Craft AnimationsCraft Director Studio



Craft Airplane Extended

›› Using Craft Airplane Extended
› Autonomous
› Body Relocator
›› Input Settings
›› Config Settings
› Gauges
› General Modes
› Airplane Modes
› Autonomous Mode
› Airplane Parameters
› Actuator Multipliers
› Input Property Parameters

Craft Airplane Extended is a high precision real-time plug-in for the animation of airplanes. The vehicle is controlled with an input device directly through 3ds Max or Maya. Craft Airplane Extended can be used to simulate movements for all types of vessels, from toy airplanes to jumbo jets. Craft Airplane Extended also has the ability to follow splines. The user links the model that will be rendered to Craft Airplane Extended to inherit its movements. Multi-player functionality allows two or more users to individually steer the Craft Airplane Extended dummies simultaneously.

Craft Airplane Extended

›› Using Craft Airplane Extended

Warning Optimizing the scene
It's wise to optimize the scene before recording starts. The scene is optimized by decreasing the amount of polygons shown during the recording. This is achieved by hiding objects not crucial to the part of the scene to be animated. Another tip is to use Craft Bounding Poly, which temporary lowers the amount of polygons for selected objects and allows for a smoother recording.
  1. Create a Craft Airplane Extended
  2. Configure the controls for Craft Airplane Extended (using an analog input device is recommended).

    Select the Craft Airplane Extended in the tool tree list and click on the Input settings button in the tool bar. This will open the input settings window for Craft Airplane Extended.
    Read more about Input settings >>.

    Control change
  3. Import the high poly model to be rendered to the scene.
  4. Align the Craft Airplane Extended body to the same position as the model's. It is recommended to use wireframe mode so that only the outlines are visible. Keyboard shortcut for wireframe in 3ds Max is F3, CINEMA4D: N~G and 4 for Maya.
    Airplane Rigged
  5. Move and rescale the Craft Airplane Extended body (AirplaneExt_01_PlaneBody) so that it is placed in the same position and has the same size as the high poly model's body.
  6. Place Craft Airplane Extended rudders (2x AirplaneExt_01_AileronRight, 2x AirplaneExt_01_AileronLeft, 2x AirplaneExt_01_Rudder and 2x AirplaneExt_01_Elevator) to respective rudder on each model. Craft Airplane Extended is equipped with 2 rudders for each type of rudder to be able to fit various airplane models.
  7. Rescale Craft Airplane Extended rudders to the same size as the high poly model's.
  8. Link/Parent the high poly model's body to AirplaneExt_01_BodyRelocatorNode.
  9. Link/Parent the high poly model's rudder to Craft Airplane Extended respective rudder.
    Airplane Rigged Viewport
  10. To make sure that the recording runs as smooth as possible; hide all the high poly model's parts.
  11. For easier maneuvering of Craft Airplane Extended change the view to one of the following cameras:
    • CockpitCam which is placed approximately at the height of pilots head in an ordinary airplane. Its position can be changed if needed.
    • FollowCam which follows smoothly behind the plane from a third person perspective.
  12. Click Record in Craft Director Studio's main window to start the recording for Craft Airplane Extended. Maneuver Craft Airplane Extended (with the input device configured earlier) and fly the desired route. Craft Airplane Extended movements will be saved during the duration of the recording. Click on Stop to stop the recording.
    • If the recording is not satisfactory, drag the timeline back to any point on the timeline and continue recording from there. This way the entire recording does not have to be redone.
    • Using the Countdown feature, allows the user a few seconds to move the hand towards the input device and get ready before the recording starts (you can find the Countdown setting in the Main Configuration).
    • To make the maneuvering of complicated elements in the animations easier, use the Slow-motion feature in the Craft Director Studio.
  13. Unhide the high poly model.
  14. Render.
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Autonomous mode

When Autonomous mode is activated, Craft Airplane Extended will follow the AirplaneExt_01_TargetMesh. This enables Craft Airplane Extended to follow a spline or other moving object.

