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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    2

    Tank Tracks in UT2k3. Possible?

    Hi all,

    I've been drafted in to make a few simple models for a 'Machinima' movie, a short film made using the Unreal 2003 engine. I've made a large tank-like crawler for the guy, but how the hell am I supposed to make the tracks animate successfully in UT? I use Lightwave 7.5 currently and planned to use morphs built into the tracks themselves to get the trundling effect, but I have no idea if this method work in UT's editor.

    I'm still waiting on the editor arriving (thank you Play.com) so I can experiment, but I'd like to know if I'm onto a loser here and should just go for wheels and be done with it. Maybe someone knows if tracks are possible, or if I have to use an image sequence for the effect instead of actually morphing between states. HELP?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    58

    Lightbulb

    I guess it depends on what kind of tank tracks you're doing, how close the cameras are going to get, and how realistic you want it to look. But my suggestion is to just use textures.

    There's lots of different approches. The most simple would be if the tracks are moving all the time, at the same rate then a scrolling texture would suffice.

    The most inventive solution that I can think of is this:
    The engine can have cameras set up in a map that render what they see to a file, updated 10 times a second for instance. There's an example of that in DM-Insidious where the monitors by the guy in the tank show a real time image. (You can only see yourself on the monitors if you enter thirdperson mode -- type "behindview 1" at the console.)

    In a seperate section of the map you're using for the movie you could set up a textured model of a section of tank tracks in the form of a ring, and point one of those special cameras at the side of it, then have it render what it sees to a texture you then use on the real tank's tracks (which would have careful UV mapping that tiles well). You may have to give the ring a couple of rotation animations, but I think in Matinee you should be able to rotate the ring clockwise and anti-clockwise on demand. Having a camera/model set up for each tank track would give you full control so you could even show it turning on the spot (one track going forward, the other turning backward).
    It sounds complicated but I think it's a very easy and quick method of getting realistic results... in theory at least.
    Last edited by praetorius; 10-04-2002 at 02:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    2
    You make it all sound so easy

    Not only does it have to stop and go, it has to turn left and right and backwards as well. I have no idea just how difficult this will be to achieve until I talk to the programmer/director and see if matinee can handle all we want to do. I suspected textures might be the only way, and it sure looks more and more like it. I'll run your idea past the main man and see what he thinks. Thanks for the input, we'll see what happens...
    Axeman's 3D Homepage
    for all your bizarre model needs

    www.axeman3d.co.uk

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