Avid 3D User Guide
Avid® 3D
User’s Guide
m a k e m a n a g e m ove | m e d i a ™
Avid
®
Copyright and Disclaimer
Product specifications are subject to change without notice and do not represent a commitment on the part
of Avid Technology, Inc.
The software described in this document is furnished under a license agreement. You can obtain a copy of
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4,746,994; 4,970,663; 5,045,940; 5,063,448, 5,245,432, 5,267,351; 5,309,528; 5,325,200; 5,355,450;
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6,192,388; 6,208,357; 6,226,005; 6,310,621; 6,317,142; 6,353,437; 6,400,368; 6,466,214; 6,469,702;
6,473,094; 6,539,163; 6,552,731; 6,553,140; 6,570,578; 6,573,898; 6,621,504; 6,664,966; 6,686,918;
D352,278; D392,267; D392,268; D392,269; D395,291; D396,853; D398,912. Other patents are pending.
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Copyright © 2004 Avid Technology, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Printed in USA.
The Avid 3D application uses JScript and Visual Basic Scripting Edition from Microsoft Corporation.
Attn. Government User(s). Restricted Rights Legend
U.S. GOVERNMENT RESTRICTED RIGHTS. This Software and its documentation are “commercial
computer software” or “commercial computer software documentation.” In the event that such Software or
documentation is acquired by or on behalf of a unit or agency of the U.S. Government, all rights with
respect to this Software and documentation are subject to the terms of the License Agreement, pursuant to
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Trademarks
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Avid DNA, AVIDdrive, AVIDdrive Towers, Avid Mojo, AvidNet, AvidNetwork, AVIDstripe, Avid Unity,
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GOT FOOTAGE?
Editors — Filmmakers — Special Effects Artists — Game Developers — Animators — Educators —
Broadcasters — Content creators of every genre — Just finished an incredible project and want to
share it with the world?
2
Send us your reels and we may use your footage in our show reel or demo!*
For a copy of our release and Avid’s mailing address, go to www.avid.com/footage.
*Note: Avid cannot guarantee the use of materials submitted.
Avid 3D User’s Guide• 0130-06217-01 • June 2004
3
4
Contents
Using This Guide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Symbols and Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
If You Need Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Accessing the Online Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
How to Order Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Avid Educational Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Chapter 1
Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Starting Avid 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Starting with the Windows Start Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Starting from the Avid 3D Shortcut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Starting from the Command Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Avid 3D Startup Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Command Line Options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Creating the First Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Exiting Avid 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Chapter 2
Managing Projects and Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Types of Projects and Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Fixed-Camera Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Free-Camera Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
The Project Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
The Project Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Contents
Creating a New Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Opening an Existing Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Maintaining Project Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Managing Invalid Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Setting a Default Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Deleting Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Referenced Files in Saved Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Importing Scenes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Creating Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Opening Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Opening Locked Scenes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Setting a Scene’s Resolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Deleting Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Saving Scenes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Saving Scenes with a Different Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Saving Scenes to a Different Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Copying Referenced Files Under Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Correcting External File Paths for Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Backing Up and Recovering Your Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Autosaving Scene Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Backing Up Saved Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Recovering Scene Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Chapter 3
The Avid 3D Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Overview of the Avid 3D Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Lower Interface Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Control Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Accessing Commands and Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Using Access and Shortcut Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Using Shortcut Keys to Activate Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6
Contents
Sticky-key Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Temporary (Supra) Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Example: Activating Basic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Keeping Track of the Active Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Repeating Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Undoing and Redoing Edits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Viewing Your Work in 3D Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Coordinate Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Cartesian Coordinates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
XYZ Axes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
XYZ Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
XZ, XY, YZ Planes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Global and Local Coordinate Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Distance Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Viewports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Identifying Viewports by Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Muting and Soloing Viewports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Changing the Viewport Color. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Resizing Viewports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Displaying the Viewport Grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Viewport Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Camera Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Viewpoints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Display Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Outputting Avid 3D Views to an Avid Mojo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Configuring Avid 3D to Output to an Avid Mojo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Navigating in Viewports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Framing Objects in Viewports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Changing the Viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Panning and Zooming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
7
Contents
Orbiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Dollying and Rolling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Resetting Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Hiding and Unhiding Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Display Filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
The Library Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
The Scene Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Selecting Scene Elements in the Scene Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Renaming Scene Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
The Tools and Options Panel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
The Multi-Purpose Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Modifying Properties in Property Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Anatomy of a Property Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Property Page Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Changing Values Using Sliders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Entering Values in a Text Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Relative Input Using Math Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Modifying On-screen Parameters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Displaying On-screen Parameters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Modifying and Animating the On-screen Parameter Values . . . . . . . . . 90
Defining Color Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Defining Colors with Sliders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Defining Colors with the Color Editors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Chapter 4
Avid 3D Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Using the Library Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Basic Scene Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Geometric Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Control Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
8
Contents
Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Primitive Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
U and V Directions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
U, V, and Base Subdivisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Start and End Angles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Open and Closed Ends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Rigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Light Rigs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Camera Rigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Motion Path Rigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Text Rigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Object Rigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Digital Video Effects (DVEs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
A Word about Models. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Components of Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Types of Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Clusters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Element Names. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Valid Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Namespaces and Unique Names. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Renaming Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Selecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
What You Can Select . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Selecting Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Selecting Objects Using the Rectangle Selection Tool . . . . . . . . . 112
Selection and Hierarchies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Node Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Branch Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Tree Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Selecting Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
9
Contents
Selecting Points Using the Rectangle Selection Tool. . . . . . . . . . 115
Selecting Polygons Using the Freeform Selection Tool . . . . . . . . 115
Selecting Polygons Using the Range Selection Tool . . . . . . . . . . 115
Selecting Polygons Using the Loop Selection Tool . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Selecting Clusters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Extending the Selection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Deselecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Transforming Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Local versus Global Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Transformations and Hierarchies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Useful Tools for Transformation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Local Transform Property Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Transformation Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Transforming Interactively . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Specifying Axes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Setting the Manipulation Pivot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Transforming Interactively with the SRT Manipulators . . . . . . . . . 122
Transformation Axes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Setting Values Numerically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Transforming Hidden Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Translating Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Using the Translate Manipulator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Rotating Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Using the Rotate Manipulator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Scaling Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Using the Scale Manipulator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Transforming with the Bounding-Box Manipulator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Center Manipulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Snapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Resetting Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
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Aligning Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Duplicating Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Chapter 5
Importing and Exporting Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
What Can Be Imported and Exported? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Importing Models and Scenes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Considerations when Importing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Importing EMDL Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Image Clips and Imported Models. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Importing dotXSI Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Exporting Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Chapter 6
Modifying Object Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Deforming Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Working with Deformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Applying Deformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Modifying Deformation Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Animating Deformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Removing Deformations (Resetting Shapes) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Muting Deformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Deformations on Hierarchies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Simple Deformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Applying Simple Deformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Types of Simple Deformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Lattices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
Creating and Applying Lattices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
Quickstretch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
Before You Apply Quickstretch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
Applying Quickstretch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
Viewing a Quickstretch Deformation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
Motion Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
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Quickstretch Deformation Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
Wave Control Objects and Wave Operators. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Making Waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Modifying Wave Control Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Modifying Wave Operators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Deforming by Curves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Working with Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Overview of Profiles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Displaying Curves in the Profile Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Modifying Curves in the Profile Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Linear and Smooth Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Adding Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Removing Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Moving Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Transforming Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Editing Proportionally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Modifying Points and Polygons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Manipulating Points and Polygons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Transforming Points and Polygons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Moving Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Resetting Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Deleting Points and Polygons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Chapter 7
Working with Text and Logos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
About Text and Logos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Overview of Text and Logos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Overview of Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Overview of Logos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Creating and Editing Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Creating Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
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Creating Text with Text Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Creating Text with the Object Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Editing and Formatting Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Typing Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Setting Font Attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
Setting Line Attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Importing RTF Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Saving RTF Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Controlling Size and Spacing of Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
Creating Logos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Preparing EPS Files for Import. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Importing Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Extruding and Beveling Text and Logos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Extruding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Beveling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Applying Materials and Textures to Text and Logos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Advanced Text and Logo Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Controlling the Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Offsetting Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Creating Clusters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Creating Clusters per Island/Character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Creating Clusters Along the Depth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Exploding the Mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Tessellating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Minimum Polygon Count . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Delaunay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
Medial Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
Controlling the Extrusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
Controlling the Beveling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Controlling the Size and Direction of the Bevel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
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Mitering and Rounding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Controlling the Bevel Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
Creating a Text Rig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Chapter 8
Lights and Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
Lights and Shadows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Types of Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Scene Ambience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
Setting a Realistic Ambient Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
Creating Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
The Default Light Rig. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Adding Lights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
Manipulating Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
Manipulating Spotlights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
Setting Light Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Setting a Light’s Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Setting the Light’s Intensity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
Setting a Light’s Falloff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
Setting a Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
Viewing from the Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
Creating Shadows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
Creating a Volumic Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Creating a Lens Flare. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216
Creating a Glow Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Cameras. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Cameras versus Viewpoints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
How Cameras Are Set Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
The Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
The Camera Interest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Camera Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
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The Active Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Making Cameras Visible. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Working with Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Selecting Cameras and Camera Interests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Selecting Camera Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Camera Safe Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Positioning Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Undoing/Redoing Camera Moves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
Resetting Camera Position . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
Setting Camera Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
The Camera Property Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
Setting the Field of View. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Selecting a Projection Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
Animating Cameras. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Animating the Camera Interest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Animating a Camera Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Camera Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Depth of Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Fisheye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Z-Depth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Applying a Camera Effect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Editing a Camera Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
Chapter 9
Textures and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
Previewing with the Render Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
Creating a Render Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
Moving and Resizing a Render Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Hiding the Render Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Closing the Render Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Setting Render Region Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Tracking Objects with the Render Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
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Materials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238
Applying Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238
Surface Color. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
Transparency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
Setting Transparency Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Refraction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
Reflectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Setting Reflection Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
2D Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
3D Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
Applying Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
Viewing Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Repeating and Tiling a Texture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Removing Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
Applying Materials and Textures to Polygons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
Managing Cluster Overlap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
Changing the Display Order for Overlapping Clusters . . . . . . . . . . . . 251
Texture Projections and Supports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253
Scaling, Rotating, and Translating the Texture Support Object . . . . . 253
Modifying the Texture’s Projection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Using Textures as Maps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Bump Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
Selecting a Bump Map Image. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256
Creating a Bump Map. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256
Displacement Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Transparency Maps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Environment Maps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259
Using Environment Maps to Light a Scene. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260
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Chapter 10
Animating in Avid 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
What Can You Animate?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
Animation Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
Setting the Scene’s Frame Format and Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
Setting the Default Frame Format and Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
Displaying the Playback Frame Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
Marking Parameters for Animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Marking Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Marking Transformation Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Clearing (Unmarking) Marked Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
The Animation Button. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Ghosting Animation Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268
Copying Animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Using a Property Editor or On-Screen Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Removing Animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Using the Animation Tools Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Using a Property Editor or On-Screen Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
Playing Animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
Setting the Start and End Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
Using the Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
Setting the Timeline Display Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Setting the Timeline Range for Playback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272
Using the Playback Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
Looping the Playback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274
Playing Back All Frames or Playing in Real Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
Optimizing Playback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
Playing Back Audio with Your Animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276
Keyframe Animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Setting Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
Methods for Setting and Removing Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
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Contents
Keying Current Values at a Different Frame. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Moving between Keys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280
Keying Parameters in Property Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280
Keying Marked Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
The Keyframe Button’s Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Keying Specific Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282
Moving between Keys in a Property Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282
Removing Keys in a Property Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Keying Transformations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Keying Transformations Quickly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284
Setting Keys Automatically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284
Editing Function Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285
Working in the Function Curve Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286
Opening the Function Curve Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287
Using the Animation Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287
Using the Function Curve Editor’s Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288
Commands and Tools for Editing Fcurves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289
Opening the Function Curve Editor with Specific Fcurves Selected. . .
290
Setting Up the Function Curve Graph. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
Undoing and Redoing Fcurve Modifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291
Viewing Function Curves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291
Hiding and Displaying Fcurves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
Hiding and Displaying Fcurve Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
Zooming, Panning, and Framing in the Graph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
Zooming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
Panning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
Panning and Zooming Vertically or Horizontally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
Framing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
Selecting Function Curves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
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Contents
Deselecting Fcurves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296
Selecting (Tagging) Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296
Deselecting Keys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297
Selecting Keys by Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298
Moving Function Curves, Keys, and Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299
Moving Whatever is Selected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299
Moving Fcurves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
Moving Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
Moving Keys by Region. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
Moving Fcurves, Keys, and Regions Precisely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301
Adding and Deleting Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301
Adding Keys Interactively . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302
Inserting Keys Without Changing the Fcurve Shape. . . . . . . . . . . 302
Deleting Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Removing Animation from Fcurves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Snapping Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304
Scaling Function Curves, Keys, and Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
Scaling Precisely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
Scaling Regions Interactively . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306
Scaling with a Pivot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307
Cutting, Copying, and Pasting in the Graph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308
Function Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308
Keys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308
Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
Choosing a Function Curve Interpolation Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
Editing a Function Curve’s Slope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310
Changing the Handles’ Length and Angle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
Breaking and Unifying the Slope Angle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312
Controlling the Length of the Slope Handles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313
Snapping Slope Handles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
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Contents
Extrapolating Function Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
Creating Function Curve Cycles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315
Tips for Creating Seamless Cycles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316
Creating a Basic Cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316
Creating a Relative Cycle (Offset) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
Deleting Fcurve Cycles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
Function Curve Presets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318
Animating with Constraints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
Position Constraints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
Direction Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
Path Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323
Setting Objects on Paths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323
Creating a Path from Path Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
Modifying the Path Timing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
Modifying the Path Curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
Tangency Constraints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
Creating Offsets between Constrained and Constraining Objects . . . 329
Activating and Deactivating Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
Automating Animation with Math Presets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
Editing Math Presets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331
Deleting Math Presets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331
Animating the Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331
Animating a Camera from a Viewport View. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332
Previewing Animation in a Flipbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
Creating Your Preview Animation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334
Loading Animation in the Flipbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334
Setting Up the Flipbook View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
Playing the Flipbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337
Exporting a Flipbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339
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Contents
Chapter 11
Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341
Particles in Avid 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 342
What Makes Up a Particle System? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 342
Creating Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344
Editing the Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345
Selecting Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Deforming Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348
Deleting Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348
Viewing Particles in the Viewports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349
Selecting a Display Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349
Previewing Particles in the Render Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350
Displaying and Hiding Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351
Playing Particle Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352
Setting the Length of the Particle Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353
Setting Up the Particle Emission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354
Editing the Particle Emissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354
Adding Variation to Emission Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354
Setting the Number of Particles Emitted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
Particle Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356
Origin and Direction of Particle Emission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356
Particle Spread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358
Particle Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358
Editing the Particle Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359
Adding Variation to Particle Type Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359
Changing Particle Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
Setting the Particle’s Lifetime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
Setting the Particle’s Mass and Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
Setting a Particle’s Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
Animating the Color Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
Adding Color Variance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364
21
Contents
Adding Noise to Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 365
Applying Forces to Particles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 366
Types of Forces. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 366
Gravity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367
Wind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367
Fan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 368
Turbulence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 368
Creating a Natural Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 369
Displaying and Hiding Force Control Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 370
Muting Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
Creating Particle Collisions with Obstacles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
Setting Up Obstacles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372
Setting the Obstacle’s Collision Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372
Setting the Collision’s Physical Behavior. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373
Muting Obstacles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373
Attaching Sprites and Images to Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 374
Setting the Sprite’s Output Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375
Setting Up Sprite Image Sequences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Changing the Look of Particles with Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377
Editing the Particle Effects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377
Particle Billboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377
Particle Shape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 378
Particle Gradient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379
Chapter 12
Output Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381
Rendering the Final Output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382
Previewing a Single Frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382
Saving a Frame Preview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382
Rendering Your Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383
Global Rendering Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383
Setting Global Rendering Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383
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Contents
Setting Output File Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 384
Specifying the Format Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385
Activating Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386
Setting Motion Blur Options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386
Setting Effect and Map Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387
Exporting AAF and MXF Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387
About MXF Media Files and the AAF Master Clip . . . . . . . . . . . . . 388
Setting Camera and Field Rendering Options for AAF/MXF . . . . . 390
Creating Movies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390
Optimizing a Scene for Rendering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392
Object Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392
Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393
2D Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393
3D Textures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393
Bump Maps and Displacement Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393
Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 394
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395
23
Contents
24
Using This Guide
Congratulations on your purchase of the Avid 3D software. You can use
Avid 3D to create, customize, and animate 3D content, visual effects, text and
titling for your productions.
n
The documentation describes the features and hardware of all models.
Therefore, your system might not contain certain features and hardware that
are covered in the documentation.
This guide is intended for all Avid 3D users, from beginner to advanced. This
guide contains the conceptual information and task-oriented instructions you
need to create 3D animation and effects in Avid 3D.
Using This Guide
Symbols and Conventions
Avid 3D documentation uses the following symbols and conventions:
Symbol or Convention
Meaning or Action
n
A note provides important related information,
reminders, recommendations, and strong suggestions.
c
A caution means that a specific action you take could
cause harm to your computer or cause you to lose data.
w
26
A warning describes an action that could cause you
physical harm. Follow the guidelines in this document
or on the unit itself when handling electrical
equipment.
>
This symbol indicates menu commands (and
subcommands) in the order you select them. For
example, File > Import means to open the File menu
and then select the Import command.
t
This symbol indicates a single-step procedure.
Multiple arrows in a list indicate that you perform one
of the actions listed.
Margin tips
In the margin, you will find tips that help you perform
tasks more easily and efficiently.
Italic font
Italic font is used to emphasize certain words and to
indicate variables.
Courier Bold font
Courier Bold font identifies text that you type.
Bold font
Bold indicates a user interaction.
Ctrl+key or mouse action
Press and hold the first key while you press the last
key or perform the mouse action. For example,
Shift+Alt+C or Ctrl+drag.
If You Need Help
If You Need Help
If you are having trouble using Avid 3D:
1. Retry the action, carefully following the instructions given for that task in
this guide. It is especially important to check each step of your workflow.
2. Check for the latest information that might have become available after
the documentation was published in one of two locations:
n
-
If release notes are available, they ship with your application.
-
If ReadMe files are available, they are supplied in your Avid
application folder. ReadMe files are also available from Help.
Release notes and ReadMe files are also available from the Knowledgebase.
3. Check the documentation that came with your Avid application or your
hardware for maintenance or hardware-related issues.
4. Visit Avid Online Support at www.avid.com/support. Online support is
available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Search the Knowledgebase to
find answers, to view error messages, to access troubleshooting tips, to
download updates, and to read/join online message-board discussions.
5. For Technical Support, please call 800-800-AVID (800-800-2843).
For Broadcast On-Air Sites and Call Letter Stations, call
800-NEWSDNG (800-639-7364).
Accessing the Online Library
The Avid 3D Online Library contains all the product documentation in PDF
format as well as a selection of movies for getting started. Avid recommends
the movies as your first resource for learning how to use your application.
n
You will need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® installed to view the documentation
online. You can download the latest version of the Reader from the Adobe®
Web site.
To access the documentation from the Online Library:
1. Insert the Online Library into the drive.
2. Double-click the Mainmenu file.
27
Using This Guide
How to Order Documentation
To order additional copies of this documentation from within the
United States, call Avid Sales at 800-949-AVID (800-949-2843). If you are
placing an order from outside the United States, contact your local
Avid representative.
Avid Educational Services
For information on courses/schedules, training centers, certifications,
courseware, and books, please visit www.avid.com/training or call Avid Sales
at 800-949-AVID (800-949-2843).
28
Chapter 1
Getting Started
Provides information about the various options for starting the Avid 3D
application and creating your first project.
Chapter 1 Getting Started
Starting Avid 3D
There are several ways to start Avid 3D:
•
Using the Windows Start menu.
•
Using the command line.
•
Using the Avid 3D shortcut on your desktop.
Starting with the Windows Start Menu
If you installed in the default configuration, you can start from the Windows
Start menu in the lower-left corner of the Windows desktop. To do this:
t
Choose Start > All Programs > Avid > Avid 3D.
Starting from the Avid 3D Shortcut
t
Start Avid 3D by double-clicking the shortcut on your desktop.
The shortcut runs a Windows batch file called 3d.bat that sources an
environment script and then starts the application executable called
3d.exe. By default, the batch file is located in the c:\Program
Files\Avid\Avid3D_v1\Application\bin folder.
To modify a shortcut by specifying startup options:
1. Right-click on the shortcut icon and choose Properties.
2. On the Shortcut tab of the Shortcuts dialog box, add any desired options to
the command line in the Target text box. Make sure the entire command,
including the options, are enclosed inside quotation marks.
For more information about the desktop, shortcuts, the Windows Explorer, and
folder windows, please see your Windows operating system documentation.
30
Starting Avid 3D
Starting from the Command Line
You can start Avid 3D from the command line. This is useful if you want to
specify startup options. See “Avid 3D Startup Options” on page 31.
To start from the Avid 3D command line:
1. Open an “SI Command Prompt”. If your Start menu is in its default
configuration, you can choose Start > All Programs > Avid > Avid 3D >
Command Prompt.
2. To start without any options, type:
3d
To start from the Windows command line:
t
If you use a standard Windows command prompt to start Avid 3D,
navigate to the Avid 3D program directory (by default, c:\Program
Files\Avid\Avid3D_v1\Application\bin) and type:
3d.bat
Once Avid 3D has started, you can exit the command prompt window at
any time.
Avid 3D Startup Options
Startup options can be used when starting Avid 3D from the command line. To
get a list of command-line options you can use when starting Avid 3D, type:
3d -h
Usage
3d [-autoloadmedia <mediapath>][-autoloadtype <mediatype>]
[-uilang <languageid>][-helplang <languageid>]
31
Chapter 1 Getting Started
Command Line Options
-autoloadmedia <mediapath>
Set the media path to be loaded upon startup. For use with Avid Xpress
Pro’s Send To export settings. Do not modify.
-autoloadtype <mediatype>
Set the media type to be loaded upon startup. For use with Avid Xpress
Pro’s Send To export settings. Do not modify.
-uilang <languageid>
Specifies the language of the Avid 3D user interface: en for English or jp
for Japanese.
-helplang <languageid>
Specifies the language for the online help: en for English or jp
for Japanese.
Creating the First Project
The first time you run Avid 3D, you are automatically working in an empty
“Untitled” scene in the AVID3DMEDIA project.
t
To create a new project in which to store your own scenes, choose File >
New Project from the main menu.
t
To add an existing project to your project list, choose File > Project
Manager from the main menu.
For more information about working with projects and scenes, see “Managing
Projects and Scenes” on page 35.
32
Exiting Avid 3D
Exiting Avid 3D
After you have completed your work session in Avid 3D, save your work
and exit.
To exit:
1. Do one of the following:
t
Choose File > Exit from the main menu.
t
Click the close icon (×) at the far right of the title bar.
t
Press Alt+F4.
2. If you have made any changes to the scene, you are prompted to save them
before exiting. Click one of the following:
t
Yes to save your changes. For more information about saving scenes
in general, see “Saving Scenes” on page 44.
t
No to exit without saving.
t
Cancel to continue working.
33
Chapter 1 Getting Started
34
Chapter 2
Managing Projects and Scenes
In Avid 3D you build scenes that are stored in a folder structure called a project.
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
Types of Projects and Scenes
In Avid 3D you build scenes that are stored in a folder structure called a
project. The scenes you build will be essentially of two types: a scene that uses
a fixed camera or a scene that uses a free camera.
Fixed-Camera Scenes
Fixed-camera scenes, not surprisingly, feature a camera that is fixed in place.
Typically, fixed-camera scenes are already set up with a backplate positioned
so that the image fills the camera’s field of view. A second camera may be
available for accurately positioning objects, but the scenes is ultimately
rendered from the point of view of the fixed camera. Fixed-camera scenes are
ideal when creating 3D DVEs or animated bugs.
The perspective camera and orthographic camera rigs are just two examples of
fixed-camera scenes. Both can be found in the object library under Cameras.
Free-Camera Scenes
Free-camera scenes allow unrestricted camera movement within the 3D world.
All scenes created from the File > New Scene menu are, by default, freecamera scenes.
Because free cameras can be pointed anywhere, you usually need to keep the
scene’s surrounding background in mind. The Avid 3D library includes two
kinds of backgrounds: environments and environment maps.
Environments are spheres, large enough to contain even the most elaborate
scenes, with an image (such as a starfield or a cloudy sky) projected on their
interior. You can also illuminate specific areas of environments to achieve a
particular effect. They can be found under Environments in the object library.
Environment maps are images applied to the scene itself. Unlike
environments, they do not need illuminating, they can provide their own
lighting. Environment maps are ideal for creating image-based lighting effects
or for setting up blue and green screen projects. However, scenes with
environment maps take longer to render. They are found under Scene >
Environment in the material and fx library.
36
Projects
Projects
In Avid 3D you always work within the structure of a project. Projects are a
system of folders that contain the scenes that you build and all the external files
that are referenced in the scenes. A project can contain an unlimited number of
scenes. Scene files can be recognized by their .scn filename extension.
Projects are used to keep your work organized and provide a level of
consistency that can be used to simplify production with a team.
The Project Manager
The Project Manager is the tool that lets you manage multiple projects and
scenes. You can create new projects and scenes, open existing projects and
scenes, scan your system for projects, and add and remove projects and scenes
from a list of projects. To work in Avid 3D, you must create a project or open
an existing one.
To open the Project Manager:
t
Choose File > Project Manager from the main menu.
The Project Structure
A project is a system of folders that store and organize the different elements
of your work.
A set of subfolders are created in every new project. The browser opens by
default to these folders when opening, saving, importing or exporting specific
scene elements. Not all the subfolders are used when creating content in
Avid 3D. The table below lists the folders used by Avid 3D and describes the
type of files that get stored in them:
Project folder Type of files stored
Audio
Audio clips used for synching.
Backup
Backed up scene files with the backup version appended to the file
name. See “Backing Up and Recovering Your Work” on page 47.
dotXSI
Exported ascii format dotXSI files (*.xsi).
37
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
Project folder Type of files stored
Models
Exported models (*.emdl).
Pictures
Texture images and sequences.
Render_Pictures Rendered frames.
Scenes
Scene files (*.scn).
Simulation
Generated simulation files for particles (*.ptp). Although you can
save .ptp files anywhere, it is recommended that you use a standard
location.
System
Hidden system folder used to identify the project. If this folder is
removed or modified, the project will be invalid.
Creating a New Project
When you start Avid 3D, the last project you worked with is opened and an
empty “Untitled” scene is created. If no project exists or you are running
Avid 3D for the first time, the default project is opened and an empty
“Untitled” scene is created. You can create a new project at any time while
working in Avid 3D.
To create a project:
1. Do one of the following:
t
If you are already working in Avid 3D and want to create a new
project, choose File > New Project from the main menu to display
the New Project dialog box.
t
If the Project Manager is open, click the New Project button to
display the New Project dialog box.
2. In the Project Name text box, enter a unique name for your project.
3. In the Location text box, edit the path of the folder to which you would
like the project to be saved.
c
Store your projects in any convenient location outside the Avid 3D
directory structure. This way, if you reinstall or upgrade Avid 3D, you do
not run the risk of deleting your work.
4. In the Project Manager, click New Scene to create a new scene for
your project.
38
Projects
Opening an Existing Project
To open a project:
1. From the main menu, choose File > Project Manager.
All projects stored in the project list are displayed in the Select a Project
pane of the Project Manager dialog box.
2. Click on a project name in the Select a Project list box.
If you do not find the project you need in the displayed list, click the Scan
Disk button and select a folder to scan for projects.
3. In the Select a Scene list box, double-click on a scene in the project you
wish to work on.
Maintaining Project Lists
If you work with numerous individual projects, you may find that sometimes
some projects are relevant to your work, and others are not. Project lists in the
Project Manager let you access the projects you need with the click of a mouse.
To build and maintain project lists:
1. Choose File > Project Manager from the main menu to open the
Project Manager.
2. In the Project List controls, click one of the following:
t
Add Project adds a project to the project list.
t
Remove from List removes a project from the project list. This does
not delete the project.
t
Scan Disk opens a browser that lets you search for more projects in
the specified directories.
t
Clear List removes all projects from the list. Use this command if
you want to switch to another list.
t
Import List opens a browser that lets you search for a project list file
containing a list of projects and their associated paths. These project
names are added to any existing projects in the project list.
t
Export List creates an ASCII text file containing the path and name
of each project currently displayed in the project list. You can then
use Import List to access and display these projects.
39
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
Managing Invalid Projects
A project can become invalid if it is moved to another location, if its hidden
system sub-folder is deleted or altered, or if the project folder is renamed. In
these cases, the Project Manager can no longer identify the project from the
path information specified in its project list.
The Project Manager does not automatically remove an invalid project from its
project list. Instead, the project is labelled as Invalid and you can choose to
delete the project or rescan to locate it and add it back to the project list.
Setting a Default Project
If you work with a particular project most of the time, you can set it as the
default project. The default project is opened automatically when you start
Avid 3D. It is also the first project specified in the project list.
To set the default project:
1. Choose File > Project Manager from the main menu.
2. Select the project you want to make the default.
3. Click Set as Default.
Deleting Projects
You cannot delete the project in which you are currently working. To delete
your current project, you must close it, open another project, then delete the
project in the Project Manager.
You cannot delete a project that is set as the default project. You must set
another project as the default, then delete the project in the Project Manager.
To delete a project:
1. Choose File > Project Manager from the main menu.
2. Click the name of the project to be deleted from the Select a Project pane.
3. Click the Delete Project button to delete the selected project.
40
Scenes
Scenes
A scene file contains all the information necessary to identify and position all
the models and their animation, lights, cameras, textures, etc. for rendering.
All the elements are compiled into a single file with a .scn extension.
To save your work during a session, use the File > Save or Save As commands
to update the existing one or create a new scene in your current project.
Referenced Files in Saved Scenes
Scenes can also reference many external files such as texture images, video
clips, and audio clips. Some of these referenced files may be located outside of
your project structure. When you save a scene, the path information that lets
Avid 3D locate and refer to these external files is saved as well.
Importing Scenes
Scenes are created from scratch in Avid 3D, but you can also import existing
SOFTIMAGE|XSI scenes. In addition, you can also load scene and object files
from other 3D or CAD/CAM programs saved to the dotXSI™ or EMDL
formats and import them into Avid 3D. For more information, see “Importing
and Exporting Files” on page 135.
Creating Scenes
Each time you start Avid 3D or create a new project, a new scene is automatically
generated. However, you can also create a new scene at any time while you are
working. Because you cannot have more than one scene open at a time, you are
prompted to save the current scene before you can create a new one.
To create a new scene in the current project:
t
Choose File > New Scene from the main menu or press Ctrl+N.
If you have modified the scene that is currently open, you are prompted to
save the changes.
The new scene is created within the current project and its name appears
as “Untitled” on the title bar.
41
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
To create a new scene in a different project
1. Choose File > Project Manager from the main menu.
2. Select a project in the Select a Project list box where you want to create
the new scene.
3. In the Select a Scene list box, make sure New Scene is selected and click
the New Scene button.
The new scene is created in the selected project and its name appears as
“Untitled” on the title bar.
Opening Scenes
You can only view one scene at a time in Avid 3D. Before you open a different
scene, you are prompted to save any changes made to the one that is open.
As the scene is loaded, Avid 3D looks for all its referenced files using the
files’ full path names. If any file is not located using this method, Avid 3D
looks for the file name in the current project folder. If the file isn’t found here,
the users path, and then the factory path is searched. If the file is still not
located, then you must manually correct the file’s paths. It is therefore
important to make sure that all the files you use in a scene are stored in a folder
that Avid 3D can easily locate. For more information, see “Correcting External
File Paths for Scenes” on page 46.
To open a scene in a project that is not on your project list:
If you open a scene in a project that is not on your project list, a dialog box
will prompt you to add the project to your list. Answer Yes or No as you like.
In addition, the dialog box lets you specify the behavior when opening other
files in the future:
42
•
Always Ask continues to prompt you to add new projects to your list.
•
Always Add New Projects automatically adds projects to your list
without prompting.
•
Never Add New Projects does not add new projects to your list. You can
still add projects manually using the Project Manager.
Scenes
To open a scene from the browser:
1. Choose File > Open from the main menu.
2. In the browser, go to the location of the project file you want to load. You
can use the Up button to locate folders at higher levels.
3. Select the scene file to be loaded (its name appears in the File Name text
box) and click OK.
You can also double-click the scene name and it opens.
To open a scene from the Project Manager:
1. Choose File > Project Manager from the main menu.
2. Select a project from the Select a Project list box.
3. In the Select a Scene list box, double-click on the scene you wish to work
on or select the scene name and click the Open button.
To open a scene you have recently worked on:
t
Choose Find > Recent Scenes from the main menu and select the desired
scene from the list.
To open a scene by dragging and dropping:
t
You can drag and drop Avid 3D scene (*.scn) files from a browser or a
Windows explorer onto the background of a viewport to load and replace
the current scene.
Opening Locked Scenes
When you open a scene file, a temporary “lock” file is created. The lock file is
deleted when you close the scene.
Anyone else who opens the file in the meantime is given a warning that the file
is currently in use. The purpose of the lock mechanism is to let you know that
somebody else is already working on a scene, and to avoid concurrent saving
which can lead to data lost.
You can still open a “locked” scene, but in this case the scene is loaded as a
“shared copy” (which is displayed in the Avid 3D window title bar) and any
changes you make to the file need to be saved under a different name.
43
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
Setting a Scene’s Resolution
To ensure accurate framing and prevent timing problems in your animation,
you should set the frame format before you begin constructing your scene.
To set the frame format:
1. Click the Inspect Render Options button in the render and preview
controls. The Render Options dialog box opens.
2. Click the Format tab then click the arrow button to the right of the
Format text box to select the picture standard for your scene. default is
the NTSC D1 4:3 standard.
You can also set custom resolutions and frame rates. For more
information, see “Specifying the Format Options” on page 385.
3. Click OK.
Deleting Scenes
To delete a scene:
1. Choose File > Project Manager. The Project Manager dialog box opens.
2. Select a project from the Select a Project list box.
3. Click the name of the scene to be deleted from the Select a Scene pane.
4. Click the Delete button to delete the selected scene.
n
You cannot delete the scene in which you are currently working. To delete your
current scene, you must close it, open another scene, then delete the scene in
the Project Manager.
Saving Scenes
All scenes are saved as a single file with an .scn extension. The scene contains
any models, 3D objects, lights, cameras, animation, rendering options,
textures, materials, and effects that you have applied.
44
Scenes
To save a scene:
1. Choose File > Save from the main menu.
If the scene has already been named, any changes are saved to the same
file name. If the scene does not have a name (untitled), the Save Scene
browser opens.
2. Enter a unique name for your scene in the File Name text box.
3. Use the path navigation buttons to locate the folder where you want to
save your scene. It is recommended, however, that you save scenes to the
Scenes folder of the project.
4. Click OK.
Saving Scenes with a Different Name
In some cases, you may want to create a copy of a scene and save it with a
different name. This can be helpful when you want to test a more complex
rendering effect before committing it to the actual scene.
To save a scene under a different name:
1. Choose File > Save As from the main menu to open the Save As dialog box.
2. Type another name for the scene in the File Name browser and click OK.
The new scene name is displayed on the title bar. The original scene
remains unchanged in its most recently saved form.
Saving Scenes to a Different Project
You can save a scene from one project to another:
1. Open an Avid 3D scene.
2. Choose File > Save As from the main menu to open the Save As dialog box.
3. Navigate to the location of the new project and save the scene with the
same name into its Scenes folder.
4. Select the Copy External Files Under Project option. See the next
section for details.
45
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
Copying Referenced Files Under Project
You can take all the external referenced files and copy them to the current
project. This is particularly useful when you send project files to other users
who otherwise cannot access the referenced files themselves. Or, you may
have saved a scene to a different project and want all the referenced files used
in that scene to be copied to the new project.
t
In the Save As dialog box (choose File > Save As), select Copy External
Files under Project and click OK. This scans your project and copies any
referenced files such as textures or audio files used in your scene to the
new project.
Correcting External File Paths for Scenes
Each time you open or import a scene, Avid 3D attempts to locate the external
files (such as picture files, audio files, etc.) associated with the scene. You may
need to update the path of a referenced file or locate missing files in scenes.
To locate and correct missing referenced files in scenes:
1. Choose File > Source Paths from the main menu to open the Inspect
Source Paths property editor.
All referenced files and their paths are listed. The Resolved Path column
lists the full paths as interpreted from the relative path entries in the File
Path column. If a file cannot be found, the word “Invalid” appears in the
Status column.
2. Click the name of the invalid file and modify its path or file name to
resolve the error, or click Browse Selected Path to search for the file.
Modifying Multiple File Paths
If you have renamed or moved a directory containing external files, or changed
your naming convention for referenced files (for example, changing all your
existing images from clock1.pic, clock2.pic, clock3.pic, etc. to clock01.pic,
clock02.pic, clock03.pic, etc.), you can modify the file paths of several files at
once by using the Search and Replace dialog box.
To modify many file paths at once:
1. Choose File > Source Paths from the main menu.
2. Click the Search and Replace All button.
46
Backing Up and Recovering Your Work
3. In the Search and Replace dialog box that opens, choose your settings:
-
In the File Category text box, select the type of files whose entries
you want to modify (for example, All, Image, Audio).
-
In the Old String text box, enter the text string to search for in the
existing path and file names.
-
In the New String text box, enter the replacement text.
-
Check the Case Sensitive check box if you want to search and replace
using the specific capitalization you’ve entered.
4. Click OK.
Backing Up and Recovering Your Work
Avid 3D provides a number of ways of recovering your work. In most cases,
you can easily recover your work if your system crashes through the autosave
and recovery mechanisms. You also have backup options that let you load
earlier saved versions of your scene if you want to backtrack and rework some
of your content.
Autosaving Scene Files
The autosave options in the Data Management property editor lets you activate
the autosave feature and determine how frequently autosaves are made.
c
The autosaved scene file is created and maintained separately from the files
you save while working. It is deleted when you exit Avid 3D in a normal
manner. You must still make sure to save your work each time you exit.
The autosaved scene file is maintained in the hidden System folder under
the active project.
To set the frequency of autosave:
1. From the Options tab in the tools and options panel, click the Data
Management tab to display the backup settings.
2. Select the Enable Autosave option to activate the autosave function.
By default, autosave is set to save every 30 minutes, but you can change
this time span in the Autosave Interval text box.
47
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
Backing Up Saved Scenes
Each time you save your scene, its file is automatically saved in a backup
folder. This means you can go back and load an earlier version of your scene if
needed. This can also come in handy if your scene file could not be
automatically recovered.
The default number of backed-up scenes is four, but you can change this
number (to a maximum of 100) in the Data Management property editor.
To set backup preferences:
n
t
From the Options tab in the tools and options panel, click the Data
Management tab and set the number of backups in the Number of Scene
Backups text box.
t
Set backups over a specified number of days in the Number of Backup
Days to Keep text box. This is useful if you save often and the last backed
up version does not include the information you need. This option ensures
that you can retrieve your work from the last backed up versions of the set
number of previous days.
Make sure you have enough disk space so that your backup files are created
successfully.
To reload a scene file from its backup folder:
1. Choose File > Open and navigate to your backup folder. By default, this
folder is called Backup and is located in your project folder.
This folder contains all your saved scene files. These files are labeled
(Myscene)_B1, (Myscene)_B2, (Myscene)_B3 etc., with (Myscene)_B1
being the most recently saved scene.
2. Select the required backup version and click OK to load the scene.
48
Backing Up and Recovering Your Work
Recovering Scene Files
After a crash occurs, a dialog box usually opens indicating that your scene file
has been successfully saved to an autosave or crash backup directory in the
project’s System folder.
Avid 3D first tries to load the autosave file (if the autosave option is enabled);
if not, it falls back on the default crashsave file. You can continue to use the
scene after restarting Avid 3D.
You can activate the autosave feature from the Data Management property
editor in the tools and options panel, under Autosave. By default, files are
saved every 30 minutes.
To recover a scene file after a system crash:
1. Restart Avid 3D after the crash. A dialog box opens asking if you want to
try to recover the scene. Click Yes.
2. If the scene is recoverable, an untitled scene opens with your latest work
retrieved from the crashsave or autosave process.
3. Save the scene under a new name and restart Avid 3D.
49
Chapter 2 Managing Projects and Scenes
50
Chapter 3
The Avid 3D Interface
The interface is your window to working in the world of Avid 3D. It comprises
viewports for viewing your scene and several types of panels for accessing
commands and tools.
Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Overview of the Avid 3D Interface
The default layout of the Avid 3D interface is made up of control panels and
four viewports, many of which can be resized.
Title bar
Displays the name of the
open project and scene.
Viewports
Let you view the contents of your
scene in different ways. You can
resize, hide, and mute viewports in
any combination. See “Viewports”
on page 62 for details.
Library panel
Contains objects, materials, textures,
images, and video clips you can use
to create your scene. This panel is
also home to the scene explorer. See
“The Library Panel” on page 76 for
more information.
Menu bar Provides
access to primary
project and editing
commands.
Control bar
Displays buttons for
one-click access to
camera, transformation,
and editing controls.
See page 53 for details.
Lower interface controls
(See page 53 for details.)
52
Tools and Options panel
Provides tools for modifying and animating
elements in your scene, as well as setting
user preferences and display and output
options. See “The Tools and Options Panel”
on page 78 for more information.
Overview of the Avid 3D Interface
Lower Interface Controls
The lower portion of the interface gives you access to the timeline and
playback controls; basic keyframe animation controls; and preview and
rendering controls, as well as a status line for information.
Rendering and
Preview Controls
Lets you set up and
create rendered output
of your scene. See
“Output Options” on
page 381.
Timeline
Displays the current
position of your
animation in time and
lets you move manually
between frames. See
“Using the Timeline” on
page 270.
Playback controls
Lets you play back
animated scenes. See
“Playing Animation” on
page 270.
Animation controls
Lets you set, remove, edit
and navigate between
keyframes. See “Keyframe
Animation” on page 277.
Mouse/status line
Displays the current functions of
your three mouse buttons as well
as status and error messages
when applicable.
Control Bar
The control bar gives you quick access to many commands that are in the form of
buttons. Many of these buttons have associated menu commands or shortcut keys.
The control bar includes buttons for navigating in the viewports, transforming
scene elements, selecting scene elements and their various components,
duplicating and deleting scene elements, undoing and redoing edits, and
opening the multi-purpose editor for editing properties.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Navigation controls for changing the
viewpoint in the viewport—see
“Navigating in Viewports” on page 71.
Selection controls for
selecting elements in
various ways—see
“Selecting” on page 111.
Transform controls for scaling,
rotating, and translating scene
elements—see “Transforming
Objects” on page 117.
Undo and Redo
controls—see
“Undoing and
Redoing Edits” on
page 58.
Duplicate button
duplicates the
selected object.
Multi-purpose editor
button for editing
properties—see “The
Multi-Purpose Editor”
on page 79.
Delete button
deletes the
selected element.
Accessing Commands and Tools
In Avid 3D, there are many ways in which you can access commands. Many of
the tools that are available depend on the context in which you’re working (such
as the type of object you have selected or the type of view in which you’re
working). This section describes the different ways in which you get commands.
You can use the mouse for performing basic operations such as manipulating
objects in a scene, choosing commands, and selecting options in property
editors. You must use a three-button mouse.
Using Access and Shortcut Keys
Keyboard shortcuts are specific key combinations that perform the equivalent
of certain menu commands. There are two types of keyboard shortcuts: access
keys and shortcut keys.
Access keys—The underlined letters you see in many menu names. Pressing
Alt+[underlined letter] activates its associated command.
n
54
Underlined letters in the menus and menu commands are not displayed by
default in Windows XP. To display them, open Control Panel > Display >
Appearance > Effects. Deselect the option called Hide underlined letters for
keyboard navigation indicators until I press the Alt key.
Accessing Commands and Tools
Shortcut keys—Commands that have been mapped to your keyboard. For
example, pressing Ctrl+[key] activates an associated command.
Shortcut keys, if available, are listed to the right of many menu command names
and tooltips. Refer to Online Help for a list of all available keyboard shortcuts.
Note that not every menu command has a shortcut or access key.
Shortcut keys...
...from the keyboard
Press the key that corresponds to a
command. Key combinations are
displayed to the right of their associated
commands in the main menu.
Access keys...
...from the menu bar
Press Alt+underlined letter of the
menu name to open a menu of
commands.
...then, from the menu
Press a key that corresponds to
an underlined letter of a
command name to activate it.
Using Shortcut Keys to Activate Tools
Shortcut keys are mapped to most of the tools used in Avid 3D, and pressing a
key activates a specific tool. Once the key is pressed, the mouse pointer changes
shape to identify the active tool. Any further actions you perform with the
mouse are then related to that tool. For example, pressing the Z key activates
the zoom tool so that holding down the left mouse button zooms in and out of
the scene, and holding down the middle mouse button pans back and forth.
You can move back and forth between different tools quickly by using these
shortcut keys. Only one tool can be active at a time.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Tools can be activated in one of two modes:
•
Sticky—you do not need to hold the key down to keep the tool active.
•
Temporary (or supra)—you must keep the key held down for the tool to
remain active.
Sticky-key Mode
You can activate a tool in this mode by quickly pressing and releasing its supra
key. The tool remains active until you choose another tool or press another
supra key to perform a different operation. Pressing a key a second time
deactivates the tool.
Temporary (Supra) Mode
You can activate a tool in temporary, or supra, mode by holding down its key
for longer than a quarter of a second. When you hold down a key and drag the
mouse, the tool is switched off after you release the key. For example, when
you release the O key after holding it down and dragging the mouse, you
deactivate the orbit tool.
Example: Activating Basic Tools
Follow these steps for an example of how to activate and work with the
commonly used camera manipulation tools (pan and zoom, orbit, dolly).
1. Start Avid 3D and load a scene.
2. In a User view, press and hold the letter O key while dragging with the left
mouse button to orbit your scene. When you release the O key, Avid 3D
reverts to the tool you were using before.
3. Quickly press and release the P key. This activates the pan tool in sticky mode.
4. Left-click and drag to pan your scene, hold down the middle mouse button
to zoom in, and hold down the right mouse button to zoom out.
Notice that when you release the mouse button you are still in zoom and
pan mode. This is because the tool was activated as sticky: if you quickly
press and release the key, the tool is activated and remains that way until
you select another tool.
5. To deactivate the pan tool, press the P key again or press Esc.
56
Accessing Commands and Tools
6. Quickly press and release the D key. This activates the dolly tool:
-
The left mouse button lets you dolly (zoom in and out) at normal speed.
-
The middle mouse button lets you dolly slowly.
-
The right mouse button lets dolly quickly.
For information on other camera-manipulation tools, see “Navigating in
Viewports” on page 71.
7. To activate another tool, press any key or choose a tool from the control
bar. For example, you can switch to selection mode by pressing the S key
or by clicking the Select button in the control bar.
Keeping Track of the Active Tool
You will often move back and forth between tools as you work. Here are a few
ways to keep track of the tool you are working with:
•
There are often visual cues within a viewport to indicate the current tool.
An SRT manipulator appears in the viewport when you are in
transformation mode, object wireframes change color to indicate the
active selection tool, and so on.
•
When dragging and dropping items from the library, a status bar appears
in the active viewport and provides information appropriate to the location
of your mouse pointer.
•
In most cases, the mouse pointer changes to indicate the active tool. For
example, when the orbit tool is active, the pointer turns into an orbit icon.
•
The status bar at the bottom of the interface displays which operation is
mapped to each of the mouse buttons. Always check the status bar for the
current tool status.
Repeating Commands
You can repeat the last command in general, as well as repeat the last
command from a specific menu button. For example, this lets you apply an
operation to the selected object, then select a different object and apply the
same operation again without digging through menus and submenus.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
To repeat the last command:
t
Choose Edit > Repeat command name from the menu bar.
The name of the menu item indicates which command will be repeated.
Certain categories of command cannot be repeated:
-
Selection commands. This allows you to apply a command to selected
elements, then select other elements and repeat the command.
-
Interactive manipulation, for example, using the transform tools (V,
C, X) or the Move Point tool (M).
-
Viewing commands, such as toggling the display of points in a viewport.
-
Playback and timeline commands, such as changing frames.
-
Camera navigation and viewing commands, such as orbiting,
zooming, and framing.
-
Parameter changes made in a property editor.
When the last command can’t be repeated, Edit > Repeat will repeat the
previous command instead.
Undoing and Redoing Edits
You can undo most edits made from the Avid 3D interface, such as scaling an
object or deleting a rig.
To undo an edit:
t
Choose Edit > Undo from the menu bar, click the Undo button in the
control bar, or press Ctrl+Z.
You can continue to undo actions as far back as the system memory can recall.
Undo does not work on changes in viewport manipulations such as orbit or zoom.