Directions for making Craft Airplane Extended follow a path (spline):

  1. Create a Craft Airplane Extended.
  2. In Craft Director Studio main window, highlight Craft Airplane Extended, click Configure. In the Configure window, Check Enable Autonomous mode.
    Autonomous Mode
  3. Create the path for Craft Airplane Extended to follow (NURBS CV Curve is recommended).
    • 3ds Max:
      Select AirplaneExt_01_TargetMesh and open the menu Animation, choose Constraints and finally Path Constraints.
      Select the path created in step 2 and AirplaneExt_01_TargetMesh will follow this track.
      3ds path constraint
    • Maya:
      Select AirplaneExt_01_TargetMesh, hold down shift and select the path created in step 2.
      Open the Animation menu. Under Animate, choose Motion Paths and finally Attach to Motion Path.
      Animation Maya maya motion paths
  4. Press Record and Craft Airplane Extended will follow the path. It is possible to maneuver away from the track and control Craft Airplane Extended manually at any time. However, as soon as the controls are released, Craft Airplane Extended will steer back towards AirplaneExt_01_TargetMesh.
  5. The user can also change the different parameters that affect how Craft Airplane Extended will follow the AirplaneExt_01_TargetMesh. For example: Follow strength value in the Configure window.
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Body Relocator

By using the Body Relocator Node (see illustration, AirplaneExt_01_BodyRelocatorNode), the animation can be fine-tuned after the recording has taken place. The Body Relocator can be keyframed according to specific needs. For example, it can be used to move the plane a bit to one side if one of the wings happened to cut through an object that the plane should have missed.

  1. Drag the timeline to the position where the relocation maneuver will start.
  2. Select AirplaneExt_01_BodyRelocatorNode and insert a key.
  3. Drag the timeline to the new position where the maneuver will end and insert a new key for AirplaneExt_01_BodyRelocatorNode (it is not needed to align Body Relocator in the correct position again for it to behave normally).
  4. Move and keyframe Body Relocator along the path which the plane will take between the first and last key.
  5. Link the model's chassis to AirplaneExt_01_BodyRelocatorNode so that it follows the created maneuver.

Maneuver example:
Chassis relocator

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›› Input settings

configure

Forw/Backw Speed

Propells the airplane.
Forw/Backw Speed

Right/Left Speed

Moves the plane right/left horizontally.
right/Left Speed

Up/Down Speed

Lifts/lowers the plane vertically.
Up/Down Speed

Rudder (Yaw Right/Left)

Turns the plane right/left.
Rudder (Yaw Right/Left)

Elevator (Pitch Up/Down)

Tilts the plane up/down.
Elevator (Pitch Up/Down)

Aileron (Roll Right/Left)

Rolls the plane right/left.
Aileron (Roll Right/Left)

Horizontal Regulator

Restores plane to horizontal position if Realistic Airplane Control is checked.
Horizontal Regulator

Turbulence Amplitude

Shakes plane, simulating turbulence.
Turbulence Amplitude

Shaker Amplitude

Simulates a collision.
Shaker Amplitude

Brake All

Brakes the plane.
Brake All

Spinner...

Enables the change of parameter values with a real-time input controller.
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›› Config settings

configure

Gauges

Initital Velocity (% of max)
It is the first of three ways to have an initial velocity if larger than zero where it is specified as a percentage of the maximum velocity. Second is to use a keyframed initial velocity. Third is to use a non-zero input value when record is pressed.

Multiplier
This value is pre-multiplied to the 'Current Velocity' below. Eg if the system unit is meters a multiplier value of 1 yields m/s. If the multiplier is 3.6 the result is km/h.

Current Velocity
This is not a value you can input. The measured current velocity of the vehicle in system units per second times the 'Multiplier' above.

Current Velocity (% of max)
This is not a value you can input. The current velocity of the vehicle in percent of the maximum velocity.
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General Modes

Initialize Velocity
When pressed the input device value is read and used as the initial forward velocity of the airplane.

Hide Helpers
Hides the helper objects.

Hide Helpers During Recording
Hides the helpers during recording.

Hide Cockpit Camera
Hides the Cockpit camera.

Hide Follow Camera
Hides the camera following the airplane.

