Path Constraints in 3ds Max - Objects

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  • Design Visualization
  • Animation
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Beginner
4 min

Path Constraints in 3ds Max - Objects

This is a multi-part series introducing "Path Constraints." In this first tutorial, learn the basics of constraining an object to one or more paths.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2010
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2010 or higher.


00:00:00 --> 00:00:05
You use Path Constraint to constrain an object's movement to follow
a predefined path or paths.

00:00:06 --> 00:00:09
The direction of motion is defined by the way the path is drawn.

00:00:12 --> 00:00:19
The first Vertex on a spline represents the starting point.
In sub-object mode, the first vertex is shown in yellow.

00:00:22 --> 00:00:26
You can reverse a path by forcing its other end as a first vertex.

00:00:37 --> 00:00:41
To constrain an object to a path, you first select the object.

00:00:41 --> 00:00:48
You then choose the Path Constraint tool and point to the path
to which you want to constrain the object's motion.

00:00:50 --> 00:00:56
This relocates the object and instructs it to follow the path based
on the length of the animation as defined in the project.

00:01:00 --> 00:01:06
By default, the constrained object moves along the spline but doesn't
"follow" it. Notice the car around the bend.

00:01:07 --> 00:01:10
To make the car follow the path, you need to enable the Follow option.

00:01:11 --> 00:01:15
Based on how the model was created, it may not be pointing the correct way.

00:01:17 --> 00:01:24
Try a different axis orientation. If the vehicle seems to be moving
backward, use the Flip option.

00:01:35 --> 00:01:43
The Bank option introduces a rotation as the constrained object makes
a turn. This can be more useful for airplanes than cars.

00:01:45 --> 00:01:48
The Bank amount can be adjusted and animated.

00:01:57 --> 00:02:03
You can also leave this option unchecked and manually animate the
rotation track on the constrained object.

00:02:06 --> 00:02:12
Many professionals prefer to animate their vehicles by linking them
to helpers that are constrained to paths.

00:02:13 --> 00:02:20
This way, the user has complete freedom to introduce secondary
animation to the vehicle while it follows the constrained helper.

00:02:21 --> 00:02:26
When constraining an object, you have the possibility of using
multiple paths to define the motion.

00:02:28 --> 00:02:33
All you need to do is choose the Add Path option and select other
paths in the scene.

00:02:33 --> 00:02:37
By default, the object is equally constrained between the various paths.

00:02:38 --> 00:02:44
The objective is to animate the weight between the various paths to
create a "Push/Pull" effect for the constrained vehicle.

00:02:45 --> 00:02:49
This method can be used to alter a vehicle motion to avoid an obstacle,
for example.

00:03:08 --> 00:03:12
Another use would be to have multiple vehicles constrained to the
same paths, and yet have slightly different trajectories between them.
Posted By
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • 2011
  • Basics
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