How do I make Abrams Tank treads?

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  08 August 2008
How do I make Abrams Tank treads?

I've been playing Battlefield Bad Company a lot and I started modeling an abrams tank in Maya 2008. The tank's treads and lower wheels conform independently and dynamically over the terrain. I was wondering how I can model treads to do this. Thanks.

Last edited by p1ouspartan : 08 August 2008 at 05:48 AM.
  11 November 2008
Hi p1ouspartan,

Tracks.. Now here's the thing you could either model a set of tracks by modeling one "track block", (a track block is the term to describe one single link that makes a tank tread) out of polygons and use a Mel Script to build the rest or you could model a crude flat set of tracks and employ textures, a color map, a normal map, and a specular map to add the required detailed illusion to sell the effect.
The actual track geometry can be created from two splines which are then lofted. Oh there’s a MEL script called AS_TreadsCreation on . And you can make the treads in just a few clicks.

When you download the script copy it into your scripts folder If you use a PC it's (my documents/Maya/x.x/scripts) and If you use a Mac it's (Documents/Maya/Scripts). Also copy the icons folder to the scripts folder now start Maya, and in the command line type RS_TreadsCreation; Drag text using MMB to shelf. Now create a simple tread geometry it doesn't have to be fancy for now just simple and create a path curve from a nurbs circle. Run the script. A dialog box will appear load the curve as a path curve, and tread geometry as a tread object. Also select axis you want tread to be oriented to, now choose instances and just hit Create Treads button.

And viola, you have tank treads! Notice that the treads are a bit separated? to solve that select all vertices in tread geometry and scale them. Also you can move the tread in Z axis to get a nice overlapping on the curved parts.
It would be a good idea to bevel edges to get that realistic look to the treads.

Hope that did the trick, good luck and have fun.
  11 November 2008
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