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TheSpleen

exercise 6 door stuck

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doorgene.mov

very tough and I know I did alot wrong.

the feet kept wanting to move, how can I keep feet planted while I make his body tug?

I had to go back and adjust hands alot and the still are not perfect.

Although I am not completely unhappy with the outcome.

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btw, that stuff about constraints and the "story for another day" that I gloss over at the end does have something to do with putting the hands on the dooir knob in this exercise.

 

Hopefully that's covered somewhere else.

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wow, those were work panels I have never seen before!

I will have to watch that alot! not even sure where to find some of that lol. :blink:

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I do find these lessons very well done. Each one covers a new item that I am excited to learn!

I want so bad to throw in my own stuff but for now I am trying to follow the lessons as

exactly as possible so I learn what is being taught.

I cant wait to get good at this! :lol:

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wow, those were work panels I have never seen before!

I will have to watch that alot! not even sure where to find some of that lol. :blink:

 

 

The "View" menu at the top will toggle various windows on/off

 

If you have a second monitor it's convenient to detach the PWS (double-click the drag bar at top) and full screen it on the second monitor. Alternatively, detach it and full screen it on your primary monitor and use ALT-1 to toggle it visible when you need to see it.

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That's closer... I still see some things wandering around when maybe they shouldn't, but it's closer.

 

the sudden jump around 2:12 is probably from two keyframes close together that shouldn't be.

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I would just like to add a small foot-note to this wonderful tutorial, for the MAC users out there.

 

Where Rob says use "Control-select" numerous bones to create key frames at the beginning of an animation, on a MAC this would translate to "Command-select" (key with the apple on it) on the Mac keyboard. Using the Control key on the mac essentially, only turns a left-mouse-click into a right-mouse-click. (Useful for single click mice users.)

I'm sure many Mac users know this already but for the newby types this can be a source of frustration.

I don't mean to up-stage here, I just recall stumbling over this a while ago on my Mac.

 

BTW, I think Rob's whole series of key-framing tut's have been absolutely phenomenal in helping new animators to get better at key framing.

Thanks, Rob for another biggie !!

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I watched his tut and am still very confused. Although great tut!

can I ask?

If I want one foot to stick to doorframe where I put it so I can make shaggy

tug and pull with his body and the foot stays put, Can you tell me a simple how?

please?

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I am so frustrated! I followed that keyframe tutorial he made and thought I had it.

So I started shift keyframing and now everything is flying around worse than before!

what can I be doing wrong????

I know it works cause I see everyone else's work looks great!

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If I want one foot to stick to doorframe where I put it so I can make shaggy

tug and pull with his body and the foot stays put, Can you tell me a simple how?

please?

 

There are lots of things that can go wrong so it's hard to tell without seeing you work. but...

 

-don't move the character by moving the model bone. place the model bone ONCE at the beginning of your animation and leave it there. Even if the character has to jump a mile inthe air or walk to the next city, leave the model bone where it started.

 

-for this particular exercise, start with Shaggy's rig set like this (in the "Pose" window) and leave it like this:

 

shaggysettings.png

 

note that the blue items are ones that are changed from the defaults.

 

these settings make the hands and feet will stay where ever you put them even if you move the body.

 

It also means that if you want to move all of Shaggy, say, five feet forward, you need to move both hands and both feet in addition to his hips to get all of him moved. A little more work... it looks "wrong" if you've just moved his hips and haven't moved his hands and feet yet... but no heavy lifting involved.

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my arm setup is off

how do I change it to on?

 

click on "OFF"

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my arm setup is off

how do I change it to on?

 

click on "OFF"

lol I did that, nothing happened.

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That looks a bit more solid. Some of the key frames look like they need to be zero-sloped like the vid mentioned so things like the feet don't wander, but that does look look like a step forward.

 

 

[quote name='TheSpleen' post='282926' date='Sep

 

click on "OFF"

lol I did that, nothing happened.

 

Something is wrong then. I presume the other ON/OFF poses switch when you click them?

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That looks a bit more solid. Some of the key frames look like they need to be zero-sloped like the vid mentioned so things like the feet don't wander, but that does look look like a step forward.

 

 

[quote name='TheSpleen' post='282926' date='Sep

 

click on "OFF"

lol I did that, nothing happened.

 

Something is wrong then. I presume the other ON/OFF poses switch when you click them?

