Having modelled most of my train I decided to test out some animations. I need to be able to show some of the principles of animation, the ones I had in mind were: squash and stretch, easing in and out, and anticipation.
The image below shows what I plan to animate. The squash and stretch will be used to animate specific parts of my train to give it more substance and life. To go about this I will try using the squash deformer and set key frames in the appropriate places.
The video above just shows a quick test I did using the deformer. It works okay, but I will have to see how it looks when it moves along the tracks as it may or may not work as well. I also modelled some of the tracks in which my train will travel along. I drew them out by hand and used image planes to model them from. I thought it would turn out well and the final models looked really good, however when it came to putting my train onto the tracks and have it travel along it didn't work very well.
I found that some of the curved tracks I created we're too sharp and this resulted in the train cutting into the track. I managed to get it to work on a 'wavy' track as seen below. For this I set up a motion path for it to follow. This is a much quicker way than animating it by hand, however the downside to this is that you don't have the same control over it. I think I will have to experiment with it more to see what happens.
The plan now is to sort out the whole track and come up with an overhead plan so I can then model the final thing. I will also need to model the cacti and the canyon before my environment is complete. Another thing I will have to look in to is texturing, whether I will paint them in Photoshop or find some free textures.