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raillard

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About raillard

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  1. Thanks, Steven! This looks really useful! Sincerely, Carl Raillard
  2. Hello folks. I'd like to share a model file that I made. The purpose of this model is to create an on-screen motion arc, so that you can refine the swing of your character's limbs. It's an animation aid, in other words. Here's how to use it: On frame 0 drag and drop the Z-arc model as an action object into your Action file. If you're working in Choreography, just drop it into the Cho. Apply a Translate To constraint to the little bone floating above the floor (name of bone = Zarc the lad). Dab the eyedropper onto the bone of the body part of your character whose movement you'd like to refine. As you advance through your animation, Zarc will follow the limb. The lad will leave a 2 second long "contrail" spline. Hope this is as useful to you as it is to me! Sincerely, Carl Raillard Oh, here is a mov file to show how it looks like. I constrained Zarc to my character's left hand, but I really wanted to follow the swing of the sword. Hence, after I applied the Translate To constraint, I just translated the lad to the tip of the sword (adding offsets to the constraint). This is useful methodology; just move the little guy to where ever you want the arc to originate. After you are done refining the movement, delete Zarc. Sincerely, Carl Raillard Z_arc.mdl zarc.mov
  3. Hello, again. Action Objects can be animated in Choreographies. I'm not sure if this D-Box solution is feasible, though. Without the ability to apply constraints onto a D-Box bone, the user would not be able to keep the box facing the camera at all times. Another possible drawback: When the camera pans, would the character distort as the D-box grid follows the camera? Here's another way of doing this. Approach this as a Post Production step. First render the animation of the character alone onto a targa sequence. Apply the image sequence as an animatable decal onto a flat mesh grid (25 x25). Position the grid panel in front of the camera, obsuring the real character. Hide the real charcter model (turn it's Active parameter to OFF). Apply constraints to keep the grid model in place, facing the camera. In this way you can use the grid's image of the character as a substitute for the real one. Then use good old Muscle Mode to deform the grid. What is that sound of barfing? Is that an indication that my idea is wretchedly complicated? Carl Raillard
  4. Hello, Robert. As you probably know, there are two types of Distortion boxes in A:M: Modelling distortion boxes and Animatable distortion boxes. The modelling D-boxes work great. They're not useful to achieve this idea of yours, though. Theoretically, it ought to be possible to do something like this, in A:M, using Animatable D-boxes. You can specify the grid density of an Animatable D-box, and target the Root bone of the model so that only your model is affected. You can also create bones and assign Control Points of the D-box mesh to the bones. Afterwards these bones can be told to face the camera via constraints. You could even make an On/Off pose for the D-box, to store these constraints. In theory. As Mike pointed out, animatable D-boxes have problems that thwart their utility. If others users wish to file reports about animatable D-boxes, that might help push this feature into the mainstream of A:M's toolset? Hopefully, Carl Raillard
  5. Hi, Stephen! Oh, that was definately worth the wait! I want to see more! Quite frankly I'm more interested in your stuff, than I am in anything that Hollywood or Pixar has planned. Sad but true. I love how Briar skewers the apple. Is that Mosey as cupid? Sincerely, Carl Raillard
  6. Hello. I took a look at your models in my copy of A:M v13.0e. I had no problem examining your models. Two things caught my eye, zo. Firstly: Both models have an item called "Drivers" embedded in them. This is listed just below the Splines folder, inside the Model, in the Project Workspace. I would advise you to delete these Drivers things. That might help. I don't know what they are, but I don't think they are healthy inside a Model. (Drivers are supposed to be inside Actions -- they are the splines that define movement.) Secondly, there is something a bit odd about the mesh of the soles of your character's feet. They are grouped together (in the Groups folder) and the surface color is dark blue. That's fine. What's odd is that their surface transparency has been set to 100% so they don't render. Is that intentional? If it is not intentional, then you should crack open the group's disclosure triangle, crack open the Surface disclosure triangle, right-click on the Transparency setting and choose "Not Set." This might cure your problems. I'm thinking perhaps your graphics card is having difficulty rendering these transparent groups in realtime. If you want your character to be running around on invisible soles, then your next step should be to update the video drivers for your graphics card. Animation Master runs much more smoothly on machines that have up-to-date video drivers. Respectfully, Carl Raillard PS: The reason the Standard Manipulator does not appear on the Head bone is because, inside the model file, the Head bone has its Limit Manipulators set to ON. This bone is specified to rotate only.