I just finished the say it tutorial and am rendering it (taking longtime)

I will check those switches soon as I can.

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I finally got it !!!!!!!!!!!!!

took 8 tries though!!!

I learned a whole lot with this lesson!

Give me credit for not quitting? LOL

shagdoorfinally.mov

 

That was much better! I think you've got it.

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Looks like the lessons of Exercise 6 have sunk in. :)

 

Try to do it again after taking a long break (at least 6 months)... you'll be amazed at the progress you've made.

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Looks like the lessons of Exercise 6 have sunk in. :)

 

Try to do it again after taking a long break (at least 6 months)... you'll be amazed at the progress you've made.

there are several lessons I plan to redo later, like the make it walk one.

Thanks.

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Hmmm. No video tutorial for this lesson. Guess I'll have to stick with the book and some of the examples here. I liked yours Spleen.

 

Wish me luck.... off I go.

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Hmmm. No video tutorial for this lesson. Guess I'll have to stick with the book and some of the examples here. I liked yours Spleen.

 

Wish me luck.... off I go.

You can do it.

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Hmmm. No video tutorial for this lesson. Guess I'll have to stick with the book and some of the examples here. I liked yours Spleen.

 

Wish me luck.... off I go.

 

Yeah, this is the one that's a real bitch. It really is a big leap from the previous exercises.

 

Make sure you've watched my vid on keyframing options. And if you're planning to have the character walk up to the door with a walk cycle, watch my vid on adding animation after an action.

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Hmmm. No video tutorial for this lesson. Guess I'll have to stick with the book and some of the examples here. I liked yours Spleen.

 

Wish me luck.... off I go.

 

Yeah, this is the one that's a real bitch. It really is a big leap from the previous exercises.

 

Make sure you've watched my vid on keyframing options. And if you're planning to have the character walk up to the door with a walk cycle, watch my vid on adding animation after an action.

 

Can I just say how much of a God you are Robcat. I decided to redo lesson 5 with a walk cycle up to the door and I've spent the last half hour banging my head against trying to end the action and move back into posing. I couldn't find info on it anywhere. I was coming here to ask the question only to find you had the answer waiting. Awesome. And I've already watched both your keyframing Tuts. Numerous times.

 

Thanks again and thanks Spleen for the vote of confidence. ;)

 

EDIT: Holy crap you were not kidding. Wow that's complicated. I would have never ever figured that out without your Tut. Thanks.

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EDIT: Holy crap you were not kidding. Wow that's complicated. I would have never ever figured that out without your Tut. Thanks.

 

Hey, now that you've got it figured out make sure you share with the rest of us. :)

Thats how we all learn.

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Technically, walking into the shot isn't part of the actual exercise, but it seems to be something everyone wants to do.

 

Of course, one doesn't really need a walk cycle to do that, in most settings an animator would just animate each step individually.

 

But if you're itching to use a walk cycle it can be done.

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You know what's worse than having things figured out and not sharing? Thinking you have things figured out and finding out through painful, burning failure that you in fact do not.

 

This is going to be a bit of a long message. Please forgive me, I am frustrated and love the sound of my own voice.

 

First off. I need to come clean. I have OBVIOUSLY taken this lesson a lot further than I need to. I fully realize that I am asking to learn things above my pay grade as far as the TAO lessons go.

 

I've attached a .zip of the project file as it is right now. I got a lot further before the wheels came off the bus last night but the result was so bad it damaged everything that came before it and so I had to go back to this point and try again. So far I've been at Lesson 6 for over double the alotted 6 hour time frame; and not happy about it either.

 

I watched Robcat's tutorial on transitioning from a preset action to posed movement. I'm a little disappointed. Not in the tutorial, I'll talk about my issues with that in a minute, but with the program itself. I cannot believe there isn't an easier way to transition a model from an action preset to posed action. The steps you have to go through to continue the action are; considering the ease of use in much of the rest of the program, shockingly counter intuitive. You should just be able to select a keyframe, select the action in the project workspace and just hit a button called transition to pose or something.

 

Ok, now my issues with the tutorial. And I should emphasize these are my issues. Robcat I'm very grateful for your guidance. There is a better than good chance that I'm the one with the problem here and the tutorial is just fine. Here is where I ran into problems.

