I recently shot a commercial that had a long technocrane move with several moving set pieces and talent. The animatics and diagrams I created to illustrate the technocrane move were confusing to the crew because the small camera locator graphic was easily lost.
To help visualize what shots are possible in real life I added a function to the rig that turns the crane red when the arm is extended futher than 25′. I got the idea while watching a video about the The Third Floor who had built a similar virtual technocrane rig. This feature only works in “High Quality” for some reason, “Viewport 2.0″ is buggy with the material MEL calls.
I set out to create a 3D model of the technocrane we would be using on set to explicitly illustrate when the crane was dollying, extending, swinging, etc. The MW Previs Tools: Technocrane 25′ is roughly based on the SuperScotti25 technocrane. It extends from 7 ‘ to 25′ and has a limit on it’s height.
Previs Tools Guide
Watch this video on how to download, open, and use the MWPT: Technocrane 25.
Quick Start to the MW Previs Tools: Technocrane 25
- Download and open the mwpt-techno25.ma in Maya
- Animate your regular Maya camera and scene
- Place the “control_craneBase” where the crane base will sit and animate it’s dolly move.
- Point Contstrain the “control_craneHead” to your Maya camera
- Hit play in the viewport
I’ve used this rig on several projects already and it has been really helpful to the crew and to me. My previs tools are pretty still pretty basic but I’m trying to build a library of commonly used rigs that I will continue to release on my website.