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2.3 Animate a Wheel Turn

In this lesson we’ll go through how to animate the wheel in Cinema 4D. We’ll also go through how to time the animation so that the pendulum swings through the holes perfectly.

2.3 Animate a Wheel Turn

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the oddly satisfying pendulum animation course. In this lesson we'll learn how to animate our 3D wheel objects. Now before we move on to animating, we want to check our frame rate settings. So to do this, let's go over to the top menu bar here, find the Edit render settings button, click on that. And under output, we want to find the frame rate, and make sure that it's been set to 30. Now even though we've set the framework to 30 here, this only changes the outgoing frame rate of our render. So the next place you want to check the frame rate, is in our project settings, so let's close this. And now, let's press Ctrl+D on the keyboard to access our project settings. And you can see here, that we also have a frame rate of 30. So make sure that both the frame rate here, is the same as the frame rate in our render settings. And this is the frames per second that affects our project timeline, which is over here. So if you can see that we change the value from 30 here, to something like 24, the numbers, if you pay attention to the timeline here, the numbers of our timeline will change to reflect the frames for a second. So let's bring this back to 30, so that matches our render FPS value as well. And now we're ready to start animating the wheel. Now let's go ahead and switch to the animation workspace, which will give us more options for our timeline. So to do this, go to Window, and Customization, Layouts, and find the Animates section here, so let's click on that. And now you'll see our timeline space here has expanded to give us more options and more information, on what will be happening in the scene. So with the wheel selected, move the timeline all the way down to the beginning here, and we want to go over to the coordinates tab. So let's go over to our attributes panel here and click on the coordinates tab. And now from here, making sure that we're at the very beginning of our timeline, we want to click on the keyframe button. So let's go ahead and click on the rotation, click keyframe button here. Make sure that we're on the right rotation, so not that one, it's this one, cool. So now we can see as we click and drag the mouse and enter different values here, we'll see how the wheel is turning round and round. Excellent, so let's bring that value back to zero. Cool, now for this animation to work correctly, we need to decide at which point in time the pendulum will be swinging through these holes in the wheel. So let's say you want the pendulum to swing through the wheel every two seconds. So at 30 frames per second, this means that the pendulum will swing through the wheel on the 60th frame. So let's move our timeline down to 60 frames here, so this the 60th frame. And now, we want to turn the wheel 60 degrees, so let's go ahead and enter a value of 60. And this means that the next hole, which is this one, will appear in the exact same place, as our first frame. So this was originally at the top here, and now it's just turned sixty degrees, cool. So all we have to do now, is we have to add another keyframe to this, so make that sure you click on the keyframe button here. And now as we scroll backwards and forwards through our timeline, you'll see how our wheel is now animating. So as we have six holes, we need to divide this by 360, just to get the correct angle for every wheel turn. So we need to divide 360 by all the holes that we've got here, which is six. So let's go ahead first of all and increase the number of frames here. So to get a full rotation of our wheel, we also need to increase the timeline to 12 seconds. And with, let's say one second equalling 30 frames, this means that we'll need 360 frames for our total animation. Now, all we have to do is, increase the bar here so that our timeline now incorporates the full 360 frames of our animation, excellent! Now, let's continue to add the keyframes for our wheel. So first of all, let's go ahead and click on this little corner button here to sort of click and drag to zoom out in our timeline, just so we can see more of our frames here. So just click on that button and drag it to the left, and we can also use the Move button here, and drag it all the way down here. So that way we can see a little bit more of our timeline here to work with. Cool, so let's move our timelines out, so this is one second, or this is two seconds. And now let's move down another two seconds here, so one second is 90 and then the second second here. So now this is four seconds, will be 120 and let's go over to our Attributes section here, make sure that we click on our wheel. And let's move this degrees from 60 to 120, so this is pretty easy. We can sort of keep the numbers of our timeline the same as our degrees here. And now, click on the timeline the keyframe button here, so that we've created, now we've got three key frames. So one key frame for zero, one for 60, one for a 120, and now just keep moving down on timeline. So the next keyframe, for next three seconds will be 180, so that'll be here, and change the degrees of a 180 like so. Create a new keyframe, and now just scrubbing down our timeline to check. And now let's move over to the next keyframe, so from 180, the next one will be 240 so that'll be two seconds forwards. So 240 degrees here, click on the keyframe, and now move that down here. So another two seconds will be 300, change this to 300 degrees, again, click on the keyframe. Let's give us a little bit more space, drag down here, and finally the last key frame will be at 360. So let's change this degrees to 360 for our full circular rotation. And now if we click on this button here, frame all, so that we can see all of our key frames in our timeline, we scrub backwards and forward, you can sort of see how our wheel is now turning, excellent. So now that we've added all of our keyframes to the wheel, if we now click on the Play button here, to try and preview it, you'll find that the animation isn't particularly smooth. And it sort of slows down and speeds up every two seconds. Now to fix this we need to go into the graph editor of our timeline. So let's do that by clicking, first of all selecting all of our keyframes. So using the selection tool, let's select rectangular selection, and let's see if we can select our keyframes here. So making sure that we're inside the timeline, and click and drag all of our key frames here, like so. In fact let's go ahead and frame all, just so we can select these keyframes here too. And now click on F curve mode, and now you can see our animation, as a growth. Now, with, if you zoom in here, so let's move in and zoom in here, you can notice how our line is sort of curved here. And we want a straight animation for our wheel, so it doesn't slow down or speed up. So with all of these keyframes selected, let's go ahead and click on linear, and this should snap all of our keyframes. So it's one straight line, like so, so if we zoom in here again, so you can see exactly what happens. So I'm just going to undo that, so now you can see we've got that curve here again, with all of our keyframes selected. Click on the linear button and everything should snap into place, excellent. So now if we go back to our keyframe mode of our timeline, and let's go ahead and frame all our keyframes here. Let's go all the way back, and if we click on the Play button, you'll see our wheel animation is a lot smoother, awesome. So that's it for this lesson, in the next lesson, we'll learn how to model the pendulum into the scene. See you all there.

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