Motion Paths and Path Transfer

Overview

Path mode allows you to create Motion Paths in the scene. Motion Paths are spline curves that define the motion of a particle in space. The particle follows along the trajectory of the user specified Motion Path over time. You can then take the motion and transfer it onto a bone(s) in a process called Path Transfer.

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Usage

To create a new path, toggle the Path category in animation mode. Click on Add Path to add a new path into the scene. Click on Edit Path to enter path edit mode:

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In Path Edit Mode, you can use direct mouse controls like clicking and dragging to move the spline knots and tangents around. There are also additional operations like:

  • Add Point This adds a new point to the spline curve at the current Time/Frame.

  • Remove Point This removes the point on the spline curve at the current Time/Frame.

  • Translate This is a suboption that can be toggled on during curve manipulation. When toggled, it allows the translation of the entire spline curve.

  • Scale This is a suboption that can be toggled on during curve manipulation. When toggled, it allows the scaling of the entire spline curve.

Path Transfer

Perhaps the most powerful feature of paths is the ability to transfer the motion along the path into a target bone(s). This is very useful for cases where you need a character to walk/fly along a specified trajectory. It can also be used to make bones target their orientation onto a motion curve.

You run the Path Transfer option by selecting a bone in the Bone mode and clicking on the Path Transfer button(if the motor allows it).

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There are 2 modes available for path transfer:

  • Path This allows the bone to follow the entire motion of the path.

  • Target This makes the bone target or rotate/face the motion along the path.

You can combine Motion Paths, Path Transfer and the usage of Video Guides into a Motion Capture pipeline for your scene. Please read the documentation on Guides to understand how to do this.

Path Bone Motor

A more advanced and cleaner way to author path motion is accomplished via installing Path Bone Motors on a chain of sequential bones. Please watch the tutorial below to learn more about using the Path Bone Motor.

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