool in that app that allows to draw/compute trailers path.
My client wish to try different paths though ; in this place but also in other places... and I don't have Autocad myself. So here the goal is to draw such paths in 3D even if we don't have a template texture to map the ground. In other words, we must find a way to get that sort of Autocad tool in our 3D space : draw a path for the truck and see the trailer making its own.

Also, this is not a pure art/animation work ; we wish to use 3D to validate a path.
And since there is no tool to draw a path in Workspace, and that Workspace is what it is, I belive that we should rather use the Modeler to produce an accurate and reliable work.

Post by RAYMAN // Apr 28, 2009, 10:37am

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Note that i used turnpoints for where the wheels were .The marks on the surface dont look correct to me. I´ve seen lots of them turn because

I worked for the major food supplier here in austria as a photographer and there were lots of them around me when i came to the office there every day.

I just tried it out on the setup:D.....

But the truck may be larger that it was calculated for which would result in a bigger curve like the one we have there but then the door and the building is a smaller scale

Post by Nez // Apr 28, 2009, 10:01pm

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Great Rayman ! I will pass the job to you :)


Note that the mark on the ground comes from an office that probably uses Autocad. I think there is a tool in that app that allows to draw/compute trailers path.

My client wish to try different paths though ; in this place but also in other places... and I don't have Autocad myself. So here the goal is to draw such paths in 3D even if we don't have a template texture to map the ground. In other words, we must find a way to get that sort of Autocad tool in our 3D space : draw a path for the truck and see the trailer making its own.


.



Yers, there's a 'plug-in' for AutoCad that does what's called vehicle 'tracking' and 'swept path analysis' - it's called AutoTrack or something like that - my company uses it but not me personally. It's supposedly quite an artform but can be adjusted to use with a range of different vehicle types. It's not a simple problem to resolve in tS I would think as you have to allow for the way a vehicle moves relative to the way it's wheels are pointing, front and rear overhangs and all sorts of other factors... I would think you'd need to set all sorts of additional joints/constraints to make it work properly if you don't have the tracking information from CAD... but would have thought it could be done. Might be worth having a chat with one or two of the folks doing more scripting for ideas...

Post by Emmanuel // Apr 28, 2009, 10:56pm

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Thank you Nez.
It could be this plugin (http://www.savoy.co.uk/). On that page we can see it even manages 3D.
So if this sort of animation requires a specific tool, I think that trueSpace is out of the game :(
Too bad ; I would have loved to make it in tS...

Post by Nez // Apr 28, 2009, 11:20pm

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I think that probably is the plug-in my colleagues use.


I don't think it's out of the question in tS - given what was possible with the old plug-ins (VcTek? stuff) and the like I would imagine this sort of thing should be possible with some careful thought, but not sure how easy...


I wish you luck anyway...
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