Animating Rigid Bodies
Rigid body animation is perhaps the simplest of methods for moving any thing around your stage, including 3d sketches, Shapes, Props, Vehicles and Characters.
Use the Grabber to move a thing to create a keyframe, then change time on the Timeline and move it again to create a second keyframe, and the FirstStage engine use cubic interpolation and speed curves to create smooth movement between those keyframes.
Note – You can move things in all three axis, so it is good for vehicles and aircraft.
The motion path created can be interacted with as a 3d timeline – a visual timeline of particles follows the centre of the thing in motion. Whilst using the Grabber:
- Point at the motion path to see the time when the thing would be at that point in cyan above the path.
- Press the trigger to grab the motion path and the thing will jump to that point in time.
- Press and hold the trigger to scrub the thing along the timeline, then release the trigger to jump to that point in time.
All other animated things on set will also scrub, making it a great visual way to accurately select time.
Tip – Build up your movement in stages.
e.g. Place a car, then move time and place the car a second time to create a straight motion path between those two points. Then scrub the motion path to points where the car is not moving naturally, and re-orientate the car to create new keyframes in between.
Using this technique you can very quickly create convincing car movement with oversteer and skidding.