To redo an edit:
t
58
Choose Edit > Redo from the menu bar, click the Redo button in the
control bar, or press Ctrl+Y. You can invoke one redo command for each
undo action.
Viewing Your Work in 3D Space
Viewing Your Work in 3D Space
This section provides some background for those who are not familiar with 3D
animation. In particular, it introduces the notion of coordinate systems and
distance units. The four viewports are where you view and manipulate the
scene elements in 3D space.
Coordinate Systems
Coordinate systems allow any point in three-dimensional space to be
represented by a triplet of numbers (X, Y, Z).
Cartesian Coordinates
One essential concept that a first-time user of 3D computer graphics should
understand is the notion of working within a virtual three-dimensional space
using a two-dimensional user interface.
To represent pictorial reality, 3D computer software uses the classical
Euclidean/Cartesian mathematical representation of space. To represent the
geometry of an object, the software uses the Cartesian coordinate system
based on three perpendicular axes, X, Y, and Z, intersecting at one point. This
reference point is called the origin. You can find it by looking at the center of
the grid in any of the 3D windows.
XYZ Axes
To remember the direction of the X, Y, and Z axes, you can use the “righthand” rule: hold up your right hand so that your palm is facing you, then
extend your thumb to the right, hold your index finger up, and point your
middle finger towards you. Your thumb is pointing in positive X, your index
finger in positive Y, and your middle finger in positive Z. The opposite
directions represent negative X, Y, and Z.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
A small icon representing the three axes and their directions is shown in the
corner of each viewport in the camera, geometry, and spotlight views. The
icon’s three axes are represented by color-coded vectors: red for X, green for
Y, and blue for Z.
n
An easy way to remember the color coding is RGB = XYZ. This mnemonic is
repeated throughout Avid 3D: object centers, visual cues for transformations,
and so on.
XYZ Coordinates
With the Cartesian coordinate system, you can locate any point in space using
three coordinates. Positions are measured from a point called the origin, which
is (0, 0, 0). For example, if X = +2, Y = +1, Z = +3, a point would be located
to the right of, above, and in front of the origin.
Location = (2, 1, 3)
Y=1
Origin
Z=3
X=2
XZ, XY, YZ Planes
Since you are working with a two-dimensional interface, spatial planes are
used to locate points in three-dimensional space.
The perpendicular axes extend as spatial planes: XZ, XY, and YZ. In the
viewports, these planes correspond to three of the parallel projection windows:
Top, Front, and Right.
60
Viewing Your Work in 3D Space
Imagine that the XZ, XY, and YZ planes are folded together like the top, front,
and right side of a box.
Top
Right
Front
This helps you keep a sense of orientation when you are working within the
parallel projection windows.
Global and Local Coordinate Systems
The location of an object in 3D space is defined by a point called its center.
This location can be described in more than one way or according to more
than one frame of reference.
For example, the global position is expressed in relation to the scene’s origin.
The local position is expressed in terms of the center of the object’s parent.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Parent
Scene origin
Object and
its center
Distance Units
Throughout Avid 3D, lengths are measured in distance units. How big is a
distance unit? It is an arbitrary, relative value that can be anything you want:
one foot, 10 cm, or any other system of measure.
However, it is generally recommended that you avoid making your objects too
big, too small, or too far from the scene origin. This is because rounding errors
can accumulate in mathematical calculations, resulting in imprecisions or even
jittering in object positions.
As a general rule of thumb, an entire rig should not fit within 1 or 2 units, nor
exceed 1000 units.
Viewports
The viewing area of the interface contains windows, called viewports, where
you can view and work on your scene. Each viewport can display different
types of views. You can display up to four different views in the viewers.
Viewports can have different geometry views (top, front, right, and user) and
display types (shaded, wireframe, texture, hidden line, etc.).
A viewport’s menu bar contains a set of controls that allow you to perform
various functions such as changing views, choosing display types, and resizing
the viewport.
62
Viewing Your Work in 3D Space
Display Types menu Specifies
how visible items in the viewports
are displayed—see page 68.
Views menu
Provides a variety of
specialized ways in which to
view your scene—see page 66.
Resize button
Resizes viewports to fullscreen, horizontal, or vertical
layouts—see page 64.
Letter Identifier button
Identifies the viewport and,
when selected, alternates
between displaying and hiding
(muting) viewport contents.
Identifying Viewports by Letter
A letter (A, B, C, or D) appears in the upper-left corner of each viewport to
simplify the way in which they are referenced. A refers to the upper-left viewport,
B is the upper-right, C is the lower-left, and D is the lower-right viewport.
Muting and Soloing Viewports
When a viewport is muted, it is prevented from displaying its contents. Muting
a viewport’s neighbors helps speed up its refresh rate.
To mute or solo viewports, do one of the following:
t
To solo (view just one viewport), left-click on its letter. Left-click a
second time to redisplay all viewports.
t
To mute a viewport, middle-click on its letter. Middle-click a second time
to redisplay the viewport.
t
Right-click a viewport’s letter to display a menu with mute and
solo commands.
63
Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Changing the Viewport Color
By default, a viewport background appears in gray. You can modify it to
display in black or white.
To change the viewport color:
1. Click the Display Options button in the Tools and Options panel.
2. Click the appropriate Background Colors button.
Resizing Viewports
There are two ways to resize viewports: interactively set them to any size, or
use the sizing button to set specific sizes.
To resize a viewport interactively:
1. Position the mouse pointer at an intersection of the viewports. You can
either place the pointer where the four viewports meet or where two
viewports meet.
The pointer becomes an arrow indicating in which direction you can
resize the viewports.
64
Viewing Your Work in 3D Space
2. Drag the viewports to whatever size you want. They change size in
relation to each other.
3. To reset the viewports back to equal sizes, middle-click at the viewport
intersection.
Resizing Viewports Using Set Sizes
The sizing button in the upper-right corner of each viewport resizes it so that
the viewport fills the entire screen (full view), a horizontal half-view
(landscape), or vertical half-view (portrait).
You can easily toggle between these views and reduce the viewport to its
original size (quarter-view) at any time.
To toggle between a quarter-view (the four viewports) and full view:
t
Click the sizing button.
To toggle between a quarter-view and a landscape view (horizontal):
t
Middle-click the sizing button.
To toggle between a quarter-view and a portrait view (vertical):
t
Ctrl+middle-click the sizing button.
You cannot toggle directly between the landscape and portrait views.
You can also right-click the sizing button to display a pop-up menu that
includes the following commands:
•
Maximize: displays the viewport in full view.
•
Horizontal: displays the viewport in landscape view.
•
Vertical: displays the viewport in portrait view.
•
Reset Size: displays all viewports in quarter-view.
•
Reset All: resets all viewports to their default set of views (i.e., Camera,
Right, Front, Top).
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Displaying the Viewport Grid
When you translate objects in the 3D or camera views, the viewport grid
provides a visual frame of reference. In the orthogonal views, translation is
restricted to take place within the plane of the displayed grid. The viewport
grid is not rendered.
To toggle the viewport grid display, do one of the following:
t
To toggle the grid in the viewport your mouse pointer is in, press the G key.
t
To toggle the grid in all viewports displaying a camera view, click the
Show/Hide Grid button in the Display Options panel.
Viewport Views
There are many ways to view and edit your scene in the viewports.
Camera Views
Camera views let you display your scene in a viewport from the point of view
of a particular camera.
Selecting a camera from a viewport’s views menu switches the viewpoint to
that of a “real” camera in your scene. All other views such as User, Top, Front,
and Right are not associated to an actual camera.
n
You can also choose to display the viewpoint of any spotlight in the scene.
Viewpoints
Viewpoints show you the geometry of objects in a scene. You can also choose
different display types to change the visual appearance of the objects seen in
viewpoints (see “Display Types” on page 68).
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Viewing Your Work in 3D Space
Top, Front, and Right Views
The top, front, and right views are parallel projection views, called such
because the object’s projection lines do not converge in these views. Because
of this, the distance between an object and the camera has no influence on the
scale of the object. If one object is close to the camera, and an identical object
is farther away, both appear to be the same size.
The top, front, and right views are orthographic, which orients the camera so it
is perpendicular (orthogonal) to specific planes:
•
The top view faces the XZ plane.
•
The front view faces the XY plane.
•
The right view faces the YZ plane.
Top
Front
Right
User
The user view is a user-defined viewpoint that shows objects in a scene from a
virtual camera’s point of view. This view can be either perspective or
orthographic.
•
In the perspective view, objects appear to converge toward a central
vanishing point, and objects closer to the camera appear larger than those
farther away.
•
In the orthographic view, objects remain in parallel projection with the
view being perpendicular (orthogonal) to the XY plane in camera space.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
The user point of view can be placed at any position and at any angle within the
global 3D coordinate system. You can orbit, dolly, zoom, and pan in this view.
Spotlight
Spotlight views let you select from a list of spotlights available in the scene.
Selecting a spotlight from this list switches the point of view in the active
viewport relative to the chosen spotlight. The point of view is set according to
the direction of the light cone defined for the chosen spotlight.
Display Types
There are several different ways in which you can display objects in a
viewport. By default, all objects are displayed in wireframe mode. Some
display types provide less detail but are less computationally intensive than
others—and this speeds up your screen refresh.
To set the display type for a specific viewport:
Click the Display
Type menu to
choose a display
type from its menu.
68
Outputting Avid 3D Views to an Avid Mojo
Here are some examples of several of the available display types. For more
information on each display type, refer to the Online Help (Help > Avid 3D
Help) for the Viewport topic.
Wireframe
Hidden Line
Constant (flat-shaded)
Shaded
Textured
OpenGL
Outputting Avid 3D Views to an Avid Mojo
Avid Mojo™ is a portable Digital Nonlinear Accelerator that allows you to
output hardware and software rendered effects from Avid 3D to a monitor in
real-time.
When you have an Avid Mojo connected to your Avid 3D workstation, you
can output content from Avid 3D to a monitor using the Mojo to accelerate the
display of effects. You can choose a view to output from the Mojo Options tab
in the tools and display panel.
n
You can also output to the Mojo from the flipbook and after rendering—see
“Loading Animation in the Flipbook” on page 334 and “Rendering Your
Scene” on page 383.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
To output Avid 3D views to a monitor:
1. Click the Options button in the tools and options panel, then click the
Mojo Options button in the toolbar that appears to open the Time
property editor.
2. Choose the Monitor Type to which you’re outputting content. This can
be either NTSC or PAL.
3. Choose an Avid 3D view to output via the Mojo by setting the View
Output to one of the following:
-
Disabled: nothing is output to the monitor.
-
3D View A: the display in viewport A is output to the monitor.
-
3D View B: the display in viewport B is output to the monitor.
-
3D View C: the display in viewport C is output to the monitor.
-
3D View D: the display in viewport D is output to the monitor.
-
3D Auto A/B/C/D: the viewport that has focus is output to the
monitor. Click a viewport to give it focus.
-
Render View: outputs the rendered image from the render preview
or, the render view when rendering an image to disk.
The image/frame is not displayed on the monitor until the last tile
is rendered.
-
The FX View option is not implemented in Avid 3D.
-
Image Clip View: the image clip view, as seen in the Texture Clip
Viewer, is output to the monitor.
Configuring Avid 3D to Output to an Avid Mojo
The following procedure explains how you can configure Avid 3D to output
to a Mojo.
n
If you have installed other Avid products you may already have a Mojo driver
installed. You must ensure that the most recent driver has been installed.
The driver files for Mojo are called Flamethrower.inf and Flamethrower.sys.
They are located in the Application\bin subdirectory of the installation path.
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Navigating in Viewports
To update your Mojo driver:
1. Close all running sessions of Avid 3D.
2. From the Windows task bar, choose Start > Control Panel > System.
3. On the Hardware tab, click the Device Manager button. In the device
manager, expand the Sound, video & game controllers node.
4. Double-click Avid Technology Mojo to open its Properties dialog box
and switch to the Driver tab.
5. Click the Update Driver button.
6. From the Hardware Update Wizard, choose Install from a list or specific
location and click Next.
7. Choose Don’t Search. I will choose the driver to install. Then click
Next and choose the latest driver.
If no drivers are listed, click Have Disk. Then Browse to the
Application\bin subdirectory of the installation path, choose
Flamethrower.inf, and click OK.
When you first launch Avid 3D with Mojo support, it may request that you
update your firmware. Simply follow the instructions to perform the update.
Once the firmware is updated, you’ll need to power the Mojo off and on again
and restart Avid 3D for the changes to take effect.
n
If Avid 3D is installed on the same machine as other applications that support
Mojo output (such as Avid XpressPro), make sure that those programs use the
same version of the Mojo driver and firmware as Avid 3D. Programs requiring
different versions of the Mojo driver cannot co-exist peacefully on the same
machine.
Navigating in Viewports
A set of viewport navigation controls in the control bar and their
corresponding shortcut keys let you change the way in which you view your
scene. You can use these controls and keys to zoom in to and out of a scene,
frame objects within a viewport, and orbit, track, and dolly the scene.
Camera buttons in the control bar
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Framing Objects in Viewports
Framing commands let you instantly zoom in to or out from selected objects in
viewport geometry views. You can frame objects in two ways: framing
selected objects or framing all visible objects in one or all viewports.
To frame all visible objects in a viewport:
t
Position the mouse pointer over the viewport and press A.
To frame all visible objects in all viewports:
t
Press Shift+A or click the Frame All Objects In All Viewports button on
the control bar.
To frame all selected objects in a viewport:
t
Position the mouse pointer over the viewport and press F.
To frame all selected objects in all viewports:
t
Press Shift+F or click the Frame Selected Object In All Viewports
button on the control bar.
Changing the Viewpoint
You can zoom in to and out of your scene or pan in all 3D views using the
zoom controls.
Panning and Zooming
To pan and zoom using the camera pan tool:
Click the Camera Pan Tool button on the control bar, or press the P supra key.
Then do any of the following:
72
t
Press the left mouse button and drag to pan.
t
Press the middle button to zoom in.
t
Press the right button to zoom out.
t
Click the Camera Pan Tool button or press P again to deactivate pan
and zoom mode.
Navigating in Viewports
To pan and zoom using the camera zoom tool:
Choose the Camera Zoom Tool button on the control bar, or press the Z supra
key. Then do any of the following:
t
Press the left mouse button and drag to zoom in or out.
t
Press the middle button and drag to pan.
t
Click the Camera Zoom Tool button or press Z again to deactivate
zoom mode.
By default, Avid 3D zooms into or out from the center of the view.
n
Zooming in or out changes the view angle setting of the camera, the same as
when you zoom with a real camera. Use the dolly tool if you don’t want to
change the view angle.
Orbiting
Orbiting is only possible in the perspective views. Orbiting rotates a camera,
spotlight, or user viewpoint around its point of interest. This lets you study
your scene’s overall “look” in any angle in any view.
To orbit:
t
Click the Camera Orbit Tool button on the control bar, or press the O
supra key while in User view.
Dollying and Rolling
You can dolly toward the camera interest in a perspective view or toward the
center of the viewport in an orthogonal view. Rolling is only possible in the
perspective views.
To dolly:
Click the Camera Dolly Tool button on the control bar, or press the D supra
key. Then do any of the following:
t
Press the left mouse button and drag to dolly.
t
Press the middle button to dolly slowly.
t
Press the right button to dolly quickly.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
t
Click the Camera Dolly Tool button or press D again to deactivate
dolly mode.
To roll the camera about its Z axis:
Click the Camera Roll Tool button on the control panel or press the L supra
key, then do any of the following:
t
Press the left mouse button and drag to roll.
t
Press the middle button to roll slowly.
t
Press the right button to roll quickly.
t
Click the Camera Roll Tool button or press L again to deactivate
roll mode.
Resetting Coordinates
You can reset the camera and other viewport views so that their global point of
origin (X = 0, Y = 0, Z = 0) is in the center of the viewport.
To reset the camera and view coordinates:
t
Click the Reset Camera button on the control bar, or position the mouse
pointer over the viewport and press the R key.
Hiding and Unhiding Objects
You can quickly hide and unhide selected objects in the viewports using the
Display Options panel or the H shortcut key. This is a quick way to set the
viewport visibility of a selected element.
n
Hiding objects eliminates their visibility both in the viewports and in the
rendered output.
To hide and redisplay selected objects in the viewports:
1. Do one of the following:
t
74
In any viewport, select the object you want to temporarily hide,
and press H.
Hiding and Unhiding Objects
t
From the Display Options panel, click the Show/Hide Selected
Objects button.
The selected object is hidden in all geometric views but remains
visible in the explorer (an H will appear on the icon of the hidden
node). Hidden elements are not rendered in the render region nor do
they appear in the final output.
2. Pressing H or clicking the Show/Hide Selected Objects button again
redisplays the hidden object.
If you selected another element or modified the scene after you hid the
object, pressing H or choosing View > Hide/Unhide Selection again has
no effect on the hidden element. In this situation, the hidden object can
only be redisplayed by selecting its node in the explorer and pressing H or
clicking the Toggle Visibility of Selected Objects button again.
To unhide all hidden objects in the viewports:
t
From the Display Options panel, click the Show All Objects button.
Display Filters
In addition to hiding or displaying individual objects, you can use display
filters to hide or display different types of scene elements, such as lights,
cameras, curves, control objects, and particles.
To display or hide different types of elements in the viewport:
t
Toggle the various Display Filter buttons in the Display Options panel.
Lights
Cameras
Curves and Motion Paths
Control Objects and Rig Handles
Particles
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
The Library Panel
The library panel is found on the right side of the Avid 3D interface. It is
divided into tabs that contain libraries of objects, rigs, clips, particles, and
other elements that can be used as building blocks for Avid 3D scenes.
Elements such as objects, models, and rigs can be added to a scene simply by
dragging an element’s thumbnail into a viewport. Elements such as materials,
textures, still images, and video clips are added to an object by dragging their
thumbnails onto an object in the viewport.
For more information about using the elements in the library panel, see “Using
the Library Panel” on page 98.
Object library
Model library
Digimation Material and
Model Bank Fx library
Sample Projects library
Still Images library
Scene explorer—see
next section on page 76.
Video library
The Scene Explorer
The explorer displays the contents of your scene as a list of nodes that expand
from the top root. You normally use the explorer as an adjunct while working
in Avid 3D to find or select elements. For example, the scene explorer is a
useful tool to help you select hidden elements in a scene. You can also rename
elements using the scene explorer.
To see properties of those selected scene elements, use the multi-purpose
editor, as described in “The Multi-Purpose Editor” on page 79.
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The Scene Explorer
To open the scene explorer:
t
n
In the library panel, click the Scene Explorer tab.
If the panel is too short and a scroll bar appears on the side, you can see the
rest of the contents by either scrolling with the scroll bar or panning by
clicking and dragging up and down in an empty area.
Click the Scene Explorer
tab in the library panel to
open the scene explorer.
Click an item to display
those types of elements in
the tree panel below.
Click an item to select it.
Selected items are highlighted.
Rename the selected item by
pressing F2 and entering a
new name.
Selecting Scene Elements in the Scene Explorer
Selecting elements in the explorer is quite straightforward. In particular, you
can select any element, even if it is unselectable or hidden in the 3D views.
•
To select a scene element, simply click on its name in the explorer.
Ctrl+click to multi-select individual nodes.
•
To select a range of elements, click on the first element’s name in the
range, then Shift+click on the last element’s name in the range. These two
elements, plus all the elements between them, become selected.
Renaming Scene Elements
You can rename elements in your scene using the explorer. You can rename
lights, cameras, and geometric objects.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
To rename scene elements:
t
Select the element you want to rename in the scene explorer and press F2.
Then type a new name for the element.
The Tools and Options Panel
The Tools and Options panel is where you can access many tools used for
different tasks in a scene, such as transforming elements, animating, or
deforming objects. As well, you can access a number of options to set up your
scene, such as for the display in the viewports or output options to determine
how to render your scene.
Deformation Particle
Animation
Text tools
tools
tools
tools
Transform tools
Options
Display options
•
Transform Tools panel: Contains tools that let you translate, rotate, and
scale objects in your scene. It also includes a number of mode buttons that
let you specify how objects are transformed.
For more information, see “Transforming Objects” on page 117.
•
Animation Tools panel: Contains tools that let you animate objects in
different ways, such as by setting keyframes, putting objects on paths,
constraining them, or using math presets.
For more information, see Chapter 10 “Animating in Avid 3D” on page 261.
•
Text Tools panel: Contains tools that let you create and edit text.
For more information, see Chapter 7 “Working with Text and Logos” on
page 173.
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The Multi-Purpose Editor
•
Deformation Tools panel: Contains tools that let you deform objects in
many different ways.
For more information, see Chapter 6 “Modifying Object Geometry” on
page 139.
•
Particle Tools panel: Contains tools that let you create and apply
particles, forces, and obstacles in your scene.
For more information, see Chapter 11 “Particles” on page 341.
•
Display Options panel: Contains tools that let you determine what’s
displayed or hidden in the viewport.
For more information, see “Hiding and Unhiding Objects” on page 74 and
“Viewports” on page 62.
•
Options panel: Contains tools that let you set up preferences for different
aspects of working in Avid 3D, from rendering and time properties to data
management and the function curve editor.
For more information on each option, see the Online Help.
The Multi-Purpose Editor
The multi-purpose editor lets you edit properties of any type of scene element.
You can also open the profile and function curve editors from here. The multipurpose editor appears as a floating window. You can resize the window by
dragging its borders, and move it around the interface by clicking and
dragging on its title bar.
To open the multi-purpose editor:
1. Select an element in a 3D view or in the scene explorer.
2. Click the Multi-Purpose Editor button on the control bar.
3. Click the tab that corresponds to the properties you want to edit (or editor
that you want to use).
4. Click a node in the tree panel on the left, and its property editor appears in
the panel on the right.
See “Modifying Properties in Property Editors” on page 80 for information in
general about editing properties.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Material and Fx
properties
Texture clip
viewer
Profile
editor
Function curve
editor
Geometry and
Deform properties
Click element name
in the tree to open its
property editor in the
panel on the right.
The following is a summary of the properties and editors available in the
multi-purpose editor.
•
Geometry and Deform properties—see “Basic Scene Elements” on
page 100 and “Deforming Objects” on page 140.
•
Material and Fx properties—see “Materials” on page 238, “Textures”
on page 245, as well as “Attaching Sprites and Images to Particles” on
page 374 for using sprites with particles.
•
Texture clip viewer—see “Textures” on page 245.
•
Profile editor—see “Working with Profiles” on page 162.
•
Function curve editor—see “Editing Function Curves” on page 285.
Modifying Properties in Property Editors
Property editors are found throughout Avid 3D—for instance, you can access
property editors from some buttons in the tools and options panel, where they
are used to view and change project, scene, and render settings. However, you
will most likely use property editors to define and modify a scene’s various
elements. You can find elements’ property editors in the multi-purpose editor.
n
80
You can also modify an object’s properties using the on-screen parameters—see
“Modifying On-screen Parameters” on page 88 for more information.
Modifying Properties in Property Editors
To open an element’s property editor:
1. Select the element in a 3D view or in the scene explorer.
2. Open the multi-purpose button by clicking the Multi-Purpose Editor
button in the control bar.
See the previous section, “The Multi-Purpose Editor”, for information in
general about the multi-purpose editor.
Anatomy of a Property Editor
Property Page tabs
Switch between sets of grouped
parameters within a property set.
Parameter Set headers
Click the arrow to expand and
collapse the property set.
Property-page controls
For viewing and setting
parameter values for sets
of grouped properties.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Property Page Controls
Color box
Opens color editors from which
you can pick or define the colors
you want to use. See “Defining
Color Properties” on page 92 for
more information.
Text boxes
Let you enter values for the
parameters. See “Entering
Values in a Text Box” on
page 83 for more information.
Animation button
Shows status of animatable
parameters (whether or not the
parameter is animated). You can also
set and remove keys by clicking this
button. See “Keyframe Animation” on
page 277 for more information.
n
Sliders
Let you change values by
dragging the bar or arrow
in the slider. “Changing
Values Using Sliders” on
page 82 for more
information.
Check box
Toggles the option so that
it’s active or inactive. A
check mark appears in
the box when it’s active.
Drop-down lists
Let you select one option
from several. Click the
arrow beside the list to
open its menu.
Not all of the options described above are available in every property editor.
Changing Values Using Sliders
To change values using sliders, do one of the following:
82
t
Drag a slider to the right to raise the value or to the left to lower the value
in the text box.
t
Drag a slider to the right or left while pressing the Shift key to make
finer adjustments.
t
Drag a slider to the right or left while pressing the Ctrl key to change the
value of all the sliders in a color-control group simultaneously.
t
Drag with the middle mouse button to have the scene update only when
you release the mouse button instead of refreshing continuously as you
drag. This is especially useful when setting values on parameters that may
take a long time to update.
Modifying Properties in Property Editors
When you resize a property editor so that there is not enough room to display
or use a slider effectively, the slider becomes an input box. When you enlarge
the property editor, the input box becomes a slider again.
Sliders become input
boxes at small sizes.
Sliders at larger sizes.
Entering Values in a Text Box
There are many ways to enter information in a text box. You can enter
information the conventional way by using your keyboard. For numeric input,
you can also use gestural movements and key combinations to increase or
decrease the parameter values.
n
To move from one text box to the next one in the same property editor, press the
Tab key. To move back to the previous text box, press Shift+Tab.
To enter information by typing:
Move the mouse pointer inside the text box and click. The pointer shape
becomes a text cursor (flashing vertical bar). Any existing text is selected and
is overwritten as soon as you begin typing.
If you click in the text box a second time, the text is deselected and the cursor
is placed where you clicked. You can now:
•
Use the left- and right-arrow keys on the keyboard to move the cursor to
the appropriate place in the text box.
•
Drag the cursor over the part of the contents you want to replace. The
selected characters are highlighted. Now type in the text you want.
•
Press Shift+left- or right-arrow key to select characters that are to the left
or right of the cursor. You can delete or replace these characters.
•
Double-click to select a word or value so that you can replace it
completely with the text that you type.
•
Right-click to open a pop-up menu and choose the command to Undo,
Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, or Select All the contents of the text box.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
n
•
Delete characters to the left of the cursor using the Backspace key, or
delete characters to the right of the cursor using the Delete key.
•
To cancel text box input, press the Esc key.
If you have problems entering decimal values, open the Windows Control Panel
and make sure that the Regional Settings are set to English (United States).
To enter information by gestural input (scrubbing):
t
Click and drag the mouse pointer in a circular motion over a text box that
supports numeric values. This is known as scrubbing. To increase the
value, scrub in a clockwise direction; to decrease the value, scrub in a
counterclockwise direction.
-
Press the Shift key while scrubbing to increment or decrement values
by a factor of 0.1.
-
Press the Ctrl key while scrubbing to increment or decrement values
by a factor of 10.
To enter information by increments, do one of the following:
t
84
Click in the numeric text field and press the square bracket keys ([) and (])
to increment and decrement values as follows:
Press this...
To do this...
]
Increment by 1
[
Decrement by 1
Ctrl+]
Increment by 10
Ctrl+[
Decrement by 10
Shift+]
Increment by 0.1
Shift+[
Decrement by 0.1
Modifying Properties in Property Editors
t
n
Click in the numeric text field and press the arrow keys to increment or
decrement values as follows:
Press this...
To do this...
Ctrl+right-arrow
Increment by 10
Ctrl+left-arrow
Decrement by 10
Shift+Ctrl+right-arrow
Increment by 0.1
Shift+Ctrl+left-arrow
Decrement by 0.1
If you have a mouse wheel, click in the numeric text field, then roll the wheel
forward to increment the value or backward to decrement the value.
Relative Input Using Math Operations
All text boxes allow you to input relative values by means of four basic math
operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), as well as other
operators such as linear and random.
To input relative values:
1. Click in a text box to select the value it contains.
2. Enter the number to add, subtract, divide, or multiply.
3. Enter the symbol for the math operator ( + – * / ). You can use only one
math operator per text box.
4. Press Enter.
For example, if the selected value in the text box is 10 and you replace this
value by 5+ and press Enter, the result is 15 because you added 5 to the
existing value.
When you have multiple elements of similar parameter values, anything you
enter in a text box is applied to all these parameters:
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Operator
Results
value
Sets all selected element properties to that value. For example,
entering an X-axis rotation value of 5 sets all selected objects’
rotational values to 5. This is also known as absolute input (see
the following illustration).
value+
Increments all the selected elements by that value. For example,
entering 2+ in an X-axis translation parameter shifts all selected
objects by 2 distance units. Math operations are known as
relative input.
value-
Decrements all the selected elements by that value.
value*
Multiplies all the selected elements by that value.
value/
Divides all the selected elements by that value.
l or L(min, max)
Creates a linear range through the selection, according to the
original selection order. For example, L(4,8) when applied to the
X-axis translation parameter of a group of three cubes causes
each object to move 4, 6, and 8 distance units along the X axis,
respectively.
r or R
Creates a random value for each selected element, between 0 and 1.
r(x) or r(-x)
Creates a random value for each selected element between 0 and
the value for (x). If r is followed by (–x), a random value between
0 and the negative value is inserted.
r(min, max)
Creates a random value for each selected element within the
specified range.
g(mean, var)
Creates a random value following a normal distribution among
the selected elements.
The following illustrations describe the different ways in which elements can
be transformed using text box input. For illustrative purposes, the example of
translation is used, but the concepts apply to any parameter:
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Modifying Properties in Property Editors
Absolute Input
Entering a numeric value in an XYZ text box
repositions all selected objects to the specified
position on their X,Y, or Z axes.
This example: Translation: Y = 3
(spheres all repositioned to 3 on the Y axis)
Relative Input
Entering (value)+ or (value)– in an XYZ text
box increases/decreases the relative value of
each selected object. You can also enter
(value)* and (value)/ to multiply and divide the
relative value.
This example: Translation: Y = 3+
(Y value of each selected sphere increased by
three distance units)
Random Input
Entering a value of R(min,max) in an XYZ text
box randomly repositions each selected object
anywhere between the specified minimum and
maximum values.
This example: Translation: Y = R(0,6)
(spheres randomly repositioned between 0
and 6 on the Y axis)
Linear Range
Entering a value of L(min,max) in an XYZ text
box repositions each selected object on a
linear path between the specified minimum
and maximum values. The first selected object
receives the minimum value and last selected
object receives the maximum value.
This example: Translation: Y = L(0,6)
(spheres repositioned equally on a linear
range between 0 and 6 on the Y axis)
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Modifying On-screen Parameters
In addition to marking, editing, and animating parameter values in a property
editor, you can display parameters directly in viewport B and do all these tasks
on screen.
On-screen parameters are displayed for the selected object on a semitransparent menu in the upper-right corner of viewport B. For most objects,
only their Transform parameters appear on-screen; however other objects,
especially rigs, also have other parameters that can be displayed on-screen.
Displaying On-screen Parameters
To display on-screen parameters in viewport B:
1. Select an object, and its on-screen parameters appear in the upper-right
corner of viewport B.
If you multi-select objects, only the parameters for the first object you
selected are displayed on-screen.
On-screen parameters are
displayed for the selected rig
in a semi-transparent menu
in viewport B.
88
Modifying On-screen Parameters
2. Click the arrow beside the parameter set name (in this case, Transform) to
open up the menu of parameters available for that set.
Click arrow beside
parameter set name
to open menu that
displays the set’s
parameters.
Some objects have on-screen parameters other than the Transform
parameters. You can find out which objects these are by clicking the
Scene Explorer tab in the library panel and selecting Objects >
w. On-screen Params.
To set the size of the font for on-screen parameters:
1. Click the Display Options tab in the tools and options panel.
2. Select a font size from the On-screen Parameter buttons: small (sm),
medium (M), or large (L).
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Modifying and Animating the On-screen Parameter Values
You can easily modify the on-screen parameters, as well as animate them. Before
you modify or key parameter values, you should mark them. Marking parameters
lets Avid 3D know that you want to modify or key only those parameters.
All marked parameters’ values are modified when you drag the mouse or are
keyed when you click the keyframe button in the animation controls. For
general information on setting keys, see “Setting Keys” on page 278.
Marked parameters
are displayed in yellow.
To mark parameters, do one of the following:
t
Click the parameter name: it turns yellow to indicate that it’s marked.
t
Press Shift+click to mark multiple parameters.
t
Press Ctrl+click to toggle the marked state of the parameters.
To edit parameter values:
Click and drag on a parameter name or its value to modify the value:
90
•
Drag to the left to decrease the value, and drag to the right to increase it.
•
Press Ctrl while you drag for coarse control.
•
Press Shift while you drag for fine control.
•
Press Ctrl+Shift while you drag for very precise control.
•
Press Alt while you drag to extend beyond the range of the parameter’s
slider in its property editor (if the slider range is smaller than its total range).
Modifying On-screen Parameters
•
Double-click on a numeric value to edit it using the keyboard. The current
value is highlighted, so you can type in a new value. Only the parameter
you click on is affected even if multiple parameters are marked.
Double-click the value,
then type in a new one.
To animate parameter values, do one of the following:
t
Click on the parameter’s animation button to set or remove a key for the
corresponding parameter.
t
Right-click on an animation button to open the animation menu for the
corresponding parameter. From this menu, you can set or remove keys,
copy and paste keys between parameters, or move between keys. See
“Keyframe Animation” on page 277 for more information.
The color of the animation box beside the parameter indicates the following
information:
Empty: the parameter is not animated.
Blue: the parameter is animated by
something other than keys (such as a
math preset).
Red: the parameter has a key at the
current frame.
Yellow: the parameter is animated and
the value has been modified but is not
yet keyed.
Green: the parameter is animated and
the current value is the interpolation
between keys.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
Defining Color Properties
There are a number of standard ways of defining color properties, for textures,
materials, and lighting.
Defining Colors with Sliders
To define a color using the color sliders:
1. Select the color model that best suits your needs. Below the color box, you
can click on the color model button to toggle between RGB, HLS, and HSV.
2. Do one of the following to set the color:
t
Click and drag the sliders to change the strength of each channel
independently, or type a numerical value directly in the text box
beside the sliders.
Color box
n
Color
model
Color sliders
t
To move all three sliders at once, hold the Ctrl key down while
dragging the color sliders.
t
For fine-tuning a single color value, hold down the Shift key while
dragging the color sliders.
You can quickly copy a color by clicking a color box and dragging and
dropping its “color chip” to another color box in the same property page or
another one. This is especially useful when you want to match ambient or
diffuse colors among objects.
As you use the color sliders, you will notice that each slider immediately
updates to show you a gradient of the color you have selected. The slider
shows you what color will result if you move the slider to a new position.
The specific channel corresponding to a slider depends on the color channel
you selected; for example, if you selected RGB, the sliders correspond to the
red, green, and blue channels. The values range between 0 and 1.
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Defining Color Properties
n
When you are defining materials, you can type values greater than 1 to
compensate for transparency and reflectivity.
Defining Colors with the Color Editors
When defining or choosing colors, or to choose one from a viewport, you can
use one of the two color editors. In the full color editor, you can create and
modify colors for your materials and lights. This can be useful for creating
specific palettes to apply consistently to a group of materials. You can also use
the color picker to pick a color displayed in any viewport, including the Image
Clip editor.
To select a color using the mini color editor:
1. Click the color box next to the color sliders in a property editor.
Color box
2. The mini color editor (below) opens:
Slider bar
Color spectrum
Current color box
Changes color
model.
Color preview box
Color picker copies a
color from anywhere
on the screen.
Opens the full
color editor.
To select a color:
t
Click in the color spectrum. That color then appears in the color preview
box (and in the color box of the property editor), while the current color
remains in the current color box to use as a reference.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
To edit a color:
t
Use the slider bar at the right or enter a numeric value in the text boxes
below it. You can also change the color model from RGB to HLS to HSV
by clicking the > button.
To pick a color, do one of the following:
t
Click the color picker button (the eye dropper) and click anywhere on the
screen. The color picker takes the color you see on the screen rather than the
true color of the objects. This tool can be especially useful when trying to
match a color in a viewport containing a flipbook or the Image Clip editor.
t
Click on the browse (...) button to open the full color editor, where you
can fine-tune and create custom colors.
3. Close the color editor to use the color you created.
To fine-tune a color using the full color editor:
1. In a property editor, click the color box beside the color sliders to open the
mini color editor.
2. In the mini color editor, click the browse (...) button. The full color
editor opens.
Slider bar
Color area
Color views
Current
and Preview
color boxes
94
Color picker
Defining Color Properties
To select a color:
t
Click in the color area. You can define the color area by selecting a color
view mode. Each mode offers a variety of spectrums and hues. Once a
color is selected, the color appears in the preview color box, while the
previous color remains in the current color box to use as a reference.
To modify a color:
t
Use the slider bar at the right of the color editor or enter a numeric value
in any one of the RGB, HSV, or CMYK fields. As a color is modified, its
corresponding values are updated.
To pick a color:
t
Use the color picker as described on page 94.
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Chapter 3 The Avid 3D Interface
96
Chapter 4
Avid 3D Basics
No matter what you plan to create in Avid 3D, the basic processes and
building blocks are the same. The library panel contains most of the raw
material you will use to create scenes, which you can then manipulate using
the processes described in this chapter.
Chapter 4 Avid 3D Basics
Using the Library Panel
The library panel is where you find objects, textures, image and video clips,
camera effects, and more—most of the raw material you will be using to create
scenes in Avid 3D.
Getting content into your scene is simply a matter of dragging an item from a
library into a viewport or onto a node in the multi-purpose editor. However, the
type of content you want to use and how you want to apply it determines how
you should drag and drop. The following is a general guide to Avid 3D’s drag
and drop rules:
•
To add objects, scenes, rigs, and environment effects, drag an item onto an
empty spot in a viewport.
•
To add materials and textures to objects, drag an item onto the object.
•
To add light or camera effects, do one of the following:
•
n
t
Drag an item onto a specific light or camera.
t
Drag an item into a viewport. The effect is added to all applicable
lights, or to the active camera.
Some rigs use placeholder objects intended for objects you can add later.
Drag an item onto the placeholder to replace it.
When dragging and dropping items from the library, a status bar appears in
the active viewport and provides information appropriate to the location of
your mouse pointer.
You can also drag and drop files from a Windows explorer or Web browser into
Avid 3D.
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Using the Library Panel
n
•
Sample Projects Library: Contains preset scenes that you can drag and
drop directly into a viewport. If you load a sample scene onto an existing
scene, you are prompted to save or cancel your existing scene. You cannot
merge the scenes together.
•
Object Library: Contains preset elements that you can drag and drop
directly into a viewport. This includes static and animated objects, lights,
cameras, object rigs, environments, particle systems, text, and curves.
•
Model Library and Digimation® Model Bank™: Contains various 3D
object models that you can drag and drop directly into a viewport.
The Digimation Model Bank is available only if you selected to install it when
you installed Avid 3D.
•
Material and Fx Library: Contains preset elements that you can drag
and drop onto an appropriate object (objects, particles, lights, or cameras)
or into a scene (environment maps). Most presets only work with specific
targets. For example, you can drag and drop materials only onto a 3D
object in a viewport, or drag and drop particle types only onto particles in
a viewport.
•
Still Images Library: Contains 2D images and textures that you can drag
and drop onto a 3D object.
•
Video Library: Contains video and audio clips that you can drag and
drop onto an object (video) or in the scene (audio).
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Basic Scene Elements
Objects
There are several different types of objects available for building Avid 3D
scenes. While many of them are the objects that will appear in your final
output, most will not—like a boom microphone or a wind machine on a sound
stage, these objects remain invisible to the audience but are necessary to create
a convincing and compelling scene.
Geometric Objects
Geometric objects are objects that can be modified by changing parameters or
manipulating the components (points or polygons) that make them up. By
default, most geometric objects are visible when the scene is rendered. There
are several different types of geometric objects in Avid 3D.
Polygon Meshes
Polygon meshes are quilts of polygons joined at their edges and points.
A polygon mesh sphere
Curves
Curves are one-dimensional objects that have points but no thickness. They
are not renderable, but can be used to modify extruded and revolved objects,
create paths for objects to move along, and so on.
A simple curve
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Basic Scene Elements
Surfaces
Surfaces are smooth-surfaced objects defined by intersecting curves. As they
are not created with polygons, polygon-related tools such as clusters cannot be
used to modify them.
Surfaces allow for smooth
geometry with relatively few
control points.
Control Objects
Sometimes referred to as handles, control objects are the non-renderable objects
that exist to define the properties of rigs, deformations, and other effects.
Nulls
Nulls are simply locations in space that cannot be rendered. However, they are
often used in rigs for setting constraints and organizing objects in hierarchies.
The position of a null is
represented by this icon.
Lattices
Lattices are like a three-dimensional scaffolding that can be used to deform
objects. Lattices do not render. They are described in “Lattices” on page 148.
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Waves
Waves define an animated deformation that you can use to create ripples in
geometric objects. Waves do not render. They are described in “Waves” on
page 154.
The wireframe wave icon controls
the deformation on the surface grid.
Particle Clouds
Clouds are icons that control the emission and simulation of particles from a
geometric object. You can use them to create a variety of particle effects, such
as fire, water, and smoke. Particles are described in “Particles” on page 341.
A particle cloud
Forces
Forces are control objects that define effects to create movement only on
particles, like gravity, turbulence, a fan, and wind. Forces do not render. They
are described in “Applying Forces to Particles” on page 366.
A wind force
Cameras
The camera in Avid 3D is analogous to a physical camera in the real world. It
defines the view that you can render. For more information on cameras, see
“Cameras” on page 219.
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Basic Scene Elements
Lights
As in the real world, lights make everything in your 3D scene visible. Each
light in a scene contributes to the scene’s illumination and affects the way all
objects’ surfaces appear in the rendered image. You can dramatically change
the nature and mood of your images by modifying lights and their properties.
For more information on using lights, see “Lights and Shadows” on page 204.
Primitive Objects
Primitives are basic shapes that you can add to a scene. These primitive shapes
can form the basis for more complex objects. For example, you can start with a
sphere and move points on it to create a head. You can then attach eyeballs and
ears to the head and put the whole head on a body of a character.
There are several different primitive shapes for each geometry type. Each
primitive shape has parameters that are particular to it—for example, a sphere
has a radius that you can specify, a cube has a length, a cylinder has both
height and radius, and so on.
There are also several parameters that are common to all or to several
primitive shapes: Subdivisions, Start and End Angles, and Close End.
U and V Directions
Objects with more than one dimension (that is, anything other than a curve)
have their own internal coordinate systems that are used for functions such as
texturing or subdividing. These coordinate systems use U and V directions in
the same way that a graph might use X and Y to measure length and height.
Because U and V directions can be applied to different types of objects, they
have no strict definition: on a sphere, U and V might refer to latitude and
longitude; on a two-dimensional disc, they might refer to circumference and
radius; and on a cylinder they might refer to radius and height.
U, V, and Base Subdivisions
When you get a primitive object, you can specify the number of subdivisions.
More subdivisions result in more points, thereby giving a heavier geometry
with more detail. Two-dimensional primitives like grids let you specify the
number of subdivisions in the U and V directions, while three-dimensional
primitives let you specify the number for the base as well.
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5 U-Subdivisions
3 V-Subdivisions
2 Base-Subdivisions
Start and End Angles
Many primitive objects have Extent settings that let you set the Start and End
angles. You can use these options to open up the basic primitive shapes, for
example, to create a hemisphere or take a slice out of a disk.
Torus open in both the U
and V directions
Open and Closed Ends
Several primitives have one or more Close options that can be used to cap their
ends. By default these options are on, but you can turn them off to open the ends.
Cylinder with ends closed
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Cylinder with top end open Cylinder with both ends
Basic Scene Elements
Rigs
Rigs are prebuilt collections of objects designed to perform specific tasks.
Typically, the objects are positioned and constrained in a specific way, and
specialized parameters are provided to simplify their manipulation. Rigs
generally include one or more control objects or handles that provide access to
these parameters. Parameters appear as on-screen parameters, as well as in the
multi-purpose editor’s Geometry and Deform Properties tab.
n
Rig-control nodes appear in the multi-purpose editor with the prefix X3D_.
All rigs have at least one
control handle, usually a
circle or a square. Select
the handle to access the
rig’s parameters.
Many control handles
can also be used to
control the entire rig’s
transformation.
Many rigs have placeholder
objects. You can further
customize a rig by dragging
and dropping objects from
the library panel onto the
placeholder to replace it.
Some rig handles include
controls for the rig’s pitch,
yaw, and roll—its rotation
around its local X, Y, and
Z axes, respectively.
You can also replace
placeholders with other rigs.
There are many different kinds of rigs available in the sample projects and
object libraries. These are just general categorizations; for example, some
camera rigs are also motion path rigs.
Light Rigs
Light rigs allow you to light your scene in a specific way. Light rigs can be a
particular arrangement of lights with specific parameters, or renderable
geometries that simulate real-world light fixtures. See “Lights and Shadows”
on page 204 for more information on lights.
By default, every new Avid 3D scene has a light rig placed at its center. See
“The Default Light Rig” on page 207.
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Camera Rigs
Camera rigs can be either fixed-camera or free-camera.
Fixed-camera rigs are typically used for scenes with objects appearing in front
of a backplate. As the name implies, fixed-camera rigs feature a camera that is
constrained to one spot, positioned so that the backplate image fills its view.
You can also create your own fixed-camera rig by dragging a still image or
video clip and dropping it into a viewport, then selecting Framed Image Clip
from the dialog box that appears.
Free-camera rigs allow you to move your camera within your scene, usually
along a motion path.
See “Cameras” on page 219 for more information on cameras.
Motion Path Rigs
Motion path rigs allow you to animate an object along an open or closed path.
Generally, motion path rigs include placeholder objects that you can replace
by dragging another object onto them. You can also replace placeholders with
other rigs.
See “Path Constraints” on page 323 for more information on path animation.
Text Rigs
Text rigs allow you to animate text along paths, or to animate a “follow-theleader” sequence with individual letters trailing behind one another in a
specified manner.
See “Working with Text and Logos” on page 173 for more information on text.
Object Rigs
Object rigs are objects that have been created with control handles for
specialized functions. For example, the control handle on the book rig allows
you to set the number of pages in the book, how far its front and back covers
open, and how the pages turn.
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Basic Scene Elements
Digital Video Effects (DVEs)
Digital video effects, or DVEs, are fixed-camera rigs with effects or deforms
applied to one or more textured objects. These can provide special effects or
3D transitions between two different images or scenes.
A Word about Models
In 3D computer graphics lingo, a model is a sculpted, three-dimensional entity
that you manipulate in space. A model could be anything from a fish to a desk
to a giant robot.
In Avid 3D, models are more than that: they are a powerful way for organizing
objects in your scenes and projects in a structure. Models act as a container for
objects, usually hierarchies of objects, and many of their properties. They
contain not just the objects’ geometry but also the function curves, textures,
and other properties. They can also contain internal math presets and
constraints; that is, those presets and constraints that refer only to elements
within the model’s hierarchy.
Models are like “mini scenes” that can be easily reused in scenes and projects.
In fact, exporting and importing models is how you can copy data between
scenes. See “Importing and Exporting Files” on page 135 for more details on
moving data between scenes.
Every scene contains a model called the Scene_Root, which is the parent of all
other models. Every object or rig you drag and drop from the library panel
creates its own model. You can create or import as many models as you like.
In the scene explorer, models are distinguished by special icons, as shown on
the left. You can change the scene explorer’s scope to show only models,
which greatly simplifies the representation of your scene. For details on
changing the scene explorer’s scope, see “The Scene Explorer” on page 76.
Components of Objects
All 3D objects have components that create them: the points and polygons
that define the shape of 3D objects. You can select and manipulate different
types of components to change the shape of objects. Clusters are named
groups of polygons.
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Types of Components
Different geometry types have different types of components.
Points
Points are the most fundamental type of component. They are the vertices of
polygon meshes as well as the control points of curves, surfaces, and lattices.
Points on different
geometry types:
polygon mesh,
curve, surface,
and lattice.
Each point defines a location in space. The collection of points determines the
shape of an object.
Polygons
Not surprisingly, polygons are components of polygon meshes. They are the
closed, flat shapes that make up the “tiles” of the mesh and are bound by edges.
Selected polygon
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Basic Scene Elements
Clusters
A cluster is a named set of polygons that are grouped together for a specific
purpose. By grouping and naming polygons, it makes it easier to work with
those same polygons again and again. For example, by grouping all the
polygons that form an eyebrow, you can easily transform the eyebrow as an
object instead of trying to reselect the same polygons each time you work with
it. You can also apply textures to specific clusters instead of an entire object.