 

1) One of the things Robcat said in the tutorial: "the path action is always setting itself to the length of the choreography and the choreography is always setting itself to the length of the last keyframe." Somehow I broke this. I've been having to manually increase the size of the newly added choreography and even have to manually increase the area not "grayed out" in the timecode at the top of the timeline view. I think it has something to do with number 2.

 

2) When I added a new choreography action like Robcat did in the tutorial it didn't appear as this nice short little bar like his did in the tutorial. It appeared as a huge long bar the entire length of the already existing animation. when I slid it over to measure up with the point in which I wanted the walk action to end and begin posing manually it increased the blue choreagraphy bar and available animation time by double. So every time I sampled the animation it would continue to play 20 seconds or so past the point where shaggy freezes and I'm trying to pose. This became frustrating for me so I shortened the blue bar and new choreography action (red bar) until the only time it took up was the area in which I was currently working. That didn't work because in the area at the top of the timeline view that "time" had already been exposed and was white instead of gray. I selected that area where the animation stopped (a good twenty seconds passed where I was working) and dragged it back to the time where I was working so when I played the animation it would stop in the area in which I was working. Ever since then I have had to manually adjust the choreography and timeline to add more time when I add more animation. If I do not the scrubber reaches the end of the time/choreography and just stops without playing the additional frames.

 

3) What was described in the tutorial with adding a new choreography action didn't work exactly as described in the tutorial. When I married up the new choreography action to the exact time that I wanted the old choreography action (with the walk action applied) to end all the new poses affected the walk action despite the new choreography action being in place and the old one ending. I discovered if I seperate them by one frame it worked as described in the tutorial. But I had so many other issues down the road (that bled back into the walk action despite the fact that at this point it was working and transitioned to the posed action just fine) that I cannot be sure this is not part of a bigger issue.

 

4) I watched Robcat's tutorials on key frames (both of them) several times and no matter what I tried it didn't help me here. I used the project workspace to control/select all the bones (that wasn't in the tutorial but it seemed to work); I tried control selecting the bones themselves; I tried nudging them to force keyframes, I tried shift/click on the keyframe button once I had the bones selected and I even tried edit/make keyframe with the bones selected. No matter what I tried there were certain elements of certain bones (most notably the hips, back, back 2 and ankle manipulation points) that had no keyframes and didn't even appear under the bone itself until after I manipulated it.

 

The project that I've zipped shows Shaggy walking up to the door and it transitions pretty seamlessly to him stopping, canting his head and then knocking on the door. He waits a bit and then cants his head again. That's where this project stops. Last night I moved forward. From there I had him sort of crane his neck to the right and lean back like he was trying to look around the edge of the door to see if anyone was coming. I then had him lean to the left in the same manner and then back to the center at which point I was going to have him grab the doorknob and start the lesson proper from there.

 

After struggling with these hidden areas of the bones that popped up (they would just appear after I manipulated them; they would say translate instead of transform and before I moved them they didn't even exist in the project workspace. Heck, back 2 doesn't even show up in the project workspace. So as soon as I move them they gain a keyframe that starts a movement waaaaay back at the beginning of the animation and slowly moves into place until the keyfram is reached. It usually ends with Shaggy canted over on his side knocking on the door sideways instead of standing straight up. And if I undo it so Shaggy is standing back up again and get rid of the keyframe, the bone disappears so I can't keframe it where it is, where I want it to be, before I make the cant to the right pose (with Shaggy standing straight in front of the door).

 

I played with the different areas of the shift/make keyframe menu. I even tried to force keyframes on everything just to try and solidify Shaggy's position where I wanted him. This resulted in Shaggy being turned around backwards and slammed into the door as if the two models had been merged into one. When I tried to undo it it turned everything white (complete loss of color and shading) and essentially did nothing else. Shaggy and the door became one and that was that.

 

So I tried to find ways to manipulate all those hidden bones and then put them back where I wanted them so they would have keyframes and although it took forever I thought I finally had it. As I scrubbed through Shaggy knocked on the door. Canted his head, leaned right, leaned left and then straightened up. It seemed like everything was working and I was ready to have Shaggy grab the doorknob and begin the lesson proper. Until I started the animation back at the beginning to watch it all over. As Shaggy neared the end of his walk cycle action his feet slowed at the very end and the last step took five times longer than its should until finally the scrubber passed into the area where the walk cycle ended and the posed animation took over at which point Shaggy snapped back into the proper movements and continued until he reached the end of the animation I had posed for him.