FollowCam w all directions
The FollowCam will follow all orientations of the airplane.
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Airplane Modes

Realistic Airplane Control
Checking this box will turn off all flight assistance for the plane making it harder to control but it will behave more realistically.

Use relative forward velocity
In this mode the airplane will stand still in the forward direction. When using this mode the surrounding is supposed to be animated because the airplane stands still.
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Autonomous Mode

Enable Autonomous Mode
In this mode the Airplane automatically follows the TargetMesh. The TargetMesh should be attached to the object the vehicle is to follow.

Roll with the Target
When enabled the roll is controlled with the roll motion of the TargetMesh. It is coupled to the 'Realistic Airplane Control' mode.

Follow Strength
This factor decides how tightly the Airplane follows the target.

Follow Strength Response Factor
The smaller the value is the slower the airplane auto fuctions respond to the target movements.

Yaw Strength
This factor decides how strong the yaw is when following the target.

Pitch Strength
This factor decides how strong the pitch is when following the target.

Roll Strength
This factor decides how strong the roll is when following the target.

Auto-Steering Response Factor
The smaller the value is the slower the airplane auto fuctions respond to the target movements.
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Airplane Parameters

Shake Offset Value
This value is added to the input device value for 'Shake Amplitude' as an offset.

Turbulence Offset Value
This value is added to the input device value for 'Turbulence Amplitude' as an offset.

Wind Strength
This value is added to the input device value for 'Up/Down Speed' and 'Left/Right Speed' as a random wind gust offset.

Virtual Mass
This is used to simulate the weight of the airplane.

Shaker Fade Out Factor
This value determines how fast the shake effect will fade.

Turbulence Fade Out Factor
This value determines how fast the turbulence effect will fade.

Turbulence Frequency
This value determines how often the plane's pitch is effected by the turbulence.
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Actuator Multipliers

Rudder Angle Mult
Multiplies the Rudder by this factor.

Elevator Angle Mult
Multiplies the Elevator by this factor.

Right Aileron Angle Mult
Multiplies the Right Aileron by this factor.

Left Aileron Angle Mult
Multiplies the Left Aileron by this factor.
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Input Property Parameters

Forw/Backw Speed Response Factor
How fast the airplane's Forward/Backward speed responds to the input device.

Forw/Backw Speed Maximum
The airplane's maximum speed.

Right/Left Speed Response Factor
How fast the airplane's Right/Left speed responds to the input device.

Right/Left Speed Maximum
How fast the airplane "strafes" right/left.

Up/Down Speed Response Factor
How fast the airplane's Up/Down speed responds to the input device.

Up/Down Speed Maximum
How fast the airplane moves up/down.

Rudder (Yaw Right/Left) Response Factor
How fast the airplane's rudder responds to the input device.

Rudder (Yaw Right/Left) Maximum
How fast the airplane turns right/left.

Elevator (Pitch Up/Down) Response Factor
How fast the airplane's elevator responds to the input device.

Elevator (Pitch Up/Down) Maximum
How fast the airplane can change it's pitch, up/down.

Aileron (Roll Right/Left) Response Factor
How fast the airplane's aileron responds to the input device.

Aileron (Roll Right/Left) Maximum
How fast the airplane can roll right/left.

Horizontal Regulator Response Factor
How fast the airplane's horizontal regulator responds to the input device.

Horizontal Regulator Maximum
How fast the airplane can even itself back to a horizontal position when this input is used.

Turbulence Amplitude Response Factor
How fast the airplane's Turbulence Amplitude responds to the input device.

Turbulence Amplitude Maximum
How much the turbulence is effecting the airplane.

Shaker Amplitude Response Factor
How fast the airplane's Shaker Amplitude responds to the input device.

Shaker Amplitude Maximum
How much the airplane shakes when the input is used.

Break All Response Factor
How fast the airplane's Break All command responds to the input device.

Break All Maximum
How quick the airplane breaks.

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Copyright © 2006 Craft Animations & Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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Stena center 1D
SE-412 92 Göteborg
Sweden
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www.craftanimations.com
info@craftanimations.com