[FTC]: Animating PTC Model for Fun: HELP!

I was wondering if anyone could help me (give me a starting point or tutorial) on the best way to animate a PTC model. We are giving a presentation to our school board and we thought it would be cool to make an animated video as part of our presentation.

The model is completely constructed in Pro/E. I can export it to any other program if someone knows how to do it in another piece of software.

Anyway, any guided help would be much appreciated. Thanks :smiley: .

We use a free (and very good) 3D gaming, CAD and animation software called “Blender”, we use it as our CAD software because PTC crashes on us to much for some odd reason, plus we know Blender and Python scripting better and we normally animate out CAD drawings. If you download it, you can transfer your CAD files into it then animate it. One of our team members has put up a bunch of tutorials up on youtube, here’s a link if you want to start learning how to use it. http://www.youtube.com/user/qazwsx2541 I hope that helped.

I just downloaded blender, however, I am still very confused. Any very simple tutorial on how to import the CAD model from PTC and do a quick spin around would be much appreciated!

Any other suggestions from other teams too!


There are a few ways to animate within PTC’s software, depending on what you want to do.

If you’re looking for a simple animation to show off different parts of your model, I would use a display animation.

This can be done by changing your working mode within the software to animation (Applications -> Animation; on the top toolbar), and the using the “View @ Time” tool, found either within the animation menu on the top bar, or as a button on the side bar. This allows you to change between different angles at different times within your animation.

You can set each individual view by going to View -> Orientation -> Reorient, and then clicking on “Saved Views”; this will bring down a list of views which you can pick from, or save your own view by naming the view and hitting the save button (this saves the current view of the model you have on your screen). You can re-position the model and save as many views as you’d like.

Then, within the “View @ Time” tool, you can pick from your saved views, and set them to a time within your animation. The software will automatically transition smoothly between the views. If you want to see how the animation looks at any time, you can go to Animation -> Start, or click the Start icon on the sidebar.

If you want to change how long your animation is, right-click on the timeline at the bottom, and click Edit Time Domain. Here you can edit the end time of your animation, as well as changing the frame rate. I recommend a frame rate of at least 25, as this will give you a smooth-looking animation.

Once you are satisfied, you can click the Start animation button so the software captures the animation. In order to save your animation as a video file, you need to hit the Playback button either in the Animation menu or on the sidebar, and hit Capture. Here you can choose your file name and location, format (MPEG is fine), size (720 x 1280 is what we typically do, but it takes a while to render; 1090 x 1920 is full HD), frame rate (25 FPS), and quality.

As far as quality goes, if you choose to photo-render your frames, I can guide you through optimal settings for that as well, but rendering tends to take many hours if not days for a 10-30 second animation.

If you would like to see some examples of Photo-rendered, HD animation, here is an example from our YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-kGup0VX-g

If you’re looking to do something more complicated or interesting, such as moving parts within the model itself, disappearing or fading parts to highlight certain features, etc, let me know and we can talk. I feel like I’ve written wayyy too much here already, especially for my first post. =)

Let me know if this helps! Also, I have been looking to get started with some CAD video tutorials as soon as my schedule frees up a little bit, so if you have anything in particular you’d like to know how to do, send suggestions my way and I’ll see if I can help!