Looking for tips on my first attempt at animating...

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Irishman, May 4, 2021.

  1. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've been modeling my take on Phil Broad's Galileo shuttlecraft, and would really like to animate the retracting of the landing gear, both the front and the rear.

    Here are a few shots of where I am so far.
    https://www.deviantart.com/irishman20/art/Broad-Galileo-WIP-4-874848964
    https://www.deviantart.com/irishman20/art/Broad-Galileo-WIP-9-876072766
    https://www.deviantart.com/irishman20/art/Broad-Galileo-WIP-15-878443697

    I'd like to approach it in a similar way that CBS Digital did with their TOS remaster version, using 60 fps. See this youtube video starting at 1 minute 15 seconds in:


    All I know about animation in Blender is that there are two options - either Inverse Kinematic, or key frames.

    Beyond that, I'm clueless. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  2. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not super familiar with Blender but you're probably going to rig the landing gear and doors with bones to animate them. I recommend checking out Ian Hubert's channel and Markom3D's scifi landing gear rig tutorial on youtube.
     
  3. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Dice Admiral Premium Member

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    As you might infer from looking at my current avatar, I happen to be working on exactly the same problem at the moment, but in LightWave. :rofl:

    Unless you're deviating from the as-seen-on-TV design of the TOS shuttlecraft, there are only three, and possibly at most only four moving parts on the central tailgear of the Galileo, which for me personally isn't worth the hassle of setting up bones for animation:
    1. The "foot" of the landing gear (the flat part that touches the ground/deck), which rotates roughly 170 degrees on its axle connection to the cross-shaped rocker axle.
    2. The cross-shaped rocker axle that connects the foot to the piston on the landing gear. This part also rotates roughly 170 degrees, perpendicular to the axle for the foot.
    3. The piston on the landing gear, which only moves to and fro retracting and extending within the cylinder of the tailgear.
    4. The Y-shaped tailgear itself, which frankly I'm not sure can move the way that it was shown in the remastered episode. But if it can move at all, it would appear only to be able to move up and down a bit on the axle that connects the top part of the tailgear to the shuttle's hindquarters.
    With so few moving parts it's easier (at least for me, in LightWave) to just ensure that the moving parts are correctly parented to each predecessor component and that the pivot point of each part has been correctly positioned. Heck, my phaser banks have more moving parts than this. YMMV in Blender and I'm sure @scifieric and other Blender experts will have something to say on the subject, but bones seem like overkill for this... unless...

    Unless we deal with the unrealistic movement of the gear we saw in the remastered episode. The reason I don't think it's mechanically possible for the Y-shaped part of the tailgear to move (at least, as far as what we see on the full-size studio prop) is that the durned thing has that hard-to-see secondary support piece that connects the backside of the tailgear to the arse end of the shuttle. That's a stiff piece of metal connecting two other stiff pieces of metal--how's any of that supposed to move?! :wtf: (In the real world, naturally, the answer is it doesn't move--that part is there to give stability to the studio prop. But that's not what we're trying to depict, of course.)

    I'm going to be very curious to see how you solve this problem, but FWIW I'm basically ignoring that pesky secondary mechanical connection, at least as it currently exists on the full-size (OK, OK, three-quarters size!) studio mockup. You kind of have to ignore it, if you're going to depict something else that doesn't exist on the studio mockup--doors that open and close to reveal a tailgear stowage bay.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
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  4. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    blssdwlf,

    Thank you, for your suggestions. I'm very familiar with Ian's Lazy Tutorial series, but his approach to Blender is not basic enough for me, sadly. I will check out Markom3D's channel to see if it's basic enough for me.

    I appreciate you. :)
     
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  5. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Professor Moriarty,

    You've given me a lot to think about, and if you notice my pow-poly Kirk, https://www.deviantart.com/irishman20/art/Broad-Galileo-WIP-18-878631022?ga_submit_new=10:1620313135 I'm meaning him to be to-scale with a 31' long Galileo. I do have a question for you: If I do decide to go the route of setting up bones for animation, does all my geometry need to be separate objects? Or can they be one joined object?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  6. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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  8. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm watching this one, and this guy's seems to be more my speed.
     
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  9. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks again for your rapid reply, man. :)

    Kirk has been intentionally scaled to 5'8" tall, against the Galileo length of 31". If we were to use an exterior which properly matched the interior set, then the shuttlecraft would need to be around 30' long.

    That's why Kirk is so tiny next to my Galileo! :)
     
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  10. scifieric

    scifieric Captain Captain

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    "Blender expert" LOL! Certainly doesn't apply to me!

    In any case, your post was fascinating. And the fact that all of us apparently go through the same mental gymnastics when we are working on a build. Very interesting.

    I wouldn't bother with bones and such ... unless I was planning on doing some serious animations where it would be just CRUCIAL to animate the landing pad or the doors. But, if I had to do such a thing, then yes, I would probably go the whole route. Just to be safe.

    Love to see your work continuing!
     
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  11. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Dice Admiral Premium Member

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    Irishman, I haven’t learned Blender yet because I know myself and my ADHD and if I started going off on that tangent this tortuous 15 (20?) year old project would never end. I have enough side projects on this main project already before I need to start worrying about learning new software!

    :wah:

    But to at least partly answer your question, in LightWave doing it without bones means that each of the parts that I mentioned are in a separate layer so that each layer can be animated/keyframed. The crucial setup step is making sure that everything is parented correctly and that the pivot point for anything that rotates is correctly positioned.

    How long is your Enterprise, 1200+ feet?
     
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  12. Irishman

    Irishman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She is approximately 1479.66’ in order to fit 6 of my Galileos.
     
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  13. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Dice Admiral Premium Member

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