  7. Hello! This is a great picture! Please submit this one for the mascot contest next year! Sincerely, Carl Raillard
  8. Hi, Mike! Yeah, Christina Hanson also mentioned that. I think I might try using an animatable Distortion box to really press Gaty down, in the anticipation. I'd like to make him bulge out on the sides, like a squooshed balloon. I'm glad you like Gaty! I'm certain Gaty would love to appear on the Discovery Channel and wrestle with the Crocodile hunter guy. Sincerely, Carl Raillard
  9. Hi! I've got "Animation" and "How to Animate Film Cartoons." They cost $2.50 each. There's no specific section on takes in either one. I recollect that Walter Foster put out an Andrew Loomis anatomy book too, but it was just a highly edited version of an existing Loomis book. Perhaps my Blair books have a similar history. Anyway, ZachBG, thanks for your interest. I *think* I know what you are talking about. It can be helpful if cartoon characters blink during takes, or before turning their heads, etc. It's a little trick that helps focus the viewer's eyes onto the character's face. It helps to "push" the character's expression. Still, such blinks can be overdone, if you ask me. Just my personal opinion. There are also other ways for cartoon characters to clear their eyes, besides blinking. See the attached mov. Sincerely, Carl Raillard eyerub.mov
  10. Hello, again! I took a minute to incorporate zachtaich's suggestion, of making Gaty's jaw fly up just as he jerks his head backwards. I've attached the results. It does look better. Thanks, zacktaich! I've been watching Jeff Lew's training DVD, and I think I now have a better grasp on the offsetting keyframe technique. Previously I kept encountering the advice that I should move the keyframe one way ... or the other. So I dutifully moved the keyframes back or forth, in a very haphazard way, not knowing what I was doing, and screwing everything up. Watching Jeff at work has helped clarify the technique for me. When a limb is active (when the muscles governing it are tightening), then 9 times out of 10 the limb's movement will be leading the movement of the torso and hips -- the main body mass -- by virtue of the fact that the limb is simply lighter than the body. So the keyframes of the limbs should be shifted to the left in the timeline. In contrast, when the limb is passive (when its muscles are limp) then the limb drags behind the body's movements, sort of like a big fat meaty hair. In those cases the limb keyframes should be offset to the right in the timeline. Well, I better get back to copying stuff from my Preston Blair books. I've got two Walter Foster art books, written by Blair. They are only 40 pages apiece, though. So, sorry ZachBG, I have no idea what you are talking about! Sincerely? Carl Raillard drop3.mov
  11. Hello! Impressive model. Nice lean patch count! Your ability to sculpt a mesh puts me to mind of Jim Talbot. Sincerely, Carl Raillard
  12. Good suggestions. I like the idea of a head-bob! And the blinks! Yes! I've attached a revision. By the way: Preston Blair had *nothing* to do with this jawdrop animation. Sort of shows, huh? I think Gaty's surprised expression at the end is a trifle too exaggerated. I really wanted this to be more of a deadpan reaction shot, with the dropped jaw as the prime indicator of Gaty's inner feelings. But I had to have some sort of look on his face, after he reeled his jaw back in, and so this is what I wound up with. It needs a sound effect. Something like: "CHUNG!" when the jaw hits the ground. Sincerely, Carl Raillard drop2.mov
  13. Thanks, fellas. Well I'll just have to give offsetting keyframes another try. Thanks for the extra input, David. Sincerely, Carl Raillard
  14. Hey, that's a cool model. He should run for governor in California. Sincerely, Carl Raillard
  15. Thanks, JohnArtbox. You've given me some food for thought. I've attached a piece of jawdropping animation. This piece was remarkable for me because I felt the offsetting technique actually improved it. I offset the keys on the arm, to keep them from looking symmetrical. Usually when I try to offset Gaty's limbs, he winds up looking gangly, and I don't like that. I don't want Gaty to be gangly. He's supposed to be a spry child. Perhaps this quirk of Gaty's character is what's making it difficult for me to get a hang of the offsetting technique. Here's a question for you guys: Does offsetting keyframes lend itself to characters that move boldly & decisively? Or is it better suited for lazy, loose-limbed characters, such as Goofy? Oh, thanks for picking the nit, Smudge! I think I agree with you, a little extra scrunching, before Gaty jumps up, might help. Another thought is maybe I should use a Distortion box to squeeze the entire character down and outward, like a balloon pressed down by a hand. Sincerely, Carl Raillard jawdrop.mov
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