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3D Impressions Tutorial - Animating Objects

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Foreword

The process of moving an object about the screen is offered in 3 simple stages:

  • Intro Motion
    This defines how the object moves into the scene towards its target position.
  • Main Motion
    This is how the object moves within the scene after performing its Intro.
  • Outro Motion
    This is how the object moves out of the scene should you want it to.

Step 1 - Select 2D Square Object

First, ensure that your scene contains a standard, 2D square object and is now selected ready for modification.  This can be achieved by following the 'Adding 2D Object Tutorial'.

By selecting the 'Motion' ribbon category, (see point 1 below), your studio editor should look something like this:

UI - Single 2D Square Point 1 Point 2 Point 3 Object Context Menu Point 4

 

Areas of note that are highlighted above include:

  1. The 'Motion' ribbon category gives quick access to how the object is animated.
  2. Selecting the 'Motion Properties' tool window also gives you access to all values that affect an object's motion.
  3. The object's Motion Property values allow you to define how and when the object moves around the scene.
  4. Right-clicking the selected object displays the context menu that also offers access to 'Motion Effects'.

Step 2 - Intro Motion - Making an Entrance

The position that you place objects within the editor is what is called its target position.  This is the position that any Intro Motion will finish at.

Specifying an Intro Motion typically requires at least 4 properties.  These are:

  • Intro Delay
    This determines the number of seconds delay before the object makes its first appearance.
  • Intro Effect
    This specifies the style of motion the object performs in reaching its target position.
  • Intro Duration
    This determines how many seconds the intro motion is performed for.
  • Intro Speed
    This determines how fast the intro motion is performed.

To display the window for configuring the Intro Motion, click any of the following:

  • The 'Intro Effect' button on the 'Format' context ribbon.  (Marked as '3' on the top diagram above.)
  • The 'Edit...' from the drop-down select control available by clicking the 'Intro Effect' property.
    (Within the list of properties from the Motion Properties window, marked as '2' on the top diagram above.)
  • The 'Motion Effects > Motion Intro...' from the object's right-click context menu.
    (Marked as '4' on the top diagram above.)

Doing so will display the following dialog box:

UI - Object Intro Motion dialog box Step 1 Step 2

 

For this tutorial, we will make the object reach its target position by flying towards the viewer.
To achieve this enter the following properties:

  1. Where the list of Effects: are shown scroll down and select 'Slide Nearer'.
  2. Where the Associated Properties: are shown, enter the following values:
    • Intro Duration: 2
    • Intro Speed: 1
  3. Click 'OK' to confirm.

To see how this looks in the 3D Player, click the PreviewPreview button available within the 'Home' ribbon category.

You should see the white square starting a little way in the distance, moving toward you for 2 seconds and stopping at its target position.

Now try changing the Intro Speed to 4.
When you preview the scene, the object now starts further away.  Actually it is starting at 4 times the previous distance. 

With the new Intro Speed of 4, now double the duration to 4 seconds.
When you preview the scene, the object now starts even further away.  Actually it is starting at another double the distance above and 8 times the original distance.

If you want a pause, before an object makes its appearance, simply enter the number of seconds for the 'Intro Delay' property.

Now try experimenting with different effect styles.  For more information on Intro Motion effects and properties, see 'Motion Effects' help topic.

Step 3 - Outro Motion - Making an Exit

In the same way an object can make its entrance, you can choose for the object to make an animated exit from the scene.  The effects offered here are the same as those for the Intro Motion and typically requires at least 5 properties.  These are:

  • Outro Delay
    This determines the number of seconds delay from after the Intro Motion completed before the object starts to leave.
  • Outro Effect
    This specifies the style of motion the object performs in leaving the scene.
  • Outro Duration
    This determines how many seconds the outro motion is performed for.
  • Outro Speed
    This determines how fast the outro motion is performed.
  • Motion Cycle Count
    This determines the total number of times the 3 stages of motion are performed.

To display the window for configuring the Outro Motion, click any of the following:

  • The 'Outro Motion' button on the 'Format' context ribbon.
  • The 'Edit...' from the drop-down select control available by clicking the 'Outro Effect' property.
  • The 'Motion Effects > Motion Outro...' from the object's right-click context menu.

Doing so will display the following dialog box:

UI - Object Outro Motion dialog box Step 1 Step 2

 

For this tutorial, we will make the object leave by flying away from the viewer.
To achieve this enter the following properties:

  1. Where the list of Effects: are shown scroll down and select 'Slide Further'.
  2. Where the Associated Properties: are shown, enter the following values:
    • Outro Delay: 2
    • Outro Duration: 4
    • Outro Speed: 4
    • Motion Cycle Count: 1
  3. Click 'OK' to confirm.

To see how this looks in the 3D Player, click the PreviewPreview button available within the 'Home' ribbon category.

You should see the white square perform your previously selected Intro, pause for 2 seconds and then spend 4 seconds moving further away and then disappears.

If you did want the motion to repeat, simply increase the number for the 'Motion Cycle Count' property.

Also, if you'd like a pause between cycles, specify the number of seconds delay for the 'Motion Cycle Delay' property.  It's worth noting here that when motion is repeated, the original Intro Delay is only applied once before motion starts.  So it's only the Motion Cycle Delay that determines the delay between repeats.

Now try experimenting with different effect styles.  For more information on Outro Motion effects and properties, see 'Motion Effects' help topic.


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