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Pro/Animation: Step 1 - A simple animation.

This post is to get you a very basic Animation that you can use if you are new to animation.
Proe Version : WF2

Quick Introduction:

ProE Animation is a typical ProE Module in the sense that sometimes its not easy to start with. But once you get the grip of it, its so easy and powerful. Most tend to think that it’s a hard think to crack but that’s NOT the case at all. I would try to post a few to get you started.

An Animation can made in few different ways. Main options are...

1. Come to Animation. Create few snapshots. Make a Key-Frame-Sequence. Animation is ready.
2. You can assemble the components as Connections (instead of Mate/Align/…). Come to Mechanism. Define Motors. Start the motors and you have the animation.
3. Further to step 2, you can come to Animation and add these motors appropriately and have an animation.

Option 1 is a simple, quick and easy method. But if the movements are complex, don’t use Option 1. You'll may go mad. In such cases go for Option 2 for a good animation, without any frills (without view manipulation, transparency manipulation etc).. If you really want a complex animation with all (or some) of the extra effects like view manipulation, then Option 3 is the one.

In the coming posts, I would post some of the things related to the Not-So-Simple animations. But today lets have a look at the option 1.

A simple animation:

Before starting, you can download the assembly, see and use, if you want. Link is at the bottom of this post.

Here I would bounce a box.

1. Make a normal assembly.

2. Come to Animation. [Application -> Animation]

3. By default, all parts would be part of the body "Ground". In order to have relative motion, all objects that move together should be defined as a body (one or more parts or sub-assy). Here you need to make the Box as a separate body. Click on the "Define Bodies" Icon. From the new window, select New, select the Box and say OK. You can name it appropriately if you want. Now you should have two bodies - Ground, Body1.

4. Create Snapshots. You need to create three snapshots in this case. At positions 1 2 and 3. Click on the "Define Snapshot" Icon. Drag the bodies to the positions that you need and take a snapshot (Camera Icon at the Top-Left to take a snapshot). Here you have few options to help you. (1) Advanced Drag. You can move or rotate along a specific axis. (2) Advanced Drag. "Packaged Move" help you to move multiple components together. (3) Constraints Tab. You have a few options here as well. You can Mate/Align bodies + others. I have used the mate option to place the box touching the surface for the 2nd snapshot. (4) Update. In Snapshot Tab on the left side you have an yellow triangular icon with a + inside. This is used to update the existing position to the selected Snapshot. Explore the remaining yourself. Use these options and make the three snapshots that we want. It’s a good idea to keep the snapshots organised with appropriate names.

5. Create a Key Frame Sequence (KFS). Click on the "Define KFS" icon. Select the correct snapshot and key in the time and press add. This eg, we have three snapshots. Default duration is 10 secs. We put the 1st @ 0, 2nd @ 5 and 3rd @ 10. Press OK. Now you can see that the KFS has come in the Animation Task Bar. In this, each snapshot would come as a triangle. You can select and drag these as well. To redefine, select the KFS, Right Button and select "Edit KFS".

6. Click "Generate Animation" and say OK if prompted.

7. Click on "Play the Animation" and you can Run the animation. You can use "Capture" and the animation would be saved as a MPG file in your working directory.

8. Additionally, you can optimise the duration by specifying the frame rate / frames. To do this, right click at the time scale at the bottom of the Animation Task Bar and click "Edit Time Domain".

Let me know by comments your suggestions and doubts. Have fun animating!!

[Sorry, I'm not able to upload the ProE files. Please check later for the ProE files].


Anonymous said…
Hi! a quick question - I have an assembly in Proe 300~ parts or so that i am trying to animate. I have gone through the motions of defining bodies etc. When I try to drag components, the parts will not move - I have set all bodies to unspecified in the keyframe sequence bodies tab. The cursor location moves, i can see the offset under advanced drag, but the parts themselves in the model do not. Can you think of some constraint that i haven't removed? (There are no constraints listed in the constraint tab under drag options) - GD

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