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Whats the correct approach with Groups
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* December 17, 2017, 03:59:22 PM
Reference to excavator1.tcw ( Large line = main boom, Smaller line = extension boom & Tiny line = bucket )
What I havent seen in AL is the rules for grouped objects and how to control them.
Do you add the individual objects as actors to AL & then group those objects together in tcw and then add that grouped object to AL
Add the individual objects as actors to  AL and then use the attachToGroup command in AL 1st?

Whats the correct technique to control those actors rotation in the key frames editor? 
1. Rotate the main boom first when other objects are attached
run Key Frames Play Mode for that rotation then
2. Then rotate the extension boom 2nd ( but only after the above point is completed )
run Key Frames Play Mode for that rotation then
3. Finally rotate the bucket after 3rd ( but only after the above point is completed )


Can you overlap key frames for different actors by dragging say the Extension boom frames into  the Main boom frames and expect that both frames will animate correctly?

If you see errors in my approach to the animation, can you explain how you would go about this instead please!

Not sure as to why this happened ( just above the red line AL added the joined line from Frame 11 to 19 ) as these two commands where orinally separate and meant to happen at different frame intervals?
Oh, I also got a UE from AL, so Im wondering if this had any effect on the above problem?

Finally I maybe missing some important info re: AL in older animation files that I dont have or are there a downloads possible from the softdev developers site?  as I just want to learn more.

see excavator1.png
see excavator1.tcw
see  excavator 3D Selector Settings.PNG

TCW V21, 2015-2019 PP, Animation Lab V5.2 & Redsdk enabled, LightWorks rendering mostly.

* December 18, 2017, 01:37:19 PM
To simpilfy the questions on the prev post:

Whats best group in tcw and then add as actors in AL
Use the attachtogroup command in AL

Then whats the logical steps for correct animation for the excavator1.tcw example.

FWIW, Ive done many animations and most are ready to upload soon, but just occasioanally I got stuck with correct grouping and the logical steps associated with grouping or the right procedures/steps,

TCW V21, 2015-2019 PP, Animation Lab V5.2 & Redsdk enabled, LightWorks rendering mostly.

* December 19, 2017, 08:38:28 AM
as for the line above your red line,    I've had that happen when I was recording key frames, i.e. AL thinks something has changed with the actor from the previous key frames and stuck a black line in, but I've never had it happen once I've clicked and recorded both key frames, when one appears that I don't want, I just do is copy and paste the key frame from where the gap should start into where the gap finishes,  but like I say once I've recorded the key frames they stick correctly for me.

Grouping - that's personal preference,  for me - if the groups are required from the start I group then one at a time into actors/groups  and don't bother with AttachToGroup, if I was constructing something like a car and animating putting the wheels on before driving away, I'd use attach to group once the wheels were in place. but its one of those things where whatever works best for a given situation - there is no right or wrong way.

SofDev used to have more animations on their site many years ago, but then they re-jigged the site and they were not put back on,  they haven't been available now for quite a few years. - what do you think you are missing ?

As for the Excavator,  you can move any actor at any time you wish (within reason :) ), i.e. you can have the second arm or bucket to start moving before the first arm has finished its movement - I assume that's what you mean by overlapping,  I overlap things all the time.

Hope this helps



* December 21, 2017, 05:34:04 AM
Andy & Tim check your email.

TCW V21, 2015-2019 PP, Animation Lab V5.2 & Redsdk enabled, LightWorks rendering mostly.

December 21, 2017, 08:26:47 AM
Andy & Tim check your email.


Regards Tim

You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2016/2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2018/2019 + Lightworks (64-bit versions) + AnimationLab 5.2.
Windows 10 Pro (1909) 64-bit