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Learn how to set paths by inserting a curve and how to apply dupliframes in the Blender animation program.
Tags:How to Use Paths and Dupliframes in Blender,animation,blender,curves,dupliframe,path,rendering,video
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Hello and Welcome to GreyBeard’s Blender Tutorial and this is my 4th video tutorial it is on Path and Dupliframes. It is the first time I try to cove two topics in one tutorial and we will see how that works so. Now, what is the path? Well, path is the curve that objects follows during an animation for instance if you have an airplane and you want to follow on particular route you would insert a curve and blender and adjust it to follow the route and then, later you have the plane follow that route. Any curve tight and blender will do is a path, there are differences between them and we will get into that when we do them as one. There are two ways of following path and blender. One method uses is normal parent curve relationship you take the object you want to have follow a path and you parented to occur and you use buttons in the curve object window to control the animation. The other method uses a follow path constraint. Here is little to be desired between, there is little a different shape between the two. The normal parent curve is a little easier for beginner so that is the one I am going to use in this tutorial. Now, with the Dupliframes, well Dupliframes could be described as modeling with animation. It places the copy of the Dupliframe object at the locations that would be at every frame of an animation. So, for instances, if you have a sphere and you move it over 10 frames of animation to a new location and each frames with that animation, the object would appear to a different location and would it does to create that object that all those different locations. And it will become clear when we do the animation. Now, some strategies and tips for Path and Dupliframes, the number one pitfall that people get caught up is that that they forget the path link value. It does not work if the speed IPO exist. The tutorial make this clear as with any other operation where tracking is involved, it is a good idea to make sure your local and global axis coincide. The CTRL + a command apply size and rotation helps us do this. Dupliframes are handy for visualizing how an animation will work even if you do not plan on creating object with it. For instance, if you are doing a roller coaster and you do Dupliframes you can see where the roller coasters are going faster. Do not forget that the Dupliframes are not limited to path animation that can be used for any animated object. In this tutorial we are going to using path animation, do not forget that it can use with key frame animation and other situations. And now, on the one link part of the tutorial, here we have our standard Blender start-up screen again and I am going to zoom in and create an object that we are now make follow a path. So, zoom in, erase our default queue, things going to front view and add a mesh with a static plane, it zoomed in too far here. A key for all, B for box, E to extrude and will go over one unit here, okay for all B for box, E for extrude just going to make a little arrow shape here. A for all, B for box and we want to scale result to zero so S and before I always just hold down the control key and move it to there, other way you can do it is just Press the 0 key. Now, that is not the 0 key on the numeric keypad at is the one at above all the letters there. And Press the 0 and is does not on automatically and then just hit enter. All box, let us just scale these here, all box, E for extrude and we are extruding in the Zed direction, scale a little bit wider and we have the shape of an arrow. Select all the vertices on the side view, extrude, extrude in a wide direction, Tab, Zed and you get nice little arrow object that we can use to animate. Now, I am going to my edit buttons here and I am just going to click center new, which moves the center point to the center of the what that things that the center of the objects and then I am going to scale it down considerably. And grab that and put it this side and I am going to make a copy here, as well. Okay, now let us go into top view, and we are going to add a couple different types curves. So let us– spacebar to get into our add menu, curve and our bezier curve here, we will just have a circle. One thing about--if you are not using a path style curve and using one of the other ones the first thing you should always do is change it to a 3D curve. You can run in some nasty side effects if you rotate a 2D curve then apply the size in rotation it can mock up your tracking. So, the first thing you should do with the bezier and the nerve curves is change it into a 3D curve and that is done under the edit buttons here, I will zoom in and you can see here under the curving surface there is this 3D buttons, so let us convert that to a 3D curve right away. And, now when we tab in and out, you know its default was solid, now it is not solid anymore. So, now we have our first path and I am going to scale light up. And were going to grab that and move it up a bit, and now this time I am just going to add the path style curve, add a curve and a path. 7 for some reason that it change the shaded mode there and I was on shaded mode and my other curve disappear. So now, here we have our path I am going to make it into an interesting shape. I am just going to grab some of these vertices, move them around a bit, this is the end vertex, so I am going to extrude here a bit. And let us move it around in a 3D space a little bit too just to have some fun. Okay, so now we have two different curves and we will see how they work, now, top