View Full Version : NEO Racing: Post your R &D for TD (NEW!)

07 July 2009, 03:28 PM
Hi guys, I would try something different for the next challenge.
I am posting this thread as a common testing ground for Technical Directors.
You can start using this thread RIGHT NOW to talk the TD challenges
of this upcoming mini challenge.

Think of it a research place where you can ask questions or submit ideas that can later be used on you individual threads.

Also you may post on this thread:
Tutorials on:
Vehicle Rigging, Crash Simulations, Automatic Track Generation,

Looking forward to your conversations.


07 July 2009, 04:48 PM
I have a question about the car's wheels (assuming it races on a track, of course). How does one automatically keep the car wheels from penetrating the track? Would a script be required, or could a constraint of some sort be used? I use Blender, but I would love any answers on the subject.

Cheers and God bless.

Edit: Well, I figured it out in Blender. The Floor constraint works just fine for this job. I set the Object on the constraint to the track and then set a vertex group for my track top. I then set the offset to the appropriate factor (in this case 9), and it now works for flat surfaces. add any hills, though, and it begins to fall apart.

Still, please post how to do it in other programs and how to tackle the issue of hills.

07 July 2009, 03:19 PM
It depends on the software you use and also on how you generate your track mesh.

It's still early, so plans might change, but I'm looking at making a swooping track with lots of curves and might just loft the whole thing along a spline with tweaks for the angles of the curves. Then I'll build the supports and the rest of the environment around that.

For the base animation having the track on a spline gives me lots of wonderful options for tracking the motion of the vehicles to the path. As long as the objects have been set up properly there should be no worries about track penetration because the motion will be the track. I'll probably use a null object for the tracking to make adding secondary motion easier. This has the advantage that hills and curves are already accounted for in the motion.

Then I can hand animate any close-ups or specific motion that I need on top of that. In a high-speed race environment any non-standard motion (read crashes) is going to be over fast, so as long as the base race motion is easy to set up I can afford to take the time and do frame-by-frame work on the bits that call for it.

I'm using Max for this, but Blender has most of the same tools.

07 July 2009, 03:38 PM
Thanks Telvin3D, Blender is indeed very capable of all the things you mentioned. I will get on it.

Cheers and God bless.

07 July 2009, 06:02 PM
I don't have much experience rigging mechanical systems so this race is going to be fun learning. Anyone out there have advice for rigging reactive mechanical systems? I'm thinking of trying to set something up where all the secondary motion is generated based on the tilt of the main vehicle but I'm not sure where to start.

Anyone have advice or related tutorials they could point to?

07 July 2009, 12:02 PM
wow this is great for us td to have an opportunity for some challenge.

i don't what to say right now, but the idea is quite good!

continue please!

will there be a TD challenge separated right for tds in the future?

08 August 2009, 02:39 AM
Hi all,

I think this is a fantastic thread to run, so we thought we would pitch in our 2 cents worth in the form of a video of our vehicle rig. It mainly focuses on the use of a couple of simple expressions to get the wheels to rotate at the correct speed for the vehicles movement. Hopefully it will save some people some fairly tedious keyframing.

If you have been following our team thread, then this is the same video as we have recently posted on there. This is just for completeness to make sure it is in the R&D section too.

Comments and crits welcome. And if you use any of it in your own projects then it would be awesome to see some of the results!

Have fun everyone,


08 August 2009, 12:42 PM
Those using 3D Studio Max can find my wheel rotation scripts here (

08 August 2009, 07:30 PM
I think I have figured out a pretty reliable method for getting the vehicle's wheels to stick to the ground in Blender. I was watching Team3dFramework's video on their rig and became curious about the geometry constraint method they used. I searched Blender's constraints and stumbled across the Shrinkwrap Constraint (not the Shrinkwrap modifier). It performs wonderfully for this purpose, with penetration only on very sharp vertex protrusions. It also has a little trouble with transitions between very steep and very flat slopes, but that can be corrected with a little hand-keying. Check out the documentation here (

Hope that is helpful, and now, back to rigging.

Cheers and God bless.

08 August 2009, 01:14 PM
Hi guys,

Here is another video, which for completeness covers expressions that could be used for an automatic steering setup. This can compliment the previous video for getting the wheel spin to match the vehicles movement.

I have also included a Maya 2009 scene file which you can pull apart to look at how it is done. This really is provided as a basis, which can be extended to include some "sexy" extras. It is just to demonstrate that sometimes expressions can be really useful to save time, but still allow all the flexibility an animator could need....

Video Link:

Scene Link:

Let us know if this is useful. And we would love to see examples of it being applied.

As always comments and crits are welcome.



08 August 2009, 01:43 PM
Those using 3D Studio Max can find my wheel rotation scripts here (

fantastic! definitely grabbed. If I had seen that before I would have used it. I have pretty much already rigged my racer. Which is probably a good thing, as never having rigged anything, I've learned alot. BTW, when I tried your wheel script, it didn't detect the orientation of the wheel, meaning the whole gizmo was rotated 90 degrees. Is there a way to fix it without deleting everything and creating a new wheel turned 90 degrees?

08 August 2009, 02:25 PM
Sorry about that. That's a known issue which I've forgotten to fix. You need to first align the axis of the wheel and reset the transform. Then the axis of the gizmo and wheel will point in the same direction.

I don't have Max loaded right now to tell you which axis points forwards.

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