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Tutorial - Move a Sphere

The following example demonstrates how to make a sphere follow a path and then generate an animation.

Step 1 - Start Moray and create a sphere

The first step is to start Moray and create a starting scene.  If you are using default Moray settings, then when you click on File|New Scene, you will get a scene that is: empty of object, contains one point light, and contains one camera.  The default configuration for Moray can be seen in View|Configuration as:

Default Moray Configuration

If you have changed the startup file (or unchecked the "New Scene loads this..."), then you will need to create a camera and a point light.

After starting Moray and starting a new scene, from the "create" tab, click on the sphere button.  You should see a Moray screen that looks like the one below.

Starting Image
First Step - Open Moray and Create a Sphere

Step 2 - Set the bounds of the animation

For this animation we will use 24 frames per second, with a total duration of 5 seconds.  The circled items in the dialog shown in Figure 22 are all that need to be set.

Setting Animation Bounds
Setting the basic properties of an animation

Step 3 - Set the key frames

Begin by activating the keyframe control.  Put the mouse over the button with the key and click with the left mouse.  This will leave the button depressed, and the time slider will now be activated.

Activate Keyframer
Starting the keyframing process

If the slider doesn't show a time of 00:00:0, then click on the left most VCR button to bring the slider back to the first frame (alternately, drag the slider as far left as it will go).

Select the sphere and place it where it belongs at the beginning of the animation.

Set First Key
Setting the first keyframe

The color of the key button now goes to yellow - indicating that there is a key set at this point in time.

Next, move the slider all the way to the right (either by dragging, or by clicking the right most VCR button).  Again, move the sphere somewhere.

Set The End Key
Setting the last keyframe

If you now click on the middle of the slider and drag it back and forth, you would expect to see the sphere move smoothly between the first location and the end location.  If you see it suddenly jump from the first location to the last (and that's not what you want), then you should change the type of interpolation that is performed on the object.  This selection is just to the right of the VCR controls.

If the interpolation selection is set to "step" (see Figure 26), then this jumping action is correct - the last keyed values for the object will be used, right up until the next keyframe is reached.  The other two choices are linear and cubic interpolation.

Step Interpolation
Interpolation combo box

If you are using linear interpolation, then looking at the timeline, you would see the following (assuming you were to select the "translate" entry under Sphere001:

Initial Timeline

At this point, select cubic interpolation.  This will result in a nice smooth path in the resulting animation.  The selection should now look like Figure 27.

Cubic Interpolation
Using cubic interpolation

If you were to look at the timeline view after making this selection, you would see something like this:

Cubic Interpolation Chosen

Before rendering, add a couple more key location, for example, one at 2 seconds and one at 4 seconds.  Move the slider so that it shows 00:02:00 and move the sphere, then drag the slider so that it shows 00:04:00 and move the sphere.  You should see something like Figure 28 and Figure 29 when you do this.

Set Low Key
Adding an intermediate key value

Set High Key
Adding a second intermediate key value

Once you have added the intermediate keys for the sphere, try dragging the slider back and forth.  You will see the sphere moving between the positions that have been set.

Taking a peek at the timeline (once again, select the translate comonent of the sphere), you can see how the path of the sphere changes over time:

Final Cubic Timeline

Using Step or Linear interpolation for the sphere would have resulted in the following images:

Final Step Interpolation

Final Linear Interpolation

If you haven't already saved your work, go ahead and do it now.

At this point, if you drag the slider back and forth, you should see the sphere move along a somewhat twisty path.  You are almost ready to render the animation.  The last thing to do is to assign a texture to the sphere.  See the Moray documentation for instructions on creating and assigning textures.

Step 4 - Set rendering options


Step 5 - Generate the animation

Select Render|Animation from the main Moray screen.  Sit back and wait for all of the individual images to be generated. 

The completed animation is available as an AVI file from here.