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Modeling, Scripting and Animating Gears

By Chris Shaw
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Date Added: 7th May 2013
Software used:
Maya

This can be summarized as a ratio: cog10/cog30=0.33 (10/30=0.33). The MELScript to rotate gear05 by 1/3 the rotation value of gear04, in the opposite direction is:

gear05.rotateX=gear04.rotateX*-0.33;

So here's the MELScript so far:

gear02.rotateX=gear01.rotateX*-0.5;
gear03.rotateX=gear02.rotateX*-0.25;
gear04.rotateX=gear03.rotateX*-0.66;
gear05.rotateX=gear04.rotateX*-0.33;

Finally, the difficult part - gear05 lifting the door.

gear05 contains a single cog30. For each degree cog30 rotates, the door will translate in the Y axis. If we calculate the circumference of cog30 and divide by 360°, we'll know how much to translate the door in the Y axis.

Here's a quick breakdown of this process (Fig.35):

1. Rotating cog30 360° will translate door the same distance as the circumference of cog30.
2. Therefore, we can assume that by rotating cog30 1°, door will translate circumference/360.

The circumference of a circle is calculated as: 2? * radius

Where ? (Pi) = 3.14159, the circumference of cog30 is:

= 2? * radius
= (2*3.14159)*15
= 94.248

Therefore, rotating gear05 by 1° will translate door:

= 94.248/360°
= 0.2618

Rotating gear05 by 90° will translate door:

=90*0.2618

1713_tid_fig35.png
Fig. 35


The MELScript to translateY door, based on the rotation of gear05 is (Fig.36):

door.translateY=gear05.rotateX*0.2618;

So, the completed MELScript is:

gear02.rotateX=gear01.rotateX*-0.5;
gear03.rotateX=gear02.rotateX*-0.25;
gear04.rotateX=gear03.rotateX*-0.66;
gear05.rotateX=gear04.rotateX*-0.33;
door.translateY=gear05.rotateX*0.2618;

Creating an Expression

Now that we've written the MELScript, the next step is to use it to create an expression.

1713_tid_fig36.png
Fig. 36

Open the Expression Editor (Window > Animation Editors > Expression Editor)(Fig.37).

Enter the name "gearRotation" into the Expression Name field.

1713_tid_fig37.png
Fig. 37





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