Craft Animations Craft Director Studio

Craft Helicopter

›› Using Craft Helicopter
›› Input Settings
›› Configure
› General Modes
› Camera Modes
› General Parameters
› Input Property Parameters

Craft Helicopter is a miracle for animators. Helicopter physics are extrarodinarily complicated: scripting is a nightmare and key-framing doesn't cut it.. This animation tool makes it easy for the user to create realistic simulations: keyframes are saved automatically. The vehicle is controlled with an input device directly through 3ds max or Maya.

Craft Helicopter Details

Using Craft Helicopter

Warning Optimizing the scene
It's wise to optimize the scene before starting to recording the animation. 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 that you are currently animating. 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 Helicopter.
  2. Configure the Input settings for Craft Helicopter (using an analog input device is recommended).

    Highlight Craft Helicopter in the tool tree list then click the Inputs button. This will open the inputs for Craft Helicopter.
    Control change
  3. Position Helicopter_01_MainBodyMesh at the same position as the body of your high polygonal helicopter.
  4. Link/Parent (Maya hotkey: P) the high poly body to Helicopter_01_MainBodyMesh so that it becomes a child of the dummy part.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for the main rotor and tail rotor.
  6. Hide the high poly helicopter parts to increase performance. You can do this easily by pressing the 'black wheel icon' next to Helicopter_01 in the tool tree list (in CDS main window).
  7. Now press Record to start recording animation for Craft Helicopter. Using the inputs that were configured, maneuver the helicopter along the desired flight path.

    • If the recording is not satisfactory drag the timeline back to any position and continue to re-record from there. This way the entire recording does not have to be redone.
    • By using the Countdown feature, you can give yourself time to move your hand to the input device and get ready before the recording starts. You can find the settings for Countdown in the Craft Director Studio Preferences. Craft Director Studio Preferences can be opened from the main menu.
    • To make it easier to maneuver tricky parts in the animations, use the Slow-motion factor in the Craft Director Studio window.
  8. Select Craft Helicopter in the plug-in tree list and click the Configure button (Configure). This will open the Configure window for Craft Helicopter. Here you can make changes to the different configuration parameters of Craft Helicopter. Once you've made some changes and want to see the results, drag the time slider back to the beginning of the animation and press Resimulate to recreate the animation with the new configuration settings without having to re-record it.
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Input settings

Input settings

Forw/Backw Speed

Moves the helicopter forward/backward.

Right/Left Speed

Moves the helicopter right/left.

Up/Down Speed

Elevates the helicopter up/down.

Yaw Speed (Right/Left)

Rotates the helicopter.

Break All

Brakes the Helicopter in all the directions its currently heading (X,Y,Z).

Wind Turbulence Strength

Simulates wind gusts.


Spinners enables the change of parameter values with an input controller in real-time.

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General Modes

Hide Helpers
Hides the Helpers.

Hide Helpers During Recording
Hides the Helpers during recording.

Hide Cockpit Camera
Hides the Cockpit Camera.

Hide Follow Camera
Hides the Follow Camera.

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Camera Modes

FollowCam w all directions
If this option is enabled, the FollowCam will follow the helicopter in all the directions (yaw, pitch and roll movement). If this option is disabled, the FollowCam will always follow the helicopter in a horizontal state.

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General Parameters

Wind Turbulence Offset Value
Set this value to 1 to emulate a constant press of the input Wind Turbulence Strength. Set it to 0 to disable it.

Wind Turbulence Irregularity
A value of the irregularity of the wind.

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Input Property Parameters

Forw/Backw Speed Response Factor
How fast the helicopter accelerates and decelerates (forward/backward).

Forw/Backw Speed Maximum
Maximum forward/backward speed of the helicopter.

Right/Left Speed Response Factor
How fast the helicopter accelerates and decelerates (right/left).

Right/Left Speed Maximum
Maximum right/left speed of the helicopter.

Up/Down Speed Response Factor
How fast the helicopter accelerates and decelerates (up/down).

Up/Down Speed Maximum
Maximum up/down speed of the helicopter.

Yaw Speed (Right/Left) Response Factor
How fast the helicopter's rotational movement accelerates and decelerates (yaw right/left).

Yaw Speed (Right/Left) Maximum
Maximum (yaw) rotation speed of the helicopter.

Break All Response Factor
A value for how fast this function will react to the input. A value of 1 yields instant reaction and a lower value will add a fade in for the reaction.

Break All Maximum
How much force that is used to brake the helicopter.

Wind Turbulence Strength Response Factor
A value for how fast this function will react to the input. A value of 1 yields instant reaction and a lower value will add a fade in for the reaction.

Wind Turbulence Strength Maximum
The maximum wind strength.

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