A 3D Animated Excel Roller Coaster – video preview


  1. Hi Dave, This was done over a decade ago when I was quite “green” about these things. I just tried to look at it now and it’s a complete mess. The time I did it I was trying to do it without reading anything just by simple analysis and trial and error. I need to redo it cleanly including a tutorial.
    Somewhere there is a table (about 200 elements – as tall as the number of the segments) with three rotations: pitch, roll and yaw (like an airplane). The angles might be not necessary in this order.
    Actually you might not find the table since I might have deleted it.
    That was filled by hand, one by one (trial and error) with numbers depending on the intended looks of the coaster. Let’s assume at some point there is a loop, where the pitch will be positive and constant for, say 20 elements, while the other two angles will be (almost) zero. Almost, because if they are exactly zero, you’ll end up crashing in the structure at the beginning of the loop. I believe if you add a very little yaw over those 20 elements you can avoid that.

  2. Hi George, I came across the http://www.excelunusual.com web site in my search for resources regarding 3D graphics and am very interested in your Roller Coaster simulation. The way you used Excel to do 3D animation was quite impressive. The one thing I was hoping to see, is the one thing in the spreadsheet I cannot find: how you calculated the curvature of the track. Am I missing something? It looks like the track is a series of data points that were calculated by a separate software package.
    This is purely for my own desire to create a 3D track representation of a marble contraption before building it. I’m not looking to create any kind of sellable software package or service. It is purely for my own education and experimentation as a hobby. If you did use an external package to generate the data, can you tell me what you used? If it was entirely your calculations, can you tell me how you did it?

    I know that the web site is quite old at this point, but I really found the concept of using Excel in this way intriguing.
    Best Regards
    Dave H

  3. Really Good! you are insane!

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