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Manipulators are onscreen helpers, such as sliders, that can be wired to specific tracks of one or more scene objects. In this section, we will create two sliders to control aspects of the rocket's launch and flight.

Go to Create panel > Helpers > Manipulators.

Go to a Front viewport (manipulators cannot be created in a Camera viewport). Click the Slider button and click in the viewport to create a slider manipulator. Name this manipulator Slider_launch_shake.

This slider will now appear in any active viewport. Go to the Modify panel and enter “launch shake” in the Label box to change the name of the slider as it will appear in viewports.

Return to the Camera viewport and move the slider, using the Select and Manipulate tool, into the upper left corner of the viewport (Figure 14.52). If the slider does not appear in the Camera viewport, it may be outside the cropped region, requiring you to go to the Front viewport to move the slider closer to the center of the viewport. To move the slider in an orthogonal viewport, click and drag the small box to the left of the slider. Click the Select and Manipulate button again to exit that mode.

Figure 14.52. This slider will be used to control the shaking of the rocket during launch.

The primary effect of this slider will be to add a shaking motion to the rocket before it launches. In order to accomplish this, a Noise controller must be layered on the position track of the Dummy controlling the rocket's position.

Select Dummy_launchpoint and go to the Motion panel > Assign Controller rollout. Expand Link Params to see the individual position, rotation, and scale tracks.

Highlight Position : Position XYZ, click the Assign Controller button, choose the Position List controller, and click OK.

Expand the position track, now labeled Position : Position List, to see that an empty track named Available has been added.

Highlight Available and assign a Noise Position controller to it. This will bring up a Properties dialog for the Noise controller.

We want this controller to provide a small shake on the Z axis, so set X Strength to 0, Y Strength to 0, and Z Strength to 5.

Close the Noise Controller dialog. Note that if you scrub the Time Slider, the Dummy will shake throughout the animation.



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