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Assembling from Basic Parts (Building Blocks) - Assemblies, sub-assemblies, parts

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Hi,

 

It's quite possible that I'm going down the wrong road but ....

 

Coming from an engineering background I'm used to looking at objects in a modular manner, where the final model is made up of building blocks and that is what I'm trying to do in A:M.

 

I have a model (M1) with 1 bone (B1) and 1 pose slider (PS1).

Then I made a second model (M2) and I dragged and dropped M1 into it twice. At this stage, all the groups from M1 are in M2 twice, also there are 2 bones but there is only 1 pose slider (relationship). This means that I can only manipulate one copy of M1 within M2 (the most recently copied version of M1).

 

I tried doing something similar using a choreography and then exporting it as a model but that had problems as well.

 

Obviously I'm missing something very basic in the architecture of A:M. Is it possible to make up building blocks and then make up sub-assemblies and assemblies ....

 

 

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This means that I can only manipulate one copy of M1 within M2 (the most recently copied version of M1).

 

In A:M it is not possible to change a model in it's model window by a pose. The pose is something that must be used on the model while it is in a Chor (or an Action).

 

If the Pose could change the original model mesh as it exists in a Model window (note that the Pose window is not the Model window) there would be some infinite circular explosion of weirdness because the pose is defined as offsets from the original mesh.

 

Does that clear anything up?

 

I tried doing something similar using a choreography and then exporting it as a model but that had problems as well.

 

This is the way to go if you are trying to combine models and keep poses intact. So, tell me more about the problems.

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Hi,

 

I think I am causing confusion so have made a short video of what I am doing. Here it is SinglePose.mp4.

 

Although it is not shown in the video clip. I also put the new model into a chor and it also just had the one pose for the second object.

 

Am I wandering down a cul-de-sac with a NoEntry sign that I missed?

 

Regards,

 

Oliver

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There is a way to prevent the second model from overwriting the poses of the first model.

 

After you drop in the first instance of the model, rename the poses in the new model.

 

You can rename them by going to the Model's Properties>User Properties, then RMB on a Pose name to Rename it. Appending an "A" at the end is sufficient.

 

Then drop in the second model.

 

Put this new model in a chor to see that all the Poses are preserved.

 

 

 

 

 

One time saver... in a situation, as around 1:40 in your video, where you have dropped two models (with bones) into another model window and you wish to move one so that they do not overlap:

 

go to bones mode

select the bone of the mesh you wish to move

press N for TraNslate mode

hold down the CTRL key while you drag the translate manipulator

 

the bone and mesh will move together, retaining their exact position to each other.

 

The CTRL modifier also works for Scale and Rotate modes.

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I'll also note that I do Live Answer Time on Saturdays, if you have questions that don't lend themselves to being typed out.

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I just want to say...

 

That was an excellent description of your problem Oliver.

It's great when screen captures like that are shared as it gives us insight into what is really going on.

 

It sounds like Robert's got your solution in sight.

Another option might be to use Action Objects.

With Action Objects you can put as many of the same model into another model as you want and each pose slider works separately with that instance of the model.

I suppose this is simliar to combining the models in a Chor so... likely not an ideal solution.

I'll press on with this option for completeness sake even though it may not be a viable option.

 

The primary downside might be that you'd have to select the specific instance of the model in order to activate that pose slider as each will only appear when the model is selected.

An additional downside is that if you export the Action Objects from Action into a new Model you have the same single pose dilemma.

As such I think Robert's approach to renaming just before importing is optimal.

 

Steps to set up the combined Action Object:

Create Empty Model - this will contain all instances of models

Create Models with Poses

Create an Action using the Empty Model

Drag/Drop Models into the Action - This will add these instance to any Model you apply this Action to in a Choreography

Select Models as desired and adjust their Pose Sliders.

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Hi,

 

A lot of very valuable information there and it will take me time to work through them and then try to remember them!

 

Just wanted to thank all for the assistance while I digest it all - very much appreciated

 

Oliver

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Hi Rodney / Robert,

 

Rodney: I had thought of Action Objects and it needs a little more time for my head to get around it. But as you say, it won't sort out my problem completely - so now on my list of topics to experiment with as I get more at home with this product.

Robert: Your solution works a treat - I copied in 4 assemblies, each assembly made up of 2 basic models with 2 poses - used that 'N' and CTRL trick which really makes life a lot easier when moving these 'parts' around the new model and linking them up as a chain.

 

I have run into a problem whereby one pose slider started interacting with other pose sliders when the angle increases beyond a certain point. I need to look into it a bit more but have a feeling that I'm inadvertently creating negative angles.

 

Consider this thread 'fixed' thanks again for all your help

 

Cheers Oliver

 

P.S. Robert - when you say that you do 'Live Answers Time on Saturdays' - how does that work, particular time on Saturdays - what edge of the universe do you live? I'm in the mountains of South West Ireland - great views, awful broadband :facepalm:

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I have run into a problem whereby one pose slider started interacting with other pose sliders when the angle increases beyond a certain point. I need to look into it a bit more but have a feeling that I'm inadvertently creating negative angles.

 

My first guess is that you have inadvertently keyframed one pose slider while editing another.

 

When you are editing a Pose, the Pose Window shows you all the Pose sliders available in your model. The one highlighted in Red is the slider for the Pose you are editing, the others should not be touched unless you really do want motion on the red Pose slider to orchestrate motion on other sliders.

 

In your case I don't think you want that.

 

 

P.S. Robert - when you say that you do 'Live Answers Time on Saturdays' - how does that work, particular time on Saturdays - what edge of the universe do you live? I'm in the mountains of South West Ireland - great views, awful broadband :facepalm:

 

 

read about Live Answer Time

 

If Skype works adequately with the broadband you have, you might give it a try.

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Oliver, I highly recommend using the time on Saturday to visit with Robert. I learn something new every time I talked to him.

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Hi Steve,

 

I will take up Robert on his invitation but not just yet. Broadband and Skype don't mix here (simply too slow). Also, I need to get a few more things straight in my mind first so that it will be productive. As I've been blindly blundering along I've been making videos of my work as I find that is a great way of slowing myself down and forcing me to check out a solution before I go on to the next piece of the puzzle.

 

Have to say, A:M is turning out to be a lot more enjoyable this time around.

 

Cheers,

 

Oliver

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