You can define as many clusters on an object as you like, and the same
polygon can belong to a number of different clusters. If you delete a cluster,
only the cluster definition is deleted; the polygons themselves remain intact.
To create a cluster:
1. Click the Select Tool button in the control bar or press S.
2. Select one or more geometric objects.
3. Click the Select Polygon Tool button in the control bar or press U.
4. Click and drag the mouse pointer across the polygons you want to select.
5. Click the Create/Edit Polygon Clusters button in the control bar.
6. In the dialog box that appears, enter a name for the cluster, then click OK.
For information on selecting objects and polygons, see “Selecting
Objects” on page 112 and “Selecting Components” on page 114.
To delete clusters:
1. Select one or more geometric objects.
2. Click the Create/Edit Polygon Clusters button in the control bar.
3. A dialog box appears, listing the object’s clusters. Select the clusters to
add the selection, check the Delete checkbox, then click OK.
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Element Names
All elements have a name. For example, if you create a sphere object, it is
called sphere by default, but you can rename it if you want.
Element names appear as labels on nodes in the scene explorer.
Valid Names
Avid 3D restricts the valid characters in element names to a–z, A–Z, 0–9, the
hyphen (-), and the underscore (_). Invalid characters are automatically
converted to underscores. In addition, element names cannot start with a digit;
Avid 3D automatically adds an underscore at the beginning.
Namespaces and Unique Names
Namespaces define the scope in which an element name is unique. In order to
specify an element unambiguously, no two elements can have the same name
if they are in the same namespace.
Different types of elements have different namespaces:
•
The scene is the namespace for models. All models within a scene must
have unique names. All models within a scene must have unique names,
even if one model is nested in the hierarchy of another model.
The scene is also the namespace for image sources and clips.
•
The model is the namespace for objects. Two separate models, Fluffy and
Sparky, can each have an object called LeftPaw. However, a single model
cannot have two objects called LeftPaw. The combination of model name
and object name uniquely identifies an object in a scene, for example,
Fluffy.LeftPaw or Sparky.LeftPaw.
The model is also the namespace for audio sources and clips.
Objects and groups that are not in any other model are in the namespace of
the scene root model.
•
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The object is the namespace for clusters. For example, two objects called
LeftPaw and RightPaw can each have a clusters called MiddleClaw.
Selecting
Renaming Elements
You can rename certain types of elements in your scene. These types include:
•
Objects, including geometric objects, lights, cameras, particle clouds,
and so on.
•
Models.
•
Clusters.
•
Sources and clips. However, be aware that if you rename a source, any
clips based on that source are automatically renamed as well.
•
Materials and textures.
You cannot rename other types of elements. such as operators and constraints.
To rename an element:
Do one of the following:
t
Select an element, then click its node in the multi-purpose editor and
change the Name parameter.
t
Select an element, press F2 in an explorer, and enter a new name.
t
In an explorer, click twice on an element (don’t double-click it) and enter
a new name.
If the new name is not unique in its namespace, a number is appended
automatically.
Selecting
Selecting is fundamental to any software program. In Avid 3D, you select
objects, components, and other elements to modify and manipulate them. There
are many ways to select elements, and this section describes them all in detail.
•
Different selection tools allow you to select in different ways.
•
You can select objects, components, and properties using different filters
in the 3D view.
•
You can select any node directly in the explorer.
•
You can modify the selection using a number of commands.
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What You Can Select
In Avid 3D, you can select any object, component, property, cluster, operator,
source, clip, and so on; in short, just about anything that can appear in the explorer.
The only thing that you can’t select are individual parameters—parameters are
marked for animation instead of selected. For more information about
marking, see “Marking Parameters for Animation” on page 265.
Selected elements are highlighted in the 3D and explorer views. Selected
components are highlighted in red in the 3D views.
Selecting Objects
When you select an object, the previously-selected objects become deselected
unless you press the Shift key.
To select an object in the 3D views:
t
Use the S key in supra or sticky mode and click on an object.
To select an object in an explorer:
t
Click on an object node. Use the left mouse button for node selection.
You can select objects in the scene explorer or multi-purpose editor at any
time. You do not need to activate a selection tool first.
To select all objects:
Do one of the following:
t
Choose Edit > Select All.
t
Press Ctrl+A.
Selecting Objects Using the Rectangle Selection Tool
You can use rectangle selection to select objects by dragging diagonally to
define a rectangle that encompasses them. Any objects that are touched or
encompassed by the rectangle are selected.
n
112
The rectangle selection tool does not take into account whether an object is
behind another. As a result, you may select objects you cannot see because
they are obscured by others in the view.
Selecting
To use the rectangle selection tool:
1. Click the Select Tool button in the control bar or press S.
2. Click and drag the mouse pointer diagonally in the viewport to define a
rectangle around any set of objects in the scene.
Selection and Hierarchies
Hierarchies describe the relationship between objects, usually using a
combination of parent-child and tree analogies, as you do with a family tree.
Objects can be associated to each other in a hierarchy for a number of reasons,
such as to make manipulation easier or to animate children in relation to a parent.
In a hierarchy there is a parent, its children, its grandchildren, and so on. The
combination of links that can be created is almost infinite.
•
A root is a node at the base of either a branch or the entire tree.
•
A tree is the whole hierarchy of nodes stemming from a common root.
•
A branch is a subtree consisting of a node and all its descendants.
•
Nodes with the same parent are called siblings.You can select objects in
hierarchies in several ways: node, branch, and tree.
When objects are in a hierarchical relationship, you can use the different
mouse buttons to select a node, a branch, or an entire tree.
Selecting objects in a hierarchy is different from selecting multiple individual
objects because it respects the hierarchical links that exist between objects in
your scene.
The type of selection matters for propagation and transformation. For
example, when you branch-select the parent and translate it, all elements in the
tree move; however, if you node-select that parent and translate it, the children
do not move unless their local position parameters are animated. This is
because local transformations are stored relative to the parent’s center.
Node Selection
Node selection is the simplest way in which an object can be selected. When
you node-select an object, only it is selected. If you transform a node-selected
object, its descendants are not affected (although they will update if they have
animation on their local transformations).
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To node-select objects:
t
Left-click an object.
Branch Selection
When you branch-select an object, its descendants “inherit” the selection
status and are highlighted in light gray. You would branch-select an object
when you want to transform it and its children as a single unit.
To branch-select objects:
t
Middle-click an object.
Tree Selection
You can also tree-select objects. This selects the object’s topmost ancestor in
branch mode. There is no fundamental difference between branch and tree
selection; the only difference is which node is the topmost selected one. Tree
selection is simply a convenience that lets you select an entire hierarchy by
clicking on any of its objects.
To tree-select objects:
t
Right-click on an object.
When you tree-select an object, by default the model node is not selected. This
makes it easier to animate and set keys on only those parameters that are
within the model’s namespace (the model itself is in the scene root’s
namespace). If you want to select the model, you can click its node directly in
the scene explorer.
Selecting Components
You can select components interactively only in the 3D views.
To select components interactively:
1. Select one or more geometric objects.
2. Do one of the following:
t
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Click the Select Point Tool button in the control bar, or press T.
Selecting
t
Click the Select Polygon Tool button in the control bar, or press U.
3. Click a point or polygon.
Selecting Points Using the Rectangle Selection Tool
You can use rectangle selection to select points by dragging diagonally to
define a rectangle that encompasses them. Any points that are touched or
encompassed by the rectangle are selected.
n
The rectangle selection tool does not take into account whether a point is
visible. As a result, you may select points you cannot see because they are on
the opposite side of an object, or are otherwise obscured by objects in the view.
To use the rectangle selection tool:
1. Select one or more geometric objects.
2. Click the Select Point Tool button in the control bar or press T.
3. Click and drag the mouse pointer diagonally in the viewport to define a
rectangle around any set of points in the scene.
Selecting Polygons Using the Freeform Selection Tool
You can use freeform selection to select polygons by dragging the mouse
pointer across them. Unlike rectangle selection, the freeform selection tool
never selects polygons on the opposite side of an object, or that are otherwise
obscured by objects in the view.
To use the freeform selection tool:
1. Select one or more geometric objects.
2. Click the Select Polygon Tool button in the control bar or press U.
3. Click and drag the mouse pointer across the polygons you want to select.
Selecting Polygons Using the Range Selection Tool
You can use range selection to select polygons by defining two
endpoints—Avid 3D will select them and the intervening polygons.
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To use the range selection tool:
1. Select a geometric object.
2. Click the Select Polygon Tool button in the control bar or press U.
3. Select a polygon on the object.
4. Click another polygon while pressing and holding the Ctrl and Alt keys.
Selecting Polygons Using the Loop Selection Tool
You can use loop selection to select all the polygons in a U or V direction by
selecting any two polygons that lie on the same U or V coordinate.
To use the loop selection tool:
1. Select a geometric object.
2. Click the Select Polygon Tool button in the control bar or press U.
3. Select a polygon on the object.
4. Middle-click another polygon at the same U or V coordinate while
pressing and holding the Alt key.
Selecting Clusters
To select clusters:
1. Select one or more geometric objects.
2. Click the Create/Edit Polygon Clusters button in the control bar.
3. A dialog box appears, listing the object’s clusters. Select the clusters to
add the selection, then click OK.
Extending the Selection
You can always add elements to the selection by pressing the Shift key while
you select them. You can also press the Ctrl key while selecting to toggle an
element’s selection.
In order to extend the selection, the elements must all be of the same type.
That is, if you have objects selected you can add other objects to the selection,
but not points, polygons or clusters.
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Transforming Objects
Deselecting
You can deselect specific objects and components, as well as deselect all
elements (objects, components, and other things).
To deselect an object:
t
With a selection tool active, Ctrl+Shift+click on the object.
t
With a selection tool active, Ctrl+click the object. Ctrl+clicking again
adds the object to the selection.
Use the left mouse button to deselect nodes, the middle mouse button to
deselect branches, and the right mouse button to deselect trees.
To deselect components:
t
With the appropriate component selection tool active, Ctrl+Shift+click on
the components.
t
With a selection tool active, Ctrl+click the component. Ctrl+clicking
again adds the component to the selection.
To deselect all elements:
Do one of the following:
t
Press Ctrl+Shift+A.
t
With a selection tool active, click in an empty area of a viewport. This also
works for components.
Transforming Objects
Transformations include three basic types of operations that manipulate an
element in 3D space: scaling affects an element’s size, rotation affects an
element’s orientation, and translation affects an element’s position.
Transformations are sometimes called SRTs.
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Local versus Global Transformations
There are two types of transformation values: local and global. Local
transformations are relative to an object’s parent, while global ones are relative
to the origin of the scene’s global coordinate system. The global
transformation values are the final result of all the local transformations that
are propagated down the object hierarchy from parent to child.
When you transform objects in Avid 3D, you are using local
transformation—this lets you branch-select an object’s parent and move it
while all objects in the hierarchy keep their relative positions.
n
Even if you are transforming the topmost parent in a hierarchy, you are still
transforming locally—relative to the root of the object’s model.
Transformations and Hierarchies
Transformations are propagated down hierarchies. Each object’s local position
is stored relative to its parent. It’s as if the parent’s center is the origin of the
child’s world.
Objects in hierarchies behave differently when they are transformed, depending
on whether the objects are node-selected or branch-selected. By default:
•
If an object is branch-selected, then its children are transformed as well.
•
If an object is node-selected, then its children are not transformed unless their
corresponding local transformations are animated. This is because animation
on the local transformations is stored relative to the parent’s center.
Centers
All geometric objects have a center. The center defines the object’s position in
space. The object’s points are stored as offsets from the center, and the local
transformations of a child are relative to the parent’s center.
Centers are automatically displayed when you select objects. They appear as a
set of axis indicators with a white circle at the origin.
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Transformation Basics
Useful Tools for Transformation
Useful tools for transformations in Avid 3D include the transform tools panel,
the Local Transform property editor, and the snapping feature.
Local Transform Property Editor
Each object has a set of transformation controls found in its Local Transform
property editor. The Local Transform property editor can be used to modify an
object’s scaling, rotation, and translation in X, Y, and Z.
To open the Local Transform property editor:
1. Select an object, then open the multi-purpose editor.
2. Click the Local Transform node in the Geometry and Deform
Properties tab.
Transformation Basics
This section provides some basic information that is common to all
transformation tools. More details about each specific type of transformation
is provided in the sections that follow.
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Transforming Interactively
The Scale, Rotate, and Translate tools let you transform objects interactively
using the mouse in the viewports.
To transform objects interactively:
1. Select the objects to transform, and activate a transformation tool:
-
To translate, press V or click the Translate Tool button on the control bar.
-
To rotate, press C or click the Rotate Tool button on the control bar.
-
To scale, press X or click the Scale Tool button on the control bar.
The corresponding local transformation parameters are automatically marked
for animation.
2. If desired, you can restrict the interaction to specific axes (see “Specifying
Axes” on page 120).
3. If desired, you can set the manipulation pivot. The pivot defines the
position around which elements are rotated or scaled. When translating
with snapping, the pivot is the position that snaps to the target. See
“Setting the Manipulation Pivot” on page 121.
4. Click and drag on different parts (handles) of the displayed transformation
axes to transform the objects in different ways.
For general information about the SRT manipulators, see “Transforming
Interactively with the SRT Manipulators” on page 122. For specific
information about each manipulator, such as the handles used by different
tools, see “Using the Translate Manipulator” on page 125, “Using the Rotate
Manipulator” on page 126, or “Using the Scale Manipulator” on page 128.
Specifying Axes
When transforming interactively, you can specify which axes are active by
double-clicking in the 3D views while a transformation tool is active:
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•
Double-click on a single axis to activate it and deactivate the others.
•
If only one axis is currently active, double-click on it to activate all three axes.
Transformation Basics
•
Shift+double-click on an axis to toggle it on or off individually. (If it is the
only active axis, it will be deactivated and both of the other two axes will
be activated).
The marked parameters do not change when you specify axes. For example, if
you activate only the X axis while translating, the posx, posy, and posz
parameters all remain marked for animation. This is because the active axes
affect interaction only.
Setting the Manipulation Pivot
When transforming elements interactively, you can set the pivot used for
manipulation using the Alt key. The pivot defines the position around which
elements are rotated or scaled. When translating with snapping, the pivot is the
position that snaps to the target.
The same pivot is used for all selected elements. The pivot is normally reset
when you change the selection. However, you can lock and reset the pivot
position manually.
n
When you move the pivot from its default and then scale or rotate objects, the
position values are automatically compensated while you manipulate the
objects. This is important to remember if you are animating the objects’
transformations: you must set keys on the position parameters as well as the
scaling or rotation parameters or else you will not get the same results when
you play back the animation.
To set the manipulation pivot:
t
With a transformation tool active, do one of the following:
t
Alt+click in a viewport. The pivot snaps to the closest point, edge
midpoint, polygon midpoint or object center among the selected objects.
t
Alt+middle-click to place the pivot freely in the view plane of a
viewport. You can drag the mouse before releasing the middle mouse
button to adjust the pivot’s location.
To lock the manipulation pivot:
1. With a transformation tool active, press and hold Alt. The pivot’s icon appears.
1. Click on the triangle below the pivot’s icon. A menu opens.
2. Choose Lock.
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The pivot remains at its current location until you reset it, even if you
change the selection or activate another tool.
To reset the manipulation pivot:
1. With a transformation tool active, press and hold Alt. The pivot’s icon appears.
2. Click on the triangle below the pivot’s icon. A menu opens.
3. Choose Reset.
The pivot returns to the default location for the current manipulation mode.
Transforming Interactively with the SRT Manipulators
The SRT manipulators let you transform elements interactively by clicking
and dragging on different parts (handles) of the displayed transformation axes.
You can also use gestural manipulation or choose the behavior when clicking
outside of a manipulator.
To use the manipulator handles:
1. Move the mouse pointer over the manipulator handle you want. Different
tools have different handles:
-
For a description of the Translate manipulator handles, see “Using the
Translate Manipulator” on page 125.
-
For a description of the Rotate manipulator handles, see “Using the
Rotate Manipulator” on page 126.
-
For a description of the Scale manipulator handles, see “Using the
Scale Manipulator” on page 128.
The pointer updates to reflect the axes or plane of manipulation.
2. Click and drag.
Transformation Axes
When you select a transformation tool for a selected object or component,
Avid 3D displays an icon corresponding to the transformation axes at the
active pivot position. You can click and drag on different parts of these icons to
manipulate the object. They also act as visual cues that indicate the object’s
local X, Y, and Z axes.
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Transformation Basics
Scaling
The axis on which you
are scaling turns yellow
and resizes as you scale
the object.
The cues representing
the original size are
displayed in light gray.
Rotating
The axis on which you
are rotating turns yellow.
The sphere rotates as
you rotate the object.
Translating
The axis on which you
are translating turns
yellow and moves as
you translate the object.
The cues representing
the original position are
displayed in light gray.
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Chapter 4 Avid 3D Basics
Setting Values Numerically
As an alternative to transforming objects interactively, you can enter numerical
values in the boxes on the object’s Local Transform property editor. Values are
relative to the object’s parent.
Like other input boxes, you can enter specific or relative values for one or
more selected objects. See “Entering Values in a Text Box” on page 83 for
more information.
Transforming Hidden Objects
You cannot transform objects interactively if they are hidden (although you
can still enter values numerically). This prevents you from accidentally
making modifications that you cannot see. For more information about hiding
and unhiding objects, see “Hiding and Unhiding Objects” on page 74.
Translating Objects
Translation changes an object’s position in space. Local translations are performed
along the axes of the object’s local coordinate system as defined by its center.
Object is transformed...
...using the object’s own local
axes as the reference.
To translate objects:
1. Select the objects to translate.
2. Activate the Translate tool by doing one of the following:
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t
Press the V key.
t
Click the Translate Tool button on the control bar.
Transformation Basics
3. If necessary, change any options:
-
You can restrict the translation to specific axes. See “Specifying
Axes” on page 120.
-
Set the pivot as described in “Setting the Manipulation Pivot” on
page 121.
4. Click and drag on different parts (handles) of the displayed transformation
axes to translate the objects in different ways, as described in “Using the
Translate Manipulator” on page 125.
Using the Translate Manipulator
When using SRT manipulators to translate, there are seven handles that you
can click and drag:
Click and drag on a single axis to
translate along it.
Double-click to toggle between a
single active axis and all three
axes, or Shift+double-click to
toggle activeness of a single axis.
Click and drag between
two axes to translate
along the corresponding
plane.
Click and drag on the center to
translate in the viewing plane.
For information about using the SRT manipulators in general, see
“Transforming Interactively with the SRT Manipulators” on page 122.
Rotating Objects
Rotation changes the orientation of an object. All possible orientations can be
set with a combination of three angles of rotation: X axis, Y axis, and Z axis.
Local rotations are performed around the axes of the object’s local coordinate
system as defined by its center.
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To rotate objects:
1. Select the objects to rotate.
2. Activate the Rotate tool by doing one of the following:
t
Press the C key.
t
Click the Rotate Tool button on the control bar.
3. If necessary, change any options:
-
You can restrict the rotation to specific axes. See “Specifying Axes”
on page 120.
-
You can set a pivot as described in “Setting the Manipulation Pivot”
on page 121. When rotating, the pivot defines the center of rotation.
4. Click and drag on different parts (handles) of the displayed transformation
axes to rotate the objects in different ways, as described in “Using the
Rotate Manipulator” on page 126.
Using the Rotate Manipulator
When using SRT manipulators to rotate, there are three handles that you can
click and drag:
Click and drag on a single ring to
rotate around that axis.
Double-click to toggle between a
single active axis and all three
axes, or Shift+double-click to
toggle activeness of a single axis.
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Transformation Basics
For information about using the SRT manipulators in general, see
“Transforming Interactively with the SRT Manipulators” on page 122.
Scaling Objects
Scaling changes the size of an object. Unlike translation and rotation values
which are absolute, scaling values are multipliers. A cube created at a length
of 5 and scaled with a factor of 2 has a length of 10. Negative scaling turns an
object inside-out.
When an object is created, its scale is automatically set to 1.0.
Local rotations are performed around the axes of the object’s local coordinate
system as defined by its center.
To scale objects:
1. Select the objects to scale.
2. Activate the Scale tool by doing one of the following:
t
Press the X key.
t
Click the Scale Tool button on the control bar.
3. If necessary, change any options:
-
You can restrict the scaling to specific axes. See “Specifying Axes”
on page 120.
-
You can set a pivot as described in “Setting the Manipulation Pivot”
on page 121. When scaling, the pivot defines the center of scaling.
4. Click and drag on different parts (handles) of the displayed transformation
axes to scale the objects in different ways, as described in “Using the
Scale Manipulator” on page 128.
n
When scaling objects in a hierarchy, Avid 3D uses the local axes of child
objects when their parent is branch-selected and scaled. This maintains the
relative shape of the children without deformation.
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Chapter 4 Avid 3D Basics
Using the Scale Manipulator
When using SRT manipulators to scale, there are seven handles that you can
click and drag:
Click and drag along the
diagonal between two axes t
scale both those axes
uniformly.
Click and drag on a single axis to
scale along it.
Double-click to toggle between a
single active axis and all three
axes, or Shift+double-click to
toggle activeness of a single.
Click and drag the center left or right
to scale all active axes uniformly.
For information about using the SRT manipulators in general, see
“Transforming Interactively with the SRT Manipulators” on page 122.
Transforming with the Bounding-Box Manipulator
As an alternative to using the transformation tools, you can use the bounding
box manipulator to scale, rotate, and translate objects. The bounding-box
manipulator has a set of handles that let you interactively manipulate objects
in the viewports.
To activate the bounding-box manipulator:
1. Select the object.
2. Press the B key.
3. Press the Tab key to alternate between the two types of manipulator
handles, each of which let you perform different types of operations (see
the illustration below).
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Transformation Basics
Manipulator mode 1: Scaling, rotating, and translating
Drag corner manipulator
to scale the object.
Drag a bounding box
plane to translate the
object along that plane.
Drag bounding-box edge to
rotate the object on a given axis.
Manipulator mode 2: Rotating only
Drag the arrow manipulator
to rotate the object freely
along its three axes.
Mode 1: Scaling
Position the mouse pointer over one of the manipulator’s corners:
•
To scale uniformly about the object’s center, click a corner and drag.
•
To scale non-uniformly relative to the opposite corner, Shift+click and drag.
•
To scale uniformly relative to the opposite corner, Ctrl+click and drag.
Mode 1: Rotating
Position the mouse pointer over one of the manipulator’s edges:
•
To rotate about an axis parallel to the picked edge passing through the
object’s center, click an edge and drag.
•
Press the Shift key to rotate relative to the opposite edge.
•
Press the Ctrl key to rotate the edge freely.
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Chapter 4 Avid 3D Basics
Mode 1: Translating
Position the mouse pointer over one of the manipulator’s sides:
•
To translate in any direction along the plane, click the plane and drag.
•
To translate perpendicularly to the picked plane, Shift+click and drag.
•
To translate freely in any direction, Ctrl+click and drag.
Mode 2: Rotating
•
Drag the arrow manipulator to rotate the object freely along its three axes.
Center Manipulation
Center manipulation lets you move the center of an object without moving its
points. This changes the default pivot point used for rotation and scaling. You
can transform the center interactively, or you can move it to the geometric
center of selected points.
You can manipulate the center of any geometric object in Avid 3D except for
nulls, control objects, or anything else without points.
To transform an object’s center:
1. Select an object.
2. Activate center manipulation mode by clicking the Center Transform
Mode button on the transform tools panel.
3. Scale, rotate, or translate the center as needed.
4. When you have finished, turn off center manipulation mode by clicking
the Center Transform Mode button again.
To translate an object’s center to the center of selected points:
1. Select one or more points.
If you select an object, its center moves to the geometric center of all points.
2. Click the Move Center to Selected Points button on the transform
tools panel.
The object’s center moves to the geometric center of the selected points.
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Transformation Basics
To translate an object’s center to the center of its bounding box:
1. Select an object, or one or more points.
2. Click the Move Center to Object Bounding Box button on the transform
tools panel.
The object’s center moves to the center of the bounding box of the object
or points.
Snapping
Snapping lets you transform elements interactively with precision. When
snapping is activated, elements jump in discrete increments from their current
values when translating, rotating, or scaling. You can snap to grid intersections
or by increments.
To snap to grid intersections:
t
Press the Ctrl key while translating an object.
As you drag the mouse, a snap region follows your mouse pointer;
the element you are manipulating snaps to grid intersections within the
snap region.
To snap incrementally:
t
Do one of the following:
t
Press Shift while translating an element to translate in increments of
one distance unit.
t
Press Shift while rotating an element to rotate in increments of
fifteen degrees.
t
Press Ctrl while scaling an element to scale in increments of 0.5 (Shift
is used for scaling uniformly).
Resetting Transformations
When you reset an object’s transformations, its local scaling, rotation, and
translation return to the default values. It effectively removes transformations
applied since the object was created.
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Chapter 4 Avid 3D Basics
To reset transformations:
1. Select one or more objects.
2. Click one of the following icons from the transform tools panel:
-
Reset Scaling sets the objects’ local scaling values to (1, 1, 1).
-
Reset Rotation sets the objects’ local rotation values to (0, 0, 0).
-
Reset Translation sets the objects’ local position values to (0, 0,0).
-
Reset All Transforms resets the scaling, rotation, and translation.
Aligning Objects
You can reposition a group of objects so that the bottom, top, right, left, or
center of their bounding boxes are aligned.
Aligning the bottoms of objects’ bounding boxes along the X axis, for
example, is a quick way to position a group of objects onto a flat surface, such
as a table.
To align objects:
1. Select the objects to be aligned.
2. In the transform tools panel, click the appropriate button for aligning the
selected objects along a particular axis.
The following examples assume the middle of each object is being aligned
along the Y axis:
Align Selected Objects - Minimum
aligns the bottom of all object
bounding boxes with the object
whose bounding-box bottom has the
lowest axis value.
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Duplicating Objects
Align Selected Objects - Middle
aligns objects according to the
average midpoint of all their
bounding boxes.
Align Selected Objects - Maximum
aligns the top of all object bounding
boxes with the object whose
bounding box top has the highest
axis value.
Duplicating Objects
When you create a copy of an object, you create an independent duplicate of
the original. The copy bears all the characteristics of the original at its moment
of duplication, but from that moment on any changes to the original has no
effect on the copy. Any animation, materials, or textures on the original object
are also duplicated.
To duplicate one or more objects:
1. In any viewport, select the object(s) to be copied.
-
If you’re duplicating a whole hierarchy, branch-select the parent
object (see “Selection and Hierarchies” on page 113 for more
information).
-
If you’re duplicating a model, select the model node in the scene explorer
(see “A Word about Models” on page 107 for more information).
2. Click the Duplicate button in the control bar or press Ctrl+D.
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Chapter 5
Importing and Exporting Files
For most projects, you will need to import and export scene data for reuse in
other scenes or software packages. To do this you will use the import and
export commands available from the File menu on the main menu bar.
Chapter 5 Importing and Exporting Files
What Can Be Imported and Exported?
The import commands let you import EMDL models, dotXSI, and EPS files.
These formats can be used by both SOFTIMAGE|XSI and Avid 3D.
For details on importing EPS files—the encapsulated postscript file format,
see “Creating Logos” on page 187.
For details on importing WAV or AIFF audio files for synchronizing your
animation with sound, see “Playing Back Audio with Your Animation” on
page 276.
The File > Export Model command lets you export EMDL models.
Importing Models and Scenes
You can import models and scenes into Avid 3D in the following formats:
•
EMDL—the file format for storing model data.
•
dotXSI—the ASCII or binary file format for storing scene data.
Considerations when Importing
When importing a scene or model into Avid 3D, take note of the following to
help you validate your scene after the import process:
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•
Timeline Information—An imported scene contains timeline
information that defines its length according to a start and end frame. A
scene’s entire frame range is inserted at frame 1 of the timeline.
•
Models —In general, scenes and models are imported as models into the
current scene model. For more information, see “A Word about Models”
on page 107.
•
Scene Ambience —When you import a model created with a version of
SOFTIMAGE|XSI previous to 3.0, the scene’s ambience may be changed.
For more information, see “Scene Ambience” on page 205.
Importing Models and Scenes
Importing EMDL Models
You can import a SOFTIMAGE|XSI or Avid 3D model in the EMDL format
for reuse in any scene.
When you import a model, its data becomes part of your scene. It is as if the
model was created directly in the scene — there is no live link to the .emdl
file. You can make any changes you want to the model and its children.
To import an EMDL model:
1. Choose File > Import Model from the main menu.
2. In the Import Model browser, open the folder containing the model you
wish to import.
3. Select the model file name and click OK.
Image Clips and Imported Models
When you import a model using File > Import Model, the default is to share
image clips. This means that if any image clips (for example, textures) on the
model are the same as clips that are already in the scene, then the existing clips
are automatically reused. This prevents unnecessary image clips from
accumulating in your scene.
Importing dotXSI Files
To import a dotXSI file:
1. Choose File > Import dotXSI File from the main menu.
2. The Import .xsi browser opens to the current project folder. Navigate to
the folder that contains the dotXSI file you want to import.
3. Select the file to be imported. Its name appears in the File Name text box.
To select a dotXSI file (.xsi), make sure that the File Types text box is set
to Exported .xsi Files (*.xsi).
4. Click OK. The imported scene’s contents are added as a model under the
current scene.
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Chapter 5 Importing and Exporting Files
Exporting Models
The File > Export Model command available from the main menu lets you
export models from Avid 3D in the EMDL format— the file format used to
save exported models.
When you export a model, a copy is saved as an independent file. The
exported model contains only its internal relationships—the export process
removes constraints, expressions, linked parameters, and any other attributes
that involve elements that are not children of the model. The file names of
exported models have an .emdl extension and are saved to the Models folder
of the project by default.
n
Although the Scene_Root is considered a model, you cannot export it as a model.
To export a model:
1. Select the model to be exported.
2. Choose File > Export Model from the main menu.
3. In the Export Model browser, open the folder in which the model is to be
saved. Under File Name, enter the name of the model to be exported and
click OK.
Animation of the model’s root is not exported. Only animation of the
objects within the model is exported.
If the render region is displayed when you export, it will be used as a
thumbnail for the model in the browser. Note that previous thumbnails are
not kept when you re-export and overwrite the model file; if the render
region is not open when you re-export, any existing thumbnail is lost.
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Chapter 6
Modifying Object Geometry
There are several ways to modify the geometry of objects in your scene in
Avid 3D. For example, you can:
•
Change the shape of an object by applying a deformation.
•
Modify profile curves to change the shape of revolved or extruded objects.
•
Adjust the shape of objects by manipulating or deleting points and polygons.
Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Deforming Objects
Deformations are operations that change a geometric object’s shape by
moving its points in 3D space. Avid 3D provides several different types of
deformation that you can apply to objects in your scenes, such as twist, bend,
and many others.
Working with Deformations
This section describes some generalities that apply to all or most deformations
in Avid 3D. Each specific type of deformation is described in more detail in
the sections that follow.
Applying Deformations
In general, you can apply most deformations simply by selecting one or more
geometric objects and then clicking a button on the Deformation Tools tab of
the tools and options panel.
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Deforming Objects
Modifying Deformation Parameters
Most deformations have parameters that you can modify to alter the effect.
The specific parameters that are available depend on the type of deformation.
Some of these parameters, such as the amplitude, are available in the onscreen Deform Controls. This parameter set collects the most-used parameters
from every deformation you apply to the same object, and displays them
together.
Many deformations have other controls that are available only in their specific
property editors. You can display the deformation’s property editor by selecting
it on the Geometry and Deform Properties tab of the multi-purpose editor.
Select the deformation
on the left...
...to display its
parameters on
the right.
Animating Deformations
You can mark and animate many deformation parameters directly. The
procedure is exactly the same as for any other animatable parameter—see the
chapter “Animating in Avid 3D” on page 261. This allows you to create very
simple shape animation, like an animated twist.
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Removing Deformations (Resetting Shapes)
After you have applied deformations to an object, you can remove them and
return the object to its original shape by selecting it and clicking the Reset
Shape button on the Deformation Tools tab of the tools and options panel. This
deletes the deformation operators, so you are no longer able to modify the
deformation parameters.
If you want to temporarily disable the effect of the deformation, you can mute
it instead of removing it, as described in the next section.
Muting Deformations
All deformations can be muted by activating the Mute parameter in its
property editor. This temporarily turns off the deformation, preventing it from
affecting the objects on which it is applied, without removing the deformation
operator or resetting its parameter values.
For example, if you applied two different deformations to an object, you can
mute the second one so you can isolate the effect of the first deformation while
you adjust its parameters. You can also mute an animated deformation to
improve interaction as you work on other parts of your scene. You can even
animate the Mute parameter itself if you want to turn a deformation on and off
at different frames.
When an operator is muted, the letter M appears on its icon in the Geometry
and Deform Properties tab of the multi-purpose editor.
Deformations on Hierarchies
An object with a hierarchy provides more possibilities for deformation
animation than a single object. You can apply the deformation on the parent
selected in branch mode (middle-mouse button) or tree mode (right-mouse
button), in which case the deformation is transmitted to its children as if the
hierarchy were a single piece.
All objects in the hierarchy share the same deformation operator. Opening the
property editor of any object and modifying deformation parameters affects all
objects in the hierarchy, and resetting the shape of any object resets all of them.
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Deforming Objects
Simple Deformations
There are a variety of simple deformations you can quickly apply to objects.
The deformation is controlled solely by its parameters and does not involve
other objects in the scene.
Simple deformations include:
•
Bend
•
Bulge
•
Push
•
Shear
•
Taper
•
Twist and Vortex
•
Shape Jitter
Applying Simple Deformations
You can apply a simple deformation to one or more objects, particle clouds,
hierarchies, or models.
Undeformed hat
To apply a simple deformation:
1. Select an object, particle cloud, model, or hierarchy.
2. Choose one of the simple deformations from the Deformation Tools
panel: Bend, Bulge, Push, Shear, Taper, Twist, Vortex, or Shape Jitter.
3. Adjust and animate the parameters as desired. Refer to Online Help for
information about every parameter on the deform property page.
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Deformed hat
Types of Simple Deformations
This section provides a quick visual reference of the effects you can achieve
with the different types of simple deformation. For a complete description of
every parameter available for a given deformation, refer to Online Help.
Bend
Bend folds an object. You can specify the axis that gets bent, the angle of the
bend, the radius over which the bend occurs, the position where the bend
starts, and the direction of the bend.
Bend deformation
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Deforming Objects
Bulge
Bulge pushes an object’s points out from the center. You can specify which
axes the deformation occurs on, as well as the reference axis, the amplitude,
and the amplitude’s profile.
Bulge deformation
Push
Push moves points perpendicularly to the surface each position. You can
specify the amplitude.
Push deformation
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Shear
Shear pulls the ends of an object in opposite directions. You can specify which
axes the deformation occurs on, as well as the reference axis, the amplitude,
and the amplitude’s profile.
Shear deformation
Taper
Taper gradually scales an object in one direction. You can specify which axes
the deformation occurs on, as well as the reference axis, the amplitude, and the
amplitude’s profile.
Taper deformation
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Deforming Objects
Twist and Vortex
Twist progressively rotates an object in one direction. You can specify the axis
of rotation, the maximum angle, and the angle’s modulating profile.
Twist deformation
Vortex is a variation on the Twist deformation, where the amplitude of the
rotation depends on the radial distance from the axis. The maximum angle occurs
at the center of the deformation and tapers off toward the edges of the object.
Vortex deformation
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Shape Jitter
Shape Jitter moves points around randomly over time. You can specify the
maximal displacement in each axis, the number of repetitions, and the way
that random values are generated.
Shape jitter deformation
Lattices
Lattices make it easy to deform a large amount of geometry at once. They
allow you to deform objects by warping the 3D space around them. A lattice is
a control box with a variable resolution, looking rather like scaffolding
surrounding an object.
When you move a point on a lattice, its original location in space is mapped to
its new location. This squashes or stretches the space between points on the
lattice, and objects that are affected by the lattice become distorted.
Lattice deformations have two parts:
148
•
A lattice object. You can set the number of subdivisions and other properties.
•
A lattice deformation operator on each object deformed by the lattice.
This operator can be muted.
Deforming Objects
Deform objects
by moving points
on a lattice
Creating and Applying Lattices
You can create a lattice and apply it to an object at the same time.
To create and apply a lattice:
1. Select the objects you want to deform.
2. Click the Lattice button on the Deformation Tools panel. A lattice is
created to fit the object.
3. Open the Lattice property editor by clicking the Multi-Purpose Editor
button in the control bar to fine-tune the lattice’s parameters.
-
You can set the lattice’s subdivisions in each axis; more subdivisions
give greater resolution for the deformation.
-
You can also set the interpolation type along each axis. Curve yields
smoother deformations than Linear.
Undeformed
Linear
interpolation
Curve
interpolation
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
4. Deform the lattice in any way. For example, you can select and move
points or polygons as described in “Manipulating Points and Polygons”
on page 170, or apply any other deformation to it. As the lattice deforms,
the object deforms with it.
Quickstretch
Quickstretch is an animated deformation that changes an object’s shape
automatically, based on its motion. Quickstretch calculates deformations on
the fly, according to the object’s speed and acceleration. You can make objects
flex, stretch, and yield, based on their linear and rotational motion.
There are four components of motion used to calculate quickstretch
deformation: linear velocity, linear acceleration, rotational velocity, and
rotational acceleration. These motion components are described in more detail
in “Motion Components” on page 152.
For each motion component, you can apply up to three quickstretch
deformations: flexing, stretching, and yielding. The different effects of these
deformation types is described in “Quickstretch Deformation Types” on
page 153.
Once you have applied quickstretch, you can see the effect by playing back the
animation or by moving the object around in a geometry view.
Before You Apply Quickstretch
Before you apply quickstretch, there are a couple of things you should check:
object centers and subdivisions.
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Deforming Objects
Object Centers
Objects with quickstretch appear to be deformed by some force—whether
active or inertial—and the location where this force seems to be applied is the
center of the deformation. Quickstretch uses the object center as the center of
the deformation.
Quickstretch uses the object center for deforming.
Before you apply quickstretch, make sure that the object’s center is located
where you want the deformation to emanate from. For example, if a building
faces such a strong wind that it bends a little, the deformation should originate
from the ground up because you would expect the building to be attached to
the ground.
Object Subdivisions
Quickstretch looks best with many subdivisions in the deformed object, but
that can result in a great deal of computation and a heavy scene.
You can use the object’s property editor to change its subdivisions at any time,
using fewer subdivisions to help you work quickly and then adding more
subdivisions for the final result.
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Applying Quickstretch
To create a quickstretch deformation:
1. Select an object.
2. Click the Quickstretch button in the Deformation Tools panel.
3. Open the QStretch Op property editor by selecting the object and clicking
the Multi-Purpose Editor button in the control bar.
4. Set the parameters as desired. On the Overview property page, you can
toggle the three deformation types (Flex, Stretch, and Yield) for each
motion component (Linear Velocity/Acceleration and Rotational
Velocity/Acceleration).
These toggles are also available on the other property pages, which also
provide finer control over the deformations associated with each motion
component. See “Motion Components” on page 152 and “Quickstretch
Deformation Types” on page 153.
Viewing a Quickstretch Deformation
Once you have created a quickstretch deformation, you can view the effect in
either of the following ways:
•
By playing back the animation.
•
By using the Translate tool to move the object around in a viewport.
Since motion vectors are computed on the fly during playback of an animated
sequence, the deformation that occurs is different if you play the animation
backward!
Similarly, if you jump from one frame to another, a huge deformation may
occur if the difference in position implies a very large velocity or acceleration.
In this case, the geometry returns to normal at the next refresh.
Motion Components
Quickstretch uses the following aspects of an object’s motion to deform the object.
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•
Linear velocity
•
Linear acceleration
•
Rotational velocity
•
Rotational acceleration
Deforming Objects
A moving object has speed or velocity. If it is changing speed, then it also has
acceleration or deceleration. For example, a car moving at a steady 100 km/h
has a velocity of 100 but an acceleration (and deceleration) of 0.
Velocity and acceleration can each be further divided into two types: linear
and rotational. For example, a car that moves along a straight line has only a
linear motion, whereas a ball that spins on the spot has only rotational motion.
Regardless of the type of motion, the faster the object is moving, the more it
is deformed.
Quickstretch Deformation Types
Whichever type of motion you give to an object, it can be deformed in one or
more ways: it can flex, stretch, yield, or do any combination of the three.
Each of these deformation types can be weighted independently of the others,
but their effects are additive. Each effect is designed to be tweaked separately
as much as possible, so that when you use them all together the resulting
deformation is more predictable.
Flexing
A flexible object when moving rapidly in one direction appears to bend or flex
in the direction of the motion, due to the resistance of the air (or water).
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Stretching
In the case of a cartoon “squash and stretch” effect, the object usually elongates
in the direction of the motion and becomes thinner in the other directions.
Yielding
Yielding simulates the way a moving object might bulge due to the internal
displacement of its mass.
Waves
Waves are animated deformations that travel in both time and space. You can
create shock waves, water waves, and other types of natural disturbances with
wave deformations.
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Deforming Objects
Wave Control Objects and Wave Operators
There are two basic parts of a wave deformation: the wave control object and
the wave operator.
Wave Control Objects
The wave control object controls the basic parameters that are intrinsic to the
wave itself, such as its speed and shape. Each wave control object can be used
to deform any number of objects in a scene.
The wave control object is represented by a wireframe icon in the viewport;
there are different icons for the different types of wave. The position of the
wave control object also defines the “epicenter” of the wave and its orientation
defines the direction of the waves.
Wave Operators
The wave operator deforms an object or cluster by “attaching” a wave control
object. It controls the parameters that are specific to how the wave affects a
particular object, such as the spread of the deformation.
Making Waves
To create and apply a wave to objects:
1. Select one or more objects.
2. Click one of the wave deform buttons on the Deformation Tools panel.
The different buttons apply presets of different types of wave: circular,
planar, or spherical. You can change the wave type later as described in
“Setting the Wave Type” on page 156.
The wave control object is created (as represented by a wireframe icon in
the viewport) and applied to the selected objects. The wave object is
automatically placed at the deformed object’s center as a child of the object.
Modifying Wave Control Objects
To set the wave’s basic characteristics such as its shape and speed, use the
wave object’s Wave property editor (available on the Geometry and Deform
Properties tab of the multi-purpose editor)—these are described in the sections
that follow. As you change the various parameters in the editor, you can see
the effect on an object’s deformation.
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You can also scale, rotate, and translate the wave control object to define its
center and the direction of the waves.
Setting the Wave Type
The Type parameter on the General tab of the wave property editor controls
how the wave moves through space. There are three options: circular, planar,
and spherical. Each type of wave is represented by a different control object in
the viewport and is shown in the following illustrations.
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•
Circular—The waves move out from a point in a circular, planar pattern,
like those from a pebble dropped in still water.
•
Planar—The waves move out from a line in a straight, planar pattern, like
waves hitting a beach or a flag fluttering in the wind.
Deforming Objects
•
Spherical—The waves move out from a point spherically in all
directions, like the shock waves of an explosion.
Setting the Displacement Direction
The Displacement Direction determines which way the points of deformed
objects move when they are displaced:
•
Up displaces points along the local Y axis of the wave object.
•
Direction displaces points in the direction in which the wave is moving.
•
Normal displaces each point perpendicularly to the surface of the
deformed object at that point.
Setting the Wave Profile
The shape of the wave’s displacement is controlled by the Amplitude Profile
curve on the Profiles property page of the Wave property editor. You can edit
the profile using the mouse and the same keyboard commands as the function
curve editor.
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Controlling Periodicity
Periodicity allows the wave to repeat continuously. There are two kinds of
periodicity:
•
in Space repeats the shape of the wave’s profile between the first and last
key points indefinitely.
•
in Time repeats the entire wave effect, including the result of Amplitude
and Spread as set in the operator’s property editor (not the object’s).
The wave deformation begins again after the End frame set on the Time
Control tab of the operator’s property editor.
Controlling Speed
You can control the velocity and acceleration at which the wave profile moves
through space using the Velocity and Acceleration parameters in the wave
control object’s property editor. You can even use a negative velocity to make
the wave move backward.
Controlling Falloff
You can make the strength of the wave effect fall off after a certain vertical
distance from the wave control object. The effect decays linearly between the
Vertical Falloff Start and End values as measured along the wave’s local Y axis.
Transforming the Wave Control Object
Translations and rotations may be applied to wave control objects in the same
manner as ordinary objects. The wave’s effect on objects changes in the
obvious way. For example, if you move a circular wave along a grid, you
change the point from which the wave emanates.
You can apply scaling as well. The wave control object changes shape
accordingly, but the wave’s effect on objects changes only in the following ways:
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•
For scaling in X and Y, the effect appears as if the profile curve were
scaled correspondingly.
•
Scaling in Z does not change the effects of circular or spherical waves, but
it does change the Z-extents for planar waves. The planar-wave control
object makes this quite clear.
Deforming Objects
Modifying Wave Operators
The wave operator deforms an object or cluster by “attaching” a wave control
object. The wave operator is a deformation node that controls the parameters
that are specific to how the wave affects a particular object, such as the
amplitude and spread of the deformation. By default, both the amplitude and
spread are animated with a function curve.
n
To make sure that the wave operator gets re-evaluated to update the object’s
deformation at every frame, at least one of its parameters must be animated. A
single keyframe (that is, a flat, constant-value fcurve) is enough.
By default, both the Amplitude and Spread parameters are animated, so the
wave operator will be re-evaluated unless you remove the animation.
Controlling Amplitude
Amplitude provides an overall scaling factor for the wave profile’s height
over time. By default it starts at 0, rises sharply to 1, and then decays slowly
back to 0. This corresponds to a wave rising rapidly on a surface and then
slowly receding back to nothing.
High amplitude
Low amplitude
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Controlling Spread
Spread gives an overall inverse scaling factor to the X values of the wave
profile. For example, a value of 0.5 stretches the profile by 2 horizontally,
which has the effect of spreading the wave.
By default, the spread is the constant value 1. Certain types of waves, such as
water waves, spread out as they move. For such waves, you should edit the
spread function curve to start at 1 and end at a smaller value such as 0.5.
Wave spreads out over time
Controlling the Start and End
The options on the Time Control tab of the Wave Op property editor control
the time span of the wave effect:
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•
Start offset is the first frame for which the wave begins to affect the object.
•
End is the last frame for which the wave affects the object.
Deforming Objects
Deforming by Curves
Deformation by curve distorts an object by remapping one of its axes to any
curve you pick. You can animate the object in the deformed space defined by
the curve, and any changes you make to the shape of the curve are reflected in
the deformed object.
To deform an object by a curve:
1. Select the geometric object to be deformed.
2. Click one of the Deform by Curve buttons on the Deformation Tools tab
of the tools and options panel. The two buttons apply different presets of
the deform by curve operator that result in different orientations, but you
can always adjust the orientation no matter which one you choose.
A picking session starts.
3. Pick a curve in your scene. You can click on a curve in a viewport or in the
scene explorer.
The object is immediately deformed by the curve.
4. Adjust the deformation’s parameters. The basic parameters are available
in the on-screen Deform Controls, but all parameters are available in the
Curve Deform property editor on the Geometry and Deformation
Properties tab of the multi-purpose editor.
-
Specify which Axis of the object you want to follow the curve.
-
Use the Scaling Along parameters to adjust the size of the object with
respect to the curve.
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n
-
Adjust the Roll to spin the object around the length of the curve until
it is oriented correctly.
-
Use the Translation Along parameters to adjust the position of the
object with respect to the curve. For example, you can animate
Translation Along Curve (called Pos On Curve in the on-screen
parameter display) to make the object snake along the curve.
Using the Scale, Rotate, or Translate tools on the curve affects the deformed
object as well.
Working with Profiles
Several types of object in Avid 3D are generated from one or more profile
curves by revolution or extrusion. You can modify the profile curves to change
the shape of the generated objects.
Overview of Profiles
Here’s a quick overview of working with profile curves and generated object
in Avid 3D:
1. Add an object with profiles by dragging it from the Obj. w Profile section
of the object library and dropping it into your scene.
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Working with Profiles
2. Display one of its profile curves in the profile editor as described in
“Displaying Curves in the Profile Editor” on page 164.
3. Use the profile editor to modify the curve as described in “Modifying
Curves in the Profile Editor” on page 165. You can add, remove, and
transform points. As you modify the curve, the generated object is updated.
