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Animate the assembly of an object


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Which general techniques could be used to simulate the assembly of an object, subject to some constraints. For example, the output node of the object could be a merge, and I want to only consider the inputs of that last merge as individual elements to animate.

It could look like this: sort the building blocks according to Y, then find a plane which best approximates the object to have it lay flat on its successor (according to the order of assembly). For example to simulate the parts being delivered on a a pallet. At this point I know there would be some 2d packing involved. The assembly doesn't need to be physical plausible. Or maybe the order of assembly could be encoded in the merge graph.

Could you point me to something less advanced to get me started on traversing a geometry graph (if that's one way to do it...) ?

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  • 1 year later...

With anything like this it's best to work backwards. Have the thing arranged they way you want all together, by hand. Then disassemble it, again by hand, into the arrangement you want. Then, use dynamics to coordinate the positions of the in-progress pieces. You'll probably need to work in groups and layers of interactions, that is, not all at once.

This is going to give you the fastest and most predictable results.

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Thanks for the response kleer, that's what I was thinking too i.e. to start from the assembled product and work backwards. I am quite new to houdini and I don't really know how to have geometry that is animated with keyframes which will also have dynamic collisions.

I attached a hip file illustrating the problem. Basically I animated the cubes and I would like them to interact with each other before reaching the final position. Any help will be appreciated.


Thank you, Stefan


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