view again. Now let us start up with our circle here. So, the first thing you do is apply our size and rotation and I am a type of guy that wear a suspender and the belt so, CNTRL + a applies size and rotation. To the same thing for a curve here CNTRL + a, apply size and rotation. Now, you select your object that you want to half follow the path first, then you select your path, you will notice that this is sort of a pinkish color and this is the bright white. CNTRL + p and we are not going to use a constrain method, which going to make a normal parent and you can see it has parented there. Now, if we select our curve and go into the edit buttons for that curve, I am going to zoom in on that window you will notice there are some buttons down here path link curl path, curve follow we are going to use the curve path button and will go out and see what that has done. Make this a bit larger here again and you will notice that it is now used to be attached to the center but now it is attached over here and it is still not close to the curve, so we select our object and press ALT + o, clear origin. And, you will notice its snaps to the beginning of the curve here at beginning of this circle. That clear apply, you can clear the origin here too and you can see the hot key there. Okay, now you will notice when you animate this curve if we look down here our path link is 100, so it is going to animate over a 100 frames. And if we go to our animation buttons and we go into here, we will start at one, so I will make this also end at 100. And now, when we press ALT + a you will notice our arrow follows the path going around the circle. Now, you will notice the arrow is not pointing in the direction of the circle so, how do we do that? Well, we go back into our curve edit into the select our curve, going to our edit buttons. And you will notice that there is the curve follow button here. If we select the curve follow button and we go up and we draw the axis for this, I display the axis for this button, you go into the object buttons and I will zoom in. It is under the object buttons under draw and we will draw the axis for that. You know the axes are showing and you can see that the Y axis is pointing along the curve and the Zed axis is pointing up. And now, let us go back into our utility object buttons here and you can see that our Y axis points along the curve and our Zed axis points up. And we will switch that to our Zed axis, pointing along the curve and we will have our X axis point up. And you can see that our Zed axis now points along the curve and our X axis points up. And by adjusting needs, if you wanted to have the Y axis points up, you just click the Y here and you will notice it clips now when we press ALT + a. You will notice that it follows the curve nicely. Now, if I go into this curve, all 3D curves you can tilt them if I select this, select one vertex and I press the T button you will notice that as I move it closer to the vertex it will tilt it, so it let us just tilt this one and we can see the effect. Now, ALT + a, you will notice that the arrow will tilt as it goes through there, prying out extreme enough for you to see. T for tilt here, ALT + a and you can see it gets more vertical as it goes around that corner, here we go. Now, let us do the same thing with our other curve, we select this object and now we are in object button. I am going to turn on the axis again, so we can see what is happening. Remember what we always do before we parent our stuff we do our CNTRL + a, apply size and rotation. CNTRL + a, apply size and rotation, select our object first and then our path CNTRL + p, normal parent. Select our object we clear the origin ALT + o, makes it snap to the beginning back to our curve in the editing buttons. We select curve path and curve follow under our object here you can set how we wanted to track and we had Zed following the curve and Y pointing up. So, under our object buttons for our curves, we have Zed following the axis and Y pointing up. And if we do ALT + a, you will notice it follows the curve. Now, I am going to do something, I am going to take—I am going to pick this curve and I am going to change the path length, so I go into the edit buttons and will zoon in here. And, I am going to change this path length to 50. Now, before it took the 100 frames to go around and in our animation buttons if you look here its all zoom in, over here we are doing 25 frames in the second, so it takes 4 seconds to go around if we had a 100 frame animation now that we have the 50 frame our path length is 50 frames long it should only take two seconds. So, this should go around twice as fast as this takes, because this path is still 100, so this should be finished going around when this is about halfway and if we hit ALT + a , you will see it is going faster and you can notice the animation again. So now, let us have been both finish it the same time, so I will select this one and we will go into our edit button again and I will zoom in and I will change the path length to 50. Now, you would expect them their both cut a path length of 50. You both expect them to finish at the same time. Now, let us see what’s really happens, okay this animation did not change Y? It did change for this one; it did not change for that one. Now, this is the number one sort of confusion that people have. What happens is when you create a path style curve it automatically creates a speed IPO for you. If you create another type of curve a zero or a nerves curve it does not create a speed curve. Now, let us take a look at those speed curves, so I will split the area here and we will go into our eye-pill curve editor and will select path. I got the path style curves selected and I am going to path and I will zoom this a bit, so that we can see the full