 

So essentially, I had broken down the animation into four parts. The walk to the door, the knock/check of the door, the pull on the door and the end walk through the door. I had all kinds of trouble transitioning from part one to part two but I got it. Then I had all kinds of trouble completing part two but I got it. The only problem was it ruined part one; and no matter what I tried I couldn't get part one to work right again.

 

So I came to the forums to write all this stuff and ask for help... but as you all know the forums were fubar last night. So I gave up. I didn't want to save the project as screwed as it was (and I was so wiped and frustrated I stupidly didn't think to save it as another file name) so I just shut it down without saving because I knew the last save point, what I have given you here in the zip file, was as close to working as I've been able to get this nightmare.

 

So there it is. HELP!

 

I've included the walk action in the zip file because I made it myself, therefore you probably don't have it. If you need anything else from me to analyze this problem please let me know. I'm basically stuck and don't know what to do to go on from here. I'm afraid if I invest tons of time in part two again I'll just ruin part one again. Thanks for reading this massive wall o' text and big thanks to anyone who can help. :(

 

I realize I'm asking for help with things that according to the lessons I don't need to know yet but despite that these are things that I intuitively feel I need to know, that I should know about how the program animates.

Lesson_6_Stuck_Door.zip

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I wont' have time right now to answer all of this quickly but I'll try to take a look.

 

I haven't watched my videos in ages. Real sleepers. I dread having to sit thru them just to find the one sentence that's a problem.

 

 

Everything is hard the first time you do it.

 

I cannot believe there isn't an easier way to transition a model from an action preset to posed action. The steps you have to go through to continue the action are; considering the ease of use in much of the rest of the program, shockingly counter intuitive. You should just be able to select a keyframe, select the action in the project workspace and just hit a button called transition to pose or something.

 

 

here's the key part...

 

just hit a button called transition to pose or something

 

that posed action you're wanting to transition to is something you're about to make. It doesn't exist yet at the time you are saying you want to push a button.

 

The computer doesn't know what it is until you make it. I suppose people think that forcing keyframes on all those bones at the start of the new action is a hassle but... you're going to be selecting them and making keyframes on them anyway. If not on this first frame, the a few frames later because... that's what posing is all about, making keyframes on a bunch of bones. You're going to hunt them down eventually, so doing it on frame 1 can't be that big of a deal.

 

Is adjusting the beginning and end of the red bars too much work? I think it's neat they are there and can be adjusted and can do what they do.

 

 

 

I looked at your walk action. Most of the sliding is because the stride length manipulator hasn't been adjusted like it said to do in the "take a walk" exercise. On the bottom of page 56 (my book anyway) it says to align the start end with the heel at frame 0. Yours is close but not really there.

 

then i t says to align the end with the same heel when it has reached the back of it's stride (frame 20 in the tut). Yours is closer to the toe than the heel.

 

Technically it says to use the heel as a "reference point". you can use any spot on the foot as long as you use the same spot in front and back. You're doesn't do that.

 

Some other sliding is because when a foot is on the ground it's not animated to move backwards at a constant speed . Since the character is being moved at a constant rate forward the foot needs to be animated backwards at a constant speed until it is lifted off the ground to be carried forward for the next step.

This probably means some channel editing to get it exactly right, which is a bit beyond the basic walk tutorial.

 

But getting the stride length manip set right is 90% of it. That part is in the tut.

 

 

If you correct these thing it will probably change the pose the character is in at the end of your walk up so it probably wont' match the keyframes you have created for the start of the second action.

 

 

 

But using walk cycles is actually rather rare in animation. I can't think of that last time I used a walk "cycle" so this isn't an issue I've done a lot of research on. There may indeed be an easier way, but this is the way i thought of when someone asked about it.

 

Here's a scene I did for the A:M movie (minus background scenery). It has characters walking from one spot to another and stopping and doing things and a walk cycle is never used.

 

2_02_edit v36_H264.mov

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The walk action I had issues with was the Rabbit in lesson 5. This is a completely different walk action and when I ran the animation in the choreography window it looked fine to me. Still does. I don't notice any significant slippage. I realize the lesson in 5 called for the stride points to be closer to the heel but you yourself said you have to play with it to get it right. I did, and I thought I had.

