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.
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You use Path Constraint to constrain an object's movement to follow
a predefined path or paths.
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The direction of motion is defined by the way the path is drawn.
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The first Vertex on a spline represents the starting point.
In sub-object mode, the first vertex is shown in yellow.
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You can reverse a path by forcing its other end as a first vertex.
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To constrain an object to a path, you first select the object.
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You then choose the Path Constraint tool and point to the path
to which you want to constrain the object's motion.
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This relocates the object and instructs it to follow the path based
on the length of the animation as defined in the project.
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By default, the constrained object moves along the spline but doesn't
"follow" it. Notice the car around the bend.
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To make the car follow the path, you need to enable the Follow option.
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Based on how the model was created, it may not be pointing the correct way.
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Try a different axis orientation. If the vehicle seems to be moving
backward, use the Flip option.
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The Bank option introduces a rotation as the constrained object makes
a turn. This can be more useful for airplanes than cars.
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The Bank amount can be adjusted and animated.
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You can also leave this option unchecked and manually animate the
rotation track on the constrained object.
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Many professionals prefer to animate their vehicles by linking them
to helpers that are constrained to paths.
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This way, the user has complete freedom to introduce secondary
animation to the vehicle while it follows the constrained helper.
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When constraining an object, you have the possibility of using
multiple paths to define the motion.
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All you need to do is choose the Add Path option and select other
paths in the scene.
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By default, the object is equally constrained between the various paths.
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The objective is to animate the weight between the various paths to
create a "Push/Pull" effect for the constrained vehicle.
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This method can be used to alter a vehicle motion to avoid an obstacle,
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Another use would be to have multiple vehicles constrained to the
same paths, and yet have slightly different trajectories between them.