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making objects face moving camera
show user profile  whyme26
Hello, this is probably a simple question but I can't for the life of me figure it out.

I have a small scene with a rotating camera. In the scene are some trees and flowers that are just bitmaps and opacity maps slapped onto a plane of zero width.

Now in a single still shot this works out well and looks great. but then comes the moving camera :/
as the camera rotates, the planes do not so you end up seeing the edge of the plane the trees are on..

Is there a way to make the plane rotate on Just the vertical axis and always face the camera? so as the camera is swinging around the objects stays in place, but rotates to face the camera? I've used plugins for placing groups of trees that have this feature built in, but can't seem to figure out how it's done without the plug-in and I don't need a whole forest, just a single tree :(

Hopefully that all made sense and thank you for any help!
read 369 times
8/13/2009 12:08:40 PM (last edit: 8/13/2009 12:08:40 PM)
show user profile  owtdor
Use a "look at" constraint to follow the camera, it will change all 3 axis though.
I asked this same question last year. I will try to find the thread because I think we solved it. Just keep in mind that a rotating tree will look strange when animated. Stills are probably OK

(edit: here is the old topic -

read 368 times
8/13/2009 12:09:13 PM (last edit: 8/13/2009 12:15:21 PM)
show user profile  whyme26
Thanks man, I'll check it out.
I know they won't look great but they have to look better than not moving at all.. I'm not sure how else to accomplish it short of actually modeling the trees and stuff, which I don't want to do..
read 356 times
8/13/2009 12:20:05 PM (last edit: 8/13/2009 12:20:05 PM)
show user profile  owtdor
Try to create 2 planes with the same tree texture on it. Place the 2 of them back to back, then take these two and shift-rotate them 60 degrees to one side, then shift-rotate the new planes another 60 degrees. This will end up with a total of 12 planes - 6 sets of back to back.
This solution may keep you from having to constrain things and an animation should appear better.
Keep in mind that this works best with a straight trunk and the trunks are all aligned.

read 348 times
8/13/2009 12:34:55 PM (last edit: 8/13/2009 12:35:30 PM)
show user profile  owtdor
Any luck with this? What method did you use?

read 326 times
8/13/2009 5:08:59 PM (last edit: 8/13/2009 5:08:59 PM)
show user profile  Garp
I can think of 2 ways of doing it:

1. Make a dummy and align it to the tree object so their pivots coincide, add a lookat to the dummy with the camera as target, link the tree to the dummy and disable inherit Z rotation. You might need to change the lookat axis of the dummy and/or the disabled rotation axis of the tree (if it's been rotated already).

2. Create a dummy, align it in X and Y with the camera and in Z with the tree object, then link it to the camera with Z move disabled. Add a lookat to the tree with the dummy as target.

read 316 times
8/13/2009 5:31:34 PM (last edit: 8/13/2009 5:32:32 PM)
show user profile  elsporko
Have you ever played Oblivion on PC, owtdor? On the higher visual settings, all of the trees are full, beautiful models. If you're PC can't run it on high, and you lower the visual settings, the trees become flat planes that turn as you move, and always face you, similar to what whyme is talking about.

It looks fine from a distance and you don't really notice it, but as soon as you get close up, then it starts to look a bit odd :P
read 300 times
8/13/2009 8:09:25 PM (last edit: 8/13/2009 8:09:25 PM)
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