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Modeling, Scripting and Animating Gears

By Chris Shaw
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Date Added: 7th May 2013
Software used:
Maya
1713_tid_fig47.png

Annotation

Shortcut keys are indicated by [], e.g:
Move Tool = [w]
Rotate Tool = [e]
Duplicate = [Ctrl]+[d]
Parent = [p]
Middle Mouse Button = [MMB]
Right Mouse Button = [RMB]

Introduction

This tutorial covers an in-depth practical approach to developing a completely automated gear system. The tutorial will show you how to do everything from modeling gears that successfully interlock, to coding (MELScript) the system (Fig.01)(Video.01 - 02).

1713_tid_fig01.png
Fig. 01




Learning Outcome

The objective of this tutorial is to introduce you to the following:

  • Getting Started and Creating the First Cog
  • i. Scene Setup and Timeline
    ii. Modelling a Cog
  • Creating the Prototype Cogs
  • i. Creating a Set of Cogs that Interlock
    ii. Customising the Cogs
    iii. Creating your First Gear Combination
    iv. Revision
  • Creating the Gear System
  • Creating the Door
  • i. Calculate the Size of the Teeth.
  • Animating the Gears
  • i. Creating the MELScript
    ii. Creating an Expression
    - The Expression Editor
    - Error Checking iii. Finishing Touches
    - Anticipation and Overlap (Roll Back and Forward)
    iv. All Stop..!! ...Weight
  • Door Driven
  • i. The Door as the Driver

    Setting up the Project

    The Project folder contains all the source files used in the scene, which are organised into sub-folders. This allows your scene to source for all the appropriate files and references in an organised manner.

    Create a New Project (File > Project > New):

    1. Name the Project
    2. Location to Save the Project
    3. Set Folder Names

    Name the Project: only use lower case characters, obvious names with no spaces.
    Location of Project: The default location is set to Documents Folder, but if you are not working on your own computer it's better to save it to the Desktop. You can copy the Project folder to your portable device when you have finished this tutorial. Do not save your project to your portable drive (thumb drive) at this stage or the performance will lag (Fig.02).

    1713_tid_fig02.png
    Fig. 02



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