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James W. Johnson

Animating Moving Objects

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Hello All,

I am not even sure if this is possible, but I would love to animate the way our set moves for one of the theater productions we are currently drafting... is this possible? Any great workflows? Thanks in advance!

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Hi James,

I did this movie a few years ago (maybe in 2006) using AnimationWorks. As for moving objects, notice the gate and glass doors opening and the moving waterwall. If you want to do this sort of thing in Vectorworks, you need AnimationWorks.

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You're welcome James and thanks for the compliments!

I'm not sure what the limitations are, but there is a demo version of AnimationWorks that you can download and try. It should give you a better idea if it will do everything you need. While it doesn't do elaborate animation effects, I think it will do the type of object motion you're looking for.

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Great animation. Nice and smooth, too. While clearly AnimationWorks is necessary to make the gate and doors open and close, was it also necessary to achieve that smoothness? It's what I'm struggling with. There seems no way to create a curved path to go around a corner. Stopping and panning the camera is kind of robotic, and using a series of views following a curve isn't much better.

Also, is there any way to make the camera rise (or fall) as it orbits around an object? Or does it have to remain at a constant 'Z'?

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animationworks allows you to draw a 3D path for the camera to follow. This allows a smoother transition at corners. You can do this without animationworks, but it is slow and clunky.

animation works will let the camera fall as it orbits. see this coffee machine movie...

creating an animation is a topic we cover in my online user group. subscribers will find this manual for September 2008 on the current page.

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Thanks for your response, Jonathan. Between your response and a visit to the AnimationWorks website I've confirmed what I was beginning to suspect... that VW's animation capabilities are quite limited...

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In addition to Jonathan's description, AW also allows multiple cameras to be placed along the path. Each camera can have a specified travel time along it's segment of the path, can have their own target, and can transition from its settings (target, lens angle, etc.) to the settings of the next camera along the path. This allows you to move smoothly along a path while having the camera looking at a specific object, then transition to another target. This is what gives you the smoothness and control. In the flythrough movie I posted, you can see the camera begin to pan to the left as it nears the end of the alley. This helped to give a more natural feeling.

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Hi Matt,

Thanks for your response. Yes, I did notice how the camera began to pan near the end of the alley. Hopefully I'll have opportunity and budget to acquire AW at some point. In the meantime, to that end, I'm putting together a demo animation for marketing. I'm just doing the best I can with VW's cameras, such as they are. There's no way to set constant velocity between the VW cameras (view points)?!? I assume velocity can be controlled in AW.

By the way, I had great success using your CameraMatch plug-in to show a balcony addition to an existing building (the proposed balcony's at the top of the bay window, under the hip dormer, in the attached images).

Thanks, Will

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Oh, I am. I'm using iMovie to assemble the clips that I generate in VW. For now I'll just limit myself to VW's camera capabilities; with a little creativity I'm sure I can put something together that's reasonably presentable.

Thanks!

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