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Displaying Curves in the Profile Editor
The Profile Editor tab of the multi-purpose editor lists the profile curves
associated with the selected object. You can select a curve to edit from this list,
as well as select a curve from a viewport or the scene explorer.
To display a curve in the profile editor:
1. Select a curve and click the Profile Editor tab of the multi-purpose editor.
You can do this in either of the following ways:
t
Select an object with profiles. On the Profile Editor tab of the multipurpose editor, select the curve you want to edit. This deselects the
object—if you later want to work on a different profile of the same
object, simply select the object again.
Select the curve to edit.
t
164
Select a curve in a viewport or the scene explorer, and click the
Profile Editor tab of the multi-purpose editor.
Working with Profiles
2. By default, the profile editor displays the front view of the selected curve.
If the curve is lying flat in the ground plane, then you may need to orbit
the camera (press O or use the Camera Orbit Tool button in the control bar
of the main window).
In fact, you can use any of the camera control buttons or shortcuts in the
profile editor to orbit, dolly, pan, zoom, roll, frame, and reset the camera.
You can also press G while the mouse pointer is over the profile editor to
toggle the grid on or off.
Modifying Curves in the Profile Editor
You can modify curves in the profile editor by adding and removing points, as
well as changing the position of points by moving or transforming them.
When changing the position of points, you have the option of affecting nearby
points proportionally. As you modify the curve, the object that is generated by
that curve is updated automatically.
n
To edit the curve, it must be selected. If you change the selection, you must reselect the curve before you can edit it again.
You can also use the following tools to edit curves in the viewports.
Linear and Smooth Curves
There are two types or curves you may encounter in Avid 3D: linear and smooth.
•
Linear curves are polylines, with points joined by straight segments.
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
•
Smooth curves are, technically speaking, cubic NURBS (non-uniform
rational B-splines). Unlike Bézier curves, the curve does not pass through
the control points but rather is a weighted interpolation between the
control points. Moving points further apart or closer together influences
the shape of the curve.
Moving control points influence
the shape of the curve as it is
interpolated between them.
Adding Points
To add points to a curve:
1. Activate the Add Point tool by pressing the I key or clicking the Add
Point Tool button in the profile editor.
2. Do one of the following:
t
To add a point between two existing points, click somewhere close to
the segment joining the two points.
t
To add a point at the end of the curve, middle-click.
Before releasing the mouse button, you can drag the mouse to adjust the
position of the new point.
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Working with Profiles
3. Continue adding new points as desired.
When you have finished, exit the tool by right-clicking, pressing Esc, or
activating another tool.
Removing Points
To remove points from a curve:
1. Activate the Delete Point tool by pressing Backspace or clicking the
Delete Point Tool button in the profile editor.
2. Click on a point to remove it.
3. Continue removing points as desired.
When you have finished, exit the tool by pressing Esc or activating
another tool.
Moving Points
You can use the Move Point tool to move the single point under the mouse
pointer as described below. This lets you quickly move points one at a time
without the need to select each point first.
When using the Move Point tool, you have the option of affecting nearby
points proportionally as described in “Editing Proportionally” on page 168. As
an alternative to moving points one at a time, you can transform selected
points as described in “Transforming Points” on page 168.
To move points on a curve:
1. Activate the Move Point tool by pressing M or clicking the Move Point
Tool button in the profile editor.
2. Place the mouse pointer over a point, then click and drag the point to a
new position before releasing the mouse button.
-
Use the left mouse button to drag freely in the view.
-
Use the middle mouse button to drag vertically.
-
Use the right mouse button to drag horizontally.
3. Continue moving points as desired.
When you have finished, exit the tool by pressing Esc or activating
another tool.
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Transforming Points
You can transform selected points in the same way you transform objects. This
allows you to move one or more points at the same time.
When transforming points, you have the option of affecting nearby points
proportionally as described in “Editing Proportionally” on page 168. As an
alternative to selecting points, you can move points individually without
selecting them first as described in “Moving Points” on page 167.
To transform points:
1. Select some points using the Select Point tool (press T or click the Select
Point Tool button in the profile editor).
2. Activate a transform tool using the buttons on the control bar of the main
window or the corresponding keyboard shortcut (V for Translate, C for
Rotate, or X for Scale).
3. Use the manipulator to transform the points.
You can use the Ctrl key to snap to the grid or scale in increments, or the
Shift key to translate and rotate in increments or scale uniformly.
By default, points are rotated relative to the object’s center; that is,
rotating points spins them around the object’s center. Points are scaled
about their local center—scaling a single point has no visible effect, but
scaling a group of points moves them away from or toward their average
location. However, you can use the Alt key to set the center of
manipulation.
For more details about transforming, see “Transformation Basics” on
page 119.
Editing Proportionally
When moving or transforming points, you have the option of affecting nearby
points as well. The strength of the effect falls off proportionally with the
distance from the points you are manipulating: points that are closer are
affected more strongly than points that are farther away.
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Working with Profiles
The strength of the effect is indicated by the color of the points. Points that
will be affected strongly are highlighted in bright red, while points that will be
affected less strongly are darker red. Points that will not be affected at all are
blue. This highlighting is displayed in the views when:
•
Proportional editing is on, one or more points are selected, and a
transformation tool is active.
•
Proportional editing is on, the Move Point tool is active, and you click and
hold the mouse button down over a point.
To activate or deactivate proportional editing:
t
Click the Proportional Mode button in the profile editor.
This setting affects point manipulation in the viewports as well as in the
profile editor.
To adjust the proportional radius:
t
Do one of the following:
t
In the profile editor, click the plus (+) button to increase the radius or
the minus (–) button to decrease it.
t
While proportional mode is on, and either a transformation tool or the
Move Point tool is active, press R and drag the mouse in a view to the
left to decrease the radius or to the right to increase it.
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Modifying Points and Polygons
In addition to applying deformations and modifying profile curves, you can
modify points and polygons directly in the viewports. You can manipulate
components by scaling, rotating, translating, and moving, as well as delete
components.
Manipulating Points and Polygons
You can manipulate components in various ways:
•
You can transform points, polygons, and clusters by selecting and scaling,
rotating, and translating them.
•
You can move points one at a time without the need to select them
individually.
•
When transforming or moving points, you have the option of affecting
nearby points proportionally as described in “Editing Proportionally” on
page 168.
Transforming Points and Polygons
You can transform selected points, polygons, and clusters in the same way you
transform objects.
By default, components are rotated relative to the object’s center; that is,
rotating them spins them around the object’s center. Components are scaled
about their local center—scaling a single point has no visible effect, but
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Modifying Points and Polygons
scaling a polygon or a group of points moves the vertices away from or toward
their average location. However, you can use the Alt key to set the center of
manipulation.
You can use the Ctrl to snap to the grid or scale in increments, and the Shift
key to translate and rotate in increments or scale uniformly.
For more details about transforming, see “Transformation Basics” on page 119.
To transform points or polygons:
1. Select some points using the Select Point tool (press T or click the Select
Point Tool button in the control bar).
2. Activate a transform tool using the buttons on the control bar of the main
window or the corresponding keyboard shortcut (V for Translate, C for
Rotate, or X for Scale).
3. Use the manipulator to transform the points.
Moving Points
You can use the Move Point tool to move the single point under the mouse
pointer. This lets you quickly move points one at a time without the need to
select each point first.
To move points on a curve:
1. Select a geometric object.
2. Activate the Move Point tool by pressing M (or clicking the Move Point
Tool button in the profile editor).
3. Place the mouse pointer over a point, then click and drag the point to a
new position before releasing the mouse button.
-
Use the left mouse button to drag freely in the view.
-
Use the middle mouse button to drag vertically.
-
Use the right mouse button to drag horizontally.
4. Continue moving points as desired.
When you have finished, exit the tool by pressing Esc or activating
another tool.
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Chapter 6 Modifying Object Geometry
Resetting Shapes
After you have manipulated components, you can return an object to its
original shape by selecting it and clicking the Reset Shape button on the
Deformation Tools tab of the tools and options panel.
Deleting Points and Polygons
You can delete points and polygons by selecting them and pressing Delete.
Deleting removes polygons, leaving empty holes in the object.
•
When points are deleted, any polygons that share those points are
also deleted.
Deleting selected
point
•
When polygons are deleted, any points that are no longer attached to a
polygon are also deleted.
Deleting selected
polygons
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Chapter 7
Working with Text and Logos
Avid 3D allows you to add text and logos to your scenes. There are features
for editing and formatting, extruding and beveling, applying materials and
textures, as well as advanced controls. You can even quickly set up a “followthe-leader” animation by creating a text rig.
Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
About Text and Logos
Text and logos are ordinary geometric objects in Avid 3D. You can transform
and animate them, apply materials and textures to them, deform them, or even
use them as particle emitters.
After you add text and logo objects to your scene, you can find them in the
Geometry section of the scene explorer together with all the other geometric
objects. They are also listed in the Text section of the scene explorer—if your
scene contains many objects, this lets you find text and logos quickly because
it does not list any other type of object.
Text
Logo
In addition, text and logos rely on curves. These curves are generated from the
font in the case of text, or imported from a drawing program in the case of
logos. By default they are hidden in 3D views, but they can be found in the
Curves, Paths section of the scene explorer.
Do not delete these curves, because Avid 3D needs them to generate the solid
objects. If you delete the curves, the corresponding text or logo is removed
from your scene.
Logo curve
Text curve
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Overview of Text and Logos
Overview of Text and Logos
The processes of creating text and logos involve many similar steps, and are
quickly outlined in the sections below. Each step is described in more detail in
later sections.
Overview of Text
Here is a quick overview of the process of creating and working with text:
1. Add a text object to your scene, and then edit and format it as described in
“Creating and Editing Text” on page 179.
2. Adjust the extrusion and beveling as described in “Extruding and
Beveling Text and Logos” on page 188.
3. Apply materials and textures to the various parts of the text as described in
“Applying Materials and Textures to Text and Logos” on page 191.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
4. If desired, modify the text further as described in “Advanced Text and
Logo Controls” on page 192. For example, you can control the
smoothness and density of the mesh, change the tessellation method,
adjust the mitering and rounding, and so on.
5. Do anything else you like with the text. For example, you can transform
and animate it, as well as deform it.
6. If you want to create a “follow-the-leader” style animation, see “Creating
a Text Rig” on page 200.
Overview of Logos
Here is a quick overview of the process of creating and working with logos:
1. Import an EPS file into your scene as described in “Creating Logos” on
page 187.
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Overview of Text and Logos
2. Adjust the extrusion and beveling as described in “Extruding and
Beveling Text and Logos” on page 188.
3. Apply materials and textures to the various parts of the logo as described
in “Applying Materials and Textures to Text and Logos” on page 191.
4. If desired, modify the logo further as described in “Advanced Text and
Logo Controls” on page 192. For example, you can control the
smoothness and density of the mesh, change the tessellation method,
adjust the mitering and rounding, and so on. If you want to animate
different portions separately, you should explode the mesh.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
5. Do anything else you like with the logo. For example, you can transform
and animate it, as well as deform it.
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Creating and Editing Text
Creating and Editing Text
Creating and editing text is a multi-step process:
1. Add a text object to your scene as described in “Creating Text” on
page 179.
2. Edit and format the text string as described in “Editing and Formatting
Text” on page 181.
3. Adjust the size and spacing of the text using the on-screen parameters as
described in “Controlling Size and Spacing of Text” on page 186.
Creating Text
There are two ways to create text in Avid 3D:
•
Using the Text Tools tab of the Tools and Options panel. This method
allows you to choose between a single line of text and multiple lines.
•
By dragging an item from the Text section of the object library. This lets
you create a text rig, or add a text object to another object rig.
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Creating Text with Text Tools
Using the Text Tools tab of the Tools and Options panel, you can create a
single line of text or multiple lines.
Single-Line
Multi-Line
To create text with text tools:
1. In the Tools and Options panel, click the Text Tools tab.
2. Do one of the following:
t
To create a single line of text, click the Create Single-Line Text
Block button.
t
To create text that can break across multiple lines, click the Create
Multi-Line Text Block button.
A new text object is created in your scene. By default, it is named
polymsh, but you can rename as described in “Element Names” on
page 110.
The Text property editor opens, where you can edit and format your text
as described in “Editing and Formatting Text” on page 181.
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Creating and Editing Text
Creating Text with the Object Library
Using the object library, you can drag a predefined text rig into your scene. For
example, you can get a rig that reveals text gradually or that deforms text on a
curve. You can also drag and drop text onto an existing rig in your scene.
To create text with the object library:
1. If you want to replace an element in an existing rig with text, select the
element first.
2. In the library panel, click the Object Library tab.
3. Display the Text section.
4. Drag and drop an element into a viewport.
You can now open the Text property editor to edit and format the
text—see “Editing and Formatting Text” on page 181.
For information about using rigs in general, see “Rigs” on page 105. For
information about using the Text - Character Anim. Offset Rig, see
“Creating a Text Rig” on page 200.
Editing and Formatting Text
You edit and format text using the Text property editor. The Text property
editor is automatically displayed in a floating window when you create text
using the Text Tools tab of the Tools and Options panel, but not when you drag
a text item from the object library.
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At any time, you can display the Text property editor within the multi-purpose
editor to change the text or its formatting.
Select Text
property first.
Import or save
RTF files.
Undo, cut, copy,
paste, or clear.
Set font
attributes.
Set line
attributes.
Apply changes manually
or automatically.
Edit text
here.
To display the Text property editor:
1. Make sure the text object is selected—note that if you dragged an item
from the object library, the model that contains the text object is initially
selected instead.
You can select the text object by simply clicking on any part of the text in
a viewport, or by using the Text section of the scene explorer.
2. Open the multi-purpose editor.
3. On the Geometry and Deform Properties tab, select the Text property.
The Text property editor appears in the right pane of the multi-purpose
editor.
Typing Text
You can type text into the editing pane of the Text property editor in the same
way as you would type text in any simple word processor. Use the items on the
Edit menu to undo, cut, copy, paste, or clear.
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Creating and Editing Text
Automatically update
3D views as you type.
As you type, the text in the scene may update automatically depending on
whether Auto is on or off:
•
If Auto is on, the 3D views update automatically as you type. Note that
there is still a small delay before the scene updates, to make sure that you
have finished typing.
•
If Auto is off, the 3D views do not update automatically. Instead, click
Apply to see the result of your changes.
Click to update 3D
views manually.
By leaving Auto off, you avoid delays that may occur as Avid 3D tries to
update heavy geometry as you type, particularly when there are extrusions
and bevels.
n
For Single-Line text, you can also apply changes manually by pressing Enter.
However with Multi-Line Text, pressing Enter starts a new line.
To do this...
Do this
Select the entire contents of the editing pane.
Ctrl+A
Select a word in the history or editing pane.
Double-click on the word.
Select a line in the history or editing pane.
Triple-click on the line.
Move selected text.
Drag to new location.
Copy selected text.
Ctrl+drag to new location.
Cut selected text to the clipboard.
Ctrl+X
Copy selected text to the clipboard.
Ctrl+C
Paste text from the clipboard.
Ctrl+V
Undo the last edit.
Ctrl+Z or Alt+Backspace
n
Make sure that the editing pane has focus,
that is, that you can see the blinking cursor.
Otherwise you may undo the last action
performed in the main window.
Redo the last undo, or repeat the last edit.
Ctrl+Y
Go to the next/previous word.
Ctrl+right/left arrow
Go to the beginning of the text.
Ctrl+Home
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To do this...
Do this
Go to the end of the text.
Ctrl+End
Extend the selection.
Shift+arrow keys,
Ctrl+Shift+arrow keys
Select from the cursor to the beginning of the line. Shift+Home
Select from the cursor to the end of the line.
Shift+End
Select from the cursor to the beginning of the script. Ctrl+Shift+Home
n
Select from the cursor to the end of the script.
Ctrl+Shift+End
Toggle overtype mode on or off.
Insert
If the text you type overwrites existing text, it’s probably because you have
accidentally pressed the Insert key. Press the Insert key again to turn overtype
mode off.
Setting Font Attributes
Font attributes include the typeface, size, weight (bold or regular), and angle
(italic or roman). As with most word processors, you can change the attributes
for selected characters or for new characters. New characters use the formatting
of the previous character, unless you change the font attributes explicitly.
Point Size Italic
Bold
Typeface
Select any TrueType or OpenType
font installed on your computer.
n
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Make sure that the font you select is installed on all machines on which you
intend to work with or render the scene. Otherwise, the typeface will be
automatically replaced by a default.
Creating and Editing Text
Setting Line Attributes
Left
The line alignment options control how the text characters are aligned with the
3D object’s center. When editing Multi-Line text, you can set these options on
individual lines.
Right
Center
Importing RTF Files
You can import text saved as an RTF (rich text format) file. After you import
an RTF file, you can still modify the text in the editing pane. Avid 3D does not
store a reference to the RTF file on disk; modifying the original RTF with a
word processor does not affect the scene.
n
Not all attributes of the rich text format are supported. Any formatting that is
not supported is ignored.
To import an RTF file:
1. Create a text object as described in “Creating Text” on page 179.
2. In the Text property editor, choose File > Open.
3. Use the browser to find and select an RTF file.
Saving RTF Files
You can save the contents of the editing pane as an RTF file to use in another
application or import into a different scene.
To save an RTF file:
t
Choose one of the following commands from the Text property editor’s
command bar:
-
File > Save. If you have previously saved the contents of the editing
pane, it is saved again with the same name and the previous version is
overwritten on disk. Otherwise, a browser opens for you to specify a
path and file name.
-
File > Save As. A browser opens for you to specify a path and file name.
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Controlling Size and Spacing of Text
You control the size and spacing of text with the on-screen Text Block parameters.
To control the size and spacing of text:
1. Make sure the text object is selected—note that if you dragged an item
from the object library, the model that contains the text object is initially
selected instead.
You can select the text object by simply clicking on any part of the text in
a viewport, or by using the Text section of the scene explorer.
2. In the Text Block on-screen parameter set, adjust either or both of the
following parameters:
186
-
Spacing controls the distance between individual characters. A value
of 0.0 represents the default spacing defined by the font, and larger
values spread the characters further apart. To space characters closer
together, either Alt+drag to the left to set negative values or enter
negative values numerically.
-
Size Ratio controls the ratio of points to distance units. Lower values
mean fewer points per unit (larger text size) and higher values mean
more points per unit (smaller text size).
Creating Logos
Creating Logos
You can create logos by importing curves saved as EPS (encapsulated
PostScript) files from a drawing program into Avid 3D. Before you import a
file, you should prepare it first.
Preparing EPS Files for Import
There are some restrictions on the files you can import. Follow these guidelines:
•
Make sure the file contains only curves. Convert text and other elements
to outlines.
•
Save as version 8 or previous.
•
Do not include a TIFF preview header.
•
Make sure that any curves that define exterior contours or interior holes
are closed.
•
Make sure that there are no completely overlapping curves. Overlapping
curves may cause Avid 3D to fill in curves that are meant to be holes, or
not fill in curves that are meant to be outer contours.
•
Avoid intersecting curves. Intersecting curves create partially overlapping
polygons, which may produce undesirable shading.
Importing Curves
There are several ways to import .eps files into Avid 3D:
t
Choose File > Import EPS File, and then use the Import EPS dialog box
to find and select a file to import.
t
Drag a file from Windows Explorer or a folder window and drop it into
the background of a viewport in Avid 3D.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
t
Drag a thumbnail from the Logos section of the model library and drop it
into the background of a viewport in Avid 3D.
When you import a curve in any of these ways, a 3D geometric object is
created by extruding the curve. The geometric object is named polymsh by
default, but you can rename it as described in “Element Names” on page 110.
Extruding and Beveling Text and Logos
You can control the extrusion and the beveling for both text and logos using
the on-screen parameter sets: Text Block for text or EPS Extrusion for
imported curves.
To display the Text Block or EPS Extrusion on-screen parameters:
t
Make sure the text or logo object is selected—note that if you dragged an
item from the object library, the model that contains the text or logo object
is initially selected instead.
You can select the text or logo object by simply clicking on any part of it
in a viewport, or by using the Text section of the scene explorer.
n
These parameters, in addition to others, are also available in the Curve to
Mesh Converter property editor. See “Advanced Text and Logo Controls” on
page 192.
Extruding
You can control the extrusion depth and the number of subdivisions using the
on-screen parameters:
•
188
Depth controls the length of the extrusion in distance units. For flat,
planar shapes, set this parameter to 0.0.
Extruding and Beveling Text and Logos
•
Subdivisions controls the number of times that the object is subdivided by
extra points and edges along its depth. Higher values require more
memory and longer processing times.
In many cases, you can leave this parameter at the default value of 0.
However, you should increase this value in certain situations. For example
if you intend to deform the object along its depth, then you should
increase the subdivisions so that the object deforms more smoothly. In
addition, if you extrude the object by an extremely long depth, then you
should subdivide the object to avoid shading problems that can occur with
very long and thin polygons.
Depth
Subdivisions = 2
Side view of
extruded text
or logo
Beveling
You can apply a bevel using the preset buttons on the Text Tools tab of the
Tools and Options panel, and then adjust it using the on-screen parameters.
To apply a bevel:
1. Select a text or logo object.
2. On the Text Tools tab of the Tools and Options panel, click the button for
one of the preset Bevel styles (top two rows).
The object is beveled with the selected profile and the default depth
and height.
n
If you dragged text from the object library instead of using the Text Tools tab,
it might be using a custom curve for the bevel profile. You can edit the curve in
the profile editor to change the shape of the bevel. See “Working with
Profiles” on page 162.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
Bevel style
3. If desired, toggle the front or back bevels on or off (bottom row).
4. In the on-screen parameters, adjust the size of the bevel as desired:
-
Bevel Depth controls how much the bevel protrudes from the
base mesh.
The bevel profile is automatically scaled so that the width of its
bounding box equals this value.
Toggle front/back
-
Bevel Scale is a factor that modifies the profile curve in the direction
orthogonal to the Depth, squashing or stretching the profile.
If your curves have small, thin features and sharp, closely-spaced
corners, then don’t set this value too high.
Side view of a beveled corner
Bevel profile ends here.
Bevel Scale is a factor
applied to the profile.
Bevel profile
starts here.
n
190
Profile curve is scaled
to fit the Bevel Depth.
To remove a bevel, set Bevel Depth to 0.0.
Applying Materials and Textures to Text and Logos
Applying Materials and Textures to Text and Logos
Text and logos contain five predefined clusters corresponding to the Front,
FrontBevel, Extrusion (sides), BackBevel, and Back, in addition to the entire
object. These clusters let you easily apply different materials and textures to
the various sections of an object. For information about applying materials and
textures to clusters, see “Textures and Materials” on page 233.
Note that these clusters are always present, even if the object has no depth or is
not beveled. For example, applying a material to FrontBevel and BackBevel
has no apparent effect when Bevel Depth is 0.0 because those clusters are
empty. However, increasing the bevel depth will reveal the material on the
beveled sections.
In addition to applying a material and texture to a specific cluster, you can
apply a preset combination of materials and textures to all these clusters at
once. Simply drag a preset from the Text section of the Material and Fx
Library onto your text or logo. The presets in this section have different
materials and textures applied to the predefined clusters. Note that some of
these presets can only be seen when rendered.
As an alternative to the predefined clusters, you can create clusters for each
character or island as described in “Creating Clusters” on page 193. This can
be useful if you want different characters or sections of your logo to have
different materials and textures.
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Advanced Text and Logo Controls
In addition to the options that are available in the on-screen parameters and on
the Text Tools tab of the Tools and Options panel, there are several advanced
options available in the Curve to Mesh Converter property editor. Although
you might not need these options in every case, they can be very valuable in
some situations.
To display the Curve to Mesh Converter property editor:
1. Make sure the text or logo object is selected—note that if you dragged an
item from the Object Library, the model that contains the object is initially
selected instead.
You can select the text or logo object by simply clicking on any part of it
in a viewport, or by using the Text section of the scene explorer.
2. Open the multi-purpose editor.
3. On the Geometry and Deform Properties tab, select the Curve to Mesh
Converter property.
The Curve to Mesh Converter property editor appears in the right pane of
the multi-purpose editor.
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Advanced Text and Logo Controls
Controlling the Steps
The Step options control how many edges are created for every span in the
underlying text or EPS curves. You can control the values for the exterior
Contours and the interior Holes separately. Higher values produce smoother,
more accurate curves but require more memory and longer processing times.
Steps = 3 produces smooth but
dense geometry
Steps = 1 produces light but
blocky geometry
Offsetting Curves
Use the Offset slider to offset the input curves. Positive values enlarge the
curves and negative values shrink them. Values are in distance units.
Creating Clusters
You can automatically create clusters to help with texturing different sections
of the text or logo object.
Creating Clusters per Island/Character
You can automatically create polygon clusters based on separate characters
when converting text, or based on the disconnected islands created by separate
outer contour curves when converting curves. This makes it easier, for example,
to apply a separate material or texture to each character or section of a logo.
In the case of text, each cluster is given a name corresponding to its position
and its character, for example, Char_1_A, Char_2_B, and so on. In the case of
logos, the clusters are named Face_1, Face2, and so on.
If you change the resulting polygon mesh structure by modifying text or
adding curves after creating island/character clusters, the clusters are not
updated automatically. If the resulting number of polygon islands is different,
then you must re-create the clusters again.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
To create clusters per island/character:
t
Click Per Island/Character under Create Polygon Clusters on the
Geometry tab of the Curve to Mesh Converter property editor.
Creating Clusters Along the Depth
By default, Avid 3D creates clusters corresponding to the Front, FrontBevel,
Extrusion, BackBevel, and Back whenever you create text or import curves.
However, you can also create these clusters manually, for example, if you
loaded a scene or model that contains extruded text or EPS curves but doesn’t
have these clusters predefined.
To create clusters along the depth:
t
Click Per Section Along Depth under Create Polygon Clusters on the
Geometry tab of the Curve to Mesh Converter property editor.
Exploding the Mesh
You can explode a text or logo object into a hierarchy of separate polygon
mesh objects. There is one new object for each “island” of polygons (or for
each character, if using text) and all objects are parented under a common null.
This is useful, for example, if you want to animate each character or section of
a logo flying into place separately.
In the case of text, the objects are named after their position and characters for
example, Char_1_A, Char_2_B, and so on. In the case of logos, the objects are
named Face_1, Face2, and so on. For information about manipulating objects
in hierarchies, see “Selection and Hierarchies” on page 113 and
“Transformations and Hierarchies” on page 118.
A modeling relation exists between the unexploded mesh and the extracted
objects, so modifying the options on the Curve to Mesh Converter property
editor affects the extracted objects as well. You cannot delete the original text
or logo object without deleting the exploded hierarchy, but you can hide the
original as described in “Hiding and Unhiding Objects” on page 74 if you do
not want it to be visible.
If you change the number of polygon islands in the original, for example, by
modifying the text after exploding, you should re-explode the mesh.
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Advanced Text and Logo Controls
To explode text or logos:
t
Choose Explode Mesh into Separate Parts on the Geometry tab of the
Curve to Mesh Converter property editor.
Each island of polygons (or character) is automatically extracted and
parented under a new null object. The null object is selected in branch mode.
Tessellating
Tesselation is the process of tiling the curves’ shapes with polygons. In the
Tessellation Method box on the Geometry tab of the Curve to Mesh Converter
property editor, there are three different tesselation methods:
•
Delaunay generates a mesh composed entirely of triangular polygons.
This method gives consistent and predictable results, and is useful when
objects are to be deformed.
•
Minimum Polygon Count uses the least number of polygons possible.
This is the default method. It keeps the geometry light but it gives poor
results if the object is deformed.
•
Medial Axis creates concentric contour lines along the medial axes
(averages between the input boundary curves), interpolating from one
boundary shape to the next. This method creates mainly quadrilateral
polygons (that is, quads) with some triangles. It can be useful when
objects are to be deformed.
Minimum Polygon Count
The Minimum Polygon Count tesselation method uses the least number of
polygons possible. For a single contour curve with no holes, this results in
exactly one polygon. When holes are present, there are multiple polygons and
their shapes are not predictable.
In general, Minimum Polygon Count creates irregularly shaped n-sided
polygons. For this reason, it is best used when you need to keep the geometry
light on simple objects that will not be deformed.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
Minimum Polygon Count yields irregular polygons.
One hole yields Two holes yield
two polygons. three polygons.
Zero holes yield
one polygon.
Delaunay
The Delaunay tesselation method generates a mesh composed entirely of
triangular polygons. This method gives consistent and predictable results, and
in particular, it does not give different results if the curves are rotated. It is
useful when objects are to be deformed.
Delaunay yields triangles.
With this method, there are several options for fine-tuning the tesselation further.
To set the Minimum Angle of polygons:
t
Turn Minimum Angle on and then adjust the slider.
If a triangle contains an angle that is smaller than this value, it gets
replaced by better-shaped ones. Eliminating small-angled triangles gives a
more uniform OpenGL shading and is more suited for deformations.
Minimum Angle = 20
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Advanced Text and Logo Controls
To set the Maximum Area of polygons:
t
Turn Maximum Area on and then adjust the slider.
If a triangle is larger than this value, it gets replaced by smaller ones.
This allows the polygon mesh to be deformed more smoothly.
Maximum Area = 10
Medial Axis
The Medial Axis tesselation method creates concentric contour lines along the
medial axes (averages between the input boundary curves), morphing from
one boundary shape to the next. This method creates mainly quads with some
triangles, so it is well-suited for subdivision surfaces.
Medial Axis yields quads and triangles.
Medial axis runs between
opposite boundaries.
Controlling the Extrusion
The Extrusion box on the Extrude/Bevel tab of the Curve to Mesh Converter
property editor contains several parameters for controlling the extrusion:
•
Length is the same as Depth in the on-screen parameters. See
“Extruding” on page 188.
•
Subdivisions is the same as in the on-screen parameters.
•
Direction controls the direction of the extrusion (Forward or Backward)
with respect to the front side of the polygons when the extrusion depth is 0.0.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
Controlling the Beveling
The Bevel box on the Extrude/Bevel tab of the Curve to Mesh Converter
property editor contains several parameters for controlling the beveling.
Controlling the Size and Direction of the Bevel
Several options in the Bevel box on the Extrude/Bevel tab of the Curve to
Mesh Converter property editor control the size and direction of the bevel:
•
Depth is the same as Bevel Depth in the on-screen parameters. See
“Beveling” on page 189.
•
Height Scaling is the same as Bevel Scaling in the on-screen parameters.
•
Proportionally Smaller for Holes in the Options box further scales the
bevel profile applied to holes. This is useful to avoid overlapping
geometry when holes are small compared to the bevel size.
•
Interior controls the direction of the bevel.
•
-
When this option is on, the front and back are beveled outward. As a
result, the silhouette matches the original curves but polygons may
intersect or interpenetrate in narrow areas when the bevel depth is high.
-
When this option is off, the sides of the tube are beveled outward. In
some cases, this may distort the object’s outline or cause separate islands
of polygons (such as characters in text) to collide with each other.
The options in the Sides box allow you to bevel the Front or Back
individually. These are equivalent to the buttons on the Text Tools tab of
the Tools and Options panel.
Mitering and Rounding
Mitering creates sharp corners, like at the corners of a picture frame.
198
•
Create Hard Edges turns mitering on and off. It creates hard edges at
sharp corners, as well as around the contour of the bevel.
•
Discontinuity Angle sets the threshold for mitering sharp corners. Adjacent
polygons whose dihedral angle is greater than this value are mitered.
Advanced Text and Logo Controls
Sharp corners
are mitered.
Flat corners are
not mitered.
Mitering can sometimes produce ugly results with extremely sharp angles. In
these situations, you can round the corners instead.
•
Use the Convex and Concave sliders in the Corner Mitering box to define
the minimum threshold for mitering convex and concave angles in
degrees. Angles that are sharper than these values are rounded. A value
of 0 is equivalent to turning rounding off.
•
Use Roundness Subdivisions to control the smoothness of the rounding.
Higher values produce smoother arcs with denser geometry. A value of 0
creates a flattened effect like a sawn-off corner.
Convex controls
which convexities
are rounded.
Mitering can produce a
poor effect on extremely
sharp corners.
Concave controls
which concavities
are rounded.
Flatter angles are
not rounded.
Roundness
Subdivisions
controls the
smoothness of the
rounding.
Controlling the Bevel Profile
The options in the Profile Curve box control the style and the accuracy of the
bevel profile:
•
Curve is the name of the profile style. To change the profile, click the
Browse button (...) and choose a different preset.
•
Sampling Step is the number of subdivisions per segment of the profile
curve. Higher values produce heavier, denser geometry that follows the
curve more smoothly and accurately.
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Chapter 7 Working with Text and Logos
Creating a Text Rig
A text rig allows you to easily create “follow-the-leader” style animation.
To create a text rig:
1. Create a text object, and modify it as you wish (edit, format, bevel, etc.).
Make sure that you are completely satisfied with it before continuing,
because the next step freezes the text into separate geometric objects and
you will no longer be able to modify the text or its properties.
2. Make sure the text is still selected, and click Create Text Rig on the Text
Tools tab of the Tools and Options panel.
The text is replaced by separate objects for each character, all set up to
play follow-the-leader. These objects can be found in the Geometry
section of the scene explorer, not the Text section.
Wizard
button
Alternatively, you can click the wizard button under Text - Character
Anim. Offset Rig in the Text section of the object library. If you do this
when no text is selected, or if you drag the preset into the scene instead of
using the button, you are prompted to create, edit, and format a new text
object before proceeding.
3. If desired, select the second or later character and modify its offset. The
FrameOffset controls the delay by which the character follows the
previous one, and the other parameters affect the difference in translation,
rotation, and scaling in each axis. Modifying one character’s
transformation offset affects all subsequent characters.
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Creating a Text Rig
4. Select the first character and key its initial transformation values.
5. Change the frame and change the first character’s transformation.
6. Set a key on the corresponding transformation parameters. As soon as you
do this, the subsequent characters begin to follow.
7. Continue transforming the first character and keying its values. Make sure
you leave enough frames after the last keyframe for the rest of the
characters to catch up.
8. Once you have finished, play back your animation.
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Chapter 8
Lights and Cameras
Lights and cameras work together with the objects in your scene to provide
you with your final images. Just like in real life, you can’t record what’s in a
scene without a camera—and your camera can’t see anything without lights to
illuminate the scene.
Chapter 8 Lights and Cameras
Lights and Shadows
Without lights, it doesn’t really matter what your scene looks like—you won’t
be able to see it, plain and simple!
Each light in a scene contributes to the scene’s illumination and affects the
way all objects’ surfaces appear in the rendered image. You can dramatically
change the nature and mood of your images by modifying lights and their
properties. You can add lights directly or you can work with lights from
imported scenes.
Properties
Every light in a scene is defined by a set of properties. Most of these properties
are common to all types of light. These properties are referred to as the light’s
rendering properties, as they determine its appearance when rendered.
You can also create different kinds of shadows through the light properties.
For more information about shadows, see “Creating Shadows” on page 214.
Types of Lights
There’s a light for every occasion, and you can create and position several
different kinds:
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Lights and Shadows
Directional
Also referred to as infinite lights,
directional lights simulate light
sources that are infinitely far from
objects in the scene. They have no
position associated with them, only a
direction. All objects are lit by
parallel light rays.
Point
Point lights casts rays in all
directions from the position of the
light. They are similar to light bulbs,
whose light rays emanate from the
bulb in all directions.
Spot
Spotlights cast rays in a cone-shape,
simulating real spotlights. This is
useful for lighting a specific object
or area. The manipulators can be
used to edit the light cone’s length,
width, and falloff points.
Scene Ambience
Scene ambience simulates a certain amount of indirect light, coming from no
particular source, that is applied to all objects in the scene. It is a simple
approximation of the indirect lighting that normally bounces around an
environment and illuminates objects to a certain extent.
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Chapter 8 Lights and Cameras
The effect of ambience on the scene is to brighten or darken all objects to a
certain degree. The scene’s ambient color is multiplied with an object’s
ambient color to produce the object’s final ambient component. If the scene
ambience is set to black, nothing can alter the ambient color of an object
except, of course, a light.
n
The scene ambience is not controlled by a light, but is a property applied to the
entire scene. It does, however, affect the final look of directly illuminated
objects to a certain extent.
For best results, ambience should be set to 0 (or close to it) in scenes with
environment maps. These maps create indirect lighting, but much more
realistically, so ambience is unnecessary. For more information about
environment maps, see “Environment Maps” on page 259.
For more information on an object’s ambient color, see “Surface Color” on
page 239.
To edit a scene’s ambient color:
1. Open the multi-purpose editor. Click the Material and Fx Properties tab,
then select the Ambient node.
2. Edit the scene’s ambient value as desired using the color sliders. Keep this
value dark or low so as not to affect your scene’s lighting in an
unpredictable way.
Setting a Realistic Ambient Color
Perhaps the most realistic way to set a scene’s ambient color is to match a
color from an image from the scene you use for compositing.
To set a realistic ambient color:
1. Do one of the following:
t
Display the image in a library, if it is available.
t
Place the image in a scene by dragging it into a viewport and creating
a floating image clip. Set the display type to Textured Decal.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab, then
select the Ambient node.
3. In the Ambient Lighting property editor, click the color box to open the
color editor.
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Creating Lights
4. From the color editor, select the color picker; the cursor changes to an
eye-dropper.
5. Use the color picker to select the ambient color from the image to be used
for compositing. For best results, choose an ambient color you find in the
shadows of an image.
6. Close the color editor to accept the chosen color as the new ambient
lighting color.
n
There are some color range limitations to safely output for TV or film.
For example, true blacks and full reds aren’t supported by NTSC and some
other formats.
Creating Lights
Each of the light types available from the library panel creates a new light.
Each type of light simulates a different real-world light source.
The Default Light Rig
When you create a new scene in Avid 3D, a default light rig is created at the
same time. The light rig contains three spotlights:
•
A key light, which is the main source of light from the rig.
•
A back light, which highlights the edges of your objects.
•
A fill light, which illuminates the shadows created by the key light.
You can edit the lights’ properties and positions by clicking the rig’s control
handle to display its on-screen parameters.
You can also delete the rig by selecting any of the rig’s elements and pressing
Delete. You can add the light rig to a scene at any time by dragging the light
rig object from the lights library on the library panel into a viewport.
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Chapter 8 Lights and Cameras
Adding Lights
You can add several types of lights to your scene. Once you have added a light,
you can set its properties.
To create a new light:
1. Choose Lights from the object library to display the camera effect thumbnails.
2. Drag a thumbnail onto an empty area in a viewport. The light object is
created in the scene.
A new light is added to the scene and positioned at the origin. For a
description of the different types of lights, see “Types of Lights” on page 204.
To open the light’s property editor, select the light and open the multipurpose editor.
You can select and manipulate lights as you would any other object. For more
information on how to set a light’s properties, see “Setting Light Properties”
on page 209.
For a complete description of all the light properties, refer to Online Help.
Manipulating Lights
You can translate, rotate, and scale lights as you would any other object.
However, scaling a light only affects the size of the icon and does not change
any of the light properties.
Manipulating Spotlights
Spotlights have a third set of manipulators that let you control their start and
end falloff, as well as their spread and cone angles.
To display the spotlight manipulators, do one of the following:
t
Click the Spot Light Cone Tool button in the Transform Tools panel of
the tools and options panel.
t
Press the B key then press Tab until the manipulators are displayed.
For more information about manipulating spotlights, see “Setting a Spotlight”
on page 213.
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Setting Light Properties
Setting Light Properties
Every light is defined by a light shader, which describes the light’s color,
falloff, and other settings. All light sources have a light shader (by default, the
built-in soft_light shader).
You can edit a light shader’s properties in the light’s property editor. The
properties you can define depend on the particular shader: they include the
light color, attenuations, and spotlight directions.
You can also animate a light’s properties so that the values change over time.
For example, you can make a light gradually change color or grow dim. For
more information on how to do this, see “Keyframe Animation” on page 277.
Setting a Light’s Color
The color of a light controls the color of the rays emitted by the light. The final
result depends on both the color of the light and the color of objects.
For example, a red object reflects red light, but absorbs blue and green light.
On the other hand, a yellow object reflects both red and green light, but
absorbs blue light. If you illuminate a yellow object with a blue light, it
appears dark. Objects illuminated by white light appear in their natural colors.
n
When you define the color of an object’s material, you should work with a
white light because colored light sources affect the material’s appearance. You
can color your light source afterward to achieve the final look of the scene.
To set a light’s color, do one of the following:
t
To set the color of a single light, drag a light color from the Material and
Fx library onto the light.
t
To set the color of every light in the scene, drag a light color from the
Material and Fx library onto the background of a viewport.
To edit a light’s color:
1. Select a light and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, select the light’s shader node.
2. In the light shader’s property editor, set a color for the light.
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The current color is shown in the box to the left of the color sliders and
under the light shader’s name. You can set the color using the color sliders
or by opening the Color editor. You can also toggle between the RGB,
HSV, and HLS color channels.
Click the color box to open the
color editor. Click the RGB button
to define the light color using the
RGBA, HSV, or HLS color models.
The intensity slider defines how
bright or strong the light is.
3. Do one of the following:
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Drag the color sliders to change the strength of each red, green, and
blue channel independently, or type a numerical value directly in the
space provided.
The slider values range between 0 and 1, but you can enter higher
values yourself. Hold the Ctrl key to move all sliders at once.
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Click the color box to the left of the sliders to open the Color editor.
For information on using the color editor, see “Defining Color
Properties” on page 92.
Setting the Light’s Intensity
The intensity of a light is controlled indirectly through the strength of its
separate color channels. If you want to adjust the strength of a light without
changing its color, you can use the HSV or HLS color models and adjust
V (value) or L (lightness).
Click on the RGB button beneath the color box of a light’s property editor. To
set values higher than 1 for a stronger light, type directly in the box to the left
of the slider.
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Setting Light Properties
Setting a Light’s Falloff
Falloff refers to the diminishing of a light’s intensity over distance, also called
attenuation. This mimics the way light behaves naturally. These options are
available only with point lights and spotlights.
You can set the distance at which the light begins to diminish, as well as the
distance at which the falloff is complete (darkness). This means you can set
the values so the falloff affects only those features you want. In addition, you
can control how quickly or slowly the light diminishes.
You can set the falloff value using the light’s property editor or its
3D manipulators.
To set the falloff from a property editor:
1. Select a light and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, select the light’s shader node.
2. In the light shader’s property editor, select the Light Falloff option.
3. Set the required Start Falloff and End Falloff distance values in the
Attenuation controls.
Start falloff = 0
End falloff = 4
Start falloff = 0
End falloff = 8
Start falloff = 6
End falloff = 8
Falloff
Start and End Falloff values. Using a point light, umbra = 0; bottom
corner of chess board is 0; top, left corner is 10.
4. Under Mode in the Light Attenuation section, choose a type of falloff:
-
Linear falloff is sharper and less realistic. When selected, the
Exponent parameter is automatically set to 1.
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-
Use Light Exponent falloff is an inverse square falloff, which is
more natural and realistic.
This option uses the value in the Exponent field to determine the
falloff. The default value is 2. A high value such as 5 causes light to
fall off very quickly, whereas a smaller value such as 0.1 makes the
falloff more gradual.
To set the falloff using 3D manipulators:
1. Select the spotlight or point light for which you want to set the falloff.
2. Press B to display the light’s 3D manipulators.
3. Press Tab until the light’s start and end falloff manipulators appear.
The top circle represents the
Start Falloff point.
The lower circle represents
the End Falloff point.
4. The exterior cone-angle control displays a light blue start falloff disc (if
falloff is already activated, you see this before displaying the 3D
manipulators).
5. Ctrl+click the disc at the base of the white cone angle cone to activate
the falloff.
6. Click and drag this disk toward or away from the light to set the Start value.
7. The exterior Cone Spread control also displays a magenta end falloff disk
at its base. Click and drag this disk toward or away from the light to set the
End value.
8. Shift+click and drag either disk to increase or decrease both Start and End
Falloff values simultaneously. The distance between the planes of each
disk remains the same.
9. To deactivate falloff, Ctrl+click either the start or end falloff disk.
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Setting a Spotlight
Setting a Spotlight
Spotlights are actually simple rigs made up of two separate parts: the spotlight
itself and its interest, a null that the spotlight always points toward. A spotlight
casts its rays in a cone aimed at its interest. Spotlights have special options that
control the size and shape of the cone. You can set these options using the
property editors for the spotlight’s shader and the spotlight itself, or the
spotlight’s 3D manipulators.
The white line indicates
the cone angle.
The yellow line indicates
the light’s spread angle.
To set the cone and spread angles from a property editor:
1. Select a spotlight and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, select the light’s shader node.
2. In the light shader’s property editor, set the Spread. This is the angle in
degrees of the inner, solid cone of full-intensity light.
3. Click the Light node, then set the Cone Angle. This is the angle in degrees
of the exterior cone light. The cone defines the maximum spread of light.
The white wireframe
outline corresponds to the
spotlight’s Cone Angle.
The inner, solid cone
corresponds to the
spotlight’s Spread Angle.
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To set the cone and spread angles using 3D manipulators:
1. Select a spotlight.
2. Press B to display the light’s manipulators.
3. Press Tab until the spotlight’s cone and spread-angle manipulators appear.
4. The exterior wireframe cone controls the light’s cone angle. Click the
edge of the cone and drag outward or inward to interactively increase or
decrease the Cone Angle value, respectively.
5. The interior yellow shaded cone controls the light’s spread angle. Click
the edge of the cone and drag outward or inward to interactively set the
Cone Spread value.
6. Shift+click and drag the edge of either cone to increase or decrease both
angles simultaneously. The distance between the angles of each cone
remains the same.
Viewing from the Spotlight
The Spot Light view in a 3D view lets you select from a list of spotlights
available in the scene. A spotlight view is useful to see what objects a spotlight
is lighting and from what angle.
Selecting a spotlight from the view menu switches the point of view in the
active viewport relative to the chosen spotlight. The point of view is set
according to the direction of the light cone defined for the chosen spotlight.
Changing the view from the 3D view directly affects the spotlight’s position or
cone angle.
For more information about other viewpoints, see “Viewing Your Work in 3D
Space” on page 59.
Creating Shadows
If you want your scene to have a more realistic look, you can create shadows
that appear to be cast by the objects in your scene. Shadows can make all the
difference in a scene: a lack of them can create a sterile environment, whereas
the right amount can make the same scene delightfully moody.
Shadows are controlled independently for each light source. This means that a
scene can have some lights casting shadows and others not.
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Creating a Volumic Light
To create shadows:
1. Select a light and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, select the light shader’s node.
2. In the light shader’s property editor, select Shadows Enabled.
3. Set the Umbra value with its slider.
This defines a transparency factor on the umbra (main) area of the shadow
(default 0.75). It controls how the shadow blends with the material on
which it is cast to create a more realistic shadow.
The more lights used to generate shadows, the longer the scene takes to render.
Creating a Volumic Light
Ask anyone who directs mystery TV shows, and they’ll tell you that you can
get a lot of mileage out of a spotlight and a fog machine. You can give your
spotlights—and by extension your scene—a feeling of space and texture by
making them volumic. Volumic lights are a great way to add a feeling of
realism, drama, or fantasy to a scene.
To create a volumic light:
1. Select the spotlight that you want to make volumic.
2. From the Materials and Fx library, choose Light > Volumic, then do one
of the following:
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Drag a volumic effect onto an empty area in a viewport. The volumic
effect is applied to all visible spotlights in the scene.
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Drag a volumic effect onto a spotlight. The effect is applied to that
spotlight only.
To modify a volumic light’s property:
1. Select a spotlight that has a volumic effect. Open the multi-purpose editor,
then click the Material and Fx Properties tab. Click the Volumic node.
2. Do any of the following:
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Adjust the Reflectance parameter to simulate the volume’s reflectivity.
A low value (0.5) simulates a volumic effect with low reflectivity, such
as dust. A higher value (greater than 2) creates a reflective volume, such
as dense smoke.
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You can set the distance from the light source at which the volumic
effect begins by using the Min Distance slider.
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Set the volumic light’s Shard parameters. They are disabled by
default, but you can activate shards, and set their intensity,
complexity, and resolution.
Refer to the Online Help for details on the different volumic light parameters.
Creating a Lens Flare
Lens flares occur when a light (usually point) source hits the camera’s lens at a
small enough angle to show lens “aberrations.” You can add several different
types of lens flares to your scene.
To create a lens flare:
1. Select the light with which you want to create a flare.
2. From the Materials and Fx library, choose Light > Flares, then do one of
the following:
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Drag a flare onto an empty area in a viewport. The flare effect is
applied to all visible lights in the scene.