animation, I will hold on the control key, my middle mouse button and as I move it horizontally, its scale it. As you can see and I can do the same thing vertically, and you will notice that this curve exists. This curve overrides the path length, if it exist and if we look at this one and we go into our path thing you will notice it is blank. So, there is no speed IPO, so that the path length works, if you want the path length to work on this one. We can if I make this larger you will notice that you can delete the link to the data block. Now, because there is no speed IPO attached to this curve anymore the fifty will work. And now both animations will complete at the same time, if I press a zoom in a bit and press ALT + a, to run the animation, see? The other thing you will notice is that if there is no speed IPO, the speed is constant from the beginning to the end. If there is a speed IPO it controls the—I am in the wrong button here, let us make this bigger, this is the one I want. We will attach the curve IPO again that we had before. You will notice that it follows this curve IPO and I am going to explain this speed IPO a little bit. Zero is the beginning of your curve, and one is the end of your curve, so this access represents distance. These are frames of animation which is times. You have got distance over time, so the slope of this curve determines the speed at any particular point. So, you will see when the animation starts the line is horizontal, zero slope so zero speed it slowly starts picking up speed, tingles at the constant speed and then it slows down zero at the end. And you will notice that in the animation here. If I hold down SHIFT + ALT + a, it did not work. Let us do SHIFT + ALT + a, over here. Now both will work at the same time, you can see it slows down at the end. If we wanted a constant curve using the speed IPO, we can go into curve, extend mode, extrapolation and now you will notice that the speed is constant everywhere. And now, okay and you can also edit this curve tab I grab this and I move it to say, 50 in 50 frames. I can actually hit N to get it exactly and enter 50 there for X axis. Now, it will hit—it will across the one, which is the end of our curve at 50 frames so our animation should run it the same speed okay. I am going to go back to switch this back to the 100 again, so I’m just going to type end here and type in 100. And I am going to tab at the edit mode and then my extend mode I am going to go into constant to game and that’s the way it was original slowing down at the beginning and speeding up. Note that you can also, even know this one start _____ with a curve and you can take it away. Can still add the curve to this one by clicking on here for instance at frame 1 little B0. You hold on the control button and left click and say it frame 100 it will be finish and we can put in tab and put in the exact values if you want that frame 100 it will be 1. At frame 1 it will be 0, okay and now this will animate in 100 slowing down speeding up. Now slow down and in a little we will start again. Okay, even though these two curves start up quite differently we can make them quite the same. So now that I shown the difference these two curves I am going to delete this one or delete the object first. Erase selected, erase selected and we are back to this object. Now, we are going to take a quick look at duple frames. And I am going to scale this down, so that we can fit and more of the mean. I’m also going to have our Z axis pointing up and our Y axis pointing in the direction of the curves so that we can fit more in as well. So, I am going to press the Y axis and will have this Z axis pointing up and it can see how it’s oriented on our curve. And I’m going to press Dupliframe and turn off the axis running down and if we go into the solid view the other copies ____ will being place one at every frame of the animation okay. Now, you will notice that the beginning here were it is travelling slower according to the speed curve, very much closer together and there you can only space this slope. We look at the slope of the speed curve it is pretty evenly space in the middle and then it start to slow down again okay. Now, take a close of look at the Dupliframes buttons here. Now here is how we turn Dupliframe on and off this is where you start creating Dupliframes and this is where you end creating Dupliframes. It is important that this value is not bigger than the end of your animation because then we will start putting a whole bunch of objects on top of each other there and we know are speed curve was set to 100 and so we got the right number of objects that is correct on this case. Now, there is a handy button that I did not learn about _____ recently if we go back into here there is a button called no speed. Now, set the Dupliframes just still regardless of frame as sort of a not a very did tools tip. The best explanation is for Dupliframe ignore the speed IPO. So now when I click that and we look at our object again we can see that they are all evenly space along the curve. Note, for animation purposes the speed curve still work as and the speed curves still roles _____ and slow but for Dupliframing they know speed button, ignores the speed curve of the speed IPO of the curve. So, I am going to explain the few, the other buttons here. Note also that with a no speed button press, if we select our curve and we are going to our edit buttons again and we change the path link. Let us change this to 25, and we go up there will not be 25 objects along a curve. The path link value works. Note, that it does not affect the link of your animation only the Dupliframes will the path link button work for now and that is because we have that no speed button press. Now, because our path link is only 25 we should go into our