Totally Lost: Rendering Animations Of Deformed Parts

I’ve been contacted by a client with a really strange request, and I’m not even sure where to start. They are a small scale bike manufacturer, and they would like videos created that show their frames deforming under pressure. The idea is to show how their joints/tubes are stronger than the competition. The loads/animations DO NOT NEED TO BE accurate or scientific, but they want them to look very technical and advanced to a layperson. I have their CAD files in solidworks, and I tried using Cosmos Flow as well as Simulation, but both result in very poor quality animations, the solids get turned into a mesh, not a rendered, glossy, frame.

Where the hell should I start? What software would I need for this?


you have a few options.

if you have access to any of these packages you can transport the data into them:

Alias Design / Maya / Modo / 3D max

Depending on how the data comes in you may need to recreate some of the surfaces in order to make it easier to animate
You would then deform your model at various stages and utilize a key frame animation

Also depending on how they modeled their frame in SW and if you can properly edit it you can also do it in there if you have the photo works rendering package.

another option is to do it utilizing flash, can create 2D stills which would then be combined to create the final animation.

These are the options off the top of my head and they may meet your needs depending on the final deliverable. If you can I would ask the client to provide you with a “sample” of what they are looking for or you provide them with one in order to ensure expectations are set at the beginning.

Chevis W.

Yeah, this is where you would need to use a traditional animation package like Maya or 3D Studio to take a meshed object (which getting a clean meshed object out of a CAD tool is not always easy) and then apply the deformations using something like a deform rig in the tool.

It’s not terribly hard to do, but if you’ve never used an animation package it’s definitely going to be a learning curve since you’ll need to translate, render, and animate all in 1 tool.

How about 2D morphing software?

Cheesy, but given two similar renders, will probably be the fastest way to do the job.