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Drag a flare onto a light. The flare effect is applied to that light only.
To modify a lens flare’s property:
1. Select a light that has a lens flare. Open the multi-purpose editor, then
click the Material and Fx Properties tab. Click the Flare node.
2. Do any of the following:
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On the Flare tab, edit the flare’s size, brightness, and aspect ratio.
Creating a Lens Flare
All three images above use the same flare type. The left image is a default
flare.The middle one uses increased Size and Brightness values.
Notice how the flare’s colors become more saturated. The image on the right
“squashes” the effect by editing its Aspect Ratio value.
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On the Glow tab, define its glow properties.
The image on the left is the default glow of a flare (no stars). The middle one
shows a glow with a higher brightness value and larger size (glow radius).
The image on the right shows the same glow but with almost no falloff.
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On the Star tab, define its star rays and their properties. You can edit
the number of rays, their length (red arrow), and width (blue arrows).
The image on the left shows a default lens flare with the Star property on.
Refer to the Online Help for details on the different lens flare parameters.
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Creating a Glow Effect
You can quickly create a glow effect to any object or group of objects directly
from the material and fx library. The glow can be applied to any object in a
scene and deactivated or rendered with the click of a mouse.
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Glows are post-process; that is, they are added to the scene only after
rendering is completed.
To create a glow:
1. Select the object to which you want to apply a glow effect.
2. Create a render region in a viewport (press Q).
3. From the Materials and Fx library, choose Objects > Glow, then drag a
glow onto an object. The glow effect is applied to the object.
To modify a glow’s property:
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Select an object with a glow. Open the multi-purpose editor, then click the
Material and Fx Properties tab. Click the Glow node.
You can determine the color of the glow by adjusting the RGB sliders.
You can also set the size and texture noise of the effect from the Size and
Noise tabs.
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Cameras
Default glow
You can increase the size of the glow (above right) as well as
alter its noise-level amplitude (below).
0.1 Amplitude
0.5 Amplitude
0.9 Amplitude
For more information on glow properties, refer to Online Help.
Cameras
The best way to make an audience see what you want them to see is to get the
camera to do the work. The camera in Avid 3D is similar to a physical camera
in the real world. It defines the view that you can render.
Most scenes in Avid 3D have only one camera. However, some rigs may have
a fixed camera (from which the scene is rendered) and a second, freely
movable camera (to allow you to see the scene from different angles). For
information on the types of camera rigs available in Avid 3D, see “Camera
Rigs” on page 106.
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Cameras versus Viewpoints
Cameras are different from viewpoints. A viewpoint allows you to see a scene
in a viewport in a specific way. You can choose from four default viewpoints
in a viewport: User, Front, Top, and Right. You can also choose a camera view
in a viewport to see what the camera sees. For more information about
selecting views, see “Viewport Views” on page 66.
In many ways, cameras and viewpoints are similar, except that viewpoints are
not actual objects: they are only tools for viewing your scene. You cannot
animate a viewpoint, nor can you render from a viewpoint as you can from
a camera.
How Cameras Are Set Up
Cameras are actually simple rigs made up of two separate parts: the camera
itself and the camera interest, a null that the camera always points toward.
Each of these elements is viewable in the viewports.
Camera Direction Arrows
Camera
Camera Interest
The Camera
The camera is the camera is the camera. In the viewports, it is represented by a
wireframe control object of a camera which is, for rendering purposes,
invisible, but it allows you to manipulate the camera in 3D space. The camera
has a directional constraint to the camera interest.
The Camera Interest
The camera’s interest—what the camera is always looking at—is represented
by a null in the scene. You can translate and animate the null, as you would
any other object, to change the camera’s interest.
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Cameras
Camera Direction
The camera icon displays a blue and a green arrow. The blue arrow shows
where the camera is “looking”; that is, the direction the lens is facing. The
green arrow shows the camera’s up direction. You can change a camera’s up
direction by modifying its Roll parameter.
To change a camera’s roll:
1. Select the camera in the scene explorer or in a viewport, then open the
multi-purpose editor.
2. Open the camera’s Direction Cns property editor.
3. Make sure the Roll property is set to Active.
4. Set the Roll parameter.
You can also click the Camera Roll button in the control bar or press the
L key to interactively change the roll on a viewport’s camera.
For more information on how to animate a camera roll, see “Animating
Cameras” on page 227.
The Active Camera
Some procedures in Avid 3D refer to the active camera. The active camera is
the camera whose view is displayed in viewport B. If viewport B is not set to a
camera view, then the active camera is the the one named Camera.
Making Cameras Visible
The default camera in Avid 3D is a perspective camera. When you first create
a scene, the entire default camera and its interest are hidden.
To make the default camera visible:
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In the scene explorer, set the scope to Cameras, select the Camera node,
and press H to display the camera. You can display the camera’s interest
the same way. If you want to display the entire rig, tree-select either node
and press H.
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Working with Cameras
You’ll probably want to move your camera around a bit to capture just the
right angles. You may also need to switch back and forth between different
cameras, if possible, to compare points of view.
Selecting Cameras and Camera Interests
Cameras or their interests can be tricky to select. Luckily, there are several
ways to select either or both.
To select a camera or camera interest:
t
n
Do one of the following:
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Locate the camera or interest in a 3D view and click it to select.
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From the Animation Tools panel, click the Select Active Camera or
Select Active Camera Interest button. This selects the camera used
in viewport B.
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From the scene explorer, choose Cameras. This changes the scope of
the scene explorer so that it only shows the cameras and camera
interests in your scene. Select a camera or interest from the list.
To select the entire camera rig, tree-select the camera or its interest.
Selecting Camera Views
Camera views let you display your scene in a viewport from the point of view
of a particular camera. If you have more than one camera in your scene, you
can display a different camera view in each viewport.
Choosing a camera from a viewport’s views menu switches the viewpoint to
that of a “real” camera in your scene. Every camera in your scene is available
from any viewport views menu. All other views such as User, Top, Front, and
Right are orthogonal viewpoints and are not associated to an actual camera.
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Working with Cameras
Choose a camera from the list to
switch the viewport to that camera’s
view.
Aside from the user-created
cameras, you can select a
predefined orthographic view.
Camera Safe Areas
To ensure that you are framing your scene without potentially cutting off
important scene elements, you can display a camera’s safe area.
To toggle display of the camera’s safe area in a viewport:
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In the Display Options panel, click the Show/Hide Safe Area button.
Positioning Cameras
Once you select a camera, you can translate, rotate, and scale it as you would
any other object. However, scaling a camera only affects the size of the icon
and does not change any of the camera properties.
Generally, the most intuitive way of positioning cameras is to set a viewport to
a camera view and then use the viewport navigation tools to change the
camera’s position. As you navigate in the viewport, the camera is subject to
any and all transformations that are necessary to keep its interest in the center
of its focal view.
Below is a list of available navigation tools. For more information about
navigating in 3D views, see “Navigating in Viewports” on page 71.
Navigation Tool Description
Pan & Zoom
Zooms into and out of the scene or pans in all viewports.
Orbit
Rotates the camera around its point of interest.
Dolly
Moves the camera towards or away from its interest.
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Navigation Tool Description
Roll
Rolls the camera about its Z axis.
Note: You cannot keyframe camera roll from a 3D view.
Instead, you have to do it from the camera’s constraints property
editor. For more information about keying camera roll, see
“Animating a Camera Roll” on page 228.
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When you position the camera from a camera view, using the Frame (F) and
Frame All (A) commands change the camera’s position.
Undoing/Redoing Camera Moves
Since positioning cameras is often a process of trial and error, you’ll probably
find yourself wanting to undo and redo camera moves. Camera moves are
stored separately from other actions; therefore, the standard undo and redo
functions (Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y) have no effect on camera moves.
•
Press Alt+Z to undo the last camera move.
•
Press Alt+Y to redo the last undone camera move.
Resetting Camera Position
If you’ve zoomed in and out too much and the perspective on your camera is in
need of a reset or refresh, press R. This resets the camera in the viewport in
which the cursor is.
Setting Camera Properties
The Camera Property Editor
The Camera property editor contains every parameter needed to define how a
camera “sees” your scene.
To open the camera property editor:
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Select a camera whose properties you want to edit and open the multipurpose editor. In the Geometry and Deform Properties tab, click the
second Camera node.
Setting Camera Properties
Setting the Field of View
The field of view is the angular measurement of how much the camera can see
at any one time. By changing the field of view, you can distort the perspective
to give a narrow, peephole effect or a wide, fish-eye effect.
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Field of View settings have no effect on orthographic cameras. Instead, you
can adjust the Ortho Height parameter to include more or less of the scene in
the camera’s view.
To set the field of view:
1. Select a camera and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, click the second Camera node.
2. In the Field of View section, select whether you want to specify the
Vertical or Horizontal field of view. Avid 3D calculates the other
dimension using the aspect ratio.
3. Set Angle to the desired value in degrees.
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The camera’s Vertical field of view was made large enough to accommodate
the entire building. The Horizontal field of view was automatically calculated
based on the aspect ratio.
Using the same camera in the same location, the Vertical field of view is
much smaller, thus making only a small part of the building visible.
Selecting a Projection Method
You can easily change any camera from an orthographic to a perspective projection.
To select a projection:
1. Select a camera and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, click the second Camera node.
2. In the property editor, you can select one of two projection methods:
-
Orthographic: all camera rays are parallel and objects do not change
size as they change distance from the camera.
This projection is useful for images requiring a “pseudo-3D” look.
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Animating Cameras
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Field of View settings have no effect on orthographic cameras. Instead, you
can adjust the Ortho Height parameter to include more or less of the scene in
the camera’s view.
-
(Default) Perspective: the projection simulates depth. This
projection is useful for simulating a physical camera.
Animating Cameras
You can animate a camera’s interest to make the camera follow a path or
object. You can also animate the camera itself to create a camera roll.
Animating the Camera Interest
Animating a camera’s interest is the easiest way to keep any action in the
scene in frame. The two most basic ways to do this are to set the interest on a
path or to constrain it to an object in the scene.
To animate the interest with a path:
1. Create a curve by dragging a curve object from the Object Library into a
viewport.
2. Edit the curve as desired—see “Modifying Points and Polygons” on page 170.
3. Select the camera’s interest or click the Select Active Camera Interest
button in the Animation Tools panel.
4. Click the Set Object on Motion Path button in the Animation Tools panel.
5. Pick the curve to use as the path. Keys are created at each end of the path
(corresponding to the first and last frames on the timeline range), and the
interest’s intermediate position along the path is interpolated.
For more information on how to create and edit path animation, see “Path
Constraints” on page 323.
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To animate the interest with a constraint:
1. Select the camera’s interest or click the Select Active Camera Interest
button in the Animation Tools panel.
2. From the Animation Tools panel, click the Position Constraint button
then click on the object to which you would like the camera interest to
remained constrained.
For more information on how to define position constraints, see “Position
Constraints” on page 320.
Animating a Camera Roll
Although you can use the L key to roll a camera, you cannot mark it for
animation as you would the scaling, rotation, or translation controls. Instead,
you must open the camera constraint’s property editor and mark the Roll
parameter from there.
To animate a camera roll:
1. Select a camera and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, click the Direction Cns node.
2. Use the Roll parameter to control how much you want the camera to roll.
A negative value makes the camera roll to the left and a positive value
makes the camera roll to the right.
3. You can adjust the Roll slider and key the parameter by clicking the
parameter’s animation icon (little green box).
The parameter’s animation icon indicates how the
parameter has been marked or keyed:
Red indicates the parameter value is keyed at the
current frame.
Green indicates that the parameter is keyed but the
current frame is not a keyframe.
Yellow indicates that the parameter’s value has been
changed but not yet keyed.
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If you wish to further edit the roll of your camera, you can edit the Roll
parameter’s function curve. To do this, click the Function Curve Editor tab on
the multi-purpose editor to open the animation editor and navigate the
Camera Effects
animation tree to select the roll’s function curve. For more information on
working in the animation editor, see “Working in the Function Curve Editor”
on page 286.
4. To remove all animation from the Roll parameter, right-click the
animation icon and choose Remove Animation.
Camera Effects
In real life, there are many different kinds of cameras and lenses. In
photography you can change the lens on a camera to get a certain kind of
shot—and the same holds true in Avid 3D, where you can change your
camera’s rendering properties by applying camera effects.
Depth of Field
To add a sense of realism to a scene, you can add some depth of field, which is
an effect that simulates a plane of maximum sharpness and blurs objects in
front of, close to, or beyond this plane.
High Depth of Field
With a far depth of field setting,
only objects farther from the
camera are in focus.
Low Depth of Field
With a near depth of field, only objects
close to the camera are in focus.
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Fisheye
The fisheye effect simulates a fisheye lens on a camera. That is, it presents a
wide-angle image with by distorting it. The farther away from the center of the
camera’s viewing plane, the more distorted the image.
Z-Depth
The z-depth effect renders a greyscale image, with the shades of gray varying
according to the surface's distance from the camera. The brightness increases
from black to white as the distance is increased.
Applying a Camera Effect
Camera effects can be applied to any selectable camera in the scene. Effects
cannot be applied to the predefined camera views (User, Top, Front, Right).
Applying an effect to a camera will delete any existing camera effect.
To apply an effect to a camera:
1. Choose Scene > Camera from the Material and Fx Library to display the
camera effect thumbnails.
2. Do one of the following:
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Drag a thumbnail onto an empty area in a viewport. The camera effect
is applied to the camera that is currently active in viewport B.
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Drag a thumbnail onto a camera in any viewport, or onto a camera
node in an explorer.
Applying the None effect clears any existing effect from the camera.
Camera Effects
Editing a Camera Effect
All camera effects have parameters that can be modified to give you exactly
the look you want for your scene. You can find a camera’s effect parameters on
its property page.
To edit a camera effect:
t
Select a camera and open the multi-purpose editor. In the Geometry and
Deform Properties tab, click the second Camera node.
Refer to the Online Help for details on the different camera effect parameters.
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Chapter 9
Textures and Materials
While an object’s geometry determines its shape, its surface appearance
determines how it looks, and can even suggest how it feels. This is where
textures and materials come in.
An object’s appearance is a combination of its material (its color, transparency,
reflectiveness and other attributes) and its texture (its applied surface
appearance). These properties work together to make your objects seem as real
or as unreal as you like.
Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Previewing with the Render Region
Finessing textures and materials can sometimes be a process of trial and error,
and you’ll probably want to keep track of your progress. While the viewports’
Textured display is helpful, it isn’t as detailed as a render—but doing a full
render with every change you make can become a repetitive and timeconsuming task.
You can view a rendering of any part of your scene quickly and easily using a
render region. Rather than repeatedly setting up and launching a preview
render, you can simply draw a render region over any viewport and see how
your scene will appear in the final render as you make changes.
Because the render region uses the same renderer as the final render, you can
set the region to render your previews at final output quality. This gives you a
very accurate preview of what your final rendered scene will look like.
You can resize and move a render region, select objects and elements within
the region, as well as modify its properties to optimize your preview. Whatever
is displayed inside that region is continuously updated as you make changes to
the rendering properties of the objects. Only this area is refreshed when
changing object, camera, and light properties, when adjusting rendering
options, or when applying textures.
When the render region is refreshed, a series of tiles starts filling in the region
with the rendered image. Each time you change properties that affect the
appearance of objects in your scene, the region is automatically refreshed. You
do not have to wait for the region to finish refreshing to make more changes to
your scene—a change simply interrupts the current refresh and restarts it to
include the updates you have just made.
Creating a Render Region
You can draw a rectangular region of any size around the objects you want
rendered interactively within any of the four viewports. You can draw only one
render region at a time in any viewport. A region can render any view
displayed in a viewport: User, Top, Front, Right, spotlights, and camera views.
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Previewing with the Render Region
To create a render region:
1. Click the Render Region tool in the rendering and preview controls or
press Q to activate the render region mode.
The mouse pointer shows a square with a sphere in it to indicate that you
are in region mode. You can now define a region in any viewport.
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To delete the current render region, press Q to activate the render region tool
and click in any viewport.
2. Drag the mouse pointer diagonally across the viewport to create the render
region. The region is drawn as a box with a yellow border and blue
resizing handles.
3. As soon as you release the mouse button, the region is drawn and
whatever is displayed in that region is rendered.
The render appears as a series of tiles that fill up the region. Each tile is
outlined with an angled bracket at each corner, signifying which tiles are
being updated at each refresh. When you make a change that affects the
visual appearance of the scene, only the part of the scene shown in the
render region is rendered.
If you wish to start over, simply draw a new region anywhere you like.
4. Deactivate the render region mode by either pressing Q again or Esc.
Moving and Resizing a Render Region
You can resize and reposition the region in the viewport by dragging its
border. The mouse pointer changes to indicate the type of action you can
perform with the region. The placement and size of the render region are
limited by the layout and size of the viewports themselves.
To move a region:
1. Position the pointer on the border of the render region’s bounding box.
The pointer changes to a four-way directional arrow.
2. Click and drag the pointer in any direction to reposition the region. Once
positioned, release the mouse button and the region is refreshed.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
To resize a region:
1. Position the pointer over one of the blue squares on the corners or borders
of the render region. The pointer changes to a directional arrow.
2. Click and drag the pointer to resize the region. Release the mouse button
and the region is refreshed.
Hiding the Render Region
Planning to make several consecutive changes to your scene and you don’t want
render region refreshes to launch one after another? Try hiding the region:
To hide the render region:
t
Press Shift+Q to hide the render region. Pressing Shift+Q again redisplays
the region identical to how it was defined prior to hiding.
Closing the Render Region
Once a render region has been defined, and the render region tool is still
active, click anywhere on the screen to close the region. You do not have to
wait until the region has finished rendering.
Dragging a new render region over an existing one closes the original region
and renders the new one.
n
Deactivate the render region mode by either pressing Q or Esc.
Setting Render Region Options
The render region renders the scene in the same way as a final output render.
As such, the rendering options you set for the render region give you a very
accurate preview of what your final rendered scene will look like.
These rendering options are a subset of the global rendering options, but they
affect only the render region and are not used for the final render.
Previewing the changes you make to your scene in a render region is an
interactive process. To speed up the “tune-preview-retune” cycle, use the
region’s rendering options to optimize the display.
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Previewing with the Render Region
To change the render region display mode:
t
In the tools and options panel, click the Options tab, then click the Render
Region Options tab.
You can change the Display Mode setting to display the alpha channel,
z-depth, and other options.
To set the accuracy of the region:
You can quickly set the rendering accuracy (sampling level) with the slider on
the right side of the region border:
1. Position the pointer over the blue rectangle on the right side of the region
border. The Max Sample slider appears.
2. Drag the slider down to decrease the maximum sample level and increase
the render speed in the region.
Tracking Objects with the Render Region
Rather than always adjusting your render region’s size and location while you
are working in a scene, you can set the render region to track an object,
hierarchy, group of objects, or even a part of an object (cluster).
To set the render region to track an object:
1. Select an object in any viewport.
2. In the tools and options panel, click the Options tab, then click the Render
Region Options tab and select Track Selection.
3. If necessary, open a render region in the viewport in which you wish to
track the selection.
As the object moves, the render region follows it. If the object changes size,
the render region is recalculated to fit around it.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Materials
In the real world, an object’s appearance is determined by two things: what it’s
made of and its color. These determine how light reacts when it strikes the
object’s surface, which, in turn, determines how we see it. For example:
•
A ball might absorb all the colors of the spectrum except red, which
bounces back to our eyes; therefore, we perceive the ball as being red.
•
Some light is absorbed by clear glass, some is bounced back, but most
passes through it; therefore, we perceive glass as being transparent and
slightly reflective.
•
Mirrors absorb some light, but most is bounced back; therefore, we
perceive very little of the mirror’s own color and more of the surrounding
area’s reflected light.
In Avid 3D, you can define an object’s color, its transparency (how much light
passes through it), and its reflectivity (how much light bounces back). By
adjusting these settings you can make an object appear to be made of almost
anything: glass, metal, plastic, and more. Appropriately, this combination of
parameters is referred to as an object’s material.
Applying Materials
The material and fx library includes a wide selection of colors and materials
that you can apply to your objects. They are divided into two categories:
•
Colors applies color to an object, with no transparency or reflectiveness.
•
Surfaces, Glass, and Base Materials apply colors, transparency, and
reflectiveness to simulate substances like metal, plastic, porcelain, and glass.
To apply a material to an object:
t
Drag a material from the Material and Fx Library in the library panel onto
the object.
If the object has clusters defined, a dialog box appears in order to provide
you with the option of applying the material to selected clusters. For more
information on applying materials to clusters, see “Applying Materials
and Textures to Polygons” on page 248.
Once you have applied a material, you can edit its attributes to get exactly the
look you want.
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Materials
Surface Color
You can create a very specific color for an object by defining its specular,
diffuse, and ambient colors separately in the object’s material property editor.
Specular
Diffuse
Ambient
n
•
The diffuse color is the color that the light scatters equally in all
directions so that the surface appears to have the same brightness from all
viewing angles. It usually contributes the most to an object’s overall
appearance and it can be considered the “main” color of the surface.
•
The specular color is the color of shiny highlights on the surface. It is
usually set to white or to a brighter shade of the diffuse color. The size of
the highlight depends on the defined Specular Decay value.
•
The ambient color appears on areas that are shielded from light but are
still visible due to an ambient light, which is a non-directional light that
pervades the entire scene.
For more realistic results, you may want to make the Ambient color identical
to the Diffuse color and let the scene’s Ambient Lighting color control the
ambient value.
To edit an object’s surface color properties:
1. Select the object.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab.
Select the object’s material node, or a cluster’s material node.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
This icon represents an
object’s material node.
If the object’s material was originally dragged
from the library, its name appears as the property
editor title; otherwise, the default title is “Phong.”
Textures override
surface color
properties. If a
texture were
applied to this
object, these
icons would be
red and the color
sliders would be
unavailable.
This icon represents a
cluster’s material node.
Transparency
The material’s Transparency parameters control an object’s transparency. The
more transparent an object is, the more you can see through it.
75% transparency
240
70% transparency with 30% reflection
Materials
As an object becomes more transparent, its other surface parameters, such as
those related to diffuse, ambient, and specular areas of illumination, become
less visible. If an object’s material is fully transparent, its other material
attributes are not visible at all. You can compensate for this by increasing the
attributes’ values, such as changing specular color values that were 1 on an
opaque object to 10 or higher on a transparent object.
Setting Transparency Values
You adjust transparency by modifying the Transparency options in the
material’s property editor. Transparency values usually range from 0 to 1, with
a value of 0 representing no transparency and 1 making the object completely
transparent. For a transparent surface such as glass, a value of 0.9 is more
convincing than a value of 1.
To set a material’s transparency value:
1. Select the object.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab.
Select the object’s material node, or a cluster’s material node.
3. Use the Transparency property’s color sliders to set the transparency value.
n
Although you can only drag a color parameter’s slider to a maximum value of
1, you can increase the values by typing higher numbers in the parameter’s
text box.
Enables transparency
Textures applied with transparency active
override transparency color properties. If a
such a texture were applied to this object,
this icon would be red and the color sliders
would be unavailable.
Defines how much of each color channel
will pass through the surface. The average
of the R, G, and B values (equivalent to the
Luminance and Value values in the HLS
and HSV color models) defines the
transparency value.
Determines the number of times the light ray
is sampled during rendering. A high value is
smoother but takes longer to render.
Determines the smoothness of the
surface. A Frost value of 0 is glossy; the
higher the value the more diffuse, or
"frosted," the effect.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Refraction
When transparency is incorporated into an object’s surface definition, you can
also define the refraction value. Refraction is the bending of light rays as they
pass from one transparent medium to another, such as from air to glass or water.
Refraction value of 0.9
n
Refraction value of 1.1
The use of refraction increases the scene’s render time.
You can set the refraction by modifying the Transparency options in the
material’s property editor. The default refraction value is 1, which represents the
density of air. This value allows light rays to pass straight through a transparent
surface without bending. Higher values make the light rays bend, while values
less than 1 makes light rays bend in the opposite direction, simulating light
passing from air into an even less dense material (such as a vacuum).
Refractive index values usually vary between 0 and 2, but you can type in
higher values as needed.
To set a material’s refractive index value:
1. Select the object.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab.
Select the object’s material node, or a cluster’s material node.
3. Ensure that Transparency Enable is active.
4. Enter the Index of Refraction value.
n
242
You can enter the actual physical refraction values for real matter and the
behavior of light passing through it will be simulated.
Materials
The following table lists some common transparent materials and their
refractive value:
Material
Refractive Value
Air
1.00
Ice
1.31
Water
1.33
Acetone
1.36
Alcohol
1.39
Glass
1.50–1.89
Polystyrene
1.55
Emerald
1.57
Topaz
1.61
Ruby/Sapphire
1.77
Crystal
2.00
Diamond
2.42
Reflectivity
As you may suspect, a material’s Reflection parameters control an object’s
reflectivity. The more reflective an object is, the more other objects in the
scene appear as reflections on the object’s surface.
No reflectivity in ball’s material
35% reflectivity
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
As an object becomes more reflective, its other surface parameters, such as
those related to diffuse, ambient, and specular areas of illumination, become
less visible. If an object’s material is fully reflective, its other material
attributes are not visible at all.
n
As you increase an object’s reflectivity, you can keep its other surface
attributes visible by drastically raising their values. For example, a specular
highlight that was set to 1 on a non-reflective object could be set to 1000 on a
highly reflective object.
Setting Reflection Values
You adjust reflectivity by modifying the Reflection options in the material’s
property editor. Reflection values usually range from 0 to 1, with 0
representing no reflectivity and 1 representing complete reflectivity, giving the
object a perfectly mirrored surface.
To set a material’s reflectivity value:
1. Select the object.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab.
Select the object’s material node, or a cluster’s material node.
3. Use the Reflection property’s color sliders to set the reflectivity value.
n
Although you can only drag a color parameter’s slider to a maximum value of
1, you can increase the values by typing higher numbers in the parameter’s
text box.
Enables reflection
Defines how much of each color channel is
absorbed by the surface. The average of
the R, G, and B values (equivalent to the
Luminance and Value values in the HLS
and HSV color models) defines the
reflectivity value.
Determines the number of times the light ray
is sampled during rendering. A high value is
smoother but takes longer to render.
244
Determines the smoothness of the
surface. A Gloss value of 0 is glossy; the
higher the value the more diffuse, or
"frosted," the effect.
Textures
Textures
Textures apply an image or “feel” to an object’s surface. Textures fall into two
categories: 2D (images and videos) and 3D (procedural). Both kinds of
textures have a myriad of uses. You can:
•
Apply textures to an entire object.
•
Use video files to create animated textures.
•
Use textures to simulate reflections and complex geometry as well as
control object transparency.
•
Animate all texture properties.
2D Textures
2D textures are images that can be wrapped around an object’s surface, much
like a piece of paper that’s wrapped around an object. To use a 2D texture, you
start with any type of picture file (JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PSD, etc.) or video file
(AVI, QuickTime, or AAF). Picture and video files must contain data that
describe all the pixels in an image, RGB, or RGBA data. Preinstalled 2D
textures can be found in the still images and video libraries in the library panel.
2D textures are “wrapped around” objects.
n
When using TIFF files as 2D textures, make sure to save them without LZW
compression. LZW-compressed TIFFs are not supported by the renderer and
will not render correctly.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
3D Textures
3D textures are solid “procedural” textures. Procedural means that they are
mathematically calculated at points in 3D space—not wrapped around a
surface like 2D textures. In other words, unlike 2D textures, 3D textures are
projected “into” objects rather than onto them.
This means they can be used to represent substances having internal structure,
like the rings and knots of wood or the veins in rocks or marble. Preinstalled
3D textures can be found in the material and fx library in the library panel.
3D textures are applied throughout an object.
Applying Textures
To apply a texture to an object:
t
Drag a texture from the Material and Fx, Still Images, or Video library on
the library panel onto the object.
If the texture has an alpha channel defined, a dialog box appears in order
to provide you with the option of using the alpha channel as a
transparency map or a bump map. For more information on using textures
as maps, see “Using Textures as Maps” on page 254.
If the object has clusters defined, a dialog box appears in order to provide
you with the option of applying the texture to selected clusters. For more
information on applying textures to clusters, see “Applying Materials and
Textures to Polygons” on page 248.
n
246
You can quickly create a textured grid by dragging a still image or video clip
from the library panel into a viewport. When the dialog box appears, select
Floating Image Plate. An appropriately sized grid is created and the image or
video is applied as a texture.
Textures
Viewing Textures
You can view an object’s 2D textures in the multi-purpose editor.
To view 2D textures:
1. Select an object.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, select the Texture Clip Viewer tab.
The explorer on the left lists all of the 2D textures applied to the object.
Click a texture’s node to see it in the right pane.
Repeating and Tiling a Texture
Most textures can be repeated to create a wallpaper-like pattern by tiling the
texture repeatedly. When a picture is repeated, its edges should be absolutely
symmetrical; if not, you’ll see seams.
A texture’s Repeats parameters are available from its property editor, in the
Material and Fx Properties tab of the multi-purpose editor. You can define the
number of texture repetitions in X, Y, and Z. For example, a value of 2 in X
and Y shrinks the texture so it fits onto the object four times. You can also use
the Alternate U and Alternate V parameters to control how the repeated
textures are oriented.
Alternate U Options
Alternate V Options
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
If you have a Texture display type active in the viewport, you can see the results
of any changes immediately. You can also view the results in the render region.
If you are working with a 3D texture, you can also define its tiling in the Z axis.
Removing Textures
To remove a texture:
t
n
Drag a color item from the Materials and Fx library in the library panel
onto the object or cluster.
Deleting a texture does not remove the texture support from the object.
Applying Materials and Textures to Polygons
You can assign a material or texture locally to selections of polygons and/or
polygon clusters on a polygon mesh object. If you choose the latter, a cluster is
created from the selection. The cluster’s local material always overrides the
one assigned to the entire object.
Polygon mesh object
with global material
assigned.
248
Object with specific
polygons selected.
Local material
assigned to
selected polygons.
Applying Materials and Textures to Polygons
In the multi-purpose editor’s explorer, a cluster’s material or texture appears
under its own node when the object is selected.
The object’s material
is here.
The clusters’ textures
are here.
The clusters’
materials are here.
To assign a texture or a material to polygons or polygon clusters:
1. Select one or more polygons or polygon clusters.
2. Drag a material or texture from the library panel to the selected polygons
or clusters.
Managing Cluster Overlap
Although assigning materials to polygon clusters is a simple task, it can get
tricky when clusters overlap. Fortunately, Avid 3D has a mechanism for
dealing with materials on overlapping polygon clusters. When you assign a
material to a cluster or polygon selection that overlaps another cluster, the
dialog box shown below appears.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Each option results in a different outcome. For example, if you start with the
grid shown below and apply a surface shader to the selected cluster:
The grid shown
left has two
clusters. The
unselected
cluster has a local
material (red) applied to it,
while the selected cluster
does not.
•
Choosing Yes removes the area of overlap from the selected cluster.
When you apply a
local material to
the selected
cluster, specifying
that the overlap
be removed from the selected
cluster produces the results
shown here. Polygons where the
clusters overlap are removed from the
selected cluster.
•
Choosing No removes the area of overlap from the existing cluster.
When you apply a
local material to
the selected
cluster, specifying
that the overlap be
removed from the existing
cluster produces the results
shown here. Polygons where the
clusters overlap are removed from the
existing cluster.
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Applying Materials and Textures to Polygons
•
Choosing Cancel allows the clusters to overlap.
When you apply a
local material to
the selected
cluster, specifying
that the overlap
be allowed produces the
results shown here. The last
material applied (blue in this case)
is displayed.
Changing the Display Order for Overlapping Clusters
Each cluster that you create is assigned a sort order value. When clusters with
local materials overlap, this value controls the order in which they’re drawn.
The lower a cluster’s sort order value, the earlier it’s drawn. Thus the cluster
with the highest sort order value is always drawn on top of any other
overlapping clusters.
n
When you open scenes created using a version of SOFTIMAGE|XSI where sort
order was not assigned to clusters, all of the clusters in the scene are assigned
a sort order value based on the order in which they were loaded from the file.
Since each newly created cluster is automatically given the highest sort order
value in the scene, the last cluster created is drawn on top by default. However,
you can change any cluster’s sort order value to control where it is drawn
relative to the clusters that it overlaps and those that overlap it.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
The grid shown here has three
overlapping polygon clusters, each with
its own material. Each
one of the clusters also
has a unique sort order
value:
100 for the red cluster
102 for the blue cluster
104 for the green cluster
When you change the green cluster’s
sort order value to 99, it is drawn below
both the red and blue
clusters. However, the
blue cluster is still drawn
on top of the red one
because it has a higher
sort order value.
To change a cluster’s sort order value:
1. Select the cluster and click its node in the Geometry and Deform
Properties tab in the multi-purpose editor.
2. Change the cluster’s Sort Order value.
The cluster is now drawn below those with a higher sort order value and
above those with a lower sort order value.
n
252
If you assign the same sort order value to multiple clusters, they are drawn
according to their internal order within the scene file. To avoid any confusion
about which cluster’s material will be displayed, it’s best that each one has a
unique sort order value.
Texture Projections and Supports
Texture Projections and Supports
Whenever you apply a texture to an object, a texture support object is also
created and appears around the object.
Texture supports let you control the way the texture is projected on the object.
For example, if you choose a cylindrical object and a cylindrical mapping
type, the texture support wraps around the cylinder and defines a cylindrical
shape from which the texture is projected.
The dark green (white when
selected) lines represent the
type of texture projection
Dragging the red, yellow and
green manipulators allows you
to translate or scale the texture
across the object’s surface in
the U or V directions.
To toggle the visibility of texture supports:
t
Click the Show/Hide Control Objects and Rig Handles button in the
Display Options panel.
Scaling, Rotating, and Translating the Texture Support Object
You can interactively transform a texture-support object directly in a viewport
using the scale, rotate, and translate commands from the keyboard (X, C, and
V keys) or the Local Transform property editor. The texture is constrained to
the support so that when you rotate or scale the support, it also affects the
texture. For example, if you enlarge the texture support, the texture image is
also enlarged.
You can also animate these transformations with keyframes.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Modifying the Texture’s Projection
You can change how the texture is projected onto an object through the texture
support’s property editor.
To modify the texture’s projection:
1. Select the texture support in a viewport.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Geometry and Deform Properties
tab, then select the Texture Support node.
You can change the projection type to
suit an object that has been
deformed or otherwise modified, or to
create a particular texturing effect.
Determines the object’s local plane
on which the texture will be projected.
Rotates and flips the texture by
exchanging the U and V directions of
the texture coordinates.
Using Textures as Maps
You can use textures to precisely control a variety of your objects’ attributes:
bumps and ridges, transparency, and environment. Using textures to drive
these attributes lets you clearly define where they are applied and to what
degree. The texture acts as a map that the attribute follows.
254
•
Bump Maps simulate relief on objects by perturbing the surface shading
according to an image map. The result is the illusion of bumps, ridges, and
imperfections, but with no change to the objects’ geometry.
•
Displacement Maps, though similar to bump maps, actually perturb
objects’ rendered geometry according to an image map. This creates
bumps, ridges, and other surface variations that cast shadows that
correctly follow the displacement.
•
Transparency Maps make an object’s surface transparent or opaque,
according to an image map. This is useful for “cutting holes” in otherwise
solid surfaces without modifying the surfaces’ geometry.
Using Textures as Maps
•
Environment Maps use their source images to surround the scene with a
simulated environment, which shows up as reflections on the surfaces of
reflective objects. They can also be used to create backgrounds or light scenes.
Bump Maps
Although real surfaces can be perfectly smooth, you are more likely to
encounter surfaces with flaws, bumps, and ridges. One of the most basic ways
to create these types of “bumps” on a surface is to use a bump map.
On an object, bump maps are used as regularly as textures. They are necessary
when you want your object to look realistic. Although bump maps do not change
the geometry of an object, they do perturb the direction of reflected light rays.
This affects the shading, giving the illusion of a pattern being embossed on the
surface. Bump maps, like texture maps, require a texture projection.
Bump Factor 0
Bump Factor 20
Texture Used
Upper left: The dragonfly’s body is textured with a bug-like texture, but the
bump mapping is set to 0 (top left), which makes the effect unapparent.
Lower left: Bump mapping is on and the Bump Factor is set to 20. A positive
value bumps outward and a negative one bumps inward.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Selecting a Bump Map Image
When you create or select an image to use as a bump map, remember that
grayscale or black-and-white images are easier to work with. That’s because
you can quickly identify how the bump map will appear on the target surface.
Black areas of the image create ridges, while white areas create indentations.
Wireframe object showing
light position.
Bump map texture
repeated 5 times
in X and Y.
Because the texture is a white
circle, each repeat creates an
indentation, while the
surrounding black area is
raised.
Bump map texture
repeated 5 times
in X and Y.
Because the texture is a
black circle, each repeat
creates a raised area,
while the surrounding
white area is indented.
Creating a Bump Map
To create a bump map:
1. Drag a texture from the Material and Fx, Still Images, or Video library on
the library panel onto the object.
If the texture has an alpha channel defined, a dialog box appears in order
to provide you with the option of using the alpha channel as a
transparency map or a bump map. Select the Bump option then click OK.
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Using Textures as Maps
If the object has clusters defined, a dialog box appears in order to provide
you with the option of applying the texture to selected clusters. For more
information on applying textures to clusters, see “Applying Materials and
Textures to Polygons” on page 248.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab.
Click the texture’s node to open its property editor.
3. Use the Bump Mapping parameters to enable and modify the texture’s
bump map properties.
Enables bump mapping.
Enables using the image’s alpha
channel for the bump map.
Otherwise, the image itself is used
for the bump map.
Controls the smoothness of the bumps in U, V,
and depth. The higher the number, the
smoother the bumps.
The degree of the bumps. A
negative value embosses the bump
into the object’s surface.
Displacement Maps
In addition to bump maps, you can also use displacement maps which, unlike
bump maps, distort the geometry of an object to create ripples, ridges, or just
plain bumps during rendering. Unlike regular bump mapping that “fakes” the
look of real texture, the edges are visibly raised and can cast shadows that
follow the displacement effect. Displacement affects the geometry of the
object during the rendering process.
Displacement map
Bump map
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Transparency Maps
You can use a picture to define areas of transparency on your object. The alpha
channel or RGB intensity of the picture file is used and a factor is applied to
map a pattern of varying degrees of transparency on the object’s material.
Wing model
Texture used
The illustration above shows the
wing as it was modeled. Once the
wing texture is applied as a
transparency map, you can see
through the wing (right) although it
doesn’t actually have hundreds of
tiny holes to see through.
To apply a texture with transparency:
1. Apply a texture to a cluster or object, as described in “Applying Textures”
on page 246.
2. Adjust the transparency settings as described in “Setting Transparency
Values” on page 241.
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Using Textures as Maps
Environment Maps
Environment maps are used mainly to create an environment that completely
encompasses a scene. Environment maps are unique because they don’t have
to be applied to an object, but they still simulate a geometric object’s
characteristics. In a certain sense, they are textures that encompass an entire
scene’s background, rather than any single object. Furthermore, the
environment map is reflected on object’s surfaces and adds to the scene’s
ambient color and light.
To create a background with an environment map:
1. From the Material and Fx library on the library panel, choose Scene >
Environment. Drag an item from the library onto the background in a viewport.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab,
then click the Environment node.
3. From the Environment Mode list, choose a mode for mapping the image:
-
Spherical maps the image spherically around the scene.
-
Cylindrical maps the image cylindrically around the scene.
-
Cubic Strip takes an image in which the faces of a cube are laid out
horizontally, side by side, and maps it in a cubic shape around the scene.
-
Cube Cross takes an image in which a cube has been unfolded to
look like a cross and maps it in a cubic shape around the scene.
-
Cube Cross Sideways is a cubic cross, but rotated 90 degrees.
4. Adjust the Background parameter to control the degree to which the
image appears as the scene’s background.
5. Adjust the Transformation settings, if necessary, to transform the
environment map image.
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Chapter 9 Textures and Materials
Using Environment Maps to Light a Scene
Like the environments in the object library, environment maps surrounds the
scene with an image. However, environment maps have a set of parameters
that allow you to control the image’s contribution to the scene’s lighting and
reflections, meaning that you can light your scenes with environment maps.
This makes them ideally suited for green screens, blue screens, and imagebased lighting effects. However, this added functionality comes at a cost of
increased render times.
To light a scene using an environment map:
1. Apply an environment map to the scene as described in “Environment
Maps” on page 259.
2. In the multi-purpose editor, click the Material and Fx Properties tab,
then click the Environment node.
3. Adjust the Reflection parameter to control the intensity of the reflected
environment map. Higher values create brighter reflections.
4. Adjust the Image parameter to control the intensity of the image’s
contribution to the scene’s lighting.
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Animating in Avid 3D
Animation makes scene elements move or change over time. In Avid 3D,
everything can be animated, from text moving and rotating across the screen to
its color changing from red to blue, and much more.
Chapter 10 Animating in Avid 3D
What Can You Animate?
You’ve figured out what you need for your scene and put all the elements in
place. Now it’s time to animate!
But what can you animate?
The answer to that question is “everything.” Animating in Avid 3D means
changing the value of a parameter over time—and since almost every aspect of
an Avid 3D scene is described by parameters, the possibilities are limitless.
The only thing you can’t animate are global rendering options.
You can identify animatable parameters in property editors by the animation
button to the left of the parameter name (see “The Animation Button” on
page 266).
Animatable parameters fall into four categories:
•
Motion: This is probably the most common form of animation you’ll do.
This involves displacing an object from one point to another (known as
translation), or rotating it.
•
Geometry: You can animate an object’s structure by changing values
such as U and V subdivision, radius, length, or scale. You can also use
animated deformations to bend, twist, and contort your object.
•
Appearance: Material (including color), textures, and transparency are
just some of the parameters controlling appearance that can be changed
over time.
•
Behavior: Constraints and paths are used to control an object’s animation.
These use parameters whose values can be changed over time; for
instance, changing an offset value can vary how closely an object follows
a path over time.
Animation Basics
Setting the Scene’s Frame Format and Rate
In animation, the smallest unit of time is the amount required to display a
single frame. The speed at which frames are displayed, or the frame rate, is
always determined by how the final animation will be viewed.
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Animation Basics
For example, in North America, television plays at 30 fps (frames per second)
with the NTSC format, while in most of Europe it plays at 25 fps with the PAL
format. Film, on the other hand, plays at 24 fps. Most traditional animation is
shot “on twos,” which means each individual image is held for two frames. So,
practically speaking, television animation shot for NTSC on twos runs at 15
fps, though the video itself plays at 30 fps.
n
If you are compositing your animation with other video footage, it’s usually
best for the animation to be at the same frame rate as the footage.
When you change the timing of the animation, you change the way that the
actions look. This means that the timing that looked correct while you were
previewing it in Avid 3D may not look as good when it’s output to video. For
example, an action that spans 25 frames would take one second in PAL; changing
the frame rate to suit North American video at 30 fps would cause the same 25
frames to span 0.83 seconds. As a result, you should make sure to preview your
animation at the same frame rate that will be used in the final format.
Setting the Default Frame Format and Rate
You can set up the default frame format and rate for your scene using the
options in the Time property editor.
To set the scene’s default format and frame rate:
1. Click the Options button in the tools and options panel, then click the
Time button in the toolbar to open the Time property editor.
2. Select a Frame Format and Frame Rate.
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c
Frame formats are overridden by the Format parameter in the Render
Options property editor. For more details on setting your scene’s format
and frame rate, see “Specifying the Format Options” on page 385.
The frame format you select must match the intended final destination of
your animation. For example, you would use 24 fps for film, 29.97 fps for
NTSC video, and so on.
The default Frame Format is NTSC at 29.97 frames per second. You can
also choose PAL, Film, 30fps, or specify a custom frame rate.
If you select Custom as the frame format, you must specify its frame rate.
For example, if you want a frame rate of 12.5, enter 12.5 in the Frame
Rate text box.
n
The Time Display Format options are used to set the timeline display—see
“Setting the Timeline Display Format” on page 271.
Displaying the Playback Frame Rate
To toggle the display of the rate at which your animation is being played:
t
Click in a viewport while pressing Ctrl+R.
The displayed rate is updated during playback.
The current frame rate changes
as you play the animation.
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If the playback rate is lower than the scene’s default frame rate, there are steps
you can take to get a more accurate playback rate. For more information, see
“Optimizing Playback” on page 275.
Marking Parameters for Animation
Marking parameters is a way of selecting which parameters you want to use
for a specific animation task. For example, you can mark parameters so that
only their animation is copied or removed.
Marking parameters is also one of the most common and useful tools for
setting keys. By marking only the parameters you need, you can keep the
animation information small and precise. For more information on keying, see
“Keyframe Animation” on page 277.
You can mark parameters only for selected objects. As well, the same
parameters remain marked for an object even if the selection changes. For
example, if you select a sphere and mark its scaling parameters, then select a
cube, the scaling parameters are also marked on the cube. However, any
marked parameters that do not apply from one object to the next are ignored.
Marking Parameters
You can mark parameters from any property editor or on-screen parameter display.
n
Press Shift+click to mark multiple parameters and Ctrl+click to toggle
their marking.
To mark parameters in a property editor:
1. Select the element whose parameters you want to mark.
2. Open a property editor with the parameters you want to mark, or expand
the appropriate on-screen parameter display, if any.
3. Click the parameter name to mark it or Shift+click to mark multiple
parameters.
Animatable parameters are indicated by an animation button beside their
names (see page 266). You can also mark non-animatable parameters.
The parameter name is highlighted in yellow, indicating that it has
been marked.
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Marking Transformation Parameters
By default, when you activate any of the transformation tools (scale, rotate, or
translate) from the control bar or using their hot keys, all three of their
corresponding local transformation parameters (for the X, Y, and Z axes) are
automatically marked. If you only want to set keyframes on one particular
axis, you must explicitly mark the parameter you want in the Local Transform
property page.
Clearing (Unmarking) Marked Parameters
To clear all marked parameters:
t
n
In a property editor or on-screen parameter display, right-click a
parameter’s animation button and choose Unmark All Parameters.
If you hold down the supra key while using a transform tool, your existing
marked parameters will only be temporarily unmarked. After you release the
supra key, they will be marked again.
The Animation Button
In the animation tree and in almost any property editor, you can see a little
green button beside any parameter that can be animated. This is called the
animation button and it lets you do a number of things.
Animation buttons
indicate animatable
parameters with various
animation statuses and
ways of animation.
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•
Click it to set or remove a key for that parameter at the current frame.
•
Right-click it to use commands specific to the parameter.
Animation Basics
Depending on the status of the parameter’s animation, the appearance of the
button changes:
•
Default green and small: the parameter is animatable, but not currently
animated.
•
Red with a curve: the parameter is keyed at the current frame.
•
Green with a curve: the parameter is animated but the current frame is not
a keyframe.
•
Yellow with a curve: the animated parameter’s value has been changed but
not yet set as a keyframe. If you change the current frame without
keyframing the parameter’s new value, the parameter reverts to its
interpolated value.
Expressions are mathematical formulas used to control any parameter that can
be animated, such as translation, rotation, or scaling. Avid 3D uses
expressions to perform certain animation functions, such as math presets. You
cannot modify expressions, nor can you change or keyframe values on
parameters using expressions.
These buttons indicate expressions of different types:
n
•
With a letter C: the parameter has an expression that keeps the parameter
at a constant value.
•
With an = sign: the parameter has an expression that makes the parameter
equal to another one (links them).
•
With an arrow: the parameter has any type of expression on it other than a
constant value or an “equal” link.
You can also use animation buttons on the on-screen parameters—see
“Modifying and Animating the On-screen Parameter Values” on page 90.
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Ghosting Animation Objects
Animation ghosting, also known as onion-skinning, is a viewing mode that lets
you display a series of snapshots of animated objects at frames or keyframes
behind and/or ahead of the current frame. This lets you easily visualize the
motion of an object, which can help you improve its timing and flow.
Ghosting has its roots in cel animation, where animators use translucent sheets
of paper containing the previous and next keyframes as a reference while
drawing. This gives the animator a feel for the motion of the object and serves
as a guide when editing keyframes.
Ghosting works for any object that moves in 3D space, either by having its
transformation parameters (scaling, rotation, and translation) animated or by
having its geometry changed by animated deformations.
Ghost images are updated automatically when you change the object’s
animation. You cannot select or modify ghosts, and they cannot be rendered.
