Better Trajectory Visualizer?

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  05 May 2013
Better Trajectory Visualizer?

Just wondering if there's a better way to do this.

Frequently when setting up animation, I look at the resulting trajectory to determine if speed changes are being setup as desired. This generally works well... but there are situations where more control would be better.

For example, let's say I'm looking at the trajectory of an aircraft that is taking off from a runway. The aircraft will begin from a stop, accelerate and lift off. Normally when looking at the trajectory, I see a red line with white tick marks on it representing the animation frames and red squares representing the keyframes. This is fabulous as it let's me judge speed changes. Problem is, when the trajectory is very large, you have to zoom out to see the whole thing and when you do... all the white frame tick marks blend together and the trajectory line becomes basically totally white and you can no longer distinguish the speed changes that are going on.

Ideally, what I'd like is to be able to always show the keyframe ticks but dial down the display of intermediate frame ticks so I can see the speed changes when zoomed way out from the trajectory. Basically a 'Show Every Nth Intermediate Frame Tick' or something like that.

Is there any tool that would allow something like this?

Thanks!
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  05 May 2013
How I always make these types of anims in to create a spline for motion path, then use the 'path constraint' (assing a bezier float controller to the 'percent' input first) and you can then control speed very easily and somewhat independent of the path shape. This allows for very smooth acceleration over a very complex motion path that would be impossible to create the normal way. And you have all fancy spline controls and bezier handles to adjust paths in viewport.

Works great for camera movements as well, speedup and slowdown withotu changing the path works great for easy to adjust bullettime camera type movements.
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  05 May 2013
Thanks for the ideas Jonathan!

But I should have been more clear... these animation trajectories are created by data provided to me... which I must be able to demonstrate at a later time for verification. So the keyframe method must be used.

I was just wondering if there were other tools out there to adjust how trajectories are displayed.

Thanks again.
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Sincerely,

Mike Truly
-----------------------
Truly Media
970.349.5651
www.trulymedia.com
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by Mike Truly: I was just wondering if there were other tools out there to adjust how trajectories are displayed.

Thanks again.

I suffer the same problem
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by Mike Truly: Thanks for the ideas Jonathan!

But I should have been more clear... these animation trajectories are created by data provided to me... which I must be able to demonstrate at a later time for verification. So the keyframe method must be used.

I was just wondering if there were other tools out there to adjust how trajectories are displayed.

Thanks again.


You can convert the trajectory to a spline and take it from there? That should keep the exact same data..

If not.. I'm haven't seen a tool for this but I can imagine it isn't that hard to script a series of helper objects at a user defined interval along the trajectory. Trow the question in the mxs/sdk forum and see what happens
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  05 May 2013
I'm using http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/dtrajedit as alternative to build-in trajectories.
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  05 May 2013
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