Complex physics animation questions

Hi everyone :slight_smile:

I’ve been working on this personal animation project for a while, on and off when I’m not working, and I’ve gotten to the stage where I need to make some decisions about how to achieve what I’ve set out to do. I’m having some trouble wrapping my head around a few things, the physics in particular, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Let me start at the top:

The sequence features a character and a vehicle, both are ready to go.

For starters, I’d like to know if there’s a simple way to have, for example, a hand interact with a steering wheel using physics instead of sort of guessing with keys and hoping for the best. A sort of rigid body method which would make the process of detecting clipping immediate, because there’s going to be a lot of gripping things and twirling them about.

I know that Max has a facility for this, where the palm of the hand could act as a target, but to my knowledge Blender has no such feature.

Which brings me to my next question. Can you set a ‘ground plane’ that a character rig can recognise as the ‘floor’? In a similar vein, for slow motion effects with the vehicle, is there a facility for the bones controlling the wheels/springs to react to this floor so that the bones controlling them contract according to the spring height?

Basically, I’m looking for a way to bake specific, keyed motions which make the character or vehicle interact with other things.

I need to make this clear… I love the game engine, but it’s not quite capable of what I’m angling at. If there’s a way of somehow keying specific animations, only playing those specific sequences and baking the game engine results, that may work too, but I have yet to see anything like that.

I’m actually struggling to find a good example to explain what I’m on about, but here goes:

Imagine the vehicle is driving off a ramp. One controlling bone associated with the vehicle and all of it’s parts, including the wheels, is lifted up until the vehicle is no longer touching the surface of the road. The wheels ‘dangle’ under the unsprung length of the suspension and ‘sag’ because they have mass. When the vehicle lands the bone is lowered until the chassis of the vehicle is lower than it’s regular ride height immitating the effect of the mass falling heavily. The wheels will not pass through the road, but remain in contact with it, while the springs will now compress under the mass of the vehicle.

A couple more examples: Picking up a glass with a hand, turning a steering wheel, wheels rotating until friction eventually brings them to a halt, etc.

If you didn’t read any of that, that’s fine, and I apologise for the long post, but, basically, what I’m after is the ability to have keyed rigid body animations that are not controlled or exported from the game engine, but rather keyed very precisely with rigs and their associated models.

Thanks in advance if anyone can suggest a possible solution :slight_smile:

Are you using ROUBAL’s vehicle rig? I think he has solved some of you problems already. He has a working rig with suspension, actor steering and the ability to do jumps.

I remember seeing this a while back, thanks for reminding me, Atom. I’ll take a look at it and post some results if it works out :slight_smile: