Unrealistic physics by mistake or by design?

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elpin
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 6:36 pm

Unrealistic physics by mistake or by design?

Post by elpin » Tue May 31, 2011 9:56 am

Hello Craft Animations,

I represent a company specializing in high resolution renderings for printed advertising but we would like to move into the animation world soon. For this we are in need of a good car animation/rigging plugin to cater our needs.
I tried a demo version of a 4wheeler extended recently and I'm a little bit disappointed (especially after seeing the dune buggy video on youtube) in the physical capabilities and believability of a car motion. I'm not sure if it's the settings or some other problem, but the car I rigged according to the tutorials (which is really really easy) doesn't really behave like a real car.

I made a simple test with a car going over some uneven bumps to show some suspension action. The video is uploaded here:
http://www.thelooop.com/4Wheeler_BumpsTest.avi
As you can see if this would be a real car the crew would be really shaken from the bumpy ride. But on the brake nose-dive movement you see that the suspension stiffness is set properly.

I also saw a video posted here in the forums and I find it quite disturbing:
http://forum.craftanimations.com/viewto ... ?f=3&t=702
No suspension settings should allow for the crazy up-the-hill motion as visible on the video.

Also the whole idea of two modes of braking (either A.B.S or skidding) is quite strange. In reality only physical attributes (for example a strength of a traction, speed, weight etc.) should decide whether the car is skidding or braking nicely, right?

It got me thinking about the aim of this plugin. Because logically it would seem that a perfect car motion plugin would have a perfectly worked out physics. However it could be that it's not really a clever approach. Right now when an art director says that he wants the car to go quick here and then brake and stop exactly there you just need to adjust the brake power parameters and no matter how fast you go or how bumpy the road is, the car just stops always at the same spot after you start braking. In case of real physics it would always brake differently based on many factors. Real, but maybe not so directing-friendly.

So could you please clarify a little bit what is the idea behind this car animation plugin and perhaps confirm or refute my points? In other words - convince me that it is a good buy? :) Also would the "dune-buggy plugin" be soon for purchase?

Thanks,
David

Patrik Martin
Partner
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:07 pm
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
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Re: Unrealistic physics by mistake or by design?

Post by Patrik Martin » Tue May 31, 2011 11:39 am

Hi Elpin,

First of all, thank you for your post. We are always open to discuss our products and get ideas to make our tools even better.

Well the initial idea is of course to create animations much faster than you would do with ordinary keyframing methods. As for the 4-Wheeler Extended it was created to look as a car behaves not to have totally correct physical movements. The main problem here is that it is made to fit a wide range of users. For example for an architect they tend to like it easy and are not so much that the car should be high detail of animation like bumps etc. Another example is forensics were they like to have it as physical correct as possible to be able to prove their case in court and you can also add city or off-road driving. So the initial plan was to develop a plug-in that was able to be applied in a wide range of different areas. It is possible to change the behavior quite nice with the configuration. I would believe that it is possible to get the car sway more in your test if you for example would change the suspension or the mass multiplier.

As you write, if it would be full physics it would effect all different behaviors each time a change is made. The bigger range of animators like to have a high level of control and would like to be able to create impossible tight turns.

The "dune-buggy plugin" is placed on halt since we believe that we will not be able to make a profit on the tool on the amount of development it takes to finalize. We would see that the price for the tool would be quite high and at the moment we do not see that there are as many customers that we need in need for such a detailed car animation product. They would more likely settle for the 4-Wheeler and say that it does it good enough. Of course if we would find someone to sponsor us with the finances for the development we would bring the project up again and finalize it.

Believe me I would love to create the full physics tool with my team just because it is fun but we need to think about what is best for the company as well.

The 4-Wheeler Extended is at least what we hear from our customers and also from our belief the best tool out there today to animate 4-wheeled vehicles. There are some tools out there for creating car animations but they are not close to how flexible and easy as our tool is.
Partner
http://www.craftanimations.com
patrik.martin-at-craftanimations.com

Patrik Martin
Partner
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:07 pm
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Unrealistic physics by mistake or by design?

Post by Patrik Martin » Tue May 31, 2011 11:59 am

Here is a video that shows a pickup driving over bumps:
http://www.craftanimations.com/default/ ... dodge-ram/
Partner
http://www.craftanimations.com
patrik.martin-at-craftanimations.com

elpin
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 6:36 pm

Re: Unrealistic physics by mistake or by design?

Post by elpin » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:21 pm

Hi Patrik,

Thank you for your response. Yes on the video of the pickup truck I see the same problem as I have in the animation. But I think you are right when you say that there are not many customers that would require a really super realistic car motion. In the end it's all about what the client needs. If they want CGI it's usually because they want some technical animations or abstract/toon shots that are not possible or very difficult to do in the real world. If they want super realistic motion and super realistic surroundings and super realistic whatever then it's anyway better and cheaper to just shoot it.

It's also true that the amount of features 4wheeler offers is really impressive and especially those technical animations are really nice and I guess it's quite easy to setup.

I see it's going to be a tough choice...

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