MOTION PATH RIG – OVERVIEW

 

The Motion Path Rig tool instantly creates path animation setups.

The tool creates various motion path rigs so that objects can be easily animated along curves.

Video coming soon.

 
 

THE PROBLEM

 

Although Maya’s motion-paths provide the basics for animating along curves, they can be annoying to create and animate.

Motion-paths often lock-off the translation and rotation of objects so they cannot be offset.

The motion path nodes are challenging to select, controls are buried deep inside the input nodes of the channel box.

It’s difficult to add up vector controls to avoid flipping.

Motion-paths cannot be created in multiple batches.

It’s challenging to change settings across many setups.

 
 

THE SOLUTION

 

Motion Path Rig instantly creates various motion-path rigs ready to animate. Multiple rigs can be created in a single click.

– Adds attributes for easy access to the animation controls
– Easily modify all settings even after the rigs have been built
– Options for groups and parent constraints
– Auto create up-vector controls option
– Full world up control per rig
Rotation follow option or translate only
– Batch build and modify multiple setups
– Switch Curves
– Reverse Curves
– Delete and rebuild setups

 
 

USING THE TOOL

 

Option A: Select control/s or object/s and then a curve last, and run.

Option B: Add a curve name in the advanced UI mode, and select the motion path objects and run.

Objects will be snapped to the curve. The objects can be animated with the new attributes named Path, Front Twist, Up Twist, and Side Twist in the channel box.

By default an up vector control will be created, it can be hidden with the Up Ctrl Vis attribute.

All settings can be changed and removed/added after building the rig.

 
 

COMPACT SETTINGS

 

Up Combobox
The object’s axis direction that faces world up.

Follow Combobox
The object’s forward axis as it travels along the curve.

Rotation Follow Checkbox
On: The Rotation will follow along the path.

Off: The Rotation will not follow the path, only the translation will move with the path.

Parent Constrain Checkbox
Will parent constrain the selected objects to motion path groups.

Creates empty groups connected to motion paths and parent constrains to those groups.

Parent constraints can be helpful for referenced objects.

Group Checkbox
Will group the selected objects so they can be keyed on translate and rotate.
Objects cannot be referenced.

Up Vector Control Checkbox
Builds an up vector arrow control with the rig.

The control can be used to manually set and keyframe the up axis of the rig.

Useful in scenarios where the curve travels straight up and causes flipping.

Note: Checking and unchecking this checkbox will build/delete the control on live rigs.

Up V Ctrl Scale Textbox And Buttons
The absolute size of the `Up Vector Control`.

Use the icon buttons to scale the relative scale of the controls.

Note: Hold shift for faster, ctrl for slower and alt for reset.

Path Slider
Sets the path attribute on live rigs, this specifies where to move the object along the curve.

Keyframe Icon Button
Keyframes the path attribute at the current time.

Create CV Curve Icon Button
Create a CV curve (3 Cubic). Click to create points after running.

Reverse Curve Icon Button
Reverse a selected CV curve/s direction.

Switch Buttons Icon Button
Switch a rigs to a new curve:

1. Select existing motionPath rig object/s
2. Select the new curve to transfer to.
3. Run

Motion Path Rig Button
Animates the selected objects along a curve with Maya’s `motion path` nodes.

New attributes are created on the selected objects for animation.

– Select objects and then a curve last, and run.
– Or add a curve name in advanced UI mode, and select objects, and run.

Objects will be snapped to the curve. The objects can be animated with the new attributes named Path, Front Twist, Up Twist, and Side Twist in the channel box.

 
 

ADVANCED SETTINGS

 

Up Type Combo Dropdown
Set the world up for the rotation of the motion path by type:

Scene Up: Uses the scene up Y.

Object Up: Uses an object as an aim vector.

Object Rotation Up: Uses an objects rotation as the up.

Vector (World Up): Uses the x, y z textbox as a vector in world space.

Normal: Uses the point on curve normal direction.

Up Vector Textboxes
The Up Vector (x, y, z) direction. Default 0.0, 1.0, 0,0 is Y Up:

Use with the Up Types:

Object Rotation Up: Specifies which axis of the object is the up direction.

Vector (World Up): Specifies the up vector in world coordinates.

Up Object Textbox And Icon Button
Specifies the up object.

Used if the Up Type is set to Object Up or Object Rotation Up.

Note: To assign an object to an existing rig, use shift-select to add select the object and then use the arrow button to enter the object.

Supports multiple rig select.

Curve Textbox
Optionally add the name of the curve object for the animated objects to follow.

If the name is not given, then the curve should be the last selected object.

You can also use this textbox to switch curves. Shift-select a curve and then enter the object with the arrow icon button.

Add Curve Arrow button
Select a curve object and press to add the name of a curve object.

If a rig is already built then Shift-select a curve and then press the button.


 
 

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