I’m working on an architectural walk-around. This is different than a walk-through because I’m evaluating how a building looks in its environment (not just the environment of the building), and in particular, how it may look from other buildings in the environment. I have been using the feature of putting complex geometries and lighting grids into different layers and then using the layer parameter to make them part of the render or not–very helpful for optimizing for speed. I also note that a layer is not a parameter that changes continuously–it’s a perfectly discrete parameter that cannot be interpolated.
I have now found a case where I wish I could change the parent relationship during the animation. I have an environmental context that contains a ground plane (actually, a topography), trees, existing structures, etc. The ground plane is the parent for all these existing structures. I also have a subject building that can be placed within this environment. Since I built the building first, everything is based around an origin of 0,0,0. For the walk-through inside the building, the target and the camera are parented to objects that allow for panning views and cycles around a point, and that’s all well and good. But when I walk around outside, I want the camera’s reference to be based on the existing buildings and the target to be based either on the subject building reference points or the existing building reference points. These reference points change in relation to one another if I move the ground plane with reference to the subject building.
If I could key the parent relationship, I could easily move my ground plane (the effect being to move the subject building relative to the environment) and have all my key frames still keyed to the appropriate points. As it is, I have to pick a given frame of reference, and when that frame of reference moves, I have to manually move those keyframes.
What do folks think about making the parent relationship animatable, like the layer parameter?