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The Vehicle Rig

The Vehicle Rig
A CreativeCOW After Effects Video Tutorial


CreativeCOW presents The Vehicle Rig--Video Training by Carl Larsen

Carl Larsen Carl Larsen
St. Cloud, Minnesota

©2009 Carl Larsen and Creativecow.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
In this tutorial, Creative Cow contributing editor Carl Larsen shows you how to build an expression-based vehicle rig that automatically calculates the rotation of its wheels based on the movement of the vehicle chassis.













Comments

Re: The Vehicle Rig
by Bas van Maanen
Hi Carl,

My truck is in a composition called ("truck"), I would like to link the rotation to the movement of the composition ("truck") in the maincomp so not the bodylayer in the truckcomp. What would be the expression than? In stead of Thiscomp Ill need a slidely different one I gues.

So my project looks like this: MAIN>TRUCK> (here I have 2 wheellayers and a body

Thanx in advance!

Cheers Bas
Re: The Vehicle Rig
by Nicolas Dufresne
I developped a "wheel" tool within Duik - http://ik.duduf.com - which automates the creation of this expression. And there's a tool to measure distances too in AE if you don't know the size of your wheel ;)


I'm working on making this expression working in any direction (not only X)
Re: The Vehicle Rig
by Jonathan Charles
cool - its the way you 'bother' to explain all the bits of code that lead up to their inclusion that makes it so much quicker for the novice to get a grip of
Sorry haha
by Jako Krull
Lol didnt notice but the expression figures it out by itself sorry :D
Nice tut but...
by Jako Krull
How on earth do I know how many pixels wide is my wheel?I made a mask around a picture and I cant find anything to display or measure the distance from the left side to the right side so I know what to type into the expression :( please help
Carl Larsen, you are a genius.
by Juan Hernandez
Carl Larsen, you are a genius. And you are kind as you are wise...thank you so much for freely sharing your tutorial(s).
The Vehicle Rig
by Cutter Johnston
Simple and effective. What a tool for the box.
The Vehicle Rig
by Bruce Walker
Thanks so much for this great tutorial. I just implemented your expressions in an animated bicycle video I had to make. Got the wheels and gears working great.
Do you have any suggestions on how to put a bike chain that wraps around the front and rear cogs? I have yet to figure out how to make one that reacts to the wheels/gears properly.
any help would be greatly appreciated!
bruce
The Vehicle Rig
by Carl Larsen
To get the chain to work, you'd have to know the overall length of the chain and then tie the offset completion of your stroke to the circumference of the chain.

The length of the chain should be equal to 1/2 of the circumference of your first gear, plus 1/2 of the circumference of your second gear, plus two times the distance from the top of the second gear to the top of the first gear.

Have fun! I'm glad to hear you're putting the tutorial to good use.
The Vehicle Rig
by Bruce Walker
Thanks Carl, your tutorial helped me out a lot.
I've applied the various expressions to a bicycle animation I have to do for a kids show about ratios.
I've set up all the wheels, cranks and gears to work with your expressions tied to the frame.
But do you have any suggestions for putting a chain on the bike that would react with the turning of the cranks?

I tried trapcode 3d stroke along the chain path, with the intention of offsetting a dotted stroke, (and perhaps attaching an expression to that offset), but it didn't work.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
cheers,
bruce
The Vehicle Rig
by randolph azzopardi
hey very nice tut,i need to do something using this ;) keep it up mate

randolph azzopardi
The Vehicle Rig
by Luis Cosme
Can you make this Tutorial in English? lol...
just kidding... it was great!
This can definitely be used for so many other things.
Thank you!
Luis
The Vehicle Rig
by Tim Wilson
Coming up on 10,000 articles in the Cow library, and I think this is the first one that mentions pi! And a tasty tutorial at that. :-) A very practical use of expressions, and very nicely handled even for a math-o-phobe like me. Keep 'em coming, Carl!
The Vehicle Rig
by Carl Larsen
2D and 3D are possible Erik, but I think I'm still mulling over how to do as simply as possible without having to bust out some calculus and dot products to make it happen.
The Vehicle Rig
by Martin L
Yeah! I can relate to that.
I think that most of the people here are familiar with the at least the basics and your tutorial really delivers tricks and techniques for pushing our knowledge further.


Something I really hold dear is a quick workflow. I would low to see more on that.



The Vehicle Rig
by Adriano Ninguem
Impressive. Right on the spot!

Thanks Carl. Great one as always!
The Vehicle Rig
by Carl Larsen
Glad to hear you enjoyed the tutorial. It's always a challenge to find a balance between being thorough versus just blasting through the details and getting to the fun stuff.

Thanks for the feedback.

The Vehicle Rig
by Martin L
Great tutorial!

I always find your tips very useful! And I really like that you have a good (meaning fast) tempo.
The Vehicle Rig
by Erik Waluska
Brilliant! Thanks, Carl. I only wish I had known this trick a long time ago.

I wonder if it would be possible to also factor in the Y position so that if you're vehicle is traveling over steep hills or something the wheel rotation would still match.

Maybe in "The Vehicle Rig! Part Deux" in 2D!

-E


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