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Thread: Q: How do I build Wheels and Calipers for Vehicles in Drive?

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    Administrator Brian.Muhlbach's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    San Diego, Ca

    Q: How do I build Wheels and Calipers for Vehicles in Drive?

    A: Building Wheels and Calipers for Vehicles:

    In this section, you will learn how to build joints for the wheels and brake calipers of an existing car model with 4 wheels. Building these specialized joints differs from building normal joints. Correctly building joints for wheels and calipers is critical to animating and driving cars in general.

    1. Open a car model with rotating parts for wheels and dependent static parts for brake calipers.


    In order to correctly apply joints to wheels and calipers, the car must be oriented in a very specific way. You cannot use the Move Manipulator to do this orientation. To establish the proper location and rotation of the model’s node states, you need to use the Vehicle Setup:
    1. Select the car model.

    2. In the Vehicle Setup section of the Model Tab, select the axis the front of the vehicle is facing towards.

      NOTE: You can see the axes in the Viewport by displaying the world origin (i.e. right-click in the 3D View and toggle on World Origin from the drop-down menu). Alternately, you can use the Move Manipulator as a visual reference, but do not use the Manipulator to move the car!


    Car models typically have many parts. It would be tricky to surgically select each part of the wheels and calipers directly. To simplify this task, first select and hide all the parts that are not related to the wheels and calipers. Think of it as an inverse selection:
    1. Enter Camera Mode.

    2. In the Camera Tool Panel, click the Side button to get a side view of the car model, which happens to be located at the World Origin. Then zoom in so the side view of the car fills most of the 3D View.

    3. Switch to Parts Mode (a sub-mode of Model Set), and activate the Parts Selector Tool.

    4. Click-hold and drag a selection box around the center of the car, from above the roof to below the undercarriage. Be very careful to keep the box narrow enough to avoid selecting any part in the wheels or calipers.

    5. Press Ctrl-H to hide the selected parts.

    6. Repeat the previous two steps to select and hide all other parts, except for the parts composing the wheels and calipers. When you’re done, the only visible parts should be in the wheels and calipers.

    7. Select every part in the wheels – including brake rotors, rims, nuts, etc – except the calipers. The calipers typical do not spin with the wheels.


    This subsection tells you how to build joints for wheels.
    1. With the wheels selected, click Create Wheels from Selected Parts in the Vehicle Setup section of the Model / Parts Palette. This action builds the joints for the wheels.


    Brake calipers and wheels both need to be animated, but not in quite the same way: Calipers turn left and right with the front wheels, but calipers do not spin with the wheels. Here’s how to build joints for calipers:
    1. Middle-click anywhere in the 3D View to de-select all.

    2. Enter Parts Mode (a sub-mode of Model Set), and take a look at the thumbnails in the Parts Palette. Notice that the thumbnails for hidden parts are greyed out.

    3. To select the calipers and their logos, hold the Ctrl-Key and click on each and every thumbnail for the caliper parts in the Model / Parts Palette:

    4. With the calipers and their logos selected, click Create Calipers from Selected Parts in the Model / Parts Palette. This action builds joints for the calipers.

    5. Right-click in the 3D View and select Show All from the drop-down menu. The entire car should become visible again.

    6. Save your project.
    Last edited by Brian.Muhlbach; 12-09-2014 at 08:54 PM.
    Brian Muhlbach / Lead Support, Application Engineer / Bunkspeed

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