Folks in L.A. -- $5 for Motion Designer info from me this Sunday


I’m again a guest speaker at the LA LightWave User’s group, which is happening this Sunday. In the past I’ve covered topics such as modeling, celshading, splines and the scenes I used to create the Motion Designer tests on my website.

This time around I’m covering Motion Designer again. I’m going to show beginners how to use the plug-in, and I’m going to cover as much as I can about each of MD’s settings before my three hours of time runs out:

Directions are here:

Cover charge is $5 at the door, to pay for the cost of renting the room and projector.

I hope some of you can make it!


cool! wish I could be there.
I would love to know how you did the grappling hook? bones to make it connect to itself or did it naturally happen?

feel free to dissect, teach and give ‘students’ these MD Scenes!



Originally posted by HowardM
I would love to know how you did the grappling hook? bones to make it connect to itself or did it naturally happen?

The hook itself was a separate object that I animated to whirl around the girder; I used MD to animate the cable, whose fixed end was parented to the hook.

For the cable, I used MD_MetaPlug – calculating MD on a “ribbon” substitute and then playing back that calculation on the cable itself. As mentioned above, the fixed end was parented to the same null as the hook.

To keep the other end taut, I made the other end a fixed surface as well and used a null as a reference object for that end. I animated the reference object to move the other end of the cable up and down. Up for more slack, down to make that end of the cable go taut.

After the MD-controlled cable looked correct, I tweaked the rotation of the hook and its null-parent to make it latch onto the cable. If I moved the null-parent to do this, I recalculated the MD on the cable. I kept doing this a few times until it looked right.

In retrospect, if I knew enough about which part of the cable would get latched by the hook, I could have made that part of the cable a fixed surface that was also controlled by a reference object. That would have taken some of the guesswork out of where to latch the hook. Still, by using a ribbon instead of the full cable, MD calculations were done in a flash.

loves MD_MetaPlug!!! :love:


What is MD Meta Plug and where do you get it?


Originally posted by Jockomo
What is MD Meta Plug and where do you get it?

MD_MetaPlug is a lattice deformation plug-in for Motion Designer. It’s one of the “playback” plug-ins that comes with Motion Designer. Go to Object Properties->Deform->Add Displacement to find MD_MetaPlug.

What MD_MetaPlug does is let you play back any MDD file onto your object, as long as you can tell MD_MetaPlug where to find the original object used to generate the MDD file. The location of the original object becomes the “cage” object setting in MD_MetaPlug.

It doesn’t matter if the original object has a different point order than the “playback” object – MD_MetaPlug will still work on the playback object.

Examples of using MD_MetaPlug:

Calculate MDD information on a box, and play it back on a ball of the same size using MD_MetaPlug, with the box as the “cage” object.

Calculate MDD information on a ribbon, and play it back on a tube of the same width and length using MD_MetaPlug, with the ribbon as the “cage” object.

I have some examples of MD_MetaPlug on my site here:

Saslite hair, the rope ladder, the grappling hook, the roses – I could not have done these FX as easily without MD_MetaPlug.



i’m hoping someone will attend the event and write down your tips and tutorials for us. the md animation on your website are really terrific.

when you talked about the md metaplug and cage… somehow my mind went huh?

i’m willing to send $10 for a series of awesome md tuts on your website. if a few of us do it :rolleyes:

you know private email for the tut links just like a seminar event but without the traveling. :thumbsup:



In addition to Jennifer demonstrating Motion Designer, we will also have Don McCoy from Area 51 Studios doing a short presentation on the behind the scenes work of Children of Dune…

hope to see you all there…


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