3ds max: How to make and animate tank tracks

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  • Posted by: PiLe
  • Added on: 8 June 2004 1:21
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3D Kingdom Knight Bone has submited his latest tutorial which will take you throught How to make and animate tank tracks...

How to make and animate tank tracks

by bone
(Sven van Zoelen)

In this tutorial I will explain on how to make a tank track and then how to animate it, its very easy, in 5 easy steps your done, it will cost you 10 min!. I also learnt this over some tutorials but I can't find them on the internet any more. So I though to write one, this is also my first tutorial I ever wrote. And don't watch my English it's rather BAD. Now lets start.

1. Making the Track Segment

Ok, first we need to make the segment of the track. We will make a basic track segment of a tiger tank.

Allright lets start. Go to the top view and make a box with the parameters like the picture below.

Now right click the object and covert it editable poly.
Now go to poly selection and select the polygons shown in the picture below.

Now press the little button next to the extrude button, and then you enter 15 and hit "Ok".

Now select the opposite polygons on other side of the object (see picture below) and extrude them also with 15.

Ok, now go to vertex selection mode and move the vertex until you got something like the picture below.

Now right click the text "top view" and select the bottom view. After that select these polygons and bevel them as shown in the picture.

Next thing to do is to make a new box with the parameter like this picture. You should also convert it to the editable poly.

Now go to polygon selection and select the top polygon and extrude him with 8.

Now go into vertex mode and to the front view, now select the top left vertex and move them to the right until they looks like the picture, now do the same with the right top vertex.

Now deselect the vertex selection and press the attach button and select the first object we made (make sure that your object are in place like the picture below)

Now your 2 objects becomes 1, this is were we stop to model the segment for the tutorial.

2. Path for your track

Now we must make a path that our track is going to follow.
Now make a Line (Shapes-->Line shape) now draw a nice path on how the track must go and then close the spline.

Spline that marks the route of the track.

3. Duplicate the track segment

Now its time to duplicate our track segment so that it will be a track.
Select the track segment and select the move option now hold down shift and drag the track segment so that the segment fits in the duplicated segment, now you can enter how much copies of the object you want enter a number that fills your path.

I have used 80 copies.

Now we have a rolled out track now select one segment (the last or the first segment) and hit the "attach list" button, now select all the track segment and hit the attach button.

Now we have 1 object that is the hole track.

4. Letting the track follow a path.

Now its time to let the track follow the spline, to do this select the track object and go to the modifiers selection and select PathDeform. Now hit the Pick Path button and select the spline we made.

Now if your track looks weird then check the Path Deform Axis z, x, or y to make it right, if your track is flipped in side out then check "flip". Mostly the track is to small, to make him bigger scale the spline NOT THE OBJECT if your track is in place then you will notice (if you entered to much copies of the track segment) that the track goes in him self (overlapping) or that there are not enough track segments , if this is the case then you select the track object and go to element selection of the editable object, now you see your track not following the path anymore, now select the track segment that were to much and delete them or when you want to add some segments then you must select a track segment and shift drag him to copy it. Now unselect the element selection and select PathDeform (NOT A NEW PATHDEFORM) Now your track follows the path again, look if the track is good, if not delete more segment until the track is good.

Track is overlapping.

5. Animating the Track.

This is very easy to do just go in auto key mode scroll to frame 100 and select the PathDeform modifier of the track object and enter a number (like 10) in the percent box and press play, now your see your track move along the path.

Here is animated example with wheels :)

Hope you learnt something, if you have any questions don't hesitate to post comment or e-mail me at: Ninja_game_3d@hotmail.com

This tutorial was written by 3D Kingdom Knight Bone
Website: http://home.wanadoo.nl/svenvanzoelen

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