In this detailed tutorial, you will be learning about one of the most important and frequently used techniques called Wiring or Parameter Wiring. After going through this tutorial, you will be able to use Wire Parameters in 3ds max.
In Wiring, we just connect the parameters of one (or more) object to the parameters of another object, so if we modify the parameter of the first object then it will automatically affects the parameter of the second object – as those parameters are connected together.
For instance, if I have two objects “a” and “b” and I just connect the position of “a” with the rotation of “b” using Wire Parameters, now, whenever I will move the object “a” , the object “b” will automatically starts rotating as it’s rotation is being controlled by the position of “a”.
Here, “a” is driver object and “b” is the driven object.
Wiring is basically used for rigging purposes. You can easily control the transform (Position, Rotation and Scale) parameters, Object parameters (Length, Width, Height) and even the modifiers of an object through Wiring. Though, it’s a most common and frequently used Option but still many people don’t know the proper use of Wiring as they have many questions like how to slow down or fasten the rotation with respect to the control object. So, this tutorial will focus on some of these basic things about Parameter wiring.
Before getting into the wiring directly, you should have the understanding of Two-way and One-way connections. In Parameter wiring dialog (Alt+5), you may have seen three buttons present in between the parameter trees, namely Two-way connection (<—>), One-way connection (<—-) and One-way connection (—->), these buttons decides the control direction of the parameter.
- Two-way connection (<—>)
In Two-way connections, the parameters are cross linked to each other so we can manipulate the parameters from either side which means changing either parameter will affect the other.
- One-way connection (<—-)
In One-way connections, one parameter is slaved to the other one so we can manipulate parameters only from one side i.e. from the master side.
In this connection, the direction of the arrow is from right to left which means the right parameter will drive or control the left parameter.
- One-way connection (—->)
This connection is just opposite to the above one. In this connection the direction of the arrow is from right to left which means the right parameter will drive or control the left parameter.
Currently, I have two objects in the scene, an arrow and a gear. Select the arrow and right click > Wire Parameters… then Transform > Rotation > Z Rotation. Now click on the gear object, then Transform > Rotation > Z Rotation. In parameter wiring dialog, use One Way Connection (—>) and click on connect.
Now, just rotate the arrow shape and you can see that the gear starts rotating automatically.
Our setup is working fine but what if we want our gear to rotate just half the rotation of our arrow? Select the arrow and open up the Parameter Wiring dialog by pressing Alt+5 key. Now, click on the find icon present at the Parameter Wiring dialog to display the connections between Arrow and the gear.
Now divide the rotation by 2 as we want the gear to rotate just half the rotation of our Arrow.
Similarly, you can divide or multiply any number to slow down or speed up the rotation of your object. In the Part 2 of this tutorial you will be learning how to use sliders while working with wiring.