This video is only an animatic. It is just a test without shading nor texture.
It is a demo of my current minimalist car setup made with BLENDER v2.49b.
The goal is to provide to the end user the simplest car rig ever built, with a maximum of automated functions giving the more life to the animation.
Only 10 objects are necessary for this setup : 2 Empties, 7 meshes and 1 lattice !
No Physics simulation. No keyframe. Only "mechanics" made with constraints. Ground detection using 5 sensors (vertex groups) on a plane affected by a ShrinkWrap modifier. It works on every terrain, even bumpy. Just avoid very huge bumps or holes at high speed. In this animation , the car speed is only around 50 kmh, but it looks like faster.
Several vertex groups in each object give spatial references for the numerous tracking constraint, allowing realistic animation for car and the pilot character.
For the fun, one more object has been added, allowing the cool pilot to chew automatically a chewing gum in some circumstances !
Features of the setup :
1 - Automatic ground level and obstacles detection.
2 - Four independent wheels.
3 - Dynamic suspension with automatic transversal slope.
4 - Tires deformation.
5 - Automated steering wheel.
6 - Automatically animed driver.
7 - Can follow a Curve or a keyframed Empty.
The setup is ready to play : just add the body of the car, the four wheels, the steering wheel and your own character, or edit the provided character.
Since the last demo, the tires deformation has been improved : it is the reason of the 7th mesh object.
The wheels require a vertex group to allow the tires deformation without affecting the wheel rim.
I have built a similar setup allowing to animate long trucks with trailer. As soon as I'll have simplified it a bit, I will release these setups, under Creative Commons 2.0 BY license. France.
Stay tuned !