Camerapath -Music visuals

(ProjectedMusic) #1

Working on some visuals for a new track. The camera is supposed to fly through a wireframe-tunnel. The tunnel itself is parented to some bones. So when I want to change the look of the tunnel I just use “pose-mode” and change the bones.

Now my problem is that I want the camera to fly along inside the tunnel. Tried to parent a “path” with the bone-rig (like I did with the tunnel to the bone-rig) but the path is not changed when I move the bone-rig. Rather timeconsuming keyframing the cameramovement so there must be an easier way to do this.
What I try to do? - Parent a camerapath to a bone-rig or parent a camerapath to my tunnel. Look at at attached pictures.
Any ideas?

Have a great day!


(Clockmender) #2

OK - the way I would do this is to use a curve for the path of the camera - then use a Follow Path constraint on the camera with the curve as the Target Object. Then you simply animate the camera from one end to the other of the curve.

Now, to get the curve to move with your bones, you need a curve vertex at each bone junction and then add a Hook Modifier to the curve for each vertex and assign the vertex in edit Mode on the appropriate Hook Mod to the appropriate bone. Then when you move the bones, the curve will follow.

This is one of two ways to animate a curve, the other is using the Animall Add-on and keyframe the vertex positions, but this is more of a Human Intense activity, so I would use the hook Mod approach.

Cheers, Clock.

(ProjectedMusic) #3

Clockmender! Thanks for your reply. I understand what you mean, but I cant figure out how to implement it. If I add a Hook mod to the curve, it is added for the whole curve and not only the specified vertices. Also when I attach the curve to a bone in the mod-settings it doest seem to follow even if I move the bones.
Can you be more specific on how to set up this?

The bone-rig is made up of 127 bones so if there is a solution for not manually “hooking up” every single bone I would be thankful.

(Clockmender) #4

OK you need to do this is EDIT Mode for the Curve - Add a Hook Mod and then select the appropriate vertex in the curve and then click the Assign Button - sometimes it is necessary to click Reset and Recenter first if the curve distorts when you come out of edit mode.

Picture time:

Why do you need 127 bones? I think you may have way too many vertices in your mesh. For what you have done I would use a “segment” of the tunnel and an Array Mod, then add a Curve Mod to get the shape and use the same curve for your Camera Track also. Remember you are selling the “shot” not absolutely recreating reality here! And of course you can keep flipping back to the beginning of a small tunnel from say frame 200 to frame 201 then running the path again to frame 400 and slightly alter the track - nobody will ever know you are doing this, unless they read this post of course…

The trick with Bezier curves is to use the absolute LEAST number of vertices to get the shape - you can scale the individual vertices to get the shape to alter.

The chain above is simply two links at right angles as a mesh object, I then added a Curve Mod and an Array Mod, The Array Mod MUST be above the curve mod in the list. So this chain has 40 odd links in total for one small mesh.

Cheers, Clock. :confused:

PS. If I get some time this afternoon I will make a quick Mockup for you.

PPS. You cannot use Bones to animate curves - unless they are moving vertices through Hook Mods…

(Clockmender) #5

So I had a quick look at it, below two images of the results:

This one just has the loops.

The one has a “tunnel” brought into the camera’s field of view. The tunnel mesh has a very dark, but part glossy material.

With the blend file, just press Play either from the Camera view or normal views, where you can see the bits moving around. From the camera view you see the effects in the renders above. I have added the blur, halo, streaks, etc. in Compositor and also keyframed the change in colour of the loops as the animation progresses.

I have set the depth of field for the camera so it does not see all the loops - you can also just increase the clip length - most of the animations for the camera position have Cycle Mods on the F-Curves so they just loop around.

Here is the blend file: tunnel.blend (598 KB) Just ask any questions once you have had a good look at the file.

Cheers, Clock. :eyebrowlift:

(ProjectedMusic) #6

Oh my… thats such a clever solution. I`ve spent too many hours trying to get this to work, and here, you come up with a soultion real quickly. Thanks, I am diving into the blenderfile as we speak, and get back to you.

(ProjectedMusic) #7

@clockmender Thanks for the blenderfile. This seems like the way to go. Saves time and creates a much smaller setup - learing every day…
Animated a camera running along a bezier-curve and looping perfectly. Although Im having difficulties in aligning the “light-bars” correctly. For some reason they place themself below the track. See the attached pictures. Whats going on?

(Clockmender) #8

Aha - that old trick (I see from your image that the light box has some weird Location values) - the curve and the light object MUST HAVE THE SAME ORIGIN POINT, he said in big letters so it cannot be confused.

Two ways out of this, click the Eye icon on the curve mod to turn it off, then set your 3D cursor to the origin point of the curve (Select Curve - SHIFT+S => Cursor Selected) then select light object and click “Set Origin” in LH Menu then chose 3D Cursor - then click Eye icon on the curve mod to re-activate it.

OR you can select both curve and light object - then key CTRL+A => “Location” - this sets both to have origin at 0,0,0 - either way works. When you try again, always leave the cursor at the origin of the curve, which should be the first vertex, when you create the light objects, or the other way round, i.e. curve has same origin as existing light object.

I also see you have been scaling the light boxes in Object Mode - tut tut tut - do all edits including scaling in EDIT mode. If you have scaled in Object Mode, select Object and key CTRL+A = “Rotation and Scale” this sets rotation and scale values back to 0 for rotation and 1 for scale. Not having these like this will cause all sorts of problems in animations.

Cheers, Clock.

BTW if you want to spin the camera - move the Track To from the camera to the “camera-mount” object - then that stays in line with the “camera-fp” object - the camera is then parented to the camera-mount and you can then spin it - hours of fun there! You cannot spin the camera is that has the Track To constraint in place.

(ProjectedMusic) #9

Perfect! Just like I wanted. Such a great help Clockmender. Will post here when the
visuals are completed with music so you can see if interested.

(Clockmender) #10

I look forward to that - glad you have it sorted.

Cheers, Clock.

(ProjectedMusic) #11

Finally the animation is ready. A short clip from our latest liveperformance. Now lets see if I manage to get a link… Thanks for the help!

(Clockmender) #12

Sweet, looks good to me!!

Cheers, Clock.