Please help

hey im makin retractable swords that become a staff by the blades retracting into the handles and the handles comming together and extending to make a staff. and of coarse the swords still have to move freely as too different swords and the staff has to move as if it were one object(kinda obvious but o well). this is kind of an unrealistic object but i like it anyway for some reason. if anyone can offer any ideas on how i can construct this or anything it would be greatly appreciatted.

this is what it looks like so far.

if anyone wants the .blend just tell me. i didnt want to add it right now cause im kinda tired right now and i just wanted to post this much right now while i have the time.

I’m not getting any response from imageshack today.

You can do this one of three ways that I can think of:

  1. Have three objects. Two swords that do everything you mentioned and a single staff which is the end result of their conversion. When you get the two swords together just swap objects.

  2. Have both swords attached to a single armature. The bones of the swords should be children of a single root bone. Manipulate the sword bones to move the swords separately. Move them together (into the staff) and manipulate the parent bone to operate the whole thing as a single object.

  3. [I think I like this solution best] Have an empty. Apply copy Loc/Rot constraints to the swords with the empty as the target. Use the IPO Curve Editor to set the influence to zero when the swords are separate, and to set the influence to one when they are joined into the staff. When separate, manipulate the swords as normal. When joined, manipulate the empty. (Hmm, forget the empty and just use one of the swords as the target…)

Hope this works for you.

i am not exactly sure what you mean by the last one but it sounds good.
the other two wont give me the results i want. only im not sure if the last one will give me the results i want tho either. just to make sure you know what i want i made a collage type thing of what it is suposed to look like as it transitions to each form.

that is just an idea of what it is supposed to do. the transitions are supposed to be slow enough for the human eye to actually see what is happening so i cant just replace meshes like you said with the first one. In the first two pictures in the collage it is supposed to act as two seperate objects and the last two act as one.

hey if you want to experiment or whatever here is the .blend if you come up with anything please show me.

I took a look at your file. I don’t know how you plan to do the extension thing with the handles so I didn’t mess around with it. From the shape of the hilt, I assume the blades lie together and the hilts connect over their length.

IN ANY CAse… for this example I just joined all the pieces into a single mesh for each sword. You’ll probably want to use an armature or something on the (renamed) “Sword B” to manipulate how the staff extends instead of joining things. (In fact, you’ll probably want to separate the hilt and the pommel meshes.)

Here’s the modified blend.

I’ve made the constraint sliders I added (in the Object Buttons) really big just to be obvious and obnoxious. You’ll note that you can grab either sword and move and rotate it anywhere you want.

If you grab each slider and change it’s influence to 1.00, you’ll notice that “Sword B” will align itself over “Sword A” in ready for the grips to be slid together. You can use this to your benefit when animating.

Place the sword close to the joined position. (In the example file, just grab it and place it’s center point (the purple spot at the hilt) somewhere in the 3D-cursor’s circle. Close enough works OK.

Grab the “copy rotation” slider and move it about halfway and release. This is your animating trick --automatically place the blade where it belongs. Grab it again and move it all the way to 1.00.

Now grab the “copy location” constraint’s slider and do the same thing. Same trick as before. You need not apply them in separate order.

The final consideration is that the blades occupy the same space. If you’re really picky, you can modify your models to not do that, but IMHO it’s probably not worth it. If your samurai/ninja/whatever does it in a fairly quick and fluid motion, the viewer will not likely notice.

Hope this helps.
Hey Dude! Thanks that helped a lot. i used a mix between your ideas and my ideas to create something that i am pretty sure will give me exact results i was looking for. i think that you couldnt quiet get it because you didn’t know that i wanted it to be very unrealistic. this weapon is very very impossible to make. it was very hard for me to explain to you how exactly this needed to be done. and im sorry i didnt do a better job. but i am very glad that you still helped me. you can mess with the new .blend if you want. it is very complicated the way i rigged it up though. i hope you can figure it out. it would be a whole lot to explain how i did it(either that or it just seems to be a lot because im about to pass out from lack of sleep) well thank you again i will be sure to put you in the credits of the movie im makin with it.

lol the sword has a button hope the button aint touchy coz if it on your back or sumthen and it trigger lol you gonna have a stiff

nice sword :slight_smile:

yesterday i forgot to ask how to animate the contraints in IPO. it doesnt look like i can just hit I and insert a keyframe.

Hopefully I’ve understood what you wanted.

Here’s a replacement .blend. They don’t quite follow the same exact retraction/rotation, but if you want them identical you can tweak them in the IPO window.

Please, nobody else download that unless you really need to, I need to conserve my webhost space.

hey AdmiralSenn you know exactly what it is supposed to do its just that idk how that technique would work if the sword is supposed to be moving around all of the time and then out of no where you need to retract or extend it. the way your doing it you would end up losing either a perfectly straight blade or you would mess up how long the blade used to be. i thank you for trying to help but ive tried this technique that you are trying to use and it didnt work perfectly. thats why i used constraints so that all you have to do is set the constraint to 1.000 and the blade is fully retracted or 0 to fully extend the blade without messing up with human error. now all that i need to do is figure out how to animate it using the constraints because i know its possible.

What are you talking about? Just animate the hilt. The blade will follow no matter where you move it or spin it or whatever. If you want the blade to come out later, slide the IPO over so it doesn’t start until later. You really don’t need the constraints.

ok well i just figured out how to animate the constraints and using the constraints is a lot easier than what you r trying to do. the way you want me to do it is a lot more complecating and more time consuming to pre animate everything and move it keyframes around for when you need em. the constraints allow me to animate normally and still get the same result just easier and quicker.

Glad it worked out. I don’t have a problem with IPO animation, but meh. Whatever works.