Today I’ve been creating a new model to use in an animation that I’m going to design and create from next week. Before we’ve done this I been learning about hierarchies, constraints and deformers.
Hierarchies follow a parent and child formula where an object is attached to another and that object follows wherever the main object moves to. So for example, in the truck image above the cab of the truck has been designated as the parent and the wheels have been marked as the children. Wherever the cab is moved to then the children will follow. Each child can also move individually from the parent but anything which is attached to that child will move with it. So as the picture below shows, if the cab moves (since its placed on the top and is the parent), then everything else underneath will move with it. Wheel1 (child) can move independently from the parent but wheels2-6 will move with Wheel1 since they are below in the hierarchy. The same principle has been applied to the trailer and its wheels.
Using drag and drop inside the Hypergraph Hierarchy I’ve been able to create a hierarchy where each object belongs within its own group.
Deformers are tools within Maya that can be used to manipulate objects when modelling letting you squash, stretch or bend for example all or part of an object to change its dimensions beyond its normal characteristics.
Constraints force someone or something to follow a particular course of action such as making an animated characters eyes or head follow a pre-determined movement path of an object. Those eyes or head are told to fix their viewpoint on an object and not to look elsewhere for as long as the constraint is active.
For my animation I decided to create an object that doesn’t have a lot of points which are needing their own individual movements like the flour sack did. For this task I want to keep the model simple with the hope I can get more out of it by having more control over it. I Googled simple children’s toys and amongst the hundreds of results that appeared before my eyes I’d saw and settled on a truck which when created, didn’t look far off Optimus Prime – also commented on by a couple of people in class. I didn’t intentionally set out for it to look like this, it just came to be.
While I’m happy with the basics of it, I’ve come back to looking after a few hours away from it thinking it could do with some details being added to it. I know there’s not a lot I could do to the trailer but I’m already thinking of a few things I could do to the cab in particular.
I’ve also been thinking about how I’m going to animate it and how I’m going to give it a anthropomorphic feel. Since it doesn’t have anything that resembles arms or legs I initially wasn’t sure how I’d go about it. You know when you switch your brain off and stop thinking about something then every so often something will hit you making you go’of course!’? Well, this was my eureka moment;
A perfect example of how to give a seamlessly inanimate object a personality. It displays lots of the principles of animation; squash & stretch, anticipation, staging, arcs, secondary action, timing and exaggeration to name a few. And one of my favourite adverts ever.