Ghosting works in conjunction with any of the display types for the viewports,
such as Wireframe, Shaded, and Textured. The ghost shapes themselves,
however, are always drawn in wireframe.
When ghosting is activated, you can see ghost shapes in any viewport set to a
camera or user view.
To toggle ghosting display on or off:
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Click the Display Options button in the tools and options panel, then
click the Show Ghost Animation button.
Animation Basics
Copying Animation
You can easily copy and paste animation between individual parameters from
a property editor or an explorer that displays animatable parameters, such as
the function curve editor’s animation tree. You can also use the function curve
editor to copy a whole function curve or just certain keyframes (key points) on
it (see “Cutting, Copying, and Pasting in the Graph” on page 308).
Using a Property Editor or On-Screen Parameters
Another way in which you can copy animation is at the parameter level using a
property editor or on-screen parameters. Animation can be duplicated between
different parameters for the same object or for different objects. For example,
you could copy the X rotation values from one object to the Y scaling of
another object.
To copy animation in a property editor:
1. Open a property editor or on-screen parameter display.
2. Right-click the animated parameter’s animation button and choose Copy
Animation. Then right-click the target parameter’s animation button and
choose Paste Animation.
Removing Animation
You can remove animation from selected objects or marked parameters using a
variety of commands from property editors or the Animation Tools panel. You
can also delete animation using the function curve editor—see “Deleting
Keys” on page 303.
You can also delete individual keyframes from an object’s animation—see
“Methods for Setting and Removing Keys” on page 278.
Using the Animation Tools Panel
To remove animation from an object:
1. Select the object or mark the parameters from which you want to
remove animation.
2. From the Animation Tools panel, do one of the following:
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t
Click the Remove Animation on Marked Parameter button to
remove all keys from the selected object’s marked parameters.
t
Click the Remove All Animation on Selected Object button to
remove all animation from all parameters on selected objects.
Using a Property Editor or On-Screen Parameters
To remove animation from parameters:
1. Display the property editor from which you want to remove animation.
2. Mark the parameters whose keys you want to delete.
3. In a property editor or on-screen parameter display, right-click the
animation button of the parameter whose animation you want to remove
and choose Remove Animation.
Playing Animation
The main way of playing back animation is by moving the playback cursor on
the timeline or by using the playback controls below the timeline. You can also
set the timeline’s playback range, play back in real time, and optimize the
playback in different ways.
Setting the Start and End Frames
Before you play back an animation, you should set the appropriate start and
end frames. These define the range of frames that you can play in the scene.
To set the start and end frames for the timeline:
t
Set the frame numbers in the Start and End Frame boxes at either end of
the timeline (see below).
Using the Timeline
The timeline is used to display the current playback position of the animation
and to manually move between different frames. The current frame (or time
position if you’ve changed the format to milliseconds) is indicated by the
position of the playback cursor in the timeline and in the current frame box in
the playback controls (see “Using the Playback Controls” on page 273).
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Playing Animation
Start Frame box: Sets the
first frame of the timeline.
End Frame box: Sets the
last frame of the timeline.
The playback cursor indicates which frame is currently displayed in the
viewports. Drag the cursor to a specific frame, or use the left- and
right-arrow keys to move back or forward through frames one at a time.
•
Clicking anywhere in the timeline changes the frame. You can also scrub
(drag) the playback cursor back and forth. The current frame box displays
the current frame at which the cursor is located.
•
Middle-clicking+dragging the playback cursor moves to the selected
frame but does not update the viewports until you release the button. This
means you can quickly drag to the required frame while avoiding lengthy
refresh time.
•
Right-clicking+dragging the playback cursor also moves to the selected
frames but does not update the scene. The cursor and frame number in the
current frame box turn green. To refresh the scene, click the cursor.
By right-clicking on frames, you can key the same values at multiple
frames. For more information on this, see “Keying Current Values at a
Different Frame” on page 279.
Setting the Timeline Display Format
By default, the timeline is set to display frames but you can change this to
display other options. When you change these settings, they also affect the
timelines found in the function curve editor.
To set the timeline display:
1. Click the Options button in the tools and options panel, then click the
Time button in the toolbar to open the Time property editor.
2. Select a Frame Format and Frame Rate.
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3. Select the Use Custom Display Format option, then select a format from
the Display Format list.
Setting the Timeline Range for Playback
The timeline range control lets you see and adjust the frame range in which
you are working relative to the overall scene’s frame range. For example, if
you are working with an animation sequence that is very long, it’s useful to be
able to focus on a smaller range of frames for specific tasks.
To set the timeline range:
1. Do one of the following:
t
Click the range button at the right end of the timeline.
t
Alt+click in the timeline.
The button changes and the range control appears as a gray box with the
start and end frames displayed (such as 1/100).
2. To change the range, do one of the following:
t
Drag on the left or right handles to adjust the playback’s in/out time.
t
Drag in the range’s middle to slide the time range in the timeline.
To toggle between the regular timeline and the range:
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Click the range button again or Alt+click in the timeline area.
Playing Animation
Using the Playback Controls
The playback controls at the bottom of the Avid 3D window allow you to view
and play animation in a variety of ways:
Play Forward/Play Backward buttons
Plays/stops the animation.
Previous/Next Frame
buttons
Moves the currently
displayed frame
forward/backward by
predefined increments
(default is 1).
First Frame/Last
Frame buttons
Resets the
displayed frame to
the beginning/end
of the timeline.
Audio Mute button
Toggles sound on/off during
playback.
Loop button
Repeats the
animation in a
continuous loop.
Current Frame box
Displays/sets the current frame.
All/RT button
Toggles between playing back
frame by frame (All) or in real
time (RT).
To play forward:
t
Click the Play button to play from the first frame on the timeline.
t
Middle-click the Play button to play forward from the current frame.
To play backward:
t
Click the Play Backward button to play from the last frame on the timeline.
t
Middle-click the Play Backward button to play backward from the
current frame.
To stop the playback:
t
Click the Play or Play Backward button again.
t
Click any mouse button anywhere in the timeline.
t
Press the down-arrow key.
To go to the first/last frame of the timeline:
t
Click the First/Last Frame button.
t
Press the Home/End key.
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To move forward/backward one frame:
t
Click the Previous/Next Frame button.
t
Press the left/right-arrow key.
To repeat the animation in a continuous loop:
t
Click the Loop button. When you do this, two yellow bars appear in the
timeline at the first and last frames to indicate the start and end frames of
the loop (see below).
Looping the Playback
With looping, you can play back the animation in a continuous loop. This can
be handy when you want to test out a small area of the animation but don’t
want to play back all of it.
To activate looping:
t
Click the Loop button in the playback controls.
Yellow loop markers define
the range of frames to be
repeated in a continuous loop
when you play the animation.
To set the loop playback range:
t
Drag the yellow loop markers at either end of the timeline to set the loop
range, or Ctrl+click in the timeline at the frames where you want them.
By default, the loop in and out frames match the scene’s start and end
frames. If the loop range matches the scene’s range and you change the
scene’s start or end frame, the loop range automatically updates to match
the scene’s new frame range.
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Playing Animation
Playing Back All Frames or Playing in Real Time
Avid 3D can play all frames of an animation or it can play the animation in
real time. When playing all frames, Avid 3D displays every frame in the
animation, regardless of how much time it takes to compute and display each
frame. In some cases, the scene may even play back too quickly!
Avid 3D accomplishes real-time playback by choosing the frames to display
based on the elapsed time. For instance, if it takes half a second to display the
first frame in a 30–fps animation, frames 2 through 15 will be skipped and
frame 16 is displayed next. In other words, when it comes time to display a
frame, the frame that should be shown at that moment is displayed.
To play back all frames:
t
Set the All/RT button to All.
To play back frames in real time:
t
Set the All/RT button to RT.
Optimizing Playback
The more you can see of the animation’s essentials, the better the visual feedback
you have to work with. Ultimately, this helps you produce better animation.
You may not always be able to play back each frame at the correct rate,
however. At every frame, Avid 3D must check if positions, orientation,
scaling, geometry, visibility, and many other animatable parameters have
changed. If they have changed, Avid 3D must then calculate the extent of the
change, calculate the effects of the change, and then draw the new image. The
more calculations to be done, the longer it will take to display each frame.
If playback is too slow, you must decide what aspect of the animation is
critical for display and eliminate the extraneous elements that may be limiting
the playback speed. For example, if you’re just verifying that your phantom’s
coloring is shimmering properly, you can display the shifting color but not the
phantom’s translation. Since there is less to calculate, the scene will play back
faster—especially if the phantom’s animation was very complex.
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Some factors that slow down playback are inevitable. For instance, the more
objects in a scene, the slower the playback, but even that can be minimized.
However, most causes can be easily remedied, such as:
•
Other tasks running on your computer.
•
The number of active viewports. Muting non-essential viewports speeds
up playback in the remaining viewports. To do this, middle-click the
viewport’s letter (A, B, C, or D) so that it turns orange or right-click it and
choose Mute. You can also hide the viewport’s grid (press G).
•
The method of displaying models in the viewports. Using options such as
textures and shaded models significantly slows playback. For more
information, see “Display Types” on page 68.
•
Select objects you don’t currently need and set them to be not visible, or
use the display filters to hide certain types of objects. For more
information, see “Hiding and Unhiding Objects” on page 74.
Playing Back Audio with Your Animation
If you need to synchronize your animation with sound, you can import an
audio file into Avid 3D. Using the standard timeline and playback controls,
you can play back the audio on a frame-by-frame basis, if need be—just like
traditional animators have done for almost a century.
To import an audio file:
1. Set the current frame to the frame where you want the audio to start.
2. Drag a WAV or AIFF file from a browser or Windows explorer window
onto the background of a viewport or onto the function curve editor graph.
Playing the scene’s animation or scrubbing the timeline will play the
audio. You can view the audio waveform by opening the function curve
editor (see “Working in the Function Curve Editor” on page 286).
n
276
Click the All/RT button in the animation controls for real-time playback of
your audio file.
Keyframe Animation
Keyframe Animation
Keyframing (or keying) is a process for animating values over time.
Traditional hand-drawn animation is generally created using keyframes—an
animator draws the extreme (or critical) poses at the appropriate frames,
creating “snapshots” of movement at specific moments.
Keyframes are the cornerstone of convincing animation. The drawings
themselves determine what a figure looks like at specific moments in time, the
frames chosen for the keyframes determine the timing and weight of a figure,
and the number of keyframes can reflect the complexity of the movement. The
frames in between the keyframes are added in afterward. This filling-in
process is called in-betweening.
As in traditional animation, a keyframe in Avid 3D is also a “snapshot” of one
or more values at a given frame, but unlike traditional animation, Avid 3D
handles the in-betweening for you, computing the intermediate values
between keyframes by interpolation.
Keys set at frames 1, 50, and 100. Intermediate frames are interpolated automatically.
When you set keyframes to animate a parameter, a function curve is created. A
function curve (or fcurve) is a graph that represents the animation of a
parameter. You can display and edit the resulting function curve in the
function curve editor (see “Editing Function Curves” on page 285). When you
edit a function curve, you change the animation.
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Setting Keys
You can set keys for any animatable parameter in any order and at any time.
When you add a new key, Avid 3D recalculates the interpolation between the
previous and next keys. If you set a key for a parameter at a frame that already
has a key set for that parameter, the new key overwrites the old one.
An important part of the keying process is to mark parameters before keying.
This lets you choose exactly which parameters you want to key—for more
information on this, see “Marking Parameters for Animation” on page 265.
Methods for Setting and Removing Keys
There are a number of ways in which you can set keys in Avid 3D, depending
on what you want to key and where.
To delete keys, go to a frame where there is a key and use any methods
described in this section.
n
After you’ve set your keys, you can always easily add or remove keys on the
resulting function curve (see “Adding and Deleting Keys” on page 301).
If you want to set keys on fractional frames (between frames), add or move the
keys on a function curve. You can set them at any frame or value as you like.
To set keys for marked parameters:
t
Go to the frame where you want a key, mark the parameters, and do one of
the following:
t
Press the K key.
If you press Shift+K when you’re at a keyframe, it removes all keys
on marked parameters.
t
Click the keyframe button in the animation controls. The keyframe
button is red when there’s a key at the current frame (see “The
Keyframe Button’s Color” on page 281).
Keyframe icon
If you click the keyframe button when you’re at a keyframe, it
removes keys on all marked parameters.
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Keyframe Animation
To set keys for parameters in a property editor or on-screen parameters:
t
See “Keying Parameters in Property Editors” on page 280.
To set keys for transformation parameters:
t
See “Keying Transformations” on page 283.
To set keys automatically:
t
If you are keying a great deal, you can automatically set keys for
individual parameters as you modify their values—see “Setting Keys
Automatically” on page 284.
Keying Current Values at a Different Frame
As you’re setting keys, you can right-click the playback cursor on the timeline
to go to a different frame without updating the scene. This technique can also
be used if you’ve made the mistake of changing the animated values before
moving the playback cursor to a new key position.
To key current values at a different frame:
1. With the animatable values set at the current frame, right-click+drag the
playback cursor to its new position on the timeline. The scene does not
refresh, so your object’s values do not change.
The playback cursor is green, indicating that it is waiting for the key to be
set. The key time is also shown in green in the current frame box.
Key in red
Right-click and drag key to
copy to new frame (in green).
Key frame number in green.
2. Set the key using any method as described in “Methods for Setting and
Removing Keys” on page 278, such as pressing K.
Once the key is set, the red playback cursor jumps to the same position as
the green playback cursor and a key is created at this frame. The standard
frame display is shown in white again.
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Moving between Keys
There are a number of ways in which you can move between keys for all
parameters of a selected object, marked or not.
•
If the selected object has marked parameters, the commands move
between the keys for only those parameters.
•
If nothing is marked, the commands move between keys for all parameters
of the selected object.
To move between keys of a selected object’s parameters:
1. Select or branch-select an object.
2. Do one of the following:
t
Press Ctrl+left arrow or Ctrl+right arrow for previous or next keys,
respectively.
t
Click the Previous Key or Next Key buttons in the animation controls.
To move to the first or last keys of a selected object’s parameters:
1. Select or branch-select an object.
2. Press Ctrl+up arrow or Ctrl+down arrow for first or last keys, respectively.
Keying Parameters in Property Editors
Every property editor lets you set keys for any or all of its animatable
parameters. An animatable parameter is identified by an animation button (little
green box) beside it. These methods can also be used with on-screen parameters.
To set a key a parameter in a property editor:
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280
Click a parameter’s animation button to key only that parameter.
Keyframe Animation
A marked parameter is
indicated by its name
being marked in yellow.
Click the animation icon
to set or remove keys for
only that parameter.
n
When keying a color value, the alpha channel is also keyed, even if no alpha
channel information is visible in the property page.
Keying Marked Parameters
To key marked parameters on a property page:
1. Move the playback cursor on the timeline to a frame where you want a key
and open the property editor.
2. Display a property page with parameters you want to animate.
3. Mark the parameters you want to animate (click their names so they turn
yellow) and set their values.
4. Click the keyframe button in the animation controls, or press K.
This sets keys (or removes a key if there is already one at the current
frame) for the corresponding parameters on the property page.
Move the playback cursor to another frame where you want a key.
5. Set the values of the marked parameters and click the keyframe button again.
The Keyframe Button’s Color
The keyframe button’s color changes, depending on the status of the property
page’s marked parameters.
•
Gray: no marked parameters have been animated.
•
Red: a key is defined for a marked parameter on the current property
editor page.
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n
•
Green: a marked parameter is animated but the current frame is not
a keyframe.
•
Yellow: an animated marked parameter on the current property page has
been modified but is not yet keyed.
If a property editor’s marked parameters have different animation buttons, the
keyframe button’s color is based on priority:
•
It is red only if there are no yellow animation buttons.
•
It is green only if there are no yellow or red animation buttons.
Keying Specific Parameters
To key specific parameters on a property page:
1. Open the property editor and display the property page with the
parameters you want to animate.
2. Move the playback cursor to a frame where you want a key.
3. Set the value for a parameter you want to animate and click the animation
button to the left of its name, or right-click it and choose Set Key. Doing
this sets keys for the parameter whether it is marked or not.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all the parameters you want to animate in the
property editor.
n
If you want to key parameters in other property pages or property editors at
the current frame, display them and repeat these steps.
Moving between Keys in a Property Editor
There are several ways to move between keys defined for parameters on the
currently displayed property page.
•
If there are marked parameters on the property page, the commands move
between the keys for only those parameters.
•
If nothing is marked, the commands move between keys for all parameters
on the property page.
To move between keys for parameters on a property page:
t
282
Click the Previous Key or Next Key buttons in the animation controls.
Keyframe Animation
t
Right-click a parameter’s animation button and choose Previous Key or
Next Key.
t
To go to the first or last keys defined, right-click the keyframe button and
choose First Key or Last Key. The keyframe button changes color to help
you navigate among keyframes—see “The Keyframe Button’s Color” on
page 281 for more information.
Removing Keys in a Property Editor
To remove all keys from a parameter:
1. Display the property editor from which you want to remove animation.
2. Right-click the parameter’s animation button and choose Remove Animation.
To remove a single key from a parameter on a property page:
1. Open the property editor from which you want to remove a key.
2. Move the playback cursor to the keyframe you want to remove.
3. Click the parameter’s animation button, or right-click it and choose
Remove Key.
Keying Transformations
Keying transformations (scaling, rotation, and translation) is something that
you’ll probably do a lot. As such, there are a number of ways in which you can
key the transformation of scene elements.
To key transformations:
1. Select one or more objects.
2. Move the playback cursor to a frame where you want a keyframe.
3. Use any of these methods to set the transformation values:
-
Use the SRT controls in the control bar, as shown on the left.
-
Press the shortcut keys for scaling, rotation, or translation (X, C,
or V, respectively).
-
Use the 3D transform manipulators (press B to display them).
-
Open the Local Transform property editor for an object.
-
Set a key using any method as described in “Setting Keys” on page 278.
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4. Move the playback cursor in the timeline to another frame where you
want a key.
5. Transform the elements and set another key.
n
Camera rotation in the X and Y axes cannot be keyed because the camera is
constrained to point at the camera interest. You can animate a camera’s Z
rotation by modifying its Roll parameter. For more information, see “Direction
Constraints” on page 321.
Keying Transformations Quickly
The best method for quickly keying all axes for each type of transformation is
to use the keyboard shortcuts found on the number pad (at the right of your
keyboard), as mapped out here:
Scaling X, Y, Z
Press 7
Rotation X, Y, Z
Press 4
Translation X, Y, Z
Press 1
Setting Keys Automatically
If you frequently animate objects and properties, you can automatically set
keys as you adjust the object’s properties. Instead of clicking an animation
button in a property editor each time you want to add a key, you can let the
autokey mode automatically record the adjustments that you make.
To set keys automatically:
1. Move the playback cursor to a frame where you want a keyframe (where
you want the animation to start).
2. Open the property editor and set the properties to the values you want or
transform the objects as you want.
3. Click the auto button in the animation controls.
4. Move the playback cursor to where you want the next keyframe and
change the animated properties again. Every time you change a property
value, it is keyed.
Repeat this step as often as you need.
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5. When you have finished, click the auto button again to turn autokey
mode off.
n
Remember that selecting any transformation tool automatically marks the
corresponding scale, rotate, or translate parameter. Therefore, using a
transformation tool after activating auto sets a key for the transformation.
Editing Function Curves
When you set keyframes to animate a parameter, a function curve is created. A
function curve, or fcurve, is a representation of the animation values as a graph
in the function curve editor.
•
Time is shown plotted along the X axis (horizontal).
•
The parameter’s value is plotted along the Y axis (vertical).
•
The shape of the fcurve shows how the parameter’s value changes over time.
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On the fcurve, keyframes are represented by key points (also referred to as
simply keys) and the interpolation between them is represented by segments of
the fcurve linking the key points.
The handles of each key let you define the fcurve’s slope in the same way that
control points define Bézier curves, while the slope of the fcurve determines
the rate of change in the animation. For example, if the slope inclines toward a
key, the animation is accelerating; a decline means a deceleration.
Working in the Function Curve Editor
The function curve editor is where you control the animation of the currently
selected element using a number of different editing tools.
Toolbar
Contains commands and tools for saving, editing, and
viewing animated properties (such as fcurves).
Animation tree
Displays the animatable
properties of selected elements.
286
View area
Displays and allows manipulation of property
animation using the graph.
Editing Function Curves
Opening the Function Curve Editor
To display the function curve editor:
1. If the multi-purpose editor is not visible, click the Open/Close MultiPurpose Editor button in the control bar.
2. Click the Function Curve Editor tab in the multi-purpose editor.
The function curve editor responds to the currently selected elements.
While it is open, it displays the animation of the elements you select.
n
To open the function curve editor with specific elements already selected,
see“Opening the Function Curve Editor with Specific Fcurves Selected” on
page 290.
Using the Animation Tree
The animation tree in the function curve editor is actually an explorer (see
“The Scene Explorer” on page 76 for general information). It displays the
animatable properties of the currently selected elements (these have the
animation button beside their name).
The parameters in the tree are similar to what’s shown in the scene explorer,
but in this tree, parameters are displayed using Avid 3D’s internal naming
scheme. For example, the tree below shows the object name and its animated
parameters beneath it (kine, then local, and rotx selected).
Animatable
parameters have
animation icons.
You can use the tree to choose which properties (parameters) to display in the
fcurve graph.
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To select parameters in the tree:
t
Click the name of the parameter so that it is highlighted in purple.
t
Select a branch of parameters by clicking on their parent node. For example,
click the local node to select all position, rotation, and scaling parameters.
To expand and collapse an animation tree:
t
To expand an item in an animation tree, click its plus sign (+). The
elements, properties, and subproperties below it are listed.
t
To collapse an item in an animation tree, click its minus sign (–). The
items below it are no longer listed.
To reset the tree’s layout:
t
Press the R key. This resets the layout of the animation tree to what it was
when you first opened it.
To hide the tree:
t
Click the little arrow on the bar that divides the tree from the view area
fcurve graph. Click the arrow to redisplay the tree.
Using the Function Curve Editor’s Timeline
By default, the red playback cursor is displayed in the function curve editor’s
timeline and over the view area. This lets you easily scrub through the
animation and go to the exact frame you want.
As well, you can see and move loop markers in the function curve editor’s
timeline when you click the Loop button in the playback controls.
Drag the red playback cursor to move frames.
You can also drag the yellow loop markers.
Note that the playback cursor is always available in the timeline area, so long
as it’s visible.
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Editing Function Curves
Commands and Tools for Editing Fcurves
The function curve editor toolbar contains the tools you need for editing fcurves.
Hiding Parts of the Toolbar
The toolbar is divided into several sections, each of which can be hidden
or displayed.
To hide or display areas of the toolbar:
t
Right-click anywhere in an empty area at the top of the window and toggle
the appropriate section on or off (a check mark means that it’s displayed).
Buttons
A number of commonly used commands are represented on the toolbar as
buttons for quick access.
Stretch Keys scales
keys using a pivot point.
Select Key
Select Curve
Region selects
rectangular
area of fcurves.
Unified Slope
Orientation/Handle Length
Add/Remove Key
Pan and zoom
Edit Key
Zoom
Select
fcurves or
keys.
Frame frames
selected keys or
fcurves.
Horizontal/Vertical Pan
pans and zooms across
or up-and-down.
Linear/Spline
Interpolation
of fcurve.
Constant/Gradient Extrapolation
and Cycle/Relative Cycle set
extrapolated and repeated fcurve
segments.
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Opening the Function Curve Editor with Specific Fcurves Selected
When you select an object and open the function curve editor, you can view all
fcurves created for that object. However, you usually want to home in on
specific fcurves.
To open with marked parameters selected:
t
Mark some parameters and then open the function curve editor. The
marked parameters are automatically added to the selection in the editor.
For example, if you have the position parameters marked and you open
the function curve editor, it automatically selects the marked parameters
(in the tree and graph).
Setting Up the Function Curve Graph
Setting the Time Format (X Axis)
Setting the main Avid 3D timeline’s format also sets the format for the
timeline in the function curve editor. See “Setting the Timeline Display
Format” on page 271 for more information on how to set the timeline.
Setting the Graph’s Grid and Rulers
To show or hide the grid:
t
Position the mouse pointer over the function curve editor and press G.
To selectively show or hide the X-axis or Y-axis grid lines:
1. In the tools and options panel, select the Function Curve Editor tab.
2. On the Editor page, select Display Grids > Show for the X and/or Y axes.
To set the size of units for the grid:
t
Specify a value in the Display Grids text boxes for the X and/or Y axes.
To selectively show or hide the X-axis or Y-axis rulers:
t
On the Editor page in the FCurve Editor property editor, select Rulers >
Show for the X and/or Y axes.
To set the units for the ruler:
t
290
Specify a value in the Ruler text boxes for the X and/or Y axes.
Editing Function Curves
Undoing and Redoing Fcurve Modifications
Like any other operation in Avid 3D, you can use the standard shortcut keys to
undo or redo fcurve modifications:
•
To undo any modifications to an fcurve, press Ctrl+Z.
•
To redo the modification you just undid, press Ctrl+Y.
Viewing Function Curves
The graph in the function curve editor is where you manipulate the fcurve of
any animatable parameter. You can edit the keyframed values by adjusting the
keys on a selected fcurve.
The graph’s horizontal axis (X) displays the time scale in frames or
milliseconds (see “Setting the Time Format (X Axis)” on page 290). The
vertical axis (Y) displays the values of the animated parameter.
n
Fcurves for X, Y, and Z parameters are red, green, and blue, respectively. For
example, an fcurve for scaling in Z is blue, whereas scaling in X is red.
Key coordinates indicate the exact frame
number (on the X axis) and value (here on the
Y axis) of the most recently selected key.
Keyed values on fcurves are indicated by keys.
Selected keys are red, and unselected keys are blue.
Values for the
parameter are shown
on the Y axis.
Time is shown
on the X axis.
Curve and axis labels indicate the
type of curve and the affected axis. For
example, this fcurve represents the
object’s rotation on the Z axis. The axis
label is in the graph’s lower-left corner.
The slope handles at each key
indicate the rate at which an fcurve’s
value changes. You can change the
curve’s slope by manipulating these
handles (see “Editing a Function
Curve’s Slope” on page 310).
By default, fcurves use
spline interpolation to
calculate intermediate
values (see “Choosing a
Function Curve Interpolation
Type” on page 309).
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Hiding and Displaying Fcurves
You can hide one or more fcurves in the graph. Hiding fcurves does not
remove them from the view, so any key selections are retained and available
once you display the fcurve again.
To hide fcurves:
t
Select one or more fcurves and choose press H to hide them. This also
deselects the fcurves.
To display all hidden fcurves
t
Do one of the following:
t
Press Shift+H.
t
Select the parameter name from the animation tree.
Hiding and Displaying Fcurve Information
You can choose to view extra fcurve, key, and slope information while you’re
working in the graph. However, if you have many fcurves displayed in your
graph, you may want to hide a certain amount of fcurve information to keep
the view uncluttered.
From the View page in the FCurve Editor property editor, choose any or all of
the following:
•
View > Keys on Unselected Curves to show or hide keys on all
unselected fcurves in the graph. If you choose this option, you can select
keys without having to first select the fcurve.
If you don’t choose this option, you must select an fcurve before being
able to select keys on it. This prevents you from accidentally manipulating
keys, which can be a problem if there are many fcurves and keys.
•
View > Slopes on Unselected Keys to show or hide the slope handles of
all unselected keys on a selected fcurve.
Zooming, Panning, and Framing in the Graph
You can use the Zoom, Pan & Zoom, and Frame tools (available from the
toolbar buttons and supra keys) to view a specific area of the graph.
To deactivate any viewing tool, press Esc or choose another tool.
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Zooming
Interactively increase or decrease the magnification of the graph by pressing C
or clicking the Zoom button in the toolbar. The cursor turns into a small
magnifying glass:
•
To zoom in (increase magnification), drag in the graph to define a region
to enlarge, or hold down the left mouse button.
The region you draw defines the center of the region you want to see.
•
To zoom out (decrease magnification), Shift+click and drag. Drawing a
larger region zooms out less while drawing a smaller region zooms out more.
•
To pan, middle-click and drag.
•
To interactively increase and decrease the height of the view, right-click
and drag up and down.
To increase and decrease the width of the view, right-click and drag right
and left.
•
To reset the zoom factor, click once in the graph.
You can also zoom in and zoom out by clicking the Pan button in the toolbar
or pressing Z.
•
To zoom in, hold down the middle mouse button. The zoom-in continues
until you release the mouse button.
•
To zoom out, hold down the right mouse button. The zoom-out continues
until you release the mouse button.
•
To pan, drag with the left mouse button. The pan continues until you
release the mouse button or the Z key.
Panning
You can pan to scroll the area shown in the graph by clicking the Pan button in
the toolbar or pressing Z.
n
•
To pan, click+drag in the graph.
•
To pan along the X axis, drag to the left or right.
•
To pan along the Y axis, drag up or down.
You can set the Pan button to be the default “pan and zoom” tool by selecting
it as the Pan & Zoom Mode on the View page in the FCurve Editor property
editor in the tools and options panel.
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Panning and Zooming Vertically or Horizontally
You can pan and zoom in the graph either only vertically or horizontally:
•
To pan and zoom horizontally, press X or click the Horizontal pan &
zoom button in the toolbar.
•
To pan and zoom vertically, press S or click the Vertical pan & zoom
button in the toolbar.
Framing
Framing sets the zoom and pan so that the fcurves or keys fit in the graph
within a specified range.
•
To frame keys, select the keys and click the Frame button or press F. If no
keys are selected, the selected fcurves or regions are framed.
•
To frame a region, highlight the region to be framed and click the Frame
button or press F. If no region is selected, the selected fcurves are framed.
•
To frame selected fcurves, click the Frame button or press F. If nothing is
selected, then all fcurves are framed.
•
To frame all displayed fcurves, click the Frame button with nothing
selected, or press A.
•
To frame all the fcurves within the time span specified by the timeline,
press R.
Selecting Function Curves
When you select an fcurve, any modifications you perform are done to it. To
select fcurves and their associated keys, select mode must be on. When
selected, fcurves are highlighted in white and their keys are blue.
The selected fcurve is
white with unselected keys
in blue.
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n
If your fcurve has lots of keys on it, use the animation tree to select an fcurve.
This prevents keys on the other fcurves from being moved accidentally, and
also lets you retain previously selected keys if you deselect the fcurve and then
reselect it later.
To select both fcurves and keys:
t
Do one of the following:
t
Press Y.
t
Click the Select button in the function curve editor’s toolbar.
To select only fcurves:
t
Do one of the following:
t
Click the Select Curve button in the function curve editor’s toolbar.
t
Press the space bar.
This tool selects only fcurves without changing the key selection.
n
You can select an fcurve while any tool is activated by clicking the parameter
name in the animation tree.
To select and move fcurves:
t
Press N.
To select a single fcurve:
Make sure the appropriate select tool is active, then do any of the following:
n
t
If the fcurve is visible in the function curve editor, click it.
t
If the fcurve is not visible in the function curve editor, click the fcurve’s
associated parameter in the animation tree.
To keep an fcurve selected while deselecting keys, middle-click+drag around
the keys to deselect them.
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To select multiple fcurves:
There are several ways to select multiple fcurves. First activate the appropriate
select mode, then do one of the following:
t
Shift+click the associated parameters in the animation tree or the
parameters’ fcurves in the graph to add them to the existing selection.
t
Ctrl+click the associated parameters in the animation tree or the
parameters’ fcurves in the graph to toggle their selection.
t
Drag the mouse pointer across a range of fcurves in the graph; the red
selection box indicates the region you are covering. Any fcurves that pass
through the box are selected.
Deselecting Fcurves
To deselect fcurves:
t
Click in an empty area of the graph. This deselects all fcurves.
If there were any selected keys on the fcurves before you deselected them,
they are “remembered” when you select the fcurves again.
t
Ctrl+click to toggle the selected fcurve.
If there were any selected keys on the fcurves before you deselected them,
they are “remembered” when you select the fcurves again.
Selecting (Tagging) Keys
You can select one or more keys on fcurves. Selected keys are highlighted in
red and their exact coordinates are displayed on the X and Y axes of the graph.
Selected keys are red
with slope (tangent)
handles displayed.
In addition, keys using spline interpolation have slope handles to modify the
slope orientation and length (see “Editing a Function Curve’s Slope” on
page 310 for more information).
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To select both fcurves and keys:
t
Press Y.
To select only keys:
Do one of the following:
t
Click the Select Key button in the function curve editor’s toolbar.
t
Press T.
This tool cannot select keys on unselected fcurves.
To select one or more keys:
Make sure the appropriate select tool is active, then do any of the following:
n
t
To select a single key, click it.
t
To select multiple keys, Shift+click the points you want to select or drag a
red rectangle around unselected points.
When you select an fcurve and then drag a red rectangle, only the keys on the
selected fcurve are selected.
t
To add or remove a key from the current selection, Ctrl+click the key point.
To move between keys on the selected fcurve:
t
Click the previous key (back arrow) or next key (forward arrow) buttons
on the toolbar.
t
Press the , (comma) and . (period) keys.
Deselecting Keys
To deselect keys:
t
To deselect keys, click an empty spot in the graph. This also deselects all
the fcurves. When you do this, any keys that were selected before are
“remembered” when you select the fcurve again.
t
To deselect multiple keys while keeping the fcurve selected, middleclick+drag a rectangle around them.
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Selecting Keys by Region
Using the region tool, you can select regions of points, making it easy to edit a
large number of points at one time. You can edit a region by moving,
stretching, or compressing all the keys within the region as a group.
To move or scale regions, see “Moving Keys by Region” on page 300 and
“Scaling Regions Interactively” on page 306.
To select a region of points:
1. Select the fcurves you wish to modify.
2. Click the Region button in the toolbar or press Q, then drag the mouse
pointer horizontally across a section of the fcurves. This selects all points
on the selected fcurves in the region.
3. Hold down the Alt key while dragging to snap the left and right edges of
the region to keyframes. The selected area is highlighted in light gray.
n
If you want to extend or shrink the region you have selected, press Shift while
you drag.
You can also toggle fcurves and individual keys within the region by
Ctrl+clicking them.
Inside the region, between the maximum and minimum values of the selected
keys and the first and last keys of the selected fcurve, is a highlighted selection
area. This region is bounded by four handles.
The region stays visible even if you change selection tools; however, it
disappears when you click outside the region. As well, the last region you
created for the fcurves is remembered the next time you select the same
fcurves and activate the region tool.
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A handle bounds each side
of the region. Drag these
handles to resize the
region.
To deselect a region of points:
t
Click anywhere outside the region.
Moving Function Curves, Keys, and Regions
When you move fcurves or keys in X, you change the keys’ time; when you
move in Y, you change the keys’ values.
You can move fcurves, keys, and regions interactively or with numerical
precision. You can also select a specific region of an fcurve in the graph and
move, stretch, and compress the fcurve’s keys within that region as a single unit.
Moving Whatever is Selected
You can move either selected fcurves or keys using the Translate tool. It moves
whatever is selected, with keys having the priority. For example, if fcurves are
selected, it moves only those fcurves; if both fcurves and keys are selected, it
moves only those keys.
To move selected fcurves or keys:
1. Select fcurves or keys.
2. Press V, then drag the selected fcurves or keys to a new location.
-
To move only vertically, middle-click+drag.
-
To move only horizontally, right-click+drag.
-
To move multiple fcurves, first rectangle-select (Ctrl+drag) the
fcurves you want, then press N and drag.
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Moving Fcurves
To move fcurves interactively:
t
Press N, then click+drag the fcurve to a new location.
-
To move only vertically, middle-click+drag.
-
To move only horizontally, right-click+drag.
-
To move multiple fcurves, first rectangle-select (Ctrl+drag) the
fcurves you want, then press N and drag.
Moving Keys
When you move a key, you can change either the frame or the value of that
key. Moving keys horizontally changes the frame, while moving vertically
changes the value.
n
Because moving points interactively can be imprecise, you might want to have
your keys snap to specific frames, time, or value intervals. For more
information on snapping to the grid, see “Snapping Keys” on page 304.
To select and move keys:
1. Press M.
2. Select the points and drag them to a new location.
To snap keys while moving:
t
Press the Shift key while you drag selected keys to snap them to the Snap
Grid coordinates that are specified in the FCurve Editor property editor
(see page 290).
-
Middle-click+drag to move only vertically.
-
Right-click+drag to move only horizontally.
Moving Keys by Region
To move keys by region:
1. Select the region of the fcurves you wish to modify (click the Region
button in the toolbar or press Q).
2. To change the frame position or values of the fcurve region, click
anywhere within the highlighted region and drag the region:
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Editing Function Curves
-
Dragging the region horizontally adjusts the frame position of the
region (the animation occurs earlier or later in the timeline). You can
also right-click+drag to move the region only horizontally.
-
Dragging the region vertically changes the values of the entire region.
All neighboring keys remain in their original positions. You can also
middle-click+drag to move the region only vertically.
Moving Fcurves, Keys, and Regions Precisely
You can accurately move fcurves, keys, and regions to a specific location
using the Frame and Value boxes in the function curve editor’s toolbar.
To move fcurves, regions, or keys with the Frame and Value boxes:
The Frame and Value text boxes show the frame and value of the currently
selected key.
1. Select the keys or region you want to offset. To offset the entire fcurve,
select the fcurve and leave the keys unselected.
2. Enter the amount of the offset in the Frame or Value text box, followed
by a + (addition) or – (subtraction) sign.
For example, to advance several keys by two frames, you would select the
keys and enter 2+ in the Frame text box. To decrease the value by two
points, you would select the keys and enter 2- in the Value text box.
n
You can also type in the exact frame number or value that you want. For
example, if you know you want the selected key to have a value of 85, type this
number in the Value text box—likewise for setting frames.
You can also use the Frame and Value text boxes for scaling—“Scaling
Function Curves, Keys, and Regions” on page 305.
Adding and Deleting Keys
When you add or delete keys on an fcurve, it is the same as adding or deleting
keyframes. Avid 3D recalculates the interpolation and draws new fcurve
segments reconnecting the keys.
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n
If you add a point on the same frame as an existing key, the old point is replaced.
Adding Keys Interactively
To add keys interactively:
1. Select the fcurves to which you want to add points.
2. Do one of the following:
t
Activate Add Key mode by clicking on the Add Key button in the toolbar
or by pressing I. On the fcurve, click where you want to add keys.
t
Click the Edit Key button or press Shift+E. Then middle-click to
add keys.
Because adding points interactively can be imprecise, you might want to have
your keys snap to specific time or value intervals. For more information on
snapping to the grid, see “Snapping Keys” on page 304.
Inserting Keys Without Changing the Fcurve Shape
You can insert a key anywhere on an fcurve without changing the shape of the
fcurve. This is especially useful with fcurves that have few keys, or fcurves
that have sharp peaks and valleys where adding a key as usual would change
the shape of the fcurve.
1. Click the Add Key button in the toolbar or press I.
2. Hold down the middle-mouse button and drag the red vertical bar that
appears. The small box on the bar follows the shape of the fcurve as you drag.
Drag red box along the
curve to where you
want to add the key.
n
Press Ctrl while dragging to snap to the increments set in the FCurve Editor
property editor (see page 290).
3. Release the middle mouse button at the place where you want to add the
key. The key is added without changing the shape of the fcurve.
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Deleting Keys
When you delete keys from an fcurve, it is the same as deleting a keyframe
from your animation. Avid 3D recalculates the interpolation and draws a new
fcurve segment connecting the remaining keys.
To delete specific keys using the Delete Key tool:
1. Select the fcurves from which you want to delete points.
2. Click the Delete Key button on the toolbar or press D.
3. Left-click the keys you want to delete.
To delete specific keys using the Edit Key tool:
1. Click the Edit Key button or press Shift+E.
2. Right-click the keys you want to delete.
To delete multiple keys:
1. Select the fcurve or fcurves from which you want to delete keys.
2. Select all the keys you want to delete.
3. Press Delete.
Removing Animation from Fcurves
When you delete all the keys on an fcurve, you remove the animation of the
associated property and the property’s fcurve reverts to a flat line, but remains
in the graph.
For more information on removing animation in general, including removing
fcurves from marked parameters, see “Removing Animation” on page 269.
To delete all keys on selected fcurves:
1. Select the fcurves whose points you want to delete.
2. Press Backspace.
n
When you have removed keys from multiple fcurves, undoing (press Ctrl+Z)
only has an effect on the first fcurve you selected—the other fcurves remain
flat-liners.
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To delete fcurves:
t
Right-click the animation button of an animated parameter in the
animation tree and choose Remove Animation. This deletes all fcurves
on that parameter completely.
If you mark parameters and then choose Remove Animation, all
animation is removed for all marked parameters.
Snapping Keys
When you’re moving or adding keys, you can make them snap to time and/or
value coordinates on the fcurve graph grid’s X/Y axes.
To set up the snapping coordinates:
1. In the tools and options panel, click the Function Curve Editor tab.
2. On the Editor page in the Snap Grid controls, set the X (Time) in frame
increments and the Y (Value) in value increments for the grid.
If more than one key is selected and translated, only the translation
amount is snapped to the grid. The keys that were on the grid remain on
the grid and the others remain outside of it. For example, if you have set
the X (Time) grid to 5, you would only be able to translate keys
horizontally in increments of 5 frames.
3. Select the Snap option below the X and/or Y options, depending on the
coordinates to which you want the keys to snap. For example, if you want
keys to snap only to frames, select only the Snap option below X (Time).
To snap keys to the grid:
t
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Do one of the following to have keys snap to the grid’s X (time) and Y
(value) coordinates as specified by the Snap Grid coordinates in the
FCurve Editor property editor:
t
Press the Shift key while you drag selected keys.
t
Middle-click+drag to snap only vertically.
t
Right-click+drag to snap only horizontally.
Editing Function Curves
Scaling Function Curves, Keys, and Regions
You can change the timing of your animation by scaling fcurves, keys, or
regions of them. When you decrease the length of the fcurve or region (X
axis), you speed up the animation; conversely, increasing the length slows
down the animation. You can also scale fcurves, keys, and regions on the Y
axis, which changes the animation values (the pivot point is 0).
Scaling Precisely
To scale precisely, you can use the Frame and Value text boxes in the function
curve editor’s toolbar.
To scale keys, fcurves, or regions:
1. Select the keys, fcurves, or region you want to scale:
-
If you scale keys in time (X axis), the pivot point is the left-most key’s
time on the fcurve.
-
If you scale keys’ values, the pivot point is 0.
2. Enter the amount of the scaling in any of these text boxes:
-
To change the length of the fcurve or the position of the key, enter a
value followed by a * (multiplication) or / (division) sign in the Frame
text box. For example, to double the length of an fcurve, enter 2*.
Selected curve before scaling.
-
Selected curve after scaling by 2. Notice the ghosted
fcurve in black showing the previous scale.
To change the value of the fcurve or key, enter a value followed by a *
(multiplication) or / (division) sign in the Value text box. For
example, to divide the value in half, enter 2/.
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Scaling Regions Interactively
You can scale an fcurve region in time (horizontally) or by value (vertically).
To scale a region interactively:
1. Select the region of the fcurves you wish to modify (click the Region
button in the toolbar or press Q).
2. Do one of the following:
t
To stretch or compress the region using the opposite boundary as the
pivot, left-click+drag a handle.
t
To stretch or compress the region symmetrically, using the center as a
pivot, middle-click+drag a handle.
Dragging horizontally shortens or extends the region over time. Dragging
vertically increases or decreases the range of values in the region.
The region cannot be stretched any farther than neighboring keys.
Left-click+drag a handle to use the
opposite border of the region as the pivot.
Middle-click+drag a handle to use the
center of the region as the pivot (scale in
symmetry), as shown on the right.
For information on how to move regions, refer to “Moving Keys by Region”
on page 300.
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Editing Function Curves
Scaling with a Pivot
You can stretch selected keys as you do with a region except that you can set a
pivot point anywhere in the graph area. When you move your mouse, the keys
are scaled according to where you clicked (the pivot point). For example, if the
pivot point is directly between keys, you can scale in symmetry.
You can also select a single key and scale with a pivot, which is especially
useful if you’re scaling the values on an fcurve (scaling vertically). When you
scale a key with a pivot point, you don’t need to reorient the key’s handles
because they are correctly scaled with the key.
To scale with a pivot point:
1. Select one or more keys in an area of the fcurve you want to scale.
2. Do one of the following:
t
Press B.
t
Click the Stretch Keys button in the toolbar.
3. Click where you want the pivot point to be: red crosshairs and a “target”
shows the spot. The pivot location is displayed on the status bar at the
bottom of the Avid 3D window.
Pivot point between
two selected keys to
scale in symmetry.
4. Click+drag the mouse to scale the keys:
-
Left-click+drag to scale either horizontally or vertically. You can
scale in only one direction at a time. The direction is determined by
which way you initially move the mouse (horizontally or vertically).
-
Middle-click+drag to scale only vertically.
-
Right-click+drag to scale only horizontally.
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Cutting, Copying, and Pasting in the Graph
You can cut, copy, and paste keys, an fcurve region, or entire fcurves, using the
standard keyboard shortcuts for the cut, copy, and paste functions: Ctrl+C
(Copy), Ctrl+X (Cut), and Ctrl+V (Paste).
Function Curves
To cut, copy, and paste an fcurve:
1. Select the fcurve you want to cut or copy.
2. Copy the fcurve to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C or cut it by pressing
Ctrl+X.
3. Select a parameter (or its fcurve) as the target to which you want to paste.
4. Paste from the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+V.
You can continue pasting the clipboard contents to other fcurves.
Keys
To cut, copy, and paste keys:
1. Select the keys you want to cut or copy.
2. Copy them to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C or cut them by pressing
Ctrl+X.
3. Select an fcurve or region as the target onto which you want to paste:
-
To paste the new keys starting at a specific frame on the fcurve, drag
the playback cursor in the graph to the frame.
-
To paste the new keys in a specific region of the fcurve, select the
region using the Region tool.
4. Paste from the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+V.
If the target is a region, the clipboard contents are scaled to fit the number
of frames in the selected area.
You can continue pasting the clipboard contents to other fcurves or regions.
n
308
You can also copy animation quickly in the animation tree by dragging an
animated parameter’s name to another parameter. Pressing Shift while
dragging and dropping moves the animation instead of copying it.
Editing Function Curves
Regions
When you cut or copy a region, Avid 3D can cut or copy just the selected keys
or the fcurve segment in the region itself. This is determined by the method
used to select the region before copying or cutting.
1. Do one of the following depending on what you want to cut/copy:
t
To cut or copy the keys within a region, use the Region tool (press Q)
or select a series of keys on the fcurve.
t
To cut or copy the fcurve segment in the region, use the Select tool
and drag a rectangular selection over the fcurve.
2. Copy them to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C or cut them by pressing
Ctrl+X. A black line appears in the graph.
3. Select an fcurve or region as the target onto which you want to paste:
-
To paste the new region starting at a specific frame on the fcurve,
click in the graph to move the black line to the frame.
-
To paste the new keys in a specific region of the fcurve, select the
fcurve region using the Region tool.
4. Paste from the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+V.
If the target is a region, the clipboard contents are scaled to fit the number
of frames in the selected area.
You can continue pasting the clipboard contents to other fcurves or regions.
n
If you want to paste the region after performing other functions in the function
curve editor, you can use the playback cursor to determine where the region
will be pasted.
Choosing a Function Curve Interpolation Type
Fcurve interpolation is a way of estimating how animation progresses between
keys. When you set two or more keys for a parameter, Avid 3D determines the
interpolation between them.
By default, fcurves use a spline interpolation which creates a smooth ease-in
and ease-out transition at each key. However, if you want to change the nature
of the animation, you can switch to linear interpolation.
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To set the interpolation type:
1. Do one of the following:
t
Select individual keys. The interpolation setting will be applied to the
fcurve segments immediately following the selected keys.
t
Select an fcurve. The interpolation setting will be applied to the
entire fcurve.
2. Do either of the following:
t
Click the Spline Interpolation button on the function curve editor
toolbar. It uses a curved spline interpolation that accelerates and
decelerates into (ease in) and out of (ease out) each keyframe,
resulting in a smooth transition.
The degree of acceleration and deceleration before and after the
keyframe is determined by the slope handles associated with the key.
For information on the slope, see “Editing a Function Curve’s Slope”
on page 310.
Spline interpolation is the default form of interpolation used in Avid 3D.
t
Click the Linear Interpolation button on the function curve editor
toolbar. Linear interpolation connects keys by straight line segments.
