Author Topic: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?  (Read 2036 times)

Offline kris

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Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« on: June 10, 2015, 12:32:48 AM »
I have a DEM file that I am animating over 30 seconds, just changing the heighfield shader's height multiplier over time so it looks like erosion over millions of years. There's also a camera move involved that sweeps past a particular plateau region.

I need to eventually create labels and things to go on the terrain, but I'm having a tough time figuring out how to export more than just a camera in an FBX.

Is there a way to pin nulls to changing surface heights so that I can accurately "pin" 3D objects to the nulls (that are pinned to the changing terrain) in other programs (i.e. Cinema 4D)? Is there another way to know the y axis height of terrain over the length of the animation that I'm not aware of?

Offline TheBadger

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Re: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2015, 06:41:34 PM »
Quote
I need to eventually create labels and things to go on the terrain, but I'm having a tough time figuring out how to export more than just a camera in an FBX.
TG does not yet support FBX objects, so that is why it is not working for you, if that is what you meant. THey say they plan to support it in the future.

I probably totally misunderstand you, but...
I think what you are asking about, that you want to look into is "Object sequencing" Or move each object on its own (which would be a lot of work)

Also, I may be wrong, or it may have changed, but TG nulls do not and are not the same as nulls in other 3D programs. If I remember right from my own posted questions. From my use of after effects, I thought I could use a TG null as a control, but it does not work that way in TG. There is no parenting in TG.

You are asking a lot of really advanced questions, so it may be a bit before some who knows sees this. What you are doing is not "typical".
But I think if you search "Object sequence" you will find at least some of the answers you are after.

Cheers
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Offline kris

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Re: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2015, 08:39:20 PM »
Sorry if my explanation is a bit lacking. I'm new to the program and it's all a bit overwhelming in terms of trying to make things work.

I want to place a null simply to pull XYZ coordinates from once I bring it into Cinema 4D.

I want the null to sit on a DEM file with a height multiplier that increases as the animation goes on. This would effectively move the Y axis as the terrain grows, as long as the null is sitting on top of its surface.

Not sure if that helps.

Offline TheBadger

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Re: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2015, 10:40:35 PM »
Hi,
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I want to place a null simply to pull XYZ coordinates from once I bring it into Cinema 4D.
Ah, well that should be easy enough...

I dont believe you need a null to get this data do you? You can just use a camera, or a object?.. (add camera, but don't render from it)
If your terrain in Studio and TG are the same, and your wold space is the same, then the data should match up. Any object (.obj) may do well too? Just make sure "sit on surface" is checked in the object tab. THe object should then move with the terrain?

There are some threads on this in the forum, but I really can't remember anything about them other then they are on topic. But people have gone through what you are. So at least I know there is an answer for you... Wish I could remember the threads it would save you some time.

Quote
Sorry if my explanation is a bit lacking
No worries. Someone will see this thread that can confirm for you or give the precise answer. In the meantime perhaps using the other methods could help. Sorry I can't remember the threads that would help.
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Offline kris

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Re: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 08:30:21 PM »
Thanks TheBadger, I'll try some of those ideas out. Thank you for the insight!

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 11:46:01 PM »
"Sit on surface" is only available for populations, and population position data can't be automatically output in any way at this point.

Honestly I don't think there's an easy way to do this at this point. The one approach that came up was taking your animation sequence and exporting the terrain as OBJ/FBX for each frame or a representative set of frames, and then load that in your destination program (C4D) and try to derive positioning from there. Populations will export with the terrain if you have Raytrace Objects disabled, so you could even put a very small, simple population (perhaps of internal objects, e.g. sphere) at the "reference" point (where you would put your null, normally) and use that as your reference point...

- Oshyan

Offline kris

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Re: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 05:58:44 PM »
Thanks Oshyan.

I did figure out a way to do it. I made a camera, then used the "drop to terrain" function. That made the camera sit on the surface, and then I set a keyframe for it. Moved to end, did same thing, keyframed it, done.

Once in C4D, I was able to make text/objects a child of the camera and the Y values adjusted as needed.

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Any way to pin a null to an animated DEM surface?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 11:57:41 PM »
Ah, good idea. Glad you were able to resolve it. :)

- Oshyan

 

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