View Full Version : Drift Car Rig Tutorials ?

03 March 2010, 09:50 PM

for the new semester at university i have started a car chase animated short featuring two supercars speeding through a city!
Now im looking desperately for some car rigging tutorials! The final cars should be able to follow a path and have drift control!
I have some experience in rigging biped chars, but no experience in car rigging and so i dont really have a starting point?
Is vehicle rigging in general completely bone free?

You see, some Tutorials are greatly appreciated ! ;)
Thanks in advance!

04 April 2010, 08:24 PM
You can certainly make the cars bone free.
You can also make a car rig that is really really simple too..

Global control

Using Set driven keys to control the rotations on the wheels. This would be one of the most basic rigs you could do for a car. You would just want to make sure your rotaiton axis is centered to the inside of the wheel so that it would be pivoting and spinning from the right spot.

Just do two set driven keys for each wheel one for forward and backward spin and the other for the side to side. Then you could put the control for the wheel spins on the global control.

You can certainly get more complex that this. But as I said this is a pretty basic rig without knowing too much about the demands that you are going to need for your animation.

04 April 2010, 11:39 PM
The demands of the rig for this production are mainly:

A realistic base that on top offers all neccessary possibilities for exageration (Drifts, Jumps etc).
These conditions must apply to a car that follows a motion path.

I want to have all the car animation following a path and tweak in drifts etc.

Points i want to realize are: Ground attachment for the wheels (dynamic or manipulatorwise), Drift control (no idea yet what the best approach might be), Right and realistic path following, Correct but still tweakable wheel spinning (i want to have the right amount of spinning computed via nodes but still be able to give make them spin more certain times to simulate breakouts / but i have a slight idea how that could work) and car stop and start chasis movement!

Maybe some concrete ideas about some points ??

04 April 2010, 04:02 PM
I would use a global controller to attach the rig to the motion path, then use a secondary base controller for tweaking rotations.
That would be the first phase. Basical creating a cube and doing a really simple rig like that you see if I could get the motion out of the cube that I wanted..

When you say drifting I think thats not a action thats and animation. The rig action you want is Ground plane contact or wheels moving in sync with eatch other. Which is all that a car is doing when it drifts. The Drifting is all animation not rig.

So when a car would drift you would have a control that truns the front wheels one way or the other, and if your car has the ability to turn the wheels in the back (noting that not all cars can turn their rear wheels.)

The drift would happen in the animation of the secondary controller being keyed out of line with the primary controller to give the illusion that the car is sliding

Depending on how far away the camera is you can fake contact with the ground plane a lot, with shadows and textures (ie tires that buldge) you might also do this with a lattice. Which would more than likely be my choice.

Again I'd run a quick experiment might take a few minutes to set up the rig and run it through some tests. I'd use only a cube and some cylinders for tires. This way I'd find out if the motion I was seeing was meeting my expectation.

04 April 2010, 05:50 PM
If you're set on using motion trails why not use a locator attached to the motion path and then attach a second locator to the car as an aim constraint to the path. Drifts are all about control and you can only step the car out so far while retaining control before you can't correct (I shoot drift events a lot). The second locator would allow you to kick the rear end of the car out while still aiming on the trajectory path of the car which would get you pretty close to a proper drift.

04 April 2010, 05:59 PM
see the above post...

Its better to use a spline object as the global controller... So you get a representation of the direction of the path.

But a global controller can be anything from a nurbs spline to a polygon object to a locator. Locators are generally not that great as a control object since they can not have their Scale keyed and have a number of other limitations. A nurbs spline opens more options to you as a control object.

04 April 2010, 06:08 PM
No real need to be scaling anything with this type of rig though. You're simply using the front drive shaft as the pivot where the car will follow the path and the second drive shaft can have the second locator using an aim constraint to keep the car pointed in the right direction while staying on the path.

Any type of control object works here, just boils down to personal or animator preference.

*edit* almost forgot but you can key a locators scale.. not sure why you think it's not possible. You can key its global scale or local scale just fine inside of Maya.

04 April 2010, 05:20 PM
you can, but everytime that I have, it has always reverted to its original scale, in the past it has always only kept the global scale only, you could scale the local but it would revert back to the global. Still as rigger I would never use a locator for that control, it's just not that effecient, if you replace the locator with a custom object, then maybe yes, but otherwise no.

The aim contstaint on an object just ahead of the vechicle rig is a good idea to keep the ront end of the car alway on the path.

You might scale a bit to do some squash and stretch to give emphasis to a jump or hop if the car bounces over a small hump or speed bump.

CGTalk Moderation
04 April 2010, 05:20 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.