 

Maybe I'm wrong; I'll have to look at it again.

 

The walk cycle isn't really the issue though, even if it is off I'm happy with it at the moment. What's driving me crazy are these disappearing/reappearing bone properties that affect previous choreography actions.

 

I have years of experience editing video and so I know I could easily just cut to another camera angle, start the animation over with a new project and it would look fine. Just like all the actions are melded together; but that wasn't what I wanted to do when I started the lesson and it isn't what I hoped to accomplished.

 

I wanted to have Shaggy walk up to the door and knock on it and look around it and then reach out and pull on it and struggle with it and then open and walk through it and I wanted to do it all in one render/shot. And I wanted to do it that way just to see if I could.

 

The first script I want to shoot (once I make models for my characters as well as all the background scenery and lighting elements etc. etc) involves a chase of sorts; a woman who my hero is trying to save runs away blindly in fear and the hero gives chase to protect her from running into traffic or something like that. The chase scene lasts a good distance and I had pictured using an action cycle for it. That was of course before I had finished even the 1st of the TAO lessons.

 

My main issue here is that the posing actions that I'm trying to implement after the walk cycle are effecting the walk cycle because I'm moving bones in directions that didn't have properties or keyframes at all until I I moved them and once I moved them the keyframes connected all the way back to the begining of the animation, corrupting it.

 

I was able to resolve the issue by doubling up on keyframes and forcing the bones to start where I wanted them to start before I began manually posing them. While this fixed one problem it created another by causing the walk cycle to slow to a crawl just as it finished and then snap back into the posed animation.

 

Yes, I'm trying to do a lot in one scene. No I don't need to; the lesson certainly doesn't call for it. And if you tell me that I should use shorter scenes and cut to different camera angles because what I'm trying to do is too complicated for me at this level or too difficult and beyond what the program is usually used for I'll go back and finish the lesson as it is supposed to be done and cut the other render in through my editing software.

 

I can be pretty impatient when I'm trying to learn new things and they aren't working the way I think they should. Thanks for bearing with me.

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Yes, I'm trying to do a lot in one scene. No I don't need to; the lesson certainly doesn't call for it. And if you tell me that I should use shorter scenes and cut to different camera angles because what I'm trying to do is too complicated for me at this level or too difficult and beyond what the program is usually used for I'll go back and finish the lesson as it is supposed to be done and cut the other render in through my editing software.

 

If you are simply trying to tell a story going the edit route is going to be a very satisfactory solution. In some cases it will be the best one.

 

If you are trying to master the process then the impatience may be working against you. Divide and conquer. Isolate the problem (just one) and focus there. If you get stuck, seek help in resolving that problem.

 

We all have different approaches and capacities for dealing with problems. Robert has the keen sense and an inate ability to juggle a variety of problems simultaneously. My brain generally struggles with one.

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My main issue here is that the posing actions that I'm trying to implement after the walk cycle are effecting the walk cycle because I'm moving bones in directions that didn't have properties or keyframes at all until I I moved them and once I moved them the keyframes connected all the way back to the begining of the animation, corrupting it.

 

As long as these new keyframes for bones are in new chor action (the one that doesn't use the walk cycle), and the red bar of the new chor action doesn't overlap the red bar of the chor action that used the walk cycle , those new keyframes wont' affect any motion in the walk cycle. Even if the new chor action contains keys on bones that weren't used in the walk cycle.

 

Make sure you click on the new chor action in the PWS before you start posing the character to make sure it is the one that gets the new keys put into it. The "live" chor action will have a green check next to it. I only discovered that green check recently.

 

 

When I look at your project it seems to be transitioning fine. You had the appropriate keyframes created at the beginning of the new chor action and none of them seemed to be damaging the walk cycle. (I was able to slide new chor red bar to eliminate the 1 frame gap with no ill effect) The animation in the new chor action seemed to be doing what you described it would do.

 

So I not quite sure what the big problem is?

 

 

 

the real objective of Exercise 6 is that part about constraining the door to shaggy's hand or vice versa rather than transitioing out of a walk cycle.

 

 

 

When ever I do something complicated (and this goes especially for rigging) I try to start out with the smallest core concept and see if I can get that right first.. As written, the exercise tries to follow that idea.

 

Shaggy is at the door, puts his hand on the knob and pulls on it. Hilarity ensues.

 

That in itself is a