The movement is characterized by constant speed with sudden
changes at each key, creating a mechanical feel to the animation.
This may be useful for animating lights and colors, where you don’t
need the ease-in and ease-out that a spline interpolation offers.
Editing a Function Curve’s Slope
The fcurve’s slope determines the rate of change in the animation. By
modifying the slope, you can change the acceleration or deceleration in or out
from a key, thus making the animation change rapidly or slowly, or even
reversing it. The steeper the slope’s orientation, the faster the values change.
You can change the slope of any fcurve that uses spline interpolation by using
the two handles (called slope handles) that extend out from a key. By
modifying the handles’ length and direction, you can define the way the fcurve
moves to and from keys.
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Editing Function Curves
Slope handles displayed on
each selected key.
You can change the length and
angle of each handle in unison
By default, the slope handles are tangent to the fcurve at their key. This keeps
the acceleration and deceleration smooth, but you can also “break” the slope at
a certain point to have a sudden animation acceleration or deceleration, or
change of direction altogether (see “Breaking and Unifying the Slope Angle”
on page 312).
Slope handles are hidden until a key is selected, which prevents you from
accidentally manipulating them.
Changing the Handles’ Length and Angle
The length of the slope handles determines the weight of the key’s influence
on the fcurve. The longer the handle, the more the key influences the
connecting fcurve segment. By having control over the handle length, you can
also draw more complex fcurve shapes with fewer keys.
The same fcurve, with short, medium, and long slope handles. Notice
how the length of the handle changes the shape of the curve.
As you change the orientation and length of the slope handles, you can also set
how the handles move: the left and right handles can be manipulated
independently, together, or locked in place.
For more information, see “Breaking and Unifying the Slope Angle” on
page 312 and “Controlling the Length of the Slope Handles” on page 313.
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To change the slope handles interactively:
1. Select one or more keys on an fcurve with spline interpolation—slope
handles appear on each selected key.
2. Click the end of one slope handle and drag it to a new location, changing
the length and/or angle of the handle. All the other slope handles move in
the same way as this one.
You can use the mouse buttons as follows:
n
-
Left-click+drag to change both the angle (orientation) and length of
the handle.
-
Middle-click+drag to change only the angle of the handle.
-
Right-click+drag to change only the length of the handle.
If you are having trouble selecting a slope handle’s end point because it is in
the same location or too close to a key, press the P key to give priority to the
end point.
Breaking and Unifying the Slope Angle
When slopes are unified (default), any change you make to one side of the
slope at a key is reflected on the other side. However, you can “break” a slope
at a key so that you can change either slope independently.
You may want to break the slope to create a sudden change in motion at a key,
such as an object hitting a wall or a bouncing ball hitting the ground and then
bouncing up again.
To control the orientation of the slope:
t
Select keys and do one of the following:
t
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Press Shift+O.
Editing Function Curves
t
Click the Unified Slope Orientation button in the function curve
editor toolbar.
When the Unified Slope Orientation button is active, it keeps the slope
handles of the selected keys unified as you move them, keeping a
constant angle between them. Unified slopes provide smooth,
unbroken function curve segments, as values ease into and out of keys.
When the Unified Slope Orientation button is not active, you can
break the slope to control the slope’s shape on either side of the key
individually. Depending on the slopes you define, the transition in the
rate of the parameter’s change at the keyframe can be as smooth or as
abrupt as you like.
Unified Slope Orientation is
active. Notice the smooth curves.
Unified Slope Orientation is not
active. Notice the sharp breaks in the
curve.
When the slope is broken, you can drag the slope handle in any direction.
You can also middle-click+drag to change only the slope handle’s angle,
or right-click+drag to change only the slope handle’s length.
Controlling the Length of the Slope Handles
Like a Bézier curve, you can set the length of the slope handles on both sides
of the key to be equal or not.
To control the length of the handles:
t
Select keys and do one of the following:
t
Press Shift+L.
t
Click the Unified Slope Length button in the function curve editor toolbar.
If this command is active, both handles are kept the same length. This
is the case even if the slope orientation is broken.
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If this command is not active (default), the length of each slope
handle is independent.
Snapping Slope Handles
You can snap slope handles in two different ways:
•
Snap the handle’s length to a specific number of units (default is 1), from
0.01 to infinity.
•
Snap the handle’s angle to a particular degree (45 is the default), between
1 and 90.
To snap the slope handles in length or angle:
1. In the tools and options panel, click the Function Curve Editor tab.
2. On the Editor page, set the Snap Slope > Length in units and/or Angle
in degrees.
3. Click in the appropriate Snap checkbox to activate Length and/or Angle.
4. Select one or more keys.
5. Press the Shift key while you drag a slope handle to snap it in the
increments you set. This temporarily activates the Snap Slopes command.
-
Middle-click+drag to snap only the handle’s angle.
-
Right-click+drag to snap only the handle’s length.
Extrapolating Function Curves
The extrapolation controls let you modify the shape of an fcurve before the
first key and after the last key. Extrapolation extends the fcurve’s ends based
on the position of these two extreme points.
To apply extrapolation to an fcurve:
1. Select an fcurve.
2. Click either the Constant Extrapolation or Gradient Extrapolation
button in the function curve editor toolbar.
For spline interpolation, the slope of the first or last key is used. This
results in a continuation of the motion at the same speed.
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Editing Function Curves
-
Constant extrapolation flattens the fcurve after the end points, adding
no animation. It extrapolates the value of the Y axis from the first frame
to the first key, and the value of the Y axis from the last key to the last
frame. This results in a hold of motion before and after the movement.
With constant extrapolation, the values before the first keyframe
and the values after the last keyframe remain constant.
-
Gradient extrapolation makes the fcurve continue in the direction of
(tangent to) the end keys’ slope handle angle. It extrapolates an
increment based on the first key’s slope orientation and applies it
from the first frame to the first key. Then it extrapolates the increment
calculated between the last and previous-to-last keys and applies it
from the last key frame to the last frame. This has the effect of the
fcurve continuing on this slope indefinitely.
With gradient extrapolation, the values before the first keyframe and
the values after the last keyframe are determined by the slope. Note
the slope handles’ relation is tangent to the extrapolated values.
Creating Function Curve Cycles
The Cycle commands in the function curve editor’s toolbar provide you with
several quick ways to repeat animation. By using these controls, you can
create repetitive motion including bouncing, spinning, or oscillation effects.
You can create basic endless cycles or you can have relative cycles that are
progressively offset (such as for creating a walk cycle).
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When you create cycles, only the original fcurve retains its keys: the resulting
cycles don’t have any. However, there is a “relational” link between the
original keys and their counterparts on the resulting fcurves.
This means that you can change a key in the original segment and those
changes are automatically reflected in the cycles (you can add or delete points,
move points, change the slope, etc.—it’s all updated in the cycles). You can
also switch between different types of cycles at any time.
Tips for Creating Seamless Cycles
•
If the first and last keys points on the fcurve segment you want to repeat
do not have the same value, there will be some jumping in the animation
as the object snaps from the last frame to the first one of the next cycle.
You can make seamless cycles by setting the first and last key to precisely
the same value.
To do this, enter the same values for the keys in the Value box in the
function curve editor’s toolbar or right-click either the first or last
keyframe in the timeline and drag to the other end keyframe to copy the
values exactly.
•
If you have one or more keys on your fcurve that are not on a frame, this
can produce unpredictable effects because the cycle is evaluated at each
frame and not on an intermediate time.
Creating a Basic Cycle
The Cycle commands in the function curve editor’s toolbar repeats the fcurve
shape as defined by its keys. This means that the part of the fcurve as defined
by its first and last keys is cycled endlessly in both directions in time (X axis).
To create a basic cycle:
1. Select one or more fcurves whose shape you want to repeat (that is, the
shape between the first and last keys).
2. Click the Cycle button in the function curve editor’s toolbar.
3. The fcurve segment is repeated continuously in both directions in time.
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The original keys are indicated between the dashed lines. Notice how
the resulting cycles have no keys.
Creating a Relative Cycle (Offset)
The Relative Cycle button repeats the fcurve shape (defined by its first and
last keys) by making each cycle start with the same value as the last key of the
previous value. This results in an fcurve cycle with a progressive offset.
Setting a progressive offset is particularly important when you want to create a
simple walk cycle. For example, animating a foot translation in a repeated
cycle on the Y axis generally requires no offset, but cycling animation on the
X axis without an offset would make the character look like he’s walking
without moving forward.
To create a relative cycle:
1. Select one or more fcurves whose shape you want to repeat.
2. Click the Relative Cycle button in the function curve editor’s toolbar.
The original keys are indicated between the dashed lines. Again,
note how the resulting cycle has no keys.
Deleting Fcurve Cycles
Since a cycle’s repeated information is not actually added to the fcurve, you
can delete the cycle completely while leaving the original keyframes intact.
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To delete the cycle information:
t
Select one or more cycled fcurves and click either the Constant
Extrapolation or Gradient Extrapolation button in the function curve
editor toolbar.
For more information on extrapolation, see “Extrapolating Function
Curves” on page 314.
Function Curve Presets
You can quickly create simple fcurves for specific types of motion without
having to modify slope handles by using fcurve presets. By using presets to
automatically set up the right kind of fcurve, you can concentrate on the
timing and values of the keyframes themselves.
To apply an fcurve preset:
1. Mark the parameter you want to animate.
c
Creating an fcurve using the presets will replace the parameter’s
existing animation.
2. In the tools and options panel, click the Animation Tools tab and click one
of the following Fcurve Presets buttons:
-
The Decelerating Curve preset creates an fcurve that drops off
sharply from its maximum value and gradually approaches zero. The
Accelerating Curve preset is its opposite.
-
The Ease In Curve preset creates an fcurve that starts at zero,
accelerates, and then decelerates as it approaches its final keyframe
value. The Ease Out Curve preset is its opposite.
-
The Constant Speed (Linear Curve) preset creates an fcurve that
starts at zero and increases at a constant rate until it reaches the
final keyframe.
-
The Gaussian Curve preset creates an fcurve that begins and ends at
zero with a maximum value keyframed at the midway point. The
fcurve eases into and out of each keyframe.
The resulting animation can be modified by adding or deleting keyframes. See
“Methods for Setting and Removing Keys” on page 278 and “Commands and
Tools for Editing Fcurves” on page 289 for more information.
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Animating with Constraints
Animating with Constraints
Constraining is a way of increasing the speed and efficiency in which you
animate. It’s a way of animating one object via another one’s animation. You
constrain different properties, such as position or direction, of one object to
another object. Then when you animate the constraining object (sometimes
known as the constrainer), the other object’s constrained properties are
animated as well.
In terms of saving time, the value of constraining objects is considerable.
Suppose you want to animate a group of people at an air show watching a
plane fly overhead. If you used keyframes to animate, you would have to
generate function curves for each head movement as well as the plane. With
constraints, however, you constrain each spectator’s head to the direction of
the plane and then animate only the plane itself.
A more specialized form of constraint is the path constraint, which allows you
to use a curve object as a guide for a constrained object by moving the object’s
center along the curve over time.
n
The constraint overrides any related local transformations previously applied
to a constrained object. For example, a direction constraint overrides the
object’s existing rotation parameters.
You can have more than one constraint applied to a particular object at the same
time. When more than one constraint is active at the same time on an object, all
constraints are used but the constraint that is applied last takes priority.
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Position Constraints
You can constrain one or more objects to the position (location) of another
object. This can be any type of object that has a center, including all standard
geometric objects as well as nulls, lights, cameras, and lattices. The Position
constraint constrains an object’s center to the constraining object’s center,
which moves the constrained object to that location.
To constrain an object’s position:
1. Select the object to be constrained.
2. In the tools and options panel, click the Animation Tools tab.
3. Click the Position Constraint button and pick the object to act as the
constraining force.
The constrained object’s center is repositioned to the center of the
constraining object.
4. When you transform the constraining object, the constrained object’s
center remains aligned to it.
Because this constraint puts the objects directly “on top” of each other, you
usually need to offset the constrained object in the constraint’s property editor.
You can also choose to have the constraining object control the orientation of
the constrained object.
To set position constraint parameters:
1. Select the constrained object, then open the multi-purpose editor.
2. Click the Geometry and Deform Properties tab in the multi-purpose
editor, then click the object’s Position Cns node.
•
You can set an offset between the centers of the constrained and constraining
objects by entering values for the X, Y, Z sliders for either of them.
See “Creating Offsets between Constrained and Constraining Objects” on
page 329 for more information about offsets.
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Animating with Constraints
Enter the axis offset of the constraining
object’s center in the Attach Point Constraining Object axis controls.
The position constraint is calculated according to the
constraining object’s center, which is offset on the X axis by 1.
(An offset has already been applied to the position of the
constrained object’s center.)
•
If Affected by Orientation is selected for the
Constrained Object, the airplane is influenced by
the orientation (rotation) of the magnet.
You can select Affected by Orientation for either the constrained or
constraining object. If you do so, the object rotation is included as part of
the constraint for that object.
For example, if you select Affected by Orientation for the constrained
object, its position is affected by the orientation of the constraining object.
•
The Affected by Scaling option operates in a similar manner for scaling.
Direction Constraints
You can constrain an axis of one or more selected objects to another object
without changing the location of the constrained objects. The aligned axis (the X
axis by default) of each constrained object always remains facing the center of
the constraining object, thus affecting the orientation of the constrained object.
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Radar dish constrained by direction to the plane
The X axis of the radar dish continually points in the direction of the plane’s center.
To constrain an object by direction:
1. Select the object to be constrained.
2. In the tools and options panel, click the Animation Tools tab.
3. Click the Position Constraint button and pick the object that is to act as a
target (constraining object). The constrained object rotates so that its X
axis (default axis) faces the constraining object’s center.
4. Translate either the constraining object or the constrained object:
-
If you translate the constraining object, the constrained object rotates
so that its specified axis always faces the constraining object, like a
sunflower facing the sun.
-
If you translate the constrained object, its specified axis continues to
face the constraining object from its new location like a
geosynchronous satellite; that is, it is always pointing toward the
same location on earth as it follows the earth’s orbit.
To set direction constraint parameters:
1. Select the constrained object, then open the multi-purpose editor.
2. Click the Geometry and Deform Properties tab in the multi-purpose
editor, then click the object’s Direction Cns node.
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3. In the Direction Constraint property editor, use the Align Axis controls to
specify the axis to point along—X is the default. If two or more values are
non-zero, the object points along the resulting vector.
-
You can also add a Target Offset on any axis of the constrained
object. This is a rotational offset in degrees from the constraining
(target) object (see “Creating Offsets between Constrained and
Constraining Objects” on page 329 for more information).
-
You can also control the roll of the constrained object—its rotation
about its local Z axis—by setting the Roll to Active and setting its
angle of rotation.
Path Constraints
A path provides a route for an object to follow in order to get from one point to
another. The object stays on the path because its center is constrained to the
curve for the duration of the animation.
After you’ve created path animation, you can modify the animation by
changing the path curve itself or by changing the timing of the object on the
path. See “Modifying the Path Curve” on page 327 and “Modifying the Path
Timing” on page 325, respectively.
Setting Objects on Paths
The quickest and easiest way of animating an object along a path is by using
the Set Object on Motion Path button in the Animation Tools panel and
picking the curve to be used as the path. When you use this command, the
animation is created for you. There’s no need to set keyframes—just set the
start and end frames.
A percentage function curve is created with your choice of spline
(ease-in/ease-out) or linear interpolation. After you have created path
animation, you can modify the timing by editing this function curve in the
function curve editor (see page 285) or you can change the path curve itself to
change the animation (page 327).
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To animate an object along a path:
1. Create a curve by dragging a curve object from the Object Library into
a viewport.
2. Edit the curve as desired—see “Modifying Points and Polygons” on
page 170.
3. Select the object you want to animate.
4. In the tools and options panel, click the Animation Tools tab, then click
the Set Object on Motion Path button.
5. Pick the curve to use as the path. Keys are created at each end of the path
(corresponding to the first and last frames on the timeline range), and the
object’s intermediate position along the path is interpolated.
To set path constraint parameters:
1. Open the PathCns property editor by selecting the object and choosing the
Geometry and Deform Properties tab in the multi-purpose editor and
clicking the PathCns property.
•
The Path %age (percentage) slider is especially important for controlling
how much of the curve is used as a constraining force on the selected object.
Toggles activeness of
path constraint.
Percentage of curve used as
constraining force for
constrained object.
Sets an offset distance on XYZ
axes between object and path.
Keeps object tangent to
path—see next step.
Controls the object’s roll. See
the following steps.
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•
If you want the object’s X axis (by default) to stay aligned with the path’s
slope, select Tangent (the default). The constrained object’s axis is
repositioned to point in the direction of the curve’s slope. As the object moves
along the path, its X axis follows the curve’s slope. For more information on
tangency constraints, see “Tangency Constraints” on page 327.
You can also set the X, Y, and Z values to define a vector along which the
object’s center is aligned (the default is X). Set the appropriate slider to 1
to keep that axis tangent to the path.
•
You can control the roll of the constrained object—its rotation about its
local Z axis—by setting the Roll to Active and setting its angle of rotation.
•
To modify the path timing, see “Modifying the Path Timing” on page 325; to
modify the path curve itself, see “Modifying the Path Curve” on page 327.
Creating a Path from Path Keys
You can also define path animation by moving an object and saving path keys
at different frames. The path curve is created automatically as you go, with
each key representing a percentage of the path length.
To create a path by setting path keys:
1. Move the playback cursor to the frame where you want the animation to
begin and select the object you want to animate and translate it to where
you want it to start.
2. Click the Save Path Key button in the Animation Tools panel, or press N.
A key is set corresponding to a percentage of the path’s length.
3. Change frames, move the object, and repeat step 2. Avid 3D automatically
updates the curve and timing information. Continue until you have
completely defined the path.
Modifying the Path Timing
After you’ve created path animation, there are two ways in which you can
modify the timing:
•
Set keys for the Path percentage in the PathCns property editor.
•
Edit the Percentage fcurve in the function curve editor.
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Setting Keys or Editing the Path Percentage
To edit the Path Percentage parameter or function curve:
To modify the path timing, you can directly adjust the Path Percentage in the
PathCns property editor and set keys at different frames or edit the Percentage
function curve in the function curve editor.
1. Select the object on the path.
2. Adjust the path percentage by doing one of the following:
t
Display the PathCns property editor and adjust the Path %age values.
t
Open the function curve editor and click the perc parameter.
The percentage (perc) function curve is displayed with key points
representing keys on the path.
3. Set new keys for the Path %age parameter or edit the perc function curve
as you would any other function curve (see “Editing Function Curves” on
page 285 for information).
With either of these methods, you can set keys with values below 0% or
higher than 100% of the path. Avid 3D extrapolates path percentages outside
of the 0 to 100% range, depending on the type of curve used as a path:
-
On a closed curve, such as a circle or a square, using path percentages
less than 0% or greater than 100% will continue to translate the object
on the curve, with increasing percentages resulting in clockwise
movement (relative to the local front of the object).
For example, if an object were keyed to start at 0% of a circular path
and end at 150%, the object would make one complete clockwise
revolution of the circle and continue for another half a revolution. If
the end were at –150%, the object would travel the same distance
counterclockwise.
-
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On an open curve, such as a spiral or an arc, keys below 0% place the
object at the curve’s starting point; keys above 100% place it at the
curve’s endpoint.
Animating with Constraints
Modifying the Path Curve
To modify the path, you can edit the curve itself or translate the object
constrained to the path. For more information on editing curves in general, see
“Modifying Points and Polygons” on page 170.
To modify a curve:
t
Move, add, or remove points on the curve as you would to edit any curve.
Modifying a path curve may change the path animation’s timing because
the same keyed percentages would correspond to different locations on
the curve.
Tangency Constraints
The tangency constraint makes the X axis of a constrained object tangent to a
direction or curve. This is particularly useful for having an object follow a
path’s direction, such as a roller coaster car following the tracks, or pitching an
object (especially a camera) on a path.
Tangency is not a “real” constraint per se, but is available as a property for the
Path constraint.
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The plane in the top figure is animated on a path but is not constrained to be tangent
to the path. It remains oriented this way, regardless of its position on the path.
In the bottom figure, the plane’s Y axis has been constrained to be tangent to the
path. Note that the nose of the constrained plane does not always rest on the path
because the constraint uses the object’s center to set tangency.
To set a tangency constraint:
1. Select an object that is constrained to a path.
2. Under the Tangency option in the constraint’s property editor, select the
Active option.
3. Use the Axis to Align controls to specify the axis to point along—X is the
default. You can either click the axis buttons (positive and negative X, Y,
Z) or enter 1 or -1 in the axis text boxes.
If two or more values are non-zero, the constrained object points along the
resulting vector.
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Animating with Constraints
Creating Offsets between Constrained and Constraining Objects
When you constrain an object to another, you often need to offset it in some
way from the constraining object. For example, if you position-constrain one
object to another without an offset, both objects end up sharing the same
coordinate points and seem to be on top of one another.
Constraining object
(magnet)
Constrained object
(airplane)
Position constraint without offset
The position of the constrained
object’s center matches that of the
constraining object’s center.
Position constraint with offset
An offset is applied to the position
of the constrained object’s center.
You can set offsets between the constrained and constraining objects in the
constraints’ property editors. For example, you can offset the constrained
object’s distance from the constraining object for a position constraint, or
offset the rotation for a direction constraint.
To create an offset to a position constraint:
1. Select the constrained object, then open the multi-purpose editor.
2. Click the Geometry and Deform Properties tab in the multi-purpose
editor, then click the object’s Position Cns node.
3. Using the X, Y and Z sliders for either the constrained object or
constraining object parameters, set how far (in distance units) along the
global axes you want to separate the objects.
You can also create an offset for a direction constraint by modifying the
Target Offset so that the constrained object points to a spot a specified
distance from the constraining object.
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n
Unlike position constraint offsets, direction constraint offsets use the
constraining object’s local axes as their frame of reference.
Activating and Deactivating Constraints
You can temporarily deactivate a constraint and reactivate it later by opening
the constraint’s property editor and toggling its Active option.
Automating Animation with Math Presets
Math presets provide a quick and easy way to animate parameters
mathematically—without having to do a shred of math yourself.
Math presets apply mathematical expressions to the selected parameter. This
means that there is no fcurve for you to edit, but it’s easy to make changes to
the entire animation by adjusting a few parameters on a property page. These
parameters can also be keyframed, so that the effects of the preset can increase
or decrease over time.
To apply math presets to a parameter:
1. Mark the parameter you want to animate.
2. In the tools and options panel, click the Animation Tools tab, then click
one of these Math Presets buttons:
n
330
-
The Constant Speed preset changes the value of the parameter at
regular increments at each frame.
-
The Sine preset oscillates between two values at regular intervals,
easing into and out of each extreme. The resulting animation is
characterized by a pulsing or swinging effect.
-
The Jitter preset changes the parameter to a random value at
regular intervals.
Applying a math preset replaces any existing animation on the
parameter—even another math preset.
Animating the Camera
Editing Math Presets
When you first apply a preset, it applies default parameters to the expression.
Changing or keyframing these parameters allows you to fine-tune the animation.
To edit a parameter’s math presets:
t
Select the object and open its Animation Controls property editor in the
multi-purpose editor.
Deleting Math Presets
To delete a parameter’s math presets:
t
Do one of the following:
t
Right-click the parameter’s animation button and choose Remove
Animation from the context menu.
t
If the parameter is marked, click the Remove Animation on Marked
Parameter button in the Animation Tools panel.
Animating the Camera
You can animate a camera’s movement through space the same way as any
other object—by marking its transformation parameters and keyframing them
at specific points on the timeline, or by using constraints or math presets.
You can also independently animate the camera’s interest using any of these
methods, changing not only where there camera is, but also where it’s looking.
By animating one or the other (or both) you can create dynamic scenes, such
as a bird’s-eye view of flight through a cityscape or a vertigo-inducing roller
coaster ride.
You can animate the camera or its interest in one of two ways:
•
By looking at your scene through another camera or a spotlight, you can
position the camera or its interest in relation to other objects in the scene
and animate them using any of the methods mentioned above.
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•
n
By looking through your camera, you can control exactly what the camera
sees at a particular frame. You can control the camera’s view by using the
orbit, dolly, zoom, and pan controls (see “Navigating in Viewports” on
page 71) and animate according to what you see in the viewport. You can
also animate spotlights this way.
Regardless of which method you choose, it’s generally a good idea to make the
camera and its interest visible by clicking the Toggle Show Cameras in 3D
Views button in the Display Options panel. If you’re animating a spotlight
through a viewport, click Toggle Show Lights in 3D Views.
Animating a Camera from a Viewport View
You can keyframe a camera or spotlight’s parameters while you are looking
through it by using the Camera buttons in the Animation Tools panel. You
must be looking through the camera or light in viewport B for the keyframing
and selection options to take effect.
To animate a camera or spotlight through a viewport:
1. In viewport B, select the camera or spotlight you want to animate from the
Views menu.
2. Go to the frame where you want to set a key.
3. Do any of the following to adjust the camera view:
n
t
Move the camera interest using the translate tool or from its Local
Transform property editor.
t
Move the camera from its Local Transform property editor.
t
Dolly, zoom, orbit, or pan the camera.
To move the camera or its interest, you may need to select them using the
Select Active Camera or Select Active Camera Interest button in the
Animation Tools panel.
4. Set keys on the camera and interest’s positions, the camera’s position, or
the camera’s roll and zoom parameters using the appropriate Camera
button in the Animation Tools panel.
5. To create another key, repeat steps 2 through 4.
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Previewing Animation in a Flipbook
Previewing Animation in a Flipbook
No matter how talented an animator is, it’s a rare day that one can get it
exactly right the first time. Animation is usually a process of creation and
repeated testing and tweaking until everything is just right. In Avid 3D, you
can create a preview of your animation—a simplified version at a lower
resolution or with less detail that renders quickly. You can then play your
preview in the flipbook. Unlike animation played back using the playback
controls, a flipbook always plays back at the defined frame rate, provided you
have enough memory for the cached images.
You can export flipbooks in a variety of standard formats, such as AVI and
QuickTime (see “Exporting a Flipbook” on page 339).
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Creating Your Preview Animation
To create a preview of your animation:
1. Click the Render Low-Quality button in the render and preview controls.
2. The Render Options dialog box opens. Render type and quality are already
set; the other settings are based on the current global rendering options.
-
You can further speed up rendering by creating a simplified version of
your scene. In the Render Type tab, set the Render Type to
Wireframe, Hidden-line removal, or Shaded to see the scene’s
geometry’s shape, but in less detail.
-
Turning off unnecessary effects greatly speeds up render time. In the
Render Type tab, deselect any Mental Ray Effects you don’t need for
your preview.
3. Set the file options in the Frames Output tab, then click OK.
See “Setting Global Rendering Options” on page 383 for more details on
rendering options.
Loading Animation in the Flipbook
You can use the standalone flipbook to view cached images as a flipbook.
The standalone flipbook is useful for viewing high-resolution images that
use a lot of RAM.
To launch the flipbook:
1. Click the Launch Flipbook button in the render and preview controls.
2. In the Open Images dialog box that appears, specify the path and File
name of the images you want to load—click the browser button (...) to
open the browser.
n
For more information on any of these options, refer to the Online Help by
clicking the Help button in this dialog box.
You can also open this dialog box later by choosing File > Open Images or
pressing Ctrl+O in the flipbook.
If you’re constantly making changes and testing the same image sequence,
leave the flipbook open and press Ctrl+O and then Enter to reload the
sequence. This way, all the settings in the dialog box stay the same.
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Previewing Animation in a Flipbook
3. Select whether to load a complete Image/Movie file or just a specific
range of frames of the Sequence, including the Step and playback Rate
(NTSC, PAL, Film, etc.).
4. If you want to pad the numbers to allow you to match up image
sequences, specify the number of frames in the Padding list. The default
syntax is [fn].#[ext] where fn is the base file name, ext is the file
format extension, and # is the frame number.
5. Set the Zoom Factors, if you like. The values for each of these must
be integers:
-
Shrink on load divides the image resolution by a value that you
specify. For example, if you enter 2, the images are loaded at half the
original resolution.
-
Magnify on display multiplies the image resolution by a value that
you specify. For example, if you enter 2, the images are loaded at
twice the original resolution.
6. Set the memory and playback options:
n
-
Keep images in memory caches the images in memory so that they
can be played back in real time.
-
Preload before playing loads the entire image sequence into memory
instead of loading frames on demand.
-
Select Real Time to play the image sequence in real time. For
example, if you have a 1-second loop, it takes exactly 500 seconds to
loop the sequence 500 times. When you select this option, the RT
button is activated on the Playback panel below the timeline and you
can see the frame rate displayed.
If you have an Avid Mojo installed, you can view the flipbook animation on a
monitor connected to the Mojo by selecting Digital Output (Avid Mojo) in the
Open Images dialog box. See “Configuring Avid 3D to Output to an Avid
Mojo” on page 70 for information on installing an Avid Mojo.
7. Click OK to load the image sequence and open the flipbook window.
The flipbook window is resized if the loaded image is larger than the
current size.
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Setting Up the Flipbook View
In the flipbook window, you can set up how you want the images to appear
using commands from its View menu:
•
Display different RGB or alpha channels using the commands in the
View > Channel menu. Press the R, G, B, A, and C (all channels) keys to
display the respective channels.
•
Set the zoom factors using the options in the View > Zoom menu.
•
You can have non-square pixels appear correctly on the computer monitor,
which has square pixels by choosing View > Correct Aspect Ratio. For
example, NTSC images have a pixel ratio of 0.9, meaning the pixels are
not square.
To set the flipbook’s background color:
•
Choose View > Background Color to open the color property editor in
which you can set the color.
To pan in the flipbook:
•
336
Click+drag across the view area. This pans the image when it is bigger
than the display area.
Previewing Animation in a Flipbook
Playing the Flipbook
After you’ve loaded the images and set up the flipbook, you can play back the
images using the playback controls, as well as set up and adjust the playback rate.
When you play back the flipbook, the current frame number is shown below
the image, at the right edge of the window.
Range control
Playback controls
Current frame number
To set the playback rate:
t
Choose Tools > Rate (NTSC, PAL, FILM, etc.) or press Ctrl+R.
You can also choose View > Play Real-time or press T to display the
images in realtime.
To play the animation:
These controls are the same as in the playback controls in the main Avid 3D
window, as described in “Using the Playback Controls” on page 273.
t
Click the Play button on the flipbook’s playback controls or press the
up-arrow key.
You can also move forward or backward frame by frame, go to the first or
last frame, stop, and loop the playback (loop is automatically selected).
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Chapter 10 Animating in Avid 3D
To adjust the playback rate:
You can adjust the playback rate by 1-fps (frame per second) increments
within the range of 24 and 30 fps.
•
Choose Tools > Increase Rate or press + (plus) on the number pad to
increase one frame per second.
•
Choose Tools > Decrease Rate or press - (minus) on the number pad to
decrease one frame per second.
To play the animation in ping-pong style:
1. Choose View > Ping Pong or press P. This changes the directions of
playback at the ends of a looped sequence.
2. Click the Loop button in the flipbook’s playback controls.
3. Play the sequence: at the first and last frame, the sequence changes directions.
4. To stop the playback, press the space bar.
To go to a particular frame:
t
Choose Tools > Go to Frame or press Ctrl+G.
To change the playback range:
t
Use the range control below the timeline:
Range control
-
Click+drag either end to change the start/end frames.
-
Click+drag in its middle to slide the time range.
-
Double-click in it to reset it back to the entire range.
To clear the flipbook window of the current cached images:
t
Choose File > Clear Flipbook.
To close the flipbook window:
t
338
Choose File > Exit or press Alt+F4.
Previewing Animation in a Flipbook
Exporting a Flipbook
You can export a flipbook using a number of file formats.
n
Before you export a flipbook, make sure that you have enough room on the
disk to where you’re exporting. A warning message will not be displayed if you
run out of space.
To export a flipbook:
1. In the flipbook window, load the sequence you want to export.
2. Choose File > Export in the flipbook’s command bar or press Ctrl+E.
3. In the Export dialog box, specify the File name you want to export and
also the Source Range of frames to export.
4. Select the File Type in which you want to export the file. The list on the
left shows the possible export formats supported.
5. Set these optional parameters:
-
If you have a specific compressor (coder-decoder) you want to use for
movie files, click the Codec button.
-
To export an accompanying Audio File with the images, click the (...)
button to open the browser and search for the audio file.
-
If you want to pad the numbers to allow you to match up image
sequences, specify the number of frames in the Number Padding list.
The default syntax is [fn].#[ext] where fn is the base file name,
ext is the file format extension, and # is the frame number.
6. In the Destination Frame Offset text box, specify the number of frames
to add to the destination images. For example, you can offset the image
sequence before using another tool.
7. Click OK.
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Chapter 11
Particles
Particles allow you to create many different types of particle-based effects,
such as snow and rain, clouds and smoke, fire, or fairy dust. As well, you can
attach images to particles (sprites) to create a host of other effects.
Chapter 11 Particles
Particles in Avid 3D
Avid 3D makes it easy to simulate all types of phenomena that can be based on
particles, such as fireworks bursting in the night sky, or snowflakes falling
gently over a meteorologist’s weather map.
Particles are affected by forces that you can apply to them. These forces
include gravity, wind, a fan, and turbulence. As well, particles can interact
with objects in the scene when you set them to be obstacles with which the
particles collide and bounce off.
What Makes Up a Particle System?
A particle system is an assembly of different parts that work together: the
particle simulator, the emitter, the particle type, and the effects. Forces and
obstacle objects also affect the particle simulation, but are not directly a part of
the particle system’s structure.
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Particles in Avid 3D
Particle type defines the
particles’ physical characteristics.
Particle emitter
Render region previews the
results of the particle effects for
the final rendered look.
Particle cloud
•
The particle simulator is the operator that generates the particles, as
represented by the particle cloud. This operator controls how the particles
evolve and are affected by forces and obstacles. You can have multiple
particle clouds in a scene.
•
The emitter is associated to a particle cloud, and is a combination of
two things:
-
The object from which the particles are emitted.
-
The set of properties defining how the particles are emitted, such as
their rate (density), speed, and spread angle.
•
The particle type is associated with each emitter and particle cloud.
Particles types are like the “recipes” or templates that describe what the
set of particles looks like (mass, size, color, etc.). You can change a
particle system’s particle type while keeping the same emitter object and
emission properties.
•
The particle effects define the rendered look of the particles, letting you
determine the basic shape of the particles and set the color, shadows, or
color burn, as well as other properties.
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Creating Particles
To create a particle simulation, you can either drag and drop a particle system
preset from the library panel, or you can create your own particle system from
an object you select to be the emitter. You can have any number of particle
clouds in a scene.
When you create a particle cloud, you define the global characteristics of the
particle simulation, which are generated by the particles operator. It generates
and updates the particles for the cloud, considering the emitting object and its
properties, forces, and obstacles.
To create particles from a preset:
1. Click the Object Library tab in the library panel and select Particles.
2. Drag and drop a particle preset into any viewport.
Particle cloud
A particle cloud appears in the viewports, close to the global origin, and
some particles are displayed coming from the emitter object. You can
move the emitter object away from the particle cloud, but it is not
recommended to move the particle cloud away from the global origin.
When you play the simulation (see “Playing Particle Simulations” on
page 352), the particles are emitted.
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Creating Particles
To create particles from scratch:
1. Select an object that will be the particle emitter.
You can use any type of object as an emitter, including an animated object.
2. Click the Create Particles on Selected Object button in the Particle
Tools tab.
A particle cloud appears in the viewports, close to the global origin. When
you play the simulation, the particles are emitted from the object you selected.
Editing the Particles
After you have created particles, you can edit their properties. For example,
you could change the particles’ color, increase the number of particles being
emitted, or change the length of the whole particle simulation, to name just a
few things.
In the multi-purpose editor, you can see and edit the properties for all the parts
of a particle system.
To open property editors for particles:
1. Select the particle cloud in a viewport and open the multi-purpose editor.
2. In the left tree pane, click the name of the particle element to open its
property editor in the right pane.
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Chapter 11 Particles
Here, for example, GoldDust (the particle type) is selected and its
property editor appears in the pane on the right side.
Geometry and Deform Properties
Click the Geometry and Deform Properties tab to see these property editors
for the selected particles.
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•
The cloud is the root for all the particle pieces. Click it to open the Cloud
property editor in which you can give a name to the particle system.
•
ParticlesOp is the particle simulator operator. Click it to open the
ParticlesOp property editor that contains parameters about the length of
the simulation (see “Setting the Length of the Particle Simulation” on
page 353), as well as the percentage of particles being emitted (see
“Setting the Number of Particles Emitted” on page 355).
•
Emission (name of object_emission) is the particle emitter properties,
which define how the particles are emitted. Click it to open the Emission
property editor (see “Setting Up the Particle Emission” on page 354).
•
PType is the particle type, which defines the look and physical
characteristics of the particles. The particle type often has other names
depending on the preset you have loaded, such as GoldDust, Snow, Rain,
etc. Click this name to open the Particle Type property editor (see
“Particle Types” on page 358).
Creating Particles
•
Gravity, Wind, Fan, and Turbulence are forces that can be attached to
particle clouds (see “Applying Forces to Particles” on page 366).
•
Obstacle (name of object_obstacle) is an object that has been defined as
an obstacle with which the particles collide and bounce off (see “Creating
Particle Collisions with Obstacles” on page 371).
Materials and Fx Properties
Click the Material and Fx tab to see the effects property editors for the
selected particles.
You can use different effects for the particles to define their look. For example,
the Particle Billboard and Particle Shape effects are attached to most particles to
define their rendered look. If you use a sprite image on particles, you can set its
properties in the Particle Sprite property editor. As well, some particle presets
use the Particle Gradient to set the rendered particle color with a gradient.
For more information, see “Changing the Look of Particles with Effects” on
page 377.
Selecting Particles
You can select particles in two ways. When particles are selected, a white
outline appears around them.
To select particles, do one of the following:
t
Click on the particles or the particle cloud in a viewport.
t
Open the scene explorer and select Particle Clouds. Then click the
appropriate cloud item on the tab below. This is useful if you have several
particle clouds in the scene and it’s not clear which particles belong to
which cloud.
Selected particles
appear with a white
outline around them.
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Deforming Particles
You can apply almost any of the standard deformation tools (such as lattices,
cages, Push, Twist, or Taper) to particles. This is a powerful way of making
complex particle systems, such as a whirling tornado of particles within a
twisted and tapered lattice.
For information on how to use the deformations, see “Modifying Object
Geometry” on page 139.
To deform a particle cloud:
1. Select the particles you want to deform.
2. Choose any of the deformations from the Deformation Tools panel in the
Tools and Options panel.
Deleting Particles
Deleting a particle simulation removes the particles and their emitter object,
but you must remove the emitter object separately if you created a particle
system from scratch.
To delete particles:
t
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Select the particles or particle cloud in a viewport or from the scene
explorer and press Delete.
Viewing Particles in the Viewports
Viewing Particles in the Viewports
Creating particle simulations is a visual process that requires many ways of
viewing. There are a number of display types in which you can visualize
particles. As well, you can draw a render region over particles for which you
want to see the rendered image. However, the Textured display type allows
you to see a very close approximation of the rendered look.
n
To see many of the particle shapes and the transparency better, make the
viewport’s background black by clicking the Background Colors > Black
button on the Display Options panel.
Selecting a Display Type
You can view particle simulations using any display type from the display type
menu in a viewport (see “Display Types” on page 68). These are some of the
most useful ones.
•
In Wireframe display, the particles are shown as camera-oriented
hexagonal outlines the size of the particle’s radius, and colored with the
particle’s color at the appropriate frame. The playback of the particle
simulation is very fast with Wireframe display.
•
In Shaded or Constant display, the particles are shown as flat (constant)
colored hexagons, the size of the particle’s radius, and colored with the
particle’s color at the appropriate frame. The camera orientation for the
particles is the same as for Wireframe display.
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•
In Textured display, you can preview most particle options so that you
don’t always need to draw a render region. The playback is slower for
Textured display than for Wireframe or Shaded display because of the
extra information.
The particles are displayed as alpha-blended bitmaps that use the color
and alpha information defined for the particles. As well, you can see what
sprites, images, and shapes will essentially look like in the final render.
The particles are also properly integrated with scene objects in depth.
Particles with Wireframe display.
Particles with Shaded display.
Particles with Textured display.
Previewing Particles in the Render Region
While the Textured display shows you the rendered look of the particles in
many cases, the render region lets you preview exactly what the particles will
look like in the final rendered image.
To create a render region:
t
350
In a viewport, press Q and drag over the area of the particles you want
to preview.
Viewing Particles in the Viewports
You can resize the render region using the little blue boxes in its corners or on
the sides and set the amount of aliasing by dragging the little slider on the right
side of the region.
Press Q and drag to create a
render region on the particles.
Inside this region, you see
what the particles will look like
in the final rendered image.
Drag the aliasing slider up to
set the highest quality image.
Resize the region by dragging
any of its little blue boxes.
Displaying and Hiding Particles
You can display or hide all particles in the viewports. When you hide particles,
the simulation is muted which makes it faster to play the scene. This is useful
if you want to keep the particles in the scene, but you’re not working on them
at the moment.
To view or hide particles in a viewport:
t
Toggle the Display Filters > Particles button in the Display Options
panel.
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Playing Particle Simulations
As with animations, you can play back a particle simulation in the same way.
However, particle simulations are a little different because they always require
the previous frame to know how they should be simulating. At the first frame
of a simulation, no particles are emitted. One frame later, particles are emitted
but not updated. One frame after that, the previously emitted particles are
updated and new ones are emitted, and so on for the rest of the simulation.
This is done so that an animated particle emitter object is at the same frame as
the particles it’s emitting. If particles were updated at the same frame they
were emitted, the particles would be one frame ahead of the emitter.
For more information on the different playback options, see “Using the
Playback Controls” on page 273.
To play and stop a simulation:
t
To play the simulation, click the Play button in the playback panel below
the timeline or press the space bar.
-
You cannot play the simulation backwards.
-
If you edit the particle properties while you’re playing the simulation,
they are not recalculated until the simulation starts again at its first frame.
t
To stop the simulation from playing, click the Play button or press the
space bar again.
t
To continue playing the simulation from the current frame (such as if
you stopped at a frame in the middle of the simulation), middle-click the
Play button.
t
Click the Loop button in the playback panel to have the simulation play
continuously.
To go to a particular frame in the simulation:
t
Drag the playback cursor in the timeline to that frame number or enter it
in the Current Frame box beside the playback controls. This must be a
frame that is later in the simulation than the current frame.
The simulation is calculated up to that frame. You can click Cancel on the
progress bar that appears to cancel its calculation.
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Playing Particle Simulations
t
n
To advance the simulation by single frames, click the Next Frame button.
You cannot click the Previous Frame button to return to a previous frame
of simulation.
To increase the speed of the playback, mute any viewport that you’re not using
by middle-clicking its letter identifier (A, B, C, or D). You can also hide the
default grid in any viewport (press G) to increase the playback speed.
Setting the Length of the Particle Simulation
By default, a particle simulation length is 100 frames. However, you can easily
change the length of the particle simulation using these parameters in the
ParticlesOp property editor (see “Editing the Particles” on page 345).
To match the simulation’s frames to the scene’s:
t
Click the Copy From Scene button to copy the scene’s first and last frame
defined for the timeline to the simulation. This is a quick way of having
the simulation play for the whole length of the scene.
To set the simulation’s length:
t
Set the number of frames for the Duration. This is the total number of
frames over which the particle simulation is played.
To offset the simulation’s starting frame:
t
Enter the number of frames for the Offset. This is the amount by which
you want to offset the start of the simulation.
For example, if you want the particle simulation to start only after the
animation has played 20 frames, set the Offset to 21. The particle
simulation starts 20 frames after the first frame in the scene’s timeline,
whatever that frame number is (frame 1, in this case).
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Setting Up the Particle Emission
Once you create a particle system, you can set up how the particles are
emitted. Particle emission is composed of two things:
•
The object from which the particles are emitted.
•
The properties that define how the particles are emitted: their rate
(amount), speed, origin, direction, and spread angle.
By default, particles are emitted from the emitter object which you can move
to another location in the scene. However, if you move the particle cloud
(which is not recommended), the emitted particles are offset with respect to
their natural emission point.
Editing the Particle Emissions
Once you have created a particle cloud, you can edit the emission properties in
the Emission property editor. The emission properties are automatically
named based on the emitter object’s name.
To open the particle emission property editor:
1. Select the particle cloud and open the multi-purpose editor (see “Editing
the Particles” on page 345).
2. Click the Geometry and Deform Properties tab and select the name with
the _emission suffix.
3. Set the parameters in the Emission property editor, as described in this section.
Adding Variation to Emission Parameters
Many parameters on the Emission property editor have Var (Variance)
parameters which allow you to add randomness to their associated parameter’s
value. The Var parameters define the range in which the random numbers are
generated. By adding variation to a parameter’s value, you have ultimate
control over its specific effect.
Variance can also be animated (as indicated by their green animation buttons),
allowing you to have different animations for the parameter’s variance and its
value. For information on animating parameters, see “Keyframe Animation”
on page 277.
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Setting Up the Particle Emission
Setting the Number of Particles Emitted
The Rate parameter in the Emission property editor is the amount (density) of
particles being emitted per second. The higher the value, the greater the
number of particles being emitted.
Particles emitted at
5 per second.
Particles emitted at
100 per second.
You can choose to display only a percentage of this rate by setting the
Particle% value in the ParticlesOp property editor.
You can set the Particle% to a low value for faster playback while editing,
then to the full amount you want when you’re ready to view the final state of
the simulation. You can also overshoot the values for Particle % by entering a
higher value, such as 200% to double the number of particles emitted.
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Particle Speed
Set these two parameters in the Emission property editor to control the
particle speed:
Speed defines the speed of the particle emission in distance units per second.
Inherit is the percentage of velocity that the particles inherit from an animated
emitter object at emission time.
Particles emitted at
1 unit per second.
Particles emitted at
10 units per second.
Origin and Direction of Particle Emission
You can determine how the particles are emitted from the emitter object in
terms of their origin of emission and their direction by setting these
parameters in the Emission property editor.
Generation sets the point of origin from where the particles are emitted
according to different geometry components of the emitter object.
For information on geometry components, see “Basic Scene Elements” on
page 100.
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Setting Up the Particle Emission
The following images show the different generation possibilities:
Point: Particles originate from points on
the emitter object.
Line: Particles originate from the edges
of the emitter object.
Surface: Particles originate from the
surface (flat areas) of the emitter object.
Volume: Particles originate from within
the volumetric boundaries of the
emitter object.
Direction sets the direction of particles emitted from the emitter object.
Emission direction can be relative to the emitter object’s Local or Global
reference or relative to the direction of the emitter object’s Normals.
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Particle Spread
The Spread parameter in the Emission property editor is the diameter of the
aperture through which the particles are emitted from the emitter object, with a
range of 0 to 180 degrees.
The angle value you enter is calculated from the point of emission and
includes only “one side” of the emission. However, the result is double the
angle value to include both sides of the emission.
For example, if you specify a value of 15 degrees, the particles are actually
spread over a total angle area of 30 degrees.
Spread is set to 15o. The
result is a total emission
spread of 30o.
15o
Particle Types
In addition to the particle emission properties (see previous section), you can
also edit the physical characteristics of particles. These characteristics are
collectively referred to as the particle type.
Particle types are like the “recipes” or templates that describe what each group
of particles looks like. They define the particles’ physical characteristics such
as their mass, size, and life span, as well as their color and noise.
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Particle Types
You can apply any particle type to any emitter object in any scene, one at a
time. As well, you can have any number of emitters in a scene that use the
same particle type.
Editing the Particle Type
Once you have created a particle cloud, you can open the Particle Type
property editor to edit the particles.
To set up the particle type properties:
1. Select the particle cloud and open the multi-purpose editor (see “Editing
the Particles” on page 345).
2. Click the Geometry and Deform Properties tab and select the particle
type. Depending on which particle type is being used for the simulation,
it can have different names such as PType, Snowflake, Gold Dust, or Rain,
for example.
3. Set the parameters in the Particle Type property editor, as described in
this section.
Adding Variation to Particle Type Parameters
Many parameters in the Particle Type property editor have Var (Variance)
parameters which allow you to add randomness to their associated parameter’s
value. The Var parameters define the range in which the random numbers are
generated. By adding variation to a parameter’s value, you have ultimate
control over its specific effect.