Dupliframe buttons again and set out _____ in 25 as well otherwise we will have a duplicate objects at the end. Okay, so now I am going to set this back-up to 100 the path link up to 100 again so I am going here and will go into our edit buttons and set our path link to 100 and we also have too and set our- going to our object buttons we have to see out Dupli into 100. And you will notice you will have the whole bunch here. And now I am going to explain one more button, some more of the buttons down below here and I will zoom in first. They are the__ we cover this one and the no speed button. The start button is where you start your Dupliframing and that is where you end. This is the Dupli on but I am not saying that we want one on and this is the Dupli off button and then ____ 1 on, 0 off that in other words now you are showing every single frame if we pick this to one it would be 1 on, 1off, 1 on, 1 off. So, we should have half as many and if we look up here you see we have 1 on, 1 off and we zoom so that it bigger here. If I do that and now we have 1 on, 2 off, 1 on, 2 off, 1 on, 2 off okay. And then 1 on, 3 off so you can adjust at that way as well. Now, if I have 2 on that we have it shows 2 then 3. It shows 2 and 3 ______so you have away of arranging. So now let us go back to 1 on and 2 off it looks pretty good so now we have the Dupliframe with that and sometimes you can leave them like this it’s fine but quite off you want to make them into a real object so what I do is a you select the object and then Control Shift A make Duplis real and now it will become real objects okay. And I am going to save the file now, just save it on titled so we can back to it. If I now erase the curve, _____ I joined them because one is parented okay and we have our objects. Okay now I am going to show one example and I am going through a little bit quicker, I do not need this one anymore. And so let us start in a new, raise this object. Add a path or a curve or use the path type curve and then grab it and making into interesting shape again. E for Extruded, 1graph okay so now we have a same line interesting curve shape, let us go into front view and this time the object we were going to Dupliframe I am going to add a surface, I will pick here _____ surface a nerve and I am going to scale out down, Tab out okay we now we have our nerve surface as before we ______ size and rotation apparent the circle, we are done in the shift key, select the curve, control P make a normal apparent. Select this, clear the origin will do clear origin lets go to here and we will go to the edit buttons. We already have the curve path selected and we are going to get curve follow and I am going to draw the access of that button so we can see how it arranged. And we got lucky because the orientation that I entered the curve in our circle is following occur. So now, we can turn a Dupliframes on and turn the access off and it will sets slowing down and speeding up because this curve has the speed curves so will turn on and no speed. And you will notice that we have our—the thing there I am going to set the Dupli start too but it did not work. Dupli stat the one so leave it the way it was. Okay, now we have our objects, now it is the good time to save. I will save and we are going to—now that we have our shape here I am going to make them real. Control Shift and then A, make the Dupli objects real and now I am going to join them all together now that there are still selected so Control J joint selected nerves now for tabbing the edit mode we can see all the vertices and I am going to select all the vertices and hit the F button. Now we tab to our edit mode and it said, will see a nice cable now notice its black on the outside and silver on the inside. Now, I have not found the way to make sure that it is always silver on the outside that is why I save it first here. I will show you an easy way to corrected, there is actually two ways you can reverse the direction of the curve or we can change the tracking of the very first object. So now we will go back to the file and open our untitled again were we were. Now, let us turn the access for that object, again I will turn off Dupliframes for now and you will notice that the Y was pointing along the axis. What we do is we switch that to the minus Y so I will pick the minus Y here and now it is extruding it in the other direction _____ so now let us turn on the Dupliframes again and off our axis maybe we do not even need that ____ I turn every other one off. Now as before Shift Control A, make our Dupli objects real, join them Control J join the selective nerves, Tab in the edit mode select them all, Alt F to skin them, Tab and said and now silvers on the right side. So, before you make your Dupli’s real save your file and then you can flip this first, your first nerves curve the other way around if you get the black surface I find _____ easy way to do it. Now you can leave this as the nerves curve or you can converted to a mash. I am going to save the ____ now and this time I am going to show what happen as if by erase the selected one. You will notice it is flip and that is what expected to happen the last time when I said that it was okay. It is because that is still parented to the other one so I am going to open the untitled one again. And now, when I am going to do this i am----- before I delete my original curve, my path curve I am going to do it for the same here. Where is that button now? It is in the Alt P, we are going to clear the apparent first and we are going keep our transformation okay. And then we select our path and erase it that would not flip on this. So now we have a nice nerves cable that we can use in our model okay. That is my tutorial on path and Dupliframes, I hope that was not too complicated. Thanks for listening.