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Expressions or Material Effect...

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Hi!

 

I want to animate a little logo - i.e. spice up a fly-by type of scene that holds just one model that was done using the font wizard. Here's my problem however:

 

I'd like to have the text object change it's appearance over time as the camera moves past it. I do see two options for this.

 

1.: Use a material effect and aminate it as desired. Problema: The effect just doesn't "look right". This may be a bug or the font wizard object I can't tell but the material just "dissolves" and not the way it's intended... Also the effect just ends with the effect object. So there is no way I can have the object "all 100% effected" at the beginning and gradually move to "100% not effected" over time.

 

2.: Use a user property pose slider to change a material property. I'd very much like this approach since it wouldn't effect other objects like the material effect would. I figured: Add a pose slider to the model (0-100%) and make the "Start.X" and "End.X" value of the gradient combiner in "shortcut to material x" an expression that turns the percentage into a usable distance. So far: no luck. The expression I used for the Start.X property is "(..|..|..|..|..|..|User Properties.BurnEffect*200)-100" since I figured a percentage should give values between 0 and 1 and I need a value between -100 and +100. But no matter how I slide the property the effect seems to be stuck at 0. Since expressions are pretty undocumented and it took about 1.5 hours even to get rid of the "syntax error" message: can somebody answer these questions:

 

a.: What units are expected by properties that are shown in "cm" in my UI?

b.: What values does a user property slider have?

c.: Where can I find a list of available property names or the "relative path" that's required to change them? The manual says: "click on the property" but once the expression input box is shown, the tree won't let me click on anything at all...

 

Sincerely, Roman

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Without fully understanding what your desired result is , I'll just say that you shouldn't have to use an "expression" to make a pose slider control a color value.

 

the +-100% settings on a pose slider can represent/control any value on another property.

 

btw, +-100% aren't the limits of pose slider values.

the right-click "Settings" allow you to enter any number for the limits.

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Wait a sec, I might be wrong about that "any other property" stuff.... I'm testing it ...

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Without fully understanding what your desired result is , I'll just say that you shouldn't have to use an "expression" to make a pose slider control a color value.

 

the +-100% settings on a pose slider can represent/control any value on another property.

 

btw, +-100% aren't the limits of pose slider values.

the right-click "Settings" allow you to enter any number for the limits.

 

Let me see if I can describe it - I can't render it for obvious reasons...

The material is made up of three elements: one gradient that goes from a "chrome" surface to a second gradient that goes from "glowing red" to "transparent". Both gradients have turbulence added to them. The idea is to make the logo text either appear or disappear (haven't decided yet) with a "glowing edge". Hence I want to move the start/end of the gradient between the chrome and the second gradient from "left outside the model" to "right outside the model" or vice versa.

 

I'm just at a total loss with the property paths and values of said properties... the handbook only briefly covers the list of functions available and every tutorial on expressions I could dig up only used functions...

 

Hope this clears it up a bit.

 

Sincerely, Roman

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here's a vase with a 0-100 pose slider that changes the color from 255,0,0 to 0,255,0

 

colorshifting_vase.zip

 

 

-i made a vase

 

- i made a group for the top

 

-i made a new percentage pose for the model

 

- in the temporary "action" that shows up in the PWS while I'm editing the pose I enabled "show more than drivers" and selected the group to make it's properties show up inthe prop window

 

- now i can set particular RBG values (or any other property)for any position of the pose slider

 

 

doing "Show more than drivers" in that phantom Action is the key to making these non-obvious, non-bone related sliders

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reading your new description I still don't think an expression is needed.

 

Basically, you want to keyframe the position of some materials over time.

 

I'm not sure you even need a pose slider.

 

"Show more than drivers" for your model in the chor and you can set keyframes for any XYZ value for any material applied to your model.

 

I ain't saying it's immediately intuitive and obvious... but it can be done

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here's a vase with a 0-100 pose slider that changes the color from 255,0,0 to 0,255,0

 

colorshifting_vase.zip

 

doing "Show more than drivers" in that phantom Action is the key to making these non-obvious, non-bone related sliders

 

Thanks for the quick reply! I'll try it tomorrow - it's 12:30am here - and let you know!

 

Sincerely, Roman

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Not sure what you are trying to do but here is something very simple using simple pose slider and gradient

 

 

fire.mov

 

 

-fire.zip

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here's a vase with a 0-100 pose slider that changes the color from 255,0,0 to 0,255,0

 

doing "Show more than drivers" in that phantom Action is the key to making these non-obvious, non-bone related sliders

 

Thanks for the quick reply! I'll try it tomorrow - it's 12:30am here - and let you know!

 

 

That did it! Thanks! But I noticed something: To make the new pose slider work in the choreography, I had to delete and re-add the model there. As long as I kept the original "shortcut to model x" in the choreography, the pose slider did show up but had no effect whatsoever on the rendering... so maybe my approach worked as well - I got to try it out when I got the time again. Thanks anyway, the hint with the pose did bring me new knowledge!

 

Sincerely, Roman

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That did it! Thanks! But I noticed something: To make the new pose slider work in the choreography, I had to delete and re-add the model there. As long as I kept the original "shortcut to model x" in the choreography, the pose slider did show up but had no effect whatsoever on the rendering...

 

Save the chor, delete it and re-load it.

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