7: Paths

Paths are cool. paths will tell our actor (model, whatever) where to go.

In this case, open our Basic3Pt choreography that we created earlier. Go to the top view. In the upper left corner, you should see an arrow with a plus sign (+) next to it. This is the add Path button. I prefer the shortcut (A), so we'll use that. Hit A and click in your choreography. While holding down the mouse button, drag away in the direction you'd like your model to follow. Release when you get part way there. Let's assume we're going to have several turns, so we'll need more CPs. Hit A again and click near the end of the segment we created, you should now have a third CP that you can drag to continue to path. Release when this CP is where you'd like it. Keep doing this until you get enough CPs to get the rough shape that you'd like for the path. Once completed, you can click on and drag individual CPs on the path (probably Path1 in the choreography) and get just the shape and run you want.

By default this path will be at '0' in the Y direction or right on our flat patch plane. This is what we want for this tutorial, but it could just as easily go up and over a set of hills you constructed. But's let's walk flat before we climb hills.

If all is well, you should now have Path1 in your Basic3Pt choreography. Now, we need to get something to travel this path.

Go up to our HeadSeg, click on it (Left click) and drag it down to our choreography, releasing the mouse button once the HeadSeg is over Basic3Pt. You should now have a HeadSeg in the choreography. WooHoo! Pretty exciting, right? No, probably not. But now let's make it do something...

Right click on the HeadSeg, select New Constraint->Path. Move to the Choreography window and the pointer should have turned in to the eyedropper. Click near Path1 and now the model is constrained to travel along Path1. If you advance the scrub bar, you should see the HeadSeg move along the path. Now let's get it walking!

Drag the Walk Action down and drop it on HeadSeg in the Basic3Pt choreography in the PWS. Click on the new Shortcut to Walk under HeadSeg in the Choreography and look at the Properties. You should have "Use Stride Length" checked.

If you drag the scrub bar now, you should see our HeadSeg hustle along the length of the Path1 in just 30 frames. Much too fast to look stylish. Also, unless we modify things, we're still using all 30 frames even though we don't want the last frame. In the Properties, change the Start and End in the Crop Range to go from 0 to 29. The "Out Of" field will still say 30. Now, under How to Execute, be sure Use Stride Length is checked and change the End to something longer, like (what I ended up with for my Path length (it's all a matter of taste): 11:09. Here is what my Properties look like:

Let's talk next about Model Reuse.

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