Showcasing Snap-To and Follow Terrain

Snap To and Follow Terrain allows objects to recognize and follow a models surface.

Snap To and Follow Terrain allows objects to recognize and follow a models surface.

Hey iCloners, sorry I’m late, was grazed by Gustav last night. He came crossing our terrain which is what brings me to todays tip, Follow and Snap to Terrain. In iClone 3.0 terrain models are objects that are assigned as terrain and then animated atop where the surface of the model causes the prop to react. This is a really cool feature because you can move and animate your characters or vehicles along a terrain surface by simply using the Move tool with click and drag. There is a small difference between Follow Terrain and Snap To Terrain, with Follow, your object will move and rotate its axis based on the terrain surface and angles. Snap will still react the same way to the assigned terrain but will maintain its original origin axis angle. For vehicle animation this feature is way too much fun to play with, you can run a tank across a battlefield, or race a car along a curvy mountain road, or as I showcase in the video example below, a snowmobile across snow covered hills. To assign Follow or Snap to an object and begin animating on terrain follow these steps…

  • Load or Assign a terrain model into the scene
  • Go to the Set tab
  • Click the Props button
  • Add a prop you wish to animate
  • Place the prop in the scene
  • Locate and click the Align to Terrain arrow
  • Choose Follow or Snap to Terrain (whichever works best for your situation)
  • Select the Move tool
  • Click and Drag the prop along the terrain, notice it will follow the model surface

Use Follow and Snap to Terrain to create fast and fun object animation where it needs to relate to the terrain in your scene. Mountains and hills especially are a blast to traverse in this manner, but the more creative you get with this feature the more impressive examples you will think to try this function out on. Maybe a pinball machine, or a skate-park will be featured in your next Machinima film or 3D short? Everyone will have fun watching it, but you’ll have as much fun making it. Check out the video below to see an example of a snow mobile animated using Snap to Terrain. Good travels, enjoy!


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