Static graphics can make a scenario look unrealistic. If you are trying to impress your audience, articulations can add a level of depth that may have been missing. So, what are articulations? Articulations are dynamic actions that a model in STK can have. For example, if you are modeling a missile from launch then you may want to consider adding time dependent flames to decrease the size of the flame.
The pictures show a missile at launch and then five seconds later.
Most models have built in articulations that can be modified. For example if you add in a missile and change the model to the tomahawk.mdl, which is a built-in option with STK, if you view the available articulations you can change the size of the flames, wings, fins, and transformations of the Tomahawk. Without an articulation file, these neat features will be static if you modify them in the object’s properties.
Articulation files are easy to create in Notepad and quickly enhance your scenario with dynamic object properties in STK. The necessary components for an articulation file are the start time, end time, articulation name, and transformation. STK will do all of the interpolation of the data. Here is an example articulation file for a missile that has been launched. The flames will start out at 89% and decrease to 0% after a duration of 500 seconds.
Articulations add quick and easy dynamic properties to objects that can make movie clips or scenario analysis more appealing. If you have seen an STK video and wondered how the model rotated or how it had its wings slowly extend try using an articulation file to get the fire started.