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Chapter 16. Controllers and Constraints:... > Understanding Controllers and Constr...

Understanding Controllers and Constraints

All objects in 3ds max 7 have default animation controllers assigned to them at creation time. An animation controller, or constraint, acts as a “modifier” for the animated motion or parameters of an object. There are several types of animation controllers, which is the general term for all controllers and constraints. For example, 3D primitive objects are assigned a position controller, called Position XYZ, which lets you move an object freely through the scene, animated or not, with the potential of generating animation keys in any of the three axes. And the default rotation controller for the primitive objects is the Euler XYZ controller.

In the exercises in this chapter, you'll substitute a Path constraint for the default Position XYZ assigned to the dummy object. The dummy object acts as a parent to the airplane and propeller from the last chapter, and transforms them through the scene. The constraint relies on an outside object—a line in this case—to describe position changes for the dummy object. The result will be that the dummy object causes the airplane to taxi and turn onto the runway. You'll then learn to control the velocity of the animated dummy graphically as it moves along the path.


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