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Max 2009, and need object to follow a surface....
show user profile  HANZZ
I have max 2009, and need to animate an object moving over another object's contoured surface. If you have actual working solutions, please advise. I tried the 'follow_surface' script on scriptspot, but it doesn't do anything in max 2009.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 409 times
1/27/2017 5:26:34 AM (last edit: 1/27/2017 5:26:34 AM)
show user profile  Octopuzzy
Is projecting a curve to the surface an alternative?

read 390 times
1/27/2017 5:22:36 PM (last edit: 1/27/2017 5:22:36 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
No, I need to have either a dummy or a 3d model be a child of a spinning drum, and to have that dummy or model be 'dragged' over the surface of another model as the parent drum spins. Looked all over scriptspot and found no solutions, nor in google, in 14 pages of searches. Which is un-freaking believable.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 384 times
1/27/2017 6:46:17 PM (last edit: 1/27/2017 6:46:17 PM)
show user profile  Octopuzzy
And I suppose it's not a parametric object so you can jsut use the surface constraint as described here

Hanzz, it's time to migrate to Houdini and leave limitations behind you.

read 377 times
1/27/2017 7:43:21 PM (last edit: 1/27/2017 7:43:21 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Not a particularly difficult task to achieve via scripting, or i'm guessing the Max Creation Graph makes this stuff easy..

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read 359 times
1/28/2017 6:55:32 PM (last edit: 1/28/2017 6:55:32 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
@ Octopuzzy , I don't have Houdini, and couldn't afford it anyway.

@ scotlandDave , I don't know scripting, and have no idea where the 'max creation graph' is in max 2009.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 349 times
1/29/2017 2:44:18 AM (last edit: 1/29/2017 2:44:18 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
And Octopuzzy, did you read through that link you gave?....... it's not something I can use for this setup at all. I can't wheel in x/y coords in this. The object in question has to be parented to a spinning drum. This page's solution (which I've seen this very page in my searches already) is not a solution. It's a common problem with max that it has this limit on surface adherence between objects.

I have a cone model, with the point facing up.
I have a spinning drum below it, lying on its side like a.....well......a drum.
I need another object to be ABOVE the cone model, colliding with it, while still following the surface of the cone (which is offset from the center of the drum, alas) WHILE it tracks along with the parent drum.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 348 times
1/29/2017 2:49:25 AM (last edit: 1/29/2017 2:49:25 AM)
show user profile  Octopuzzy
Well, not gonna argue but unless you make more then $100k a year, Houdini indie is 200 bucks a year. And if you make over $100k a year, you can surely afford it :)

read 342 times
1/29/2017 9:17:09 PM (last edit: 1/29/2017 9:17:09 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
200 what dollars? That sounds decent. I understand the fight against subscription only licencing, but it's a good option for a lot of people..

Hanzz im not sure i fully understand what you need - could you explain it more fully? Maybe a quick drawing/render of the setup you need working?

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read 335 times
1/30/2017 10:27:19 AM (last edit: 1/30/2017 10:27:19 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Image Hosted by

Here's a pic...
I want the green drum to be the parent of the roller pistons.
I want the the pistons to stay 'with' the drum as the drum revolves.
However, I also want the roller pistons to track up and down relative to their offset path up/down on the underside of that cone area which is facing downward.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 321 times
1/30/2017 8:53:19 PM (last edit: 1/30/2017 8:57:10 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
I wonder if this would Help

A few years ago I had to do almost the same and we wrote some maxscript to cast rays to work out the position of a cam on a complex lobe. This knowledge has long since left my brain I'm afraid.

read 312 times
1/30/2017 9:10:30 PM (last edit: 1/30/2017 9:10:30 PM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Done a cam follow before, because I cheated by using a path. I don't recall if the lifter above the cam stayed in place. I'll have to try and refind it. Thanks for the link, nik, but this "MCG" controller is not in max 2009.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 309 times
1/30/2017 9:30:59 PM (last edit: 2/1/2017 1:01:04 AM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Have you tried setting it up using rigid-body joints/constraints?

What Nik said re using a simple raycast would be my first thought, might be possible to find a script via google without going too indepth coding wise, and might learn something in the process. A raycast is just a line of code that shoots a ray from a specific position/orientation, and returns the distance/normal of whatever surface(s) it hits. You can then plug that return info into your object position / y-offset / whatever..

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read 297 times
1/31/2017 2:01:35 AM (last edit: 1/31/2017 2:01:35 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
Hey Nik, I was able to get a solid animation for a cam/roller figured out in a few minutes. It did take a tiny bit of path % tweaking at 3 points to get it to follow exactly, but it worked fine. Still, I could get such a solution to work with my original problem max file, but I want the entire rig to be changeable regarding position of the upside down conical object. That way the pistons can be seen to change their travel maximum as the controller ring moves around above them. I'll keep looking.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 290 times
1/31/2017 8:30:13 AM (last edit: 1/31/2017 8:30:13 AM)
show user profile  HANZZ
@ Scotlanddave, I don't have the desire or will to learn scripting as I've tried it before, and had zero success. I'm an artist, not a programmer.

 photo MorgothArisenSig_zpsup4yjp7o.jpg

read 290 times
1/31/2017 8:31:16 AM (last edit: 1/31/2017 8:31:16 AM)
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