An Automated System for the Creation of Articulated Mechanical Parts



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Proposes a new method to model the geometric form of articulated mechanical parts while simultaneously testing their range of motion in relation to other nearby parts. Utilizing a database of mechanical parts in virtual three-dimensional form, a software tool assists users in quickly building a complex high-level mechanical object which can be placed directly into a visual effects production pipeline. The tool creates a workflow that allows modeling and rigging problems to be solved concurrently within the same interface. Optimized animation controls are generated automatically to expedite the rigging process. A system of standardization provides a framework for each part?s functionality within the hierarchy of each new assembly, while also guaranteeing reusability and backwards compatibility with all other assemblies created with this tool. A prototype has been developed as a plug-in to existing commercial software to showcase the described methodology. This prototype provides a unique solution to common modeling and rigging problems in the field of visual effects and animation.