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Animation Nodes


Adding animation to your lessons in Modest3D can be achieved using a few different nodes:

  • Animate
  • Animate Absolute
  • Animate Custom

To add one of these animation nodes to your lesson, click-and-drag the bottom handle from an object node and select one of these nodes from the list. The next few articles will explain in detail the uses for each node, and their differences from each other.

Animate

The Animate node is used to animate scene objects in your lessons. These objects include 3D models, Cameras, and Lights. The animation of the object is edited via the Properties tab (or the Editor) when the Animate node is selected. Ensure that you are Simulated to the Animate node to receive instant feedback on your changes.

DeltaPosition & DeltaRotation

The Delta Position and Delta Rotation properties indicate the position and rotation of your object in relation to its original state, using XYZ coordinates. For example, if the Position's Y was set to 1, and the Rotation's Y was set to 90, the scene object will animate by moving up, and rotating on its Y axis by 90 degrees.

If you prefer a more visual or hands-on approach, the position and rotation can be more easily modified via the Editor window. From the Editor window, you can use the Translate or Rotate gizmos to move and turn the object to the position you want.

Time

The Time property can speed up or slow down your animation. The number listed is a value in seconds; by default, the Animate node is 1 second long. You can change this value to a decimal as well (e.g. 0.5 will be half a second).

Rotation Multiplier

The Rotation Multiplier property is an easy way to add extra rotation to your animation. It is set to 1 by default, meaning the object will rotate by the specified Delta Rotation once. You can set this number to any multiple (e.g. 2 will rotate twice within the Time, 3 will rotate 3 times, 99 will rotate 99 times, etc.).

Three buttons are available in the Properties of the Animate node which can prove helpful in quickly changing your animations:

  • Reset Position: resets the Delta Position XYZ coordinates to their original position.
  • Reset Rotation: resets the Delta Rotation XYZ values to their original rotation.

Node

Animate Absolute

The Animate Absolute node is similar to the Animate node, and is used to animate scene objects in your lessons. However, there is an importance difference between the two. When you use the Animate node, it moves in relation to its previous position. The key difference from Animate is that Animate Absolute works with absolute coordinates rather than relative coordinates, which will move the object to a specific position and rotation in the lesson, rather than a location derived from the object’s starting position.

EndPosition & EndRotation

End Position and End Rotation indicate the coordinates in your lesson in which you’d like the animation to end. You pick a position in the world, and the object will move to it and rotate to it from anywhere in the lesson. This is particularly useful if you need an object to return to a specific place.

Node

Animate Custom

The Animate Custom node is used to display animations that are provided from a source model.

When you use an FBX format model in Modest3D, Animate Custom allows you to access the animations that it contains.

Properties

  • Animation Name: Where you type the name of the animation you wish to use in your lesson.

  • Action: Provides three options; Play, Stop, and Restart. Play will play your animation, Stop will stop the animation, and Restart will restart the animation.

  • Play Type: Indicates how the animation will be played. Once will play the animation all the way through one time, then stop. Loop will play the animation in a loop forever. Ping Pong plays the animation from start to end, then from end to start. Reverse will play the animation from end to start.

  • Speed: Is used to speed up or slow down the animation. It is set to 1 by default, the animation’s normal speed. If you wish to slow it down, you can enter a decimal value (e.g. 0.5 will slow it down to half speed). If you want to speed the animation up, you can enter any multiple (e.g. 3 will play at 3x speed).

  • Wait Until Complete: Decides whether the lesson will continue with or without the object having animated completely. If this is checked on, the lesson will wait until the animation is finished before continuing. If checked off, the lesson will continue and the animation will continue simultaneously.

Node

Note: if your animation’s Play Type is set to “Loop” and the Wait Until Complete is checked on, the lesson will not continue, as the animation will Loop forever. Remember to set Wait Until Complete off if the Loop option is used.