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Animating an engine piston
show user profile  KingRoLo05
Hi, I am trying to animate just 1 piston as shown in this video in order to learn something new and practice new techniques:

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what i should be using in studio max order to achieve the various parts of the arm linked together and moving correctly if i were to for instance animate the piston head up and down. After a brief search i found out about lookat constraints and inverse kinematics but i've never used these before. Are these the right tools for the job?

Many thanks.

read 483 times
9/16/2012 4:50:49 PM (last edit: 9/16/2012 4:50:49 PM)
show user profile  DannyMax
Do a search on this forum and Im sure you will find what your looking for :)

read 475 times
9/16/2012 5:40:22 PM (last edit: 9/16/2012 5:40:22 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Yep, this forum is a goldmine for rigging. I was going to reply with pretty much the same response but curiosity got the better of me.

I made a piston work and I'll try and explain BUT it will probably confuse more than help. Having said that here's 3 frames of the animation:

And here's the bone setup:

To explain: You need a two bone chain to make the arms move and you need a squash bone to make the spring compress.

1.To make the arm move link dummy (1) to the cylinder and key in a simple rotation. Now the dummy rotates with the cylinder.
2. create the two bone chain (plus nub) and, while in edit mode, align the start bone to the dummy (1) and link it. Now your bones will rotate with the cylinder.
3. create another dummy (2) and link the start bone to it. Add a position constraint to dummy 1.
4. Create dummy (3) and add a look at constraint from the nub bone to dummy (3). Now your arm should work fine.
5. Create to point helpers (4) and (5) and align one to the nub bone and one to the dummy (3).
6. Create a squash bone and align the start to point (5) and the nub to point (4). Link them respectively.
7. Add a look at constraint from start bone to point (4) and a position constraint from nub to point (4).

*** I probably left a step out somewhere, it's pretty confusing to even write out. Also there's probably another way (or two) to do this.

Now it should work. Just link your geometry to the bones.

You'll also have to skin your spring to the squash bone.

read 467 times
9/16/2012 6:51:31 PM (last edit: 9/16/2012 6:57:58 PM)
show user profile  Joey Parker Jr.
Created by Garp and located in the Maxforums members tutorials:
 photo 2012-sig_small3_zpsbd114b69.png

read 460 times
9/16/2012 6:57:24 PM (last edit: 9/16/2012 6:57:48 PM)
show user profile  KingRoLo05
Many thanks herfst1 and Joey for the link and lengthy explanation!

Going to give this a go and try to get my head around it.
read 437 times
9/16/2012 11:46:39 PM (last edit: 9/16/2012 11:46:39 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
No problem.

I'm still trying to get my head around that Garp video but my maths isn't what it used to be.

Of course you're going to have to change my setup to actually match what a piston does but it should help you with some principles of using lookat's and squash bones.

read 433 times
9/17/2012 12:04:58 AM (last edit: 9/17/2012 12:04:58 AM)
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