Creating a Railroad with Path Constraint and Snapshot Tool in 3DS Max

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In this post i will explain how to use path constraint and snapshot tools to create continuous multiple objects. I am using this tools oftenly at work. For small scenes copy-paste could be easier to use but in huge scales snapshotting is much more time saver. I will post a few different renders below the explanation as example.

Before the start I created some kind of coal mine enter as you see above. Its only for the tutorial, I did not spend much time on it. Then I simply created a curved line starting from inside of the gate. It will be the path of our railroad.

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Then I fit the line to the earth by playing with vertices. The earth plane has some ups and downs.

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I created the wooden rail holder at the left side to put it below the rail.

 

 

 

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Under the motion panel and assign controller drop down menu you will see position, rotation and scale. To assign a controller to transformer I selected position and pressed the assign controller button above the selection. After selecting path constraint from the list, it will be added to the object.

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After adding path constraint, Path Parameters dropdown menu will show up. Under the menu Add Path button lets you choose which line will be followed by the selected object. I picked the path I created before. Usually the result is out of the rotation than how it must be look like. So I rotate it manually to find a position as I want. I recommend you to press follow button that I marked in the picture above before the manual rotation. Otherwise it will be unrotate again. Follow check lets rotate the object that controlled by path constraint on the way of picked line.

Now the object has a path animation. It can be seen by scrolling the timeline from begining to the end.

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Snapshot can be reached under “Tools>Snapshot”. This tool can make a copy of the mesh within any single time or between a range in timeline. I have an animation of object that i want to copy in a range of time. So I checked Range and copied it 12 times as the lenght of my path.

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The result is fine to me. I drew two lines more to create rails. And this is how it looks.

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I also created the two pictures below. The one with city lamps is for this tutorial and the one with roller coaster is a product.

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alan render3

 

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2D Character Animation With Adobe After Effects

This is a very short part of the video teaser of Şekermeker – Sugarmugar which is a game going to be released soon for Android and IOS. The game will be published by Codemodeon Game Studio which is I’am currently working as an art director. I will explain you how I created the teaser video with basic tools in After Effects.
creating the bodyThe characters in the video are exactly the same images as the one in the game. I started with seperating the joints and moveable parts of the characters such as legs, arms, eyes, eyebrow, head. Then I exported them to After Effects layer by layer.

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After I get my images in the project panel next step is to create a new composition. I used the values below.

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Next, drag and drop the images that insinde the project panel to composition panel below. The images will be over and over not accurately. So I needed to move the individual parts to the actual places.

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The woman doesn’t have a mouth as you see above. That because the mouth needs to be created in After Effects as a vector. So we can move the control points to animate it look like she is speaking.

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I created the mouth like above by using Pen tool. I made only 4 control point, so it is a very simple mouth. Pen tool must be used after creating a new shape layer. Otherwise it will react as if a mask.

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To create motion I made a tween for the Shape Layer 1>Contents>Shape1>Path1. Its a very long path but easy when you familiar to it. After Effects works with keyframes. I presume that you alredy know how it works so I will not explain it.

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To animate joints, I used puppet tool. It is a very usefull tool in After Effects. It lets us define joints and move them by click an release.

A usefull tip: you can Ctrl+click to a joint to make a realtime animation. If you click ctrl while you already clicked to puppet tool you will realize the cursor will be a clock. So it is ready to animate. Animation starts from the current time until the end of the composition time.

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If you dont have a character, you can experience it with simple objects like boxes etc. Puppet tool is great for cartoon animations. It is simple but the result satisfies.