View Full Version : Trax editor advice

03 March 2010, 02:39 PM

I'm new to the trax editor and can't seem to be able to make use of it in a real world situation.

Basically i have a grid of cubes and i want to animate the grid from its initial state into various formations. Different groups of cubes all scale up/ rotate/ whatever then return to the initial state (A>B>A), 3 keyframes only for each variation. As the grid has about 500 cubes, i need a way to manage lots of animation data without my head exploding in the graph editor /dope sheet.

What i really need is to break down each animation into a 3 keyframe animation clip (A>B>A) and then be able to loop, retime, blend these different clips in an edit timeline to an audio track. The ending animation would be A>B>A>C>A>D>A>E> etc... but I want to be able to play with the order and the timings and do repeats, etc

Looking at it, trax seems the perfect tool for this. But it seems to be really inconsistent, I cant tell which keyframes are in which character set and each animation clip seems to cancel the other ones out, and my keyframes seem to linger on the timeline as well as in there respective character sets. is there a workflow anyone can suggest? Do I need to use different character sets for each A>B>A animation? Are there rules you have to abide by to prevent animation data overlapping?

Any help would be great, other wise i will have to render out every clip and edit it in an editing package.

03 March 2010, 06:31 PM
That is not really the best useage for the Trax editor.

This sounds more like a Data management issue, ie better solved with MEL, Python, or Instancing with an expresion.

You may want to take a look at the "MAYA Visual Effects: The Innovator's Guide" (specifically pages 47-56 Creating An LED Audio Meter. There may be some techniques you can pull from this tutorial and apply to what you are doing.

For the Google Challenged click below. =)

03 March 2010, 06:56 PM
Thanks for that

Yes i have the book, and have looked at that tutorial in the past- good idea!
I did look into blendshapes, (which if i recall is the rtechnique used in the book) which are ok for scales/translates but not for rotates, hence wanting a more editable solution. However I thought it might be possible to build a series of animation clips and work with them in a non linear fashion. It's essentially just a keyframe management thing, but starts to get a bit dense when you try and use the graph editor/ dope sheet.

Oh well, looks like the long way is the right way- well, better the devil you know i suppose.

03 March 2010, 08:04 PM
That tutorial does not use Blendshapes at all. It uses Intancing and Expressions. To dynamically generate the level based on a slider. No Blendshapes are used. I just went back and skimmed though the pages.

The technique take a single object then dynamically generates copies of the object in one direction. Since this is done via an expresion you can modify the expression to add in additional attributes that you need for Rotation or Scale. These are simple additions to a script. =)

I would suggest setting aside some time and stepping though the tutorial at least once.

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03 March 2010, 08:04 PM
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