Jump to content

Animation Timing


Recommended Posts

So I want to animate a plant growing. Is there a way to control the animation of a particular parameter based on how long a particular element has existed? For instance, how would I go about animating leafs unfurling as the main trunk/stem grows?


If I try to animate the parameters, I can make the unfurling animation without much effort, but as the stem grows new leaves "appear" and they appear at whatever point in the animation sequence the rest of the leaves are at. This is obviously not realistic. They should unfurl individually, not as a set.




The above is a demonstration of what happens. You can see that the leaves start tightly wound, and unfurl. The problem is, new leaves appear already unfurled or in the process thereof. I would prefer if each leaf, as it appears, starts from the beginning and unfurls individually. I don't know how to time that without manually placing and animating every leaf.


I'm not intimately knowledgeable of 3ds max's animation tools, but I know particles can be controlled by age, so I was wondering if GrowFX elements could be...?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Levi. It looks like you have linked you radius size to your path position. you might tying the length to the path position then tying the radius to the length. I have attatched some examples.


also, it looks like your spirals pop up fully formed then unfurl. I am not sure if this is what happens. Im sure you could find some good reference on you tube.


hope it helps :)

plants for levi.max

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for responding! Unfortunately that's not quite what I meant. I am aware of, and use the techniques you provided in my work. My problem is controlling the growth of leaves once the main stalk stops growing. For instance, in your example file the leaves towards the top won't grow any bigger unless the stem grows taller. Suppose that you wanted them to continue growing and reach full size (like those at the base) regardless? That's what I'm trying to achieve. I want each leaf to go through a growth cycle separately from the moment it pops into the world.


Just as if I wanted flowers to grow from a bud to maturity, bloom, and wither. I could easily animate those things, but if my plant has multiple flowers that I want to grow at different times, I can't do it. They will all grow and die in unison, because the animation is relative to the timeline. Any new flowers that pop up will be at the same stage of their life-cycle as the others already on the vine/stalk. Basically, I need the animations to be relative to the life of the element (leaf, flower, etc), rather than the timeline. As soon as a new flower or leaf "appears", I want it to begin it's growth cycle animations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a few more files that might help


I could only think of two approaches but there may be more.


1. You can use external splines to drive the length of the leaf (using the spline direction modifier). from there you can drive your growth by changing the length of the lines using an edit spline modifier.


2. You can make a dummy distributor then use a path position distributor to attach the actual stem path to the base of the spline. From here you can drive the growth of the plant using the dummy distributor length.


either one of these methods will allow you to grow your plant without being dependent on the stem length.

levi plant 2.max

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...