The Color parameters also have additional variance parameters that let you
add randomness to the individual Hue, Luminance, Saturation, and Alpha
parameters separately—see “Setting a Particle’s Color” on page 361.
Variance can also be animated (as indicated by their green animation buttons),
allowing you to have different animations for the parameter’s variance and its
value. For information on animating parameters, see “Keyframe Animation”
on page 277.
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Chapter 11 Particles
Changing Particle Types
When you change the particle type, the new particle type takes on the existing
simulation and emission properties that have been defined for the particle
cloud and its emitter. For example, if the particle emission Rate for the
existing particles is 200, the new particles for the particle type are emitted at
this same rate.
To select a new particle type:
1. Click the Material and Fx Library tab in the library panel and select Particles.
2. Drag and drop a particle type from the Particles tab onto existing particles
in a viewport.
This automatically associates the new particle type to this particle cloud
and its emitter. The particle type inherits the particle cloud’s simulation
and emission properties.
Setting the Particle’s Lifetime
You alone have the power to decide how long a particle lives by using these
parameters in the Life section in the Particle Type property editor:
•
360
Max Life controls the maximum length of time (in seconds) that the
particle exists once it is emitted.
Particle Types
•
Live Forever makes the particles live for such a long time that it seems like
forever (69,999 frames, to be exact). This option is useful when you want to
have the particles always available as you’re tweaking their parameters.
Setting the Particle’s Mass and Size
Set these two parameters in the Particle Type property editor to control the
particle size and mass:
•
Size controls the size of the particle when it is born, in distance units. The
farther away a particle appears in the viewing area, the smaller it appears
when it is rendered.
•
Mass specifies the mass of particles, which determines how swiftly they
react to forces applied to them. The more massive a particle, the more
difficult it is to change its motion. Therefore, to make a change in a
particle’s motion, you need to apply stronger forces to a particle with
more mass than to particle with less mass.
Gravity, however, is a little different from the other forces. Gravity is a
force directly proportional to the particle mass. The more massive the
particle, the stronger the gravity force applied to it. As a result, several
particles of different masses will all have the same motion if the only
force acting upon them is gravity.
Setting a Particle’s Color
The particle color that you see in the viewport is defined using the Color
parameters in the Particle Type property editor. However, you can override this
color with the color of a sprite image (see “Attaching Sprites and Images to
Particles” on page 374) or you can set the color for the rendered particles
using the Particle Billboard (see “Changing the Look of Particles with Effects”
on page 377).
You can change the particles’ color including using color variance or animated
colors by using the Color parameters and controls.
To set the color for particles:
t
Drag the arrows in the Color sliders in the Particle Type property editor. If
you press Ctrl as you drag one arrow, you can drag all three arrows at once.
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You can also click the color model button to switch between RGB, HLS,
or HSV color models. See “Defining Color Properties” on page 92 for
more information about using all the color controls.
Click the model button to
change color models
(RGB, HLS, or HSV).
Click the color box to
open the color editor
and select a color there.
Drag the arrows in the
sliders to change the color
values. Press Ctrl while
dragging to move them all
at the same time.
Select an animation mode
for animated RGB and
Alpha parameters—see the
following section.
Add variance to the HLS
color and Alpha
parameters—see “Adding
Color Variance” on
page 364.
Animating the Color Parameters
You can add realism to your particle simulation by animating particle color
values. Particle values can change as a function of their own lifetime or as a
function of the lifetime of the particle simulation itself. This lets you create
effects such as making particles change color as they age.
For any of the animation controls to have effect, you must first animate the
parameter (that is, you must first key its values to create a function curve). The
different animation reference control modes only define how to interpret that
function curve. For information on animating parameters, see “Keyframe
Animation” on page 277.
The Animation Reference control modes let you specify how the RGB and
Alpha values can be animated: Birth, Age, Age %, or Absolute.
•
In Birth mode, the value of the parameter’s function curve at birth time is
kept constant over its lifetime (Max Life value).
For example, particles retain whatever color is defined at time of their
birth and stay that color until they die. Using this method, you could layer
different colors by setting different lifetimes for each colored particle.
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Particle Types
•
Abs(olute) is the same as Birth mode, but instead of keeping the value
parameter constant, it evolves according to its function curve over the
particle’s lifetime (Max Life value). This means that all particles get the
same value over time, regardless of their age.
All of the particles change at the same time, no matter where they are in
their lifetime. Think of filming some smoke with a regular lens on your
camera, then adding a blue lens filter: all the smoke particles change color
at the same time.
•
In Age mode, when the particle is born, the value of the parameter that
corresponds to the function curve at the start frame of the simulation is
used. Then the associated value evolves according to its function curve
over the particle’s lifetime (Max Life value).
Transitions that you key happen at the frame you key them and continue to
change throughout the lifetime of the particle. It happens based on the
particles’ individual ages and occurs separately for all of them.
Also, Age lets you have transitions that do not happen if the frame they
are keyed at does not fall within the particle’s lifetime. For example, if you
key a transition at frame 50 but the particle dies at frame 35, you would
have to increase the lifetime or move the key to be within the lifetime to
see that transition.
•
Age % uses function curve values defined by the particle type Color’s
RGB and/or Alpha controls to map a shift range between 0 and 100% (a
percentage of the particle’s lifetime). This creates a color shift effect over
a particle’s lifetime (Max Life) that corresponds to the values defined by
the keys. It refers to the percentage of the particle’s age as opposed to a
particular keyframe, as Age does. For example, a particle could be born
with the color red and die with the color blue.
When you use Age %, keying the color over 100 frames gives you more
predictable results because each frame represents a percentage point (one
percentage point for every 10 frames). Then, for example, if you want the
particle to change color halfway through its lifetime, you would key it at
frame 50.
n
If you want to use Age % as the animation reference mode, always key the
color parameter’s values in another animation mode and then switch to Age %
when you’re done.
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Chapter 11 Particles
Adding Color Variance
The Color - Variance parameters allow you to add variance to the H (hue), L
(luminance), S (saturation), and Alpha parameters’ values. The values for
parameters define the range in which the random numbers are generated.
The distribution method of the variance can be Uniform or Gaussian:
•
With Uniform, random numbers are distributed uniformly around the
parameter’s value using the Variance value. The parameter will always be
in the range [ Value - Variance; Value + Variance ], never outside of it.
•
With Gaussian, random numbers are distributed as a bell curve around the
parameter's value using the Variance value. Most numbers will be in the
range [ Value - Variance; Value + Variance ], but they may be outside of
that range with [Value - Variance], and they will be outside of that range
with [Value + Variance]. Values using Gaussian distribution will have
greater variations than the ones using a Uniform distribution.
If you have the same value for both the parameter itself and the Variance
parameter, different numbers result depending on the type of distribution you
select. Numbers using Gaussian distribution will have greater variations than
the ones using a Uniform distribution.
Original particle color for gold dust.
364
Variance - Hue value set to 1 using the
Gaussian distribution method.
Particle Types
The seed parameter (the text box with no label to the right of the
Uniform/Gaussian parameter) allows you to change the effect on the variance
without changing either the parameter's value or its Var value. The seed
defines which numbers will be generated in the range that the Var parameter
specifies. It allows you to have very fine control over the parameters, changing
them slightly without having to change the parameter’s value or its Var value.
The Seed parameter works only if you have a value other than zero for the
Variance parameter to which it is associated.
Adding Noise to Particles
You can apply noise to each particle type to make random variations in the
particles’ spacing and movements. Noise is also known as jitter.
The simplest way to think of noise is as a “random walk”. Instead of having a
totally random value at each frame, you offset the previous value by a random
step amount. In the case of particles, this is a random 3D vector direction and
scale. This offset is applied to whichever Noise Intensity parameter you
specify: Position, Velocity, or Acceleration.
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To add noise to particles:
t
Set the following Noise Intensity parameters in the Particle Type
property editor:
-
Position: amount of noise to be added to particles’ position (in
distance units).
-
Velocity: amount of noise to be added to particles’ velocity (in
[spatial units]/[time units])
-
Acceleration: amount of noise to be added to particles’ acceleration
(in [spatial units]/[time units]^2)
You can animate the Noise Intensity parameters using the standard particle
type animation controls: Birth, Absolute, and Age (see “Animating the Color
Parameters” on page 362).
Applying Forces to Particles
You can add realism to a particle simulation by having its movement affected
by forces. There are four types of forces you can apply to particles: gravity,
wind, fan, and turbulence. Each force is represented in the scene by its own
control object, which you can select, transform, rotate, and scale like any other
object in an Avid 3D scene.
For example, you can animate the rotation of a fan, or you can defy the laws of
physics by inverting the gravity control object’s direction so that it’s pointing
up. Scaling a force’s control object changes its strength (the Amplitude
parameter’s value) accordingly.
Each particle cloud can have multiple forces applied to it. As well, you can
have the same force applied to a number of particle clouds in a scene.
Types of Forces
There are four types of forces you can apply to particles: gravity, wind, fan,
and turbulence.
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Applying Forces to Particles
Gravity
Gravity is the most common type of force that you will use, for obvious
reasons. It simulates the effect of a gravitational force. By default, its
amplitude (strength) is set to simulate earth’s gravity (98.1), but you can set it
to anything you like, including a negative value.
The default value of 98.1 is set as such to simulate particles properly when 1
distance unit equals 10 cm. Depending on the scale of your scene, you may
need to adjust this value to get particles falling as they should.
Gravity control object
Wind
The wind force controls the effect of wind blowing on the particles. You can
control the wind’s amplitude, which is the strength of the force.
Wind control object
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Chapter 11 Particles
Fan
The fan creates a “local” effect of wind blowing through a cylinder so that all
particles inside the cylinder are affected. The fan’s wind direction follows the
cylinder’s axis.
You can control the fan’s amplitude, which is the strength of the force. To
control the fan’s area of influence, you can adjust the size of the radius and
drop length of its cylinder.
Fan control object
Turbulence
The turbulence force builds a wind field to let you imitate real-life turbulence
effects, such as the violent gusts of air that occur when an airplane lands.
Turbulence is a complex force that is made up of a number of parts. A wind
field is created by superimposing a small scale random field over a large scale
deterministic field. Intensity is then applied to the whole wind field.
You can set the amplitude (strength) of the turbulence using either positive or
negative values. This value acts as a constant multiplicative factor that is
applied to the whole wind field (small and large scale fields combined).
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Applying Forces to Particles
The eddies (small scale field) within the turbulence force are responsible for
how “gusty” or turbulent the effect on the particles will be.
Turbulence control object
Creating a Natural Force
You can create natural forces using the Force commands on the Particle Tools
panel. You can apply any number of forces to a particle cloud. As well, you
can have the same force applied to any number of particle clouds in a scene.
To create and apply a force to a selected particle cloud:
1. Select one or more particle clouds to which you want to apply a force.
2. Click one of the Forces buttons in the Particle Tools panel: gravity, wind,
fan, or turbulence.
Gravity
Wind
Fan
Turbulence
The corresponding force control object appears at the origin in the
viewports and is automatically applied to the selected particle clouds.
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3. You can open the force’s property editor to edit its settings. To do this,
select the particles to which the force is associated and open the multipurpose editor (see “Editing the Particles” on page 345).
In the Multi-purpose Editor, click the Geometry and Deform Properties
tab and select the appropriate force: Gravity, Wind, Fan, or Turbulence.
To apply an existing force to a particle cloud:
If there is already a force in the scene, you can apply it to other particle clouds
in your scene.
1. Select one or more particle clouds to which you want to apply the force.
2. Click the Environment > Apply Force button in Particle Tools panel.
3. In a viewport, pick the force object you want to apply to the particle
clouds, then right-click to end your selection.
Displaying and Hiding Force Control Objects
You can display or hide all force control objects in the viewports. This is
useful if you want to keep the forces in the scene, but you don’t need to see
them. Although the forces are hidden, they still have an effect on the particles.
To view or hide force control object in a viewport:
t
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Toggle the Display Filters > Control Object and Rig Handles button in
Display Options panel.
Creating Particle Collisions with Obstacles
Muting Forces
When you mute a force, you temporarily deactivate it so that it’s not calculated
as part of the particle simulation. Muting forces is useful to do if, for example,
you have multiple forces in a scene and you want to test and tweak the results
of each force individually.
To mute a force:
t
Select the Mute option in a force’s property editor (see “Editing the
Particles” on page 345).
t
You can animate the Mute option to do such things as having a wind
suddenly blow, then disappear.
Creating Particle Collisions with Obstacles
You can define any number of standard Avid 3D geometric objects in your
scene to act as obstacles that block the path or collide with particles. Particles
bounce off any obstacle that gets in their way.
Particles colliding and
bouncing off an object set
as their obstacle.
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Setting Up Obstacles
To select objects as obstacles and set up a collision:
1. Select the particle clouds that you want to have collide with the obstacles.
2. Click the Particle Tools tab in the Tools and Options panel and then click
the Environment > Apply Obstacle button.
3. Pick one or more objects in the viewport that will act as obstacles for the
particles. Right-click to end the picking session.
4. Set the general and physical parameters in the Obstacle property editor to
set up the obstacle and control the collision’s behavior. To do this, select
the particles that are colliding with the obstacle and open the multipurpose editor (see “Editing the Particles” on page 345).
In the multi-purpose editor, click the Geometry and Deform Properties tab
and select the appropriate item with the _obstacle suffix.
When you play the simulation, the particles collide with the obstacle.
Setting the Obstacle’s Collision Geometry
The General parameters in the Obstacle property editor let you set the
obstacle’s collision geometry. You can determine the geometry used during
collisions, regardless of the obstacle object’s actual geometry.
•
Obstacle Type can be a bounding box, plane, or sphere, or the actual
shape of the obstacle’s geometry.
If you are using primitive shapes like spheres, grids, and boxes (or
geometries with close enough approximations to these shapes), use the
bounding shapes for obstacles rather than the actual shape. This can save a
lot of calculation time.
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Creating Particle Collisions with Obstacles
•
Animatable Deformation correctly detects collisions when the obstacle
is animated by deformations (see “Modifying Object Geometry” on
page 139). It is only needed if the geometry is deforming over time: it is
not required for transformations (scale, rotate, translate).
You should keep this option off unless you really need it because it can
use a lot of memory.
•
Double-Faced Collision detects collisions for both faces of a two-sided
object, such as a flag or the inside and outside of a container. Keep this
option off unless you really need it because it consumes a lot of memory.
Setting the Collision’s Physical Behavior
The Physical parameters in the Obstacle property editor let you set the
obstacle’s properties to determine the particles’ reaction to it.
•
Set the Friction to a high value if you want the particles to stick to the
obstacle. A low value causes the particles to slide off the obstacle with
little resistance.
•
Set the Elasticity to a high value if you want the particles to bounce off
the obstacle with great vigor. You can enter values higher than is shown by
the slider.
•
The Push Length is the offset between the obstacle’s surface and its
collision point. This creates an invisible buffer between the obstacle and
the particles.
•
The Tolerance value is the degree of accuracy set for all the physical
parameters. The higher the value, the more accurate the collision but the
more time it takes to calculate.
Muting Obstacles
When you mute an obstacle, you temporarily deactivate it so that it’s not
calculated as part of the particle simulation. Muting obstacles is useful to do if,
for example, you have multiple obstacles in a scene and you want to test and
tweak the results of each obstacle individually. You can also animate the Mute
option to have it active or inactive at different frames.
To mute an obstacle:
t
Select the Mute option in the obstacle object’s Obstacle property page.
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Attaching Sprites and Images to Particles
When you use sprites, you can use any textured image file or animated sequence
and apply it to the particle type so that the particles look like that image. You can
use any of the sample sprite images from the Still Images Library, as well as any
other of the items in the Flat Pictures section of this library.
To attach a sprite image or sequence for the particle shape:
1. Click the Still Images tab in the Library panel and select Sprites or any of
the other Flat Pictures options.
2. Drag and drop a sprite image from the tab below onto the particles in a
viewport. The new sprite appears on the particles.
Original particle simulation with a
snowflake sprite attached to the particles.
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Bubble sprite is dropped onto the
particles to replace the snowflake sprite.
Attaching Sprites and Images to Particles
3. Edit the sprite’s properties. To do this, select the particles and open the
multi-purpose editor (see “Editing the Particles” on page 345). Click the
Material and Fx tab and select Particle Sprite.
Setting the Sprite’s Output Color
You can set the sprite’s color and alpha using the Output Color parameters in
the Particle Sprite property editor.
To set the sprite color:
t
Select From Sprite to use the color from the sprite image you have
attached to the particle type.
t
If you deselect this option, the color is taken from either particle type’s
color itself or the Billboard.
Original bubble sprite image
Color taken from the sprite image.
Color taken from the particle type.
To modulate the particle’s alpha values:
t
Select one of the Alpha Modulation options to multiply the particle
color’s alpha channel by the sprite’s alpha channel or RGB intensity, or
nothing at all.
t
Select Inverted to invert the alpha calculated from the sprite before
multiplying with the incoming alpha. For example, if the sprite appears
with a border around it, toggling this option usually gets rid of it.
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Alpha is inverted for this sprite image.
Toggling the Inverted option inverts the
alpha value and the border disappears.
Setting Up Sprite Image Sequences
If you have attached a sprite image sequence (not just a single image), you can
decide how it is used during the simulation using these parameters in the
Sprite property editor.
To set up the sprite sequence:
t
Set the Start Sequence (%) value, which is the percentage value where in
the sprite sequence you want to evaluate the frame. It uses the value 0 to
mean the beginning of the sequence and 1 to mean the end of the sequence.
t
Select or deselect Looping to determine how the Start Sequence % values
are marked:
-
With Looping on, the fractional value of Start Sequence % indicates
the frame. This means that if, for example, you animate the value to
go from 0 to 5 over 100 frames, you will see the sprite animation
looped five times over those 100 frames.
A whole number (integer value) always marks the first frame, and the
last frame is the number just before the next whole number.
-
With Looping off, values less than or equal to 0 mark the first frame,
and values equal to or greater than 1 mark the last frame.
This means that any values outside the range are clipped to the
start/end point for less than 0 and greater than 1 respectively.
376
Changing the Look of Particles with Effects
Changing the Look of Particles with Effects
In many basic ways, rendering particles is similar to rendering any other object
in Avid 3D. You can use all standard lighting techniques and set shadows.
Unlike other objects in Avid 3D, however, there are special effects designed
specifically for particles that let you make them look the way you want in the
rendered output. These effects let you change the shape of the particle, set the
color, edit a sprite image attached to the particle, and many other options.
Editing the Particle Effects
To open the effect property editors:
1. Select the particles and open the multi-purpose editor (see “Editing the
Particles” on page 345).
2. Click the Material and Fx tab and select Particle Billboard.
Depending on the particle system you have set up, you may also see these
effects on the same tab: Particle Shape, Particle Sprite (see “Attaching
Sprites and Images to Particles” on page 374), or Particle Gradient.
For more details on each of the parameters available for each of these effects,
refer to the Online Help (Help > Avid 3D Help) for Properties.
Particle Billboard
Particle Billboard provides a surface for making the particles look as you
want, such as by using a sprite image or using a shape with the Particle Shape.
When you create a particle cloud from scratch (see “Creating Particles” on
page 344), the Particle Billboard is attached to the particle type, along with the
Particle Shape.
You can set the ambient and specular color, using either the existing particle
color defined by the particle type or by overriding that with a color set here.
You can also add color burn (additivity) to create specific glow or
overexposure effects, or have the particles be self-shadowing.
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Chapter 11 Particles
If you have a shape defined for the particles using Particle Shape, this shape
overrides the shape set in the Particle Billboard property editor. For example,
the smoke shown below uses the Turbulence shape type using Particle Shape
that is attached to the Particle Billboard.
Smoke created by using
the Turbulence shape.
Color burn created on this
chemical concoction.
Particle Shape
When you’re defining the look of a particle type, setting its shape plays a
significant role. The Particle Shape shader provides a variety of 2D shapes
from which you can choose, including setting the shape’s position within the
particle radius and setting its transparency falloff.
By default, the Particle Shape is attached to the Billboard when you create a
particle cloud: the Particle Billboard creates the 2D surface while the Particle
Shape provides the actual shape definition and look.
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Changing the Look of Particles with Effects
In the Particle Shape property editor, you can choose from these shape types
on the Shape page. As well, you can customize each shape type with its
corresponding parameters.
Beam shape
Sine shape
Star shape
Turbulence shape
Noise shape
Fractal shape
Particle Gradient
The Particle Gradient effect is available only with a few particle presets (such
as the Fire Ring and Fire in the Object Library) and the Shards particle type (in
the Material and Fx Library).
This effect lets you create a gradient (color ramp) that colors the particle
according to its Age % (see “Animating the Color Parameters” on page 362).
For example, this gradient slider in the Particle Gradient property editor shows
how a flame’s colors will look over the lifetime of the particle, starting off
blue, changing to yellow and orange, and then finishing off black:
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Chapter 11 Particles
380
Chapter 12
Output Options
Chapter 12 Output Options
Rendering the Final Output
So it’s come to this. You’ve created your scene, animated your objects, added
textures and lights, and positioned your camera. Now the culmination of all
your work is at hand: you’re ready to render your work in all its animated glory.
Avid 3D uses the mental ray® renderer to create high-quality images. mental
ray uses a process called raytracing to generate images. Raytracing calculates
the light rays that are reflected, refracted, and obstructed by surfaces.
Raytracing produces realistic and precise results, but it can be
time–consuming.
In raytracing, each refraction or reflection of a light ray creates a new branch
of that ray when it bounces off a solid object and is cast in another direction. If
you have a scene containing reflections, refraction, transparency, or shadows,
it will take a fairly long time to render; however, mental ray lets you render
only the effects you want. For example, if you want to render without the
reflections, you can deselect them.
Previewing a Single Frame
You can preview the current frame at fully rendered quality in a floating
window. Unlike the render region, the frame is rendered with all of the defined
global rendering options.
To preview a single frame:
t
Click the Preview Render button in the render and preview controls.
Saving a Frame Preview
If you want to capture the contents of the preview render for later use, you can
save the contents of the preview window as a still image.
To save the previewed frame:
1. Click the Preview Render button in the render and preview controls.
2. From the preview window, click the Save As... button.
3. Using the browser that opens, select a directory, format and file name for
your image.
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Global Rendering Options
Rendering Your Scene
To render your scene:
1. Click the Render Low-Quality or Render High-Quality button in the
render and preview controls.
2. The Render Options dialog box opens. Render type and quality are
already set depending on the quality level you have selected; the other
settings are based on the global rendering options.
n
To view the sequence on an Avid Mojo when rendering is complete, check the
Playback sequence after render option on the Frame Output tab.
For details on how to change the render options, see “Global Rendering
Options” on page 383.
3. Click OK to start the render.
Global Rendering Options
Global rendering options apply to your final render and, to a lesser extent, to
the render region. They include settings such as the rendered file name, format
and frames, effects (such as motion blur, glows, and lens flares), and AAF and
MXF output options. You can also toggle the rendering of certain effects.
Setting Global Rendering Options
To set rendering options:
t
Click the Inspect Render Options button in the render and preview
controls to open the Render Options property editor.
The following sections describe how to balance render quality and render time
and get the look you want. For a complete description of every option in the
Render Options property editor, refer to the Online Help.
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Chapter 12 Output Options
Setting Output File Parameters
Output file parameters specify the name of the output file, the range of frames
to render, and the output files’ image format. Set these options from the
Frames Output tab of the Render Options property editor.
To specify an output file:
1. Click the Render Options button in the render and preview controls to
open the Render Options property editor
2. Click the Frames Output tab and in the Image Filename text box, type
an absolute or relative path and file name for the output image.
You can also click the browser button (...) to specify a file name and
directory from a browser. The rendered images’ file name format is
determined by the Frame Padding options, while the extension is
determined by the selected File Format. See the next steps for more
information on these options.
n
If you are using frame padding, or have specified a file name that contains
multiple periods (“.”), you must add a valid file extension (.pic, .tga, and so
on) to the file name.
3. Choose a Frame Padding option from the list. This controls the format
and placement of frame numbering in the file names of rendered frames.
The following options are available:
384
This option
Yields this result
(filename).#.(extension)
foo.1.pic
(filename).##.(extension)
foo.01.pic
(filename).###.(extension)
foo.001.pic
(filename ####.(extension)
foo.0001.pic
(filename)#.(extension)
foo1.tga
(filename)##.(extension)
foo01.tga
(filename)###.(extension)
foo001.tga
(filename)####.(extension)
foo0001.tga
Global Rendering Options
4. Set the Start value to the first frame you want to render and the End value
to the last frame you want to render.
5. Set Step to the desired increment between rendered frames. This is useful
for rendering a quick test. For example, if you set the Step to 2, every
other frame is rendered. The default value of 1 renders every frame
between the Start and End frames.
n
You can use the Skip Rendered Frames option to skip over images that are
already rendered in the directory.
6. Select a format for the image files from the Image Format list. The
default is the PIC format.
The following is a list of the formats supported by Avid 3D:
•
.pic (Softimage)
•
.rla (Wavefront)
•
.bmp (Microsoft Bitmap)
•
.jpg (Jpeg with maximum quality)
•
.tif (TIFF)
•
.yuv (Quantel)
•
.tga (TARGA)
•
.ct (Mental Images)
•
.sgi (SGI)
•
.map (Memory Mapped Texture)
•
.als (Alias)
Specifying the Format Options
The Format options in the Render Options property editor specify the picture
standard and image resolution of the output image. You can select a standard
picture format or specify your own custom format. Using custom formats, you
can compensate for non-square pixels on the final viewing equipment.
To define the format:
1. Click the Inspect Render Options button in the render and preview
controls to open the Render Options property editor.
2. Click the Format tab, then click the arrow button to the right of the
Format text box to select the picture standard to which you want to output
your render. The default is the NTSC D1 standard.
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Chapter 12 Output Options
3. The Picture Ratio for the frame format cannot be edited unless you select
Custom from the Format list. Editing this value changes the X and Y
resolution of your output image(s).
To render with a custom resolution and aspect ratio:
1. Click the Render Options button in the render and preview controls to
open the Render Options property editor
2. Click the Format tab and select Custom from the Format list.
3. Define the following resolution values:
n
-
In the Image Resolution X text box, specify the width of the image in
pixels or use the slider to set a value.
-
In the Image Resolution Y text box, specify the height of the image
in pixels or use the slider to specify a value.
When you change the Picture Ratio setting, the Y value scales automatically
to maintain a proportional picture ratio.
Activating Effects
When rendering, you can deactivate any effects that you do not require. This is
especially useful for preview renders: the fewer effects that need to be
computed, the faster the scene will render.
Setting Motion Blur Options
From the Render Type tab of the Render Options property editor, you can
define whether or not the output image renders motion blur with the Motion
Blur option. The Amount value provides the camera’s shutter speed, which
controls the amount of motion blur.
n
386
•
Longer (slow) shutter speeds (an Amount greater than 0.6) create a wider
and/or longer motion blur effect, simulating a faster speed.
•
Shorter (quicker) shutter speeds (an Amount of less than 0.3) create
subtler motion blurs.
•
Shutter speeds higher than 1 produce intense motion blurs, but may cause
artifacts to appear in a rendered image.
If you're using motion blur with particles, the Amount must be less than 1.
Global Rendering Options
Of course, all shutter speeds are relative to the speed at which the blurred object
is animated. Objects that move from one end of a scene to another in a few
frames produce a large amount of motion blur, regardless of the shutter speed.
In the first image (left), a quick shutter speed (< 0.1) is used, then a slower
shutter speed (middle), and finally (right) a very slow shutter speed (> 0.6).
Setting Effect and Map Options
You can deactivate camera effects, light effects, displacement maps, and
environment maps to allow for faster preview rendering.
To set effects options:
1. Click the Inspect Render Options button in the render and preview
controls to open the Render Options property editor
2. Click the Render Type tab. You can enable or disable:
-
Displacement maps
-
Camera effects
-
Volume lighting effects
-
Glows and lens flares
-
Environment maps
For more information on effects and how to use them, see “Lights and
Cameras” on page 203 and “Using Textures as Maps” on page 254.
Exporting AAF and MXF Files
The options on the Create Movie tab of the Render Options property editor
allow you to create MXF files, and an AAF master clip that describes them,
out of your rendered sequences. You can also create .AVI and QuickTime files.
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Chapter 12 Output Options
About MXF Media Files and the AAF Master Clip
MXF (Material Exchange Format) is an industry-standard container format
that encapsulates media and production metadata into a single file. MXF is
supported as a common file format in a wide variety of applications such as
Avid Xpress™ Pro, Media Composer®, Avid DS Nitris™, and Avid 3D. MXF
files replace OMFI media files.
MXF media files are video files, similar to AVI or QuickTime movies, and can
be used on their own. However, they are not directly seen by users but instead
are referenced by master clips and managed by an editing application, like
Avid Xpress Pro or Media Composer.
AAF (Advanced Authoring Format) is a cross-platform, multimedia file
format that allows interchange of composition information between AAFcompliant applications. AAF replaces OMFI compositions.
The purpose of the AAF file is to present the media files as a higher-level
named clip for the destination application.
AAF Naming, Location and Auto-Import
You can create the AAF master clip in any location and import it into Avid
editing applications.
In Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer, if the current Avid project has a bin
named “Avid3D InComing”, the application automatically imports AAF files
found in a special directory named Avid3D OutGoing, either on startup or
when switching between applications.
The Avid3D OutGoing directory must be located in the root of a local drive.
By default, Avid 3D creates AAF files in the D:\Avid3D OutGoing directory,
and will create the directory automatically if it doesn’t exist.
Both the bin name and the directory name must have proper spacing and
capitalization for AAF Auto-Import to work correctly. Please verify your
editing application’s documentation for AAF Auto-Import support.
n
388
Auto-Import of AAF files is not supported in older versions of Avid Xpress Pro
and Media Composer.
Global Rendering Options
MXF Naming and Location
Media files are usually put on a high performance hard disk for real-time
playback in the destination editing application. Avid 3D always creates the
MXF media files in the \Avid MediaFiles\VideoStorage\Avid3D folder on
the selected media drive. If the directory doesn’t exist, Avid 3D creates it
automatically.
The absolute path to the MXF Media Files is stored inside the AAF Master
Clip. If the MXF files are produced on a different machine and moved onto the
machine on which the Avid editing application is installed, they must be
available from the same path on the same drive letter.
For example, if the media drive is D: in Avid 3D, when the AAF is created,
and the AAF and MXF files are copied over to an Avid machine, the MXF
files must be found on the D: drive, under the same directory tree structure.
The AAF file itself can be located anywhere.
Avid 3D automatically generates a unique name for an MXF media file by
combining the clip name and a globally unique identifier (GUID). It is not
possible to explicitly name the MXF files. New MXF files are created every
time the clip is re-rendered. Existing MXF files are never replaced, and their
names will never conflict with other media files.
n
It is up to you to explicitly purge unused media files once they are no longer
used by any sequence or clip. In Avid editing products, this is done with the
“Media Tool.” MXF files produced in Avid 3D are managed the same way as
media captured directly in Avid editing applications.
MXF and Alpha Information
MXF media files are video material and therefore do not contain the alpha
information an RGBA image sequence provides. If you export alpha
information for compositing, two MXF files are produced, one for the color
track and the other for the alpha. The AAF master clip will contain a simple
composition with a “Matte Key” effect that recombines these two media files
in the destination application.
n
MXF files are created in the YCbCr601 color space or YCbCr709 for highdefinition files.
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Chapter 12 Output Options
Setting Camera and Field Rendering Options for AAF/MXF
MXF media files are created to be ready for real-time video playback in the
destination editing application. Several compression codecs are offered.
Setting Camera Options
When you create AAF/MXF files, the render camera must be set to the image
size the destination application expects. You should use one of Avid 3D’s
camera presets, and the pixel aspect ratio should be set to the default.
For more information about setting the render format options, see “Specifying
the Format Options” on page 385.
Setting Field Rendering Options
You can use field rendering for smoother motion in NTSC or PAL. The
destination application for the AAF file generally ignores information about
whether or not Avid 3D rendered the sequence in fields. However, you should
make sure to use the field order expected by the destination format.
The options for the Field Order setting on the AAF and MXF Options tab of
the Render Options property editor correctly identify the required field order
for NTSC, PAL, DV, or HD. If Field Order is set to Lower Field First (NTSC
and DV Formats), Avid 3D always creates correct NTSC files, regardless of
whether the destination application has the reverse meaning for Odd and Even.
Creating Movies
To create AAF/MXF, AVI, or QuickTime movie files, set the options on the
AAF and MXF Options tab in the Render Options property editor as described
in this section.
When the Create Movie option is activated, the movie file is created
immediately after the last frame of the render is created. A separate progress
bar is displayed so you can monitor the movie creation progress.
n
390
AAF/MXF files or movie files are created only upon successful completion of a
render, and then only if all of the rendered images in the sequence have been found.
Global Rendering Options
You can activate the Skip Rendered Frames option on the Frames Output tab
of the Render Options property editor to complete an incomplete render, or to
create the AAF/MXF or movie file from the existing image sequence without
re-rendering the scene.
To create a movie file:
1. Click the Inspect Render Options button in the render and preview
controls to open the Render Options property editor
2. Click the AAF and MXF Options tab. To enable AAF/MXF creation,
select the Create Movie option.
3. Enter a file name and path in the path text box. You can specify a relative
or absolute path.
4. Specify a Format. This can be either AAF, AVI, or QuickTime. Changing
the format updates the file extension in the path.
n
If QuickTime is not installed, creating a QuickTime movie will fail.
5. Click the Codec button to open a dialog box from which you can select
and configure a codec to use for the output movie.
6. Toggle the Delete Frame Sequence On Success option as desired. When
it’s activated, the rendered sequence is deleted if the movie file has been
generated successfully.
7. Toggle the Write Alpha Channel option as desired to output the movie
file with or without an alpha channel.
When this option is activated, and the Format is set to AAF, two MXF
files are generated—one for RGB and one for alpha. The AAF master clip
contains the information necessary for recombining the tracks.
n
If the sequence was rendered to an image format that doesn’t support alpha
channels (.jpg for instance), then the alpha file is not generated, irrespective of
the Write Alpha Channel setting.
In the case of AVI and QuickTime movies, note that most compressors do not
support an alpha channel.
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Chapter 12 Output Options
8. If you set the Format to AAF, set the following options in the
Options section:
-
Project Name: this is the name that will appear with the clip in the
Avid application’s Media Tool. It does not have to match the actual
project name in the Avid application.
-
Avid Media Drive: specifies a valid system drive on which Avid
media files are stored. When the AAF and MXF files are created, they
are stored on this drive in the Avid MediaFiles > VideoStorage >
Avid3D directory. For example, if the drive is set to D: this path will
be D:\Avid MediaFiles\VideoStorage\Avid3D.
Changing this setting updates the path.
-
Compression: specifies whether the generated MXF files should be
compressed and, if so, the type of compression to use.
Optimizing a Scene for Rendering
The rendering process usually involves a trade-off between rendering speed
and image quality. This section provides some useful tips to consider when
building your scene, which can help you reduce your render times. Some
suggestions can improve speed dramatically without sacrificing image quality,
while others may involve a small but acceptable reduction of quality.
Object Geometry
Keeping rendering in mind when you construct a scene can help you reduce
rendering time.
392
•
Try to reduce the number of objects in each scene. Using fewer objects
keeps the rendering time down.
•
The more geometric detail an object has, the longer it takes to render. Try
to substitute some of an object’s geometric detail with a texture map.
From a distance, the difference may not be distinguishable.
•
The more particle systems in the scene, the longer the scene takes to render.
Optimizing a Scene for Rendering
Textures
2D Textures
In general, using large texture files or a high number of textures in a scene will
slow down rendering. Each 2D texture file must first be loaded into memory.
This can result in memory swapping (transferring data between RAM and
disk), which increases rendering time. For more information about 2D
textures, see “2D Textures” on page 245.
•
Consider a texture to be “large” when it is over 1000 pixels in any direction.
•
For preview renders, use small, low-resolution texture files. For the final
render, swap the low-resolution textures files for their high-resolution
counterparts.
3D Textures
Whereas 2D textures are created from an existing file, procedural or 3D
textures are mathematically calculated on demand. As a result, they take
longer to render than projected 2D textures.
Procedural textures do give a better rendered result close up because pixels can
be recomputed (rather than interpolated) at close proximity. For more
information about procedural textures, see “3D Textures” on page 246.
Bump Maps and Displacement Maps
Bump maps and displacement maps affect rendering performance to varying
degrees, depending on the number of calculations required to render them.
Generally, bump maps take much less time to render since they do not actually
modify the geometry of the objects to which they’re applied. For more
information about bump and displacement maps, see “Bump Maps” on
page 255 and “Displacement Maps” on page 257.
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Chapter 12 Output Options
Lights
Rendering time is directly affected by the number and type of lights. By carefully
configuring the lights in your scene, you can speed up rendering considerably.
For more information about lights, see “Lights and Cameras” on page 203.
394
•
Use the minimum number of lights necessary. Each light adds to the
overall rendering time.
•
Lights that don’t cast shadows have a much lower impact on rendering time.
•
If a light doesn’t have to calculate its effect on a component, it renders
faster. By default, all lights affect both the diffuse and specular
components. If you want a light to affect only a material’s specular or
diffuse component, open the light’s property editor and check the
appropriate Light Contribution options (diffuse and/or specular).
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Index
Numerics
2D textures 245
3D space 59
Cartesian coordinates 59
global and local coordinate systems 61
origin 60
planes 60
XYZ axes 59
XZY coordinates 60
3D textures 246
A
AAF files
exporting as 387
access keys 54
AI files
importing 187
preparing 187
angles, cone of light 213
animating parameter values
using onscreen parameters 91
animation 262
camera 331
constraints 319
copying 269
cycles 315
function curves 285
ghosting 268
keyframes 277
marking parameters for 265
math presets 330
on paths 323
playing 270
previewing in flipbook 333
removing 269
animation button 266
animation tree in function curve editor 287
aspect ratio
rendering 386
attenuation See falloff
audio
exporting with flipbook images 339
playing with animation 276
autokeying 284
AVI files 390
Avid 3D interface overview 52
Avid Mojo
configuring XSI for 70
outputting views to 69
B
background color, viewports 64
bend deformation 144
beveling
text and logos 189, 198
bulge deformation 145
bump maps 255
C
cameras
animating 331
depth of field 229
Index
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
direction 221
field of view 225
fixed-camera scenes 36
free-camera scenes 36
interest 220
interest animation 228
output 44, 385
positioning 223
projection methods 226
property editor 224
redoing moves 224
resetting position 224
rig 220
roll, animating 228
selecting 222
undoing moves 224
viewpoints 220
views 222
Cartesian coordinates 59
clusters
on text and logos 193
transforming on objects 170
colors
color editor 93
full color editor 94
setting for scene elements 92
sliders in property editors 92
surface of objects 239
commands
repeating 57
components
transforming 170
cone angle in light 213
constraints 319
activating and deactivating 330
direction 321
offsets between objects 329
path 323
position 320
control bar 53
curve deformation 161
cycles
function curves 315
396
D
deformations
about 140
animating 141
applying 140
bend 144
bulge 145
by curve 161
lattice 148
modifying 141
muting 142
on hierarchies 142
particles 348
push 145
quickstretch 150
removing 142
resetting 142
shape jitter 148
shear 146
taper 146
twist 147
vortex 147
wave 154
Delaunay tesselation method 196
deleting
points 172
polygons 172
depth of field
creating 229
direction constraints 321
directional lights See lights, infinite
displacement maps 257
display filters, hiding types of scene elements 75
display types in viewport 68
distance units 62
dollying in viewports 73
dotXSI files 136, 137
E
editing
scene element properties 80
editing properties
onscreen parameters 88
elasticity with obstacle collisions 373
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
EMDL files 136
environment maps 36, 259
environments 36
EPS files
importing 187
preparing 187
exiting Avid 3D 33
exploding text and logos 194
exporting
flipbook 339
models 138
scene as AAF files 387
scene as MXF files 387
expressions (math presets) for animation 330
extrapolation
function curves 314
extruding
text and logos 188, 197
F
falloff
light 211
fan force 368
fcurves See function curves
field of view, setting 225
file types
.emdl 136
.pic 385
.xsi 136
flares
lens, creating 216
flipbook
exporting 339
exporting audio with images 339
playing 337
previewing animation in 333
standalone 334
font attributes 184
forces
applying to particles 370
creating 369
fan 368
gravity 367
hiding 370
Index
muting 371
on particles 366
turbulence 368
wind 367
frame format 262
frame rate 262
frames
previewing a single 382
rendering start and end 385
skipping rendered 385
step (increment) between rendered 385
framing
in function curve editor 292
objects in viewports 72
friction with obstacle collisions 373
function curve editor 286
animation tree 287
graph 290
navigating in graph (frame, pan, zoom) 292
timeline in 288
function curves 285
adding and deleting keys on 301
cutting, copying, and pasting 308
cycles 315
displaying information about 292
extrapolating slope shape 314
hiding 292
interpolation type 309
moving 299
moving keys on 299
presets 318
regions of keys 298
scaling 305
scaling keys on 305
selecting 294
selecting keys on 296
slope 310
slope handles 311
snapping keys on 304
397
Index
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
G
L
ghosting animation 268
gizmo See manipulators
global coordinate system 61
glow
creating 218
graph in function curve editor 290
gravity force 367
grid in viewport 66
language preference
command-line option 32
lattice deformation 148
lens flares 216
Library panel 76
lights
about 204
adding 208
color 209
color editor and 210
cone angle and spread 213
creating 207
default light rig 207
falloff 211
glow effects 218
intensity 210
manipulating 208
manipulators 212, 213
point 205
properties 209
rendering 394
spotlights 205, 213
spread angle 213
types of 204
local coordinate system 61
logos
about 174, 176
accuracy and smoothness 193
adding to scene 187
applying materials and textures 191
beveling 189, 198
creating clusters 193
exploding 194
extruding 188, 197
mitering 198
offsetting curves 193
overview 176
rounding 198
tessellating 195
H
handles See manipulators
hiding
objects in viewports 74
types of scene elements (display filters) 75
hierarchies
deforming 142
I
image formats, types 385
importing
dotXSI files 137
image clips 137
models 136
scenes 136
interface overview 52
interpolation
function curves 309
K
keyboard shortcuts 54
keyframes 277
moving between 280
removing 278
setting 278
setting automatically 284
setting for transformations 283
setting in property editors 280
keys
access 54
shortcut 54
398
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
M
O
manipulators
light 212, 213
spotlight 208
maps for textures 254
marking parameters 265
materials 238
applying to objects 238
applying to polygons 248
on text and logos 191
overlapping clusters 249
reflectivity 243
refraction 242
surface color 239
transparency 240
math presets for animation 330
Medial Axis tesselation method 197
menu bar 52
Minimum Polygon Count tesselation method 195
mitering
text and logos 198
models
exporting 138
importing 136
Mojo See Avid Mojo
motion blur
setting 386
mouse
information and status line 53
movie files 390
multi-purpose editor
editing properties in 80
overview 79
muting
deformations 142
forces 371
obstacles 373
viewports 63
MXF files
exporting as 387
obstacles
collision geometry 372
elasticity and friction 373
muting 373
setting objects as 372
onion-skinning 268
onscreen parameters 88
animating parameter values 91
editing values 90
font size 89
orbiting in viewports 73
origin, 3D space 60
orthographic camera 226
output
file, for rendering 384
output of scene (rendering) 382
Index
P
panning
in function curve editor 292
in viewports 72
particles
animating the color 362
changing the particle type 360
collisions with obstacles 371
color 361
creating 344
deforming 348
deleting 348
direction of emission 356
editing in property editors 345
effects 377
forces on 366
hiding 351
length of life 360
length of simulation 353
mass 361
noise (random movement) 365
number of emitted 355
origin of emission 356
overview 342
Particle Billboard 377
Particle Gradient color 379
399
Index
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Particle Shape 378
particle types 358
playing simulation 352
previewing in render region 350
selecting 347
size of 361
speed 356
spread of emission 358
sprite images on 374
viewing 349
path constraints 323
paths 323
perspective cameras 227
picture ratio 386
planes (XZ, XY, YZ) 60
playback
animation 270
audio with animation 276
controls 273
looping 274
particle simulations 352
real-time 275
real-time in flipbooks 333
timeline 270
playing
animation 270
flipbooks 337
points
adding to profile curves 166
deleting 172
deleting from profile curves 167
editing proportionally 168
moving on objects 171
moving on profile curves 167
transforming on objects 170
transforming on profiles 168
polygons
applying materials and textures to 248
deleting 172
transforming on objects 170
position constraints 320
previewing
frames for rendering 382
Mojo, outputting preview render to 69
scene output in render region 234
profile editor 164
400
profiles
about 162
adding points 166
deleting points 167
displaying 164
editing points proportionally 168
modifying 165
moving points 167
transforming points 168
projections
camera 226
for textures 253
projects
about 37
adding to project list 39
creating 38
default 40
deleting 40
folder structure 37
invalid 40
opening 39
scanning for projects 39
types 36
property editors 80
proportional mode 168
push deformation 145
Q
quickstretch deformation 150
QuickTime files 390
R
ratio
aspect 386
picture 386
real-time playback 275
in flipbooks 333
redoing
camera moves 224
edits 58
reflectivity 243
refraction 242
renaming scene elements 77
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
render region 234
particles 350
Render window
Mojo, outputting to 69
rendering
aspect ratio 386
custom resolution 386
effects 386
end frame 385
global options 383
image format 385
motion blur 386
optimization 392
output file 384
previewing a frame 382
scene 382
start frame 385
step (increment) 385
to AAF and MXF files 387
to AVI files 390
to movie files 390
to QuickTime files 390
repeating commands 57
resetting
camera position 224
deformations 142
resolution
custom 386
rigs
light 207
rolling in viewports 73
rounding
text and logos 198
RTF files
exporting 185
importing 185
S
scene explorer 76
scenes
about 41
autosaving 47
backing up 48
correcting external file paths 46
Index
creating 41
creating first project 32
deleting 44
importing 136
opening 42
recovering 49
resolution 44
saving 44
types 36
selecting
elements in scene explorer 77
function curves 294
keys on function curves 296
shadows
creating 214
shape jitter deformation 148
shear deformation 146
shortcut keys 54
sticky and temporary (supra) modes 56
snapping
keys on function curves 304
spotlights
3D manipulators 208
cone angle and spread 213
setting 213
spread angle 213
view from 214
spread, cone of light 213
sprite images on particles 374
standalone flipbook 334
starting Avid 3D
command-line 31
creating first project 32
shortcut 30
Start menu 30
startup options 31
sticky key mode for shortcut keys 56
support objects for textures 253
surfaces of objects
materials 238
textures 245
401
Index
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
T
tangency constraint for paths 327
taper deformation 146
temporary (supra) mode for shortcut keys 56
tessellating text and logos 195
text
about 174, 175
accuracy and smoothness 193
adding to scene 179
alignment 185
applying materials and textures 191
beveling 189, 198
character spacing 186
creating a rig 200
creating clusters 193
editing 181
exploding 194
exporting RTF files 185
extruding 188, 197
fonts 184
formatting 181
importing RTF files 185
mitering 198
offsetting curves 193
overview 175
rounding 198
size 186
tessellating 195
text rigs 200
texture clip viewer 247
texture maps 254
textures 245
2D 245
3D 246
applying to an object 246
applying to polygons 248
bump maps 255
displacement maps 257
environment maps 259
on text and logos 191
projections and supports 253
removing 248
rendering 393
repeating and tiling 247
texture clip viewer 247
402
transparency maps 258
timeline 270
in function curve editor 288
range 272
title bar 52
tools and options panel 78
transformations
setting keys for 283
spotlight 208
transforming
components 170
points on profiles 168
transparency 240
transparency maps 258
turbulence force 368
twist deformation 147
U
undoing
camera moves 224
edits 58
units, distance 62
V
viewing
captured animation 333
flipbooks 333
viewports 62
background color 64
camera views 66
display types (wireframe, textured, shaded,
constant, etc) 68
dollying 73
framing objects in 72
grid 66
hiding objects 74
hiding types of scene elements 75
Mojo, outputting to 69
muting and soloing 63
orbiting in 73
panning 72
resetting the view 74
resizing 64
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Index
rolling 73
spotlight view 68
User view 67
viewpoints (Top, Front, Right) 67
zooming 72
vortex deformation 147
W
wave deformation 154
wind force 367
X
XYZ axes 59
XYZ coordinates 60
Z
zooming
in function curve editor 292
in viewports 72
403
Index
404
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
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