Animating with Vehicle Helpers in Director Mode

Did you know that iClone 3.0 has helper tools that will allow you to link any car, plane, or even helicopter model and then animate its movement in Director Mode. Today’s tip focuses on just that, using Vehicle Helpers to quickly set up vehicle models for fast and easy animation. Using Director Mode also gives iClone 3.0 users the ability to Play-to-Create, meaning you will be able to use the arrow keys to fly or move your models forward, backward, left and right, all this animation is recorded for further editing or for going straight to output. This is a dream for Machinimators that love the game play aspect of film-making and story-telling, because you can set up your shot and then really fly or drive from one point in the scene to the other. To accomplish this with a jet or plane prop for example follow these steps.

  • Click the Set tab
  • Select the Props button
  • Locate and click the Vehicle Helper folder
  • Drag and Drop the Plane helper into the scene
  • Choose a plane model to animate (Google 3D Warehouse has tons for free, convert with 3DX)
  • Right Click the plane model and select Link
  • Click Link To
  • Click the Plane helper in the scene (A bounding box should flash indicating the link)
  • Locate and select the Link to Sub Node box (indicated by a […] icon)
  • Check on Align Position to Parent
  • Select the Plane helper again and hide it by clicking Visibility Off
  • Click Director Mode switch out of Editor Mode
  • Place your camera angle
  • Strike space bar to begin recording
  • Use the Arrows to begin flying your model

Director Mode is a very deep and complex part of iClone 3.0 and this is only scratching the surface of what is capable of being produced using this new feature mode. However, this is a quick and easy way to begin becoming familiar with the new tool and animate vehicles with ease. Once you try it you will see just how much fun it can be. Below is a video showing this method using a Jet model from 3D Warehouse and a simple sky-dome. Enjoy.


2 Responses to “Animating with Vehicle Helpers in Director Mode”

  1. August 22, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Excellent tutorial, James. The helper object idea is one of the apects of IC3 that makes it so great!

  2. August 22, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Hey Ricky,
    I do love the helpers, kinda no-brainer on this feature, who wouldn’t want to be able to actually pilot vehicles in scene and have the awesome added bonus of those actions being recorded. I mean, C’mon….C’mon….you know it’s cool! Make sure you try the other 3 helpers too, they are not all the same, you gotta try it to figure out how…he he. Thanks again!

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