We are spoilt – another new ride has turned up at the fairground! It looks dangerous, and indeed, it’s called Terminator. The attraction has been around since the early nineties. In appearance, it’s not unlike the Top Spin, which arrived several months ago. However, it only has to kick into operation for its distinction to become clear.
While perfectly capable of performing the same routine as a Top Spin, the Terminator has one key difference – the arms do not have to rotate in sync with each other. They can be programmed to move independently, twisting and turning the gondola in one heck of a dance.
This was an interesting mechanic to try and translate into Cinema 4D. I wanted to try and get the gondola to react smartly to two spinning arms. With the similarities mentioned, common sense suggested a redress of my Top Spin model – even so, it took an awfully long time to update and change to what you see here!
To begin with, I looked at Connectors, with the belief that they would, well, connect the gondola to the bottom of the arms. Initially there was great promise, with some even allowing the gondola to spin during vanilla revolutions, but frustration eventually won over perseverance, especially when things like this kept happening:
That’s probably the closest I came, too. There are so many settings for the Connectors relating to physics and configurations about which I’ve no idea whatsoever, so it was just a case of randomly putting numbers in and seeing what happens. I think that image in itself suggests that, with some brainpower applied, it could probably be done that way. Sadly, it eluded me.
I then thought about Targets, which ensure that one object permanently looks at another. It sounded like a behaviour that could be turned to my advantage here; I grouped the tilting lower left arm and the gondola, while putting a target at the bottom of the straight arm. Astonishingly, this seemed to work relatively well! It’s far from perfect; it strays occasionally, again, probably due to my lack of knowledge, but it’s come out significantly better than all of the Connector experiments, and has at least come closer to solving the problem posed by the ride, and project.
I’ve only animated the arms in this render snippet – the gondola is bound by its left arm ‘parent’ and the right-hand target. Fun!
If you’d like to see the Terminator in real-life action, here we are. One resided at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach for several years, but with a far less elaborate diorama. It looked a far more intense ride, though!