Physically correct vehicle animations
With DRIVE! you are able to create physically correct vehicle animations playfully easy. With just one mouse click you’ll get a ready-to-drive vehicle, which drivability can be edited by a variety of setting possibilities.
Physically correct vehicle animations
Perhaps you have already attempted to make an animation of a car. It is no big problem with a leisurely driving vehicle but as soon as dynamics become a factor – for example, with an oversteering racing car or an off-road vehicle on rough terrain – then it becomes much more arduous or almost impossible to achieve convincing results with classic key frame animation.
With DRIVE! you’ll be amazed how playfully easy it is to make an appealing animation of a car.
It’s not animated, it’s simulated: the basic principle
If you have ever used CINEMA 4D Dynamics then you are probably already aware of the principle: The objects and a framework of conditions are created by you and then the simulation creates the physically correct course of movement. The DRIVE! plug-in will set up a complete basis car with one mouse click. Adjust the measurements of your 3D model and move the auto body and wheels into the appropriate container objects of the simulation. If you want to, you can now change the vehicle parameters to match your original model or to suit your own personal preferences.
Let’s go! – vehicle controls
Spline objects on which you can position speed markers allow you to determine the driving path. Moreover, you can directly influence acceleration, braking, steering, or turn ABS and traction on and off with command objects, which are to be envisaged as a kind of switch that is sunken into the ground. For the ground, polygon grids, landscape and relief objects are supported. Various grip values can be allocated to these – inside of polygon grids you can even allocate values for partial areas that you can define using weight mapping.
DRIVE! will now move your vehicle according to your settings while taking physical laws into account. The car won’t be able to manage a sharp 90° curve at 100 km/h nor will it come to a dead stop from one second to the next even if your control object directs it to. That is why the result perhaps won’t always satisfy your expectations straight away. But it is fun to experiment with the various control dials and observe how it affects the behaviour of the car. Sometimes the unexpected results are even so good that you want to integrate them into your animation script.
While running, the simulation object outputs much data which you can use for simple XPresso switching. For example, spinning and sliding of the wheels can be transferred to emitter objects in order to trigger the simulation of smoke or gravel.
Some basis data already has triggers to other objects built in. For example, steering movement is sent to a steering wheel object as a rotation, or a brake light object is activated when the braking pressure reaches a certain value, or the current state of the shock absorbers controls the length of helix spline objects.
Optionally, the vehicle can leave behind tracks; as desired, only when the wheels spin or slide. The tracks are outputted as spline objects which make the tracks visible using any kind of profile splines in Sweep NURBS objects.
DRIVE! makes these output objects available with a click of the mouse. You don’t have to take care of the right ‘wiring’.
When the simulation is running as you like it, you can record it as a conventional key frame animation and thus render or edit it on computer systems on which DRIVE! is not installed. Optionally, the output data just described can be recorded so that even your XPresso wirings will continue to function without DRIVE!
Data and facts
DRIVE! contains a complete, speed optimised physics simulation that works with the Runge-Kutta integration method at a minimum of 1000 simulation steps per second. This corresponds to a 40x over-sampling at 25 images per second. Despite that, in a reduced scene in Cinema4D editor, a vehicle will still be able to turn its curves in real time.