View Full Version : animate one object, everything else moves with? how?

05 May 2006, 12:15 PM
(This thread began with the below question but soon changed into a question about creating a decaying skin effect - sorry if it's now in the wrong place :-)

Hi people,

I need to create a small animated walk cycle of a dinosaur and character as you can see here:

So i was wondering, is it possible to just animate just the dinosaur itself and have everything else react accordingly, ie the bell swings, canopy bends and creaks, the cages on the back swing, the ropes move, without actually having to hand animate everything individually.

Cheers in advance,

- Dave.

05 May 2006, 03:12 PM
Hi Dave

Have you tried spring controller? works quite good with position.


05 May 2006, 10:27 PM
I haven't tried anything as yet, i'm just planning a way to approach the task. I'm not familiar with what you suggested, can you expand on this?

05 May 2006, 10:52 PM
Well, what carlos_ramiro was talking about is a spring controller build inside the position controller. I am looking at your model and I think you should just animated by hand if you are just going to do a walkcycle. The spring controller is good, but it is also a big headache to set it up to work right. Trust me, you will get better animation if you just do it your self, even if you are just copying key frame and just make small ajustment. I think most of your animation will just be rotational animation.

Another way would be using reactor, but again, it will take time to set up and it may take awhile to get your simulation to look right.

05 May 2006, 01:15 AM
Yep you're right, by hand is probably the best way, i was just interested to here if there could be another way. cheers.

Don't suppose you know the best way to animate a transition between a human character into a zombie? i'm looking for a way to make the skin appear to decay and reveal the flesh beneath?

cheers again :-)
- Dave.

05 May 2006, 01:38 PM
Morphing from a human to Zombie? That will require animate material and may be some morph to the mesh. It will require a lot of time to create the effect you want, but here are the steps:

1. Create and paint your material for the Human. (I assume you unwrap them already)
2. Create your material for the zombie.
3. Use the blend material type and drop both materials to it.
4. In the Mask slot, you can create an animate noise map or create your own animated mask using aftereffect or other program.

It really depends on the shot, if it is a static camera, may be doing it in post will save you more time.

05 May 2006, 02:50 PM
Cheers, not sure how long i can hang on to your advice but you're a godsent :-)

To be honest its not a zombie, i thought this would be more understood. Its the dinosaur as originally attached. I've seen a clip on the internet that i thought was really interesting, please see: (about 1.5 mb)

Now what i was attempting was a similar effect with the dinosaur, the ideas was simply having him walking towards a camera and slowly his skin decays and he colapses to the ground. but i want the skin to decay in a realistic transition.

So i've tried as you suggested just doing a test with a simple plane object and blending the original skin with a decayed skin using a cellular mask and animating the spread. This works well though its too uniformed, it happens all at once, very good but too much like an acid burn effect. What i like about the clip and what i'm attempting to reproduce is the gradual effect, how it starts around the guys forehead then across his face.

Cheers again, if you can offer any further suggestions then i would appreciate any thoughts you can share.

- Dave.

05 May 2006, 10:42 PM
Well, instead using only one cellular mask, try using multiple maps for your mask, try using cellular in your noise for your mask.

If you know how to use aftereffect, you can save a lot of time by painting a starting mask in photoshop and then bring it to aftereffect to create your animate map sequence. Its good because you can start the decay where you want to start instead of depending on the noise map.

I also think it will be cool if you have the skin fall apart and have the model decay into a skeleton, but this mean you will have to model all the bones in the creature.

05 May 2006, 11:02 PM
I'm kinda getting there i'm just having trouble creating any depth, it seems quite flat, that's my main problem at the moment. imagine the thickness of a dinosaurs skin, 1-2 inches perhaps, though only trouble with mine is the transition between the top layer of skin and beneath seems about 1mm thick! still playing :-)

I've created a test skin let me know what you think, a little unclear:

Cheers - Dave.

06 June 2006, 02:26 PM
I do agree it is a bit flat, may be playing around with the displacement map channel will help, but also think about actually having different layer of meshes, create a smaller version of your model using a "Push" modifier on your orginial mesh.

When I am working on something like this, I always do the animation first, have my camera lock, so that I know how close the camera will be and what angle it will be at. All of the other FX I'll think about it later, so don't let it slow you down.

06 June 2006, 02:51 PM
Hey cheers,

I was thinking about using the push mod, but how would i go about doing this? duplicate and remodel to the decayed state? But then how would i create the transition?

I was also thinking about using a few morph targets perhaps i could do both?

I'm currently have a few problems with zbrush, i create all my normal maps in zbrush and starting to paint my textures in zbrush also, but when i export the maps to max and render i end up with ugly white seams! don't suppose you know zbrush? :-)

Hey, not sure if i've shown my norm renders >>>

Well cheers again, i really appreciate you're insight :-)

- Dave.

06 June 2006, 03:29 PM
We don't use Zbrush in our studio, so sorry, I can't help you there. I would duplicate the mesh after you rig the orginal model first, then make a reference from your orginal model and apply a push modifier to the Reference mesh. Then what you can do is apply different material to each mesh and play around with the decay. May be you can add a burning effect to the edge of the decay to hide the depth of the skin. Hey, fake it if you have to.

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