Sunday, January 18, 2009

#20 Quick Animation Path, Flying Disc

From time to time, you’ll come up with an animation idea that involves an object flying around, randomly or not. One way is to use the Vibrate Tag. Another way is to set the object on a path.

If you want the objects motion to be in your control, you would probably go with this way.

Using Cinema 4D, create a Cubic spline. Don’t make a Freehand spline because that can make for shaky movement. Your path could look something like this:

Spline

It doesn’t have to look nothing like that, but it should at least be curvy, because sharp edges don’t make for a smooth animation, unless the aim is bouncing of walls or something of the sort.

The next step is adding an object to the path. Create a disc for the sake of practice. Add an Align To Spline Tag to the Disc. Click on the Tag and drag the Spline object in to the Spline Path field.

Now you control the position of the Disc with the Position slide in the Align Tag. Check the Tangential checkbox for a different way of moving on the spline.

Use keyframes to animate the Disc motion on the Path. Use different speeds on the path to kill the monotony.

You can always move the Spline’s points to change the motion of the Disc. The Spline is not visible.

I used a curvy spline, but that is just one of the choices here. There are many possibilities here, along with choice of object, path and speed.

If you want you can even use a SweepNurb to make the spline visible, but more on that some other time.