DriveWorks Pro 18: Smooth Translate [send feedback...]

Smooth Translate

The Smooth Translate entity allows you to add basic animation or movement to a Node in a 3D Document. The Smooth Translate entity can be used to move a Node to a new target position at a chosen speed. Smooth Translate is great for moving Nodes in a continuous way or for moving Nodes multiple times with interruption.

Smooth Translate is great for moving Nodes continuously. You can constantly change the target and the entity will continue to attempt to get to the target position. Unlike Animate Translation this entity handles interruptions easily and lets you change the position during movement. This makes the entity ideal for moving models around a scene. For example, you can use this entity to position or lay out models in a scene.

animated gif showing the smooth translate entity

The example above uses Smooth Translate to move a sphere around a square shape. As the sphere approaches a target position (corner) a Specification Macro is triggered and a Constant will switch the target position for the sphere so it will move automatically towards the next successive corner.

Information Panel

With the model Node selected and the Smooth Translate entity added to the Node, the following will be displayed in the Information Panel:

image showing the properties available for the Smooth Translate entity

Smooth Translate Enabled

Enable and disable the Smooth Translate entity. Disabling the entity will stop it from running and the Node will remain in its current position.

Target

Target is the new position or target for the Node to translate towards. Target can be specified in two ways. You can target another Node in a DriveWorks 3D Document or you can enter the position as a pipe delimited list (X|Y|Z).

  • Target a Node

    Root\Model\Model-1

  • Target a position

    1000|2500|500 - X|Y|Z

Use World Position

Use World Position changes the behavior when targeting a position. When targeting a position (X|Y|Z) this property determines if that position is relative the current Node or to the world space.

Nodes can be parented together and offset from each other in any axis. This changes their overall world position. For example, if you have 4 Nodes parented and offset from each other by 100mm in the X direction, the fourth Node will have a world position of 400mm in the X axis.

This property lets you set the position of a Node relative to its local or world position, giving you freedom to choose.

Speed

Speed determines how quickly a Smooth Translate entity will complete its specified path. Inputting a higher number for Speed will increase the Nodes rapidity.

Smooth

Smooth controls the behaviour of the Node as it approaches a target position. When you select Smooth, the Node will decelerate as it approaches a target position. Visually this creates a smoother looking transistion between target positions.

On Complete Macro Name

On Complete Macro Name is used to specify a Specification Macro Name. This runs a Specification Macro at the end of the translation letting you trigger other events or further translations.

On Complete Macro Argument

On Complete Macro Argument is used to specify an argument for the Specification Macro running above it. This argument is passed into the Specification Macro like any other Specification Macro in DriveWorks.

Parameter Panel

With the model Node selected and the Smooth Translate entity added to the Node, the following will be displayed in the Parameter Panel:

  • Smooth Translate Enabled

    Smooth Translate Enabled controls the enabled state of the Smooth Translate entity. Enter either TRUE or FALSE to control the enabled state of the entity.

  • Target

    Target is the new position or target for the Node to translate towards. Target can be specified as a Node path or as a 3D point (X|Y|Z).

  • Use World Position

    Use World Position determines whether to position the model against the Nodes local or world position. Enter either TRUE or FALSE.

  • Speed

    Speed controls the speed of the Smooth Translate entity. Enter a number.

  • Smooth

    Smooth controls whether or not the Node slows down as it nears a target position. Enter either TRUE or FALSE.

  • On Complete Macro Name

    On Complete Macro Name is the name of the Specification Macro to run once the animation completes. Enter the Specification Macro name as a string.

  • On Complete Macro Argument

    On Complete Macro Argument is used to pass an argument into the Specification Macro Name above.

Using Smooth Translate

Smooth Translate can be used for basic animations and movement of Nodes. For example, you can create exploded views in 3D, move or position a model in a 3D scene and open drawers inside furniture. Smooth Translate provides precise linear movement of the Node. This can only be changed by selecting the Smooth property on an entity. This will cause the entity to decelerate in speed as it approaches a target position.


Position or layout models

The Smooth Translate and Smooth Rotate entities can be combined to lay out or position models within a 3D scene. The example below demonstrates how a model will behave when both entities are applied. When a wall is selected, the model will move and rotate smoothly towards its specified location.

animated gif showing smooth translate and smooth rotate

As well as providing a more visually appealing animation the entities combined will use the Vector functions to calculate the angles of rotation and positioning in a 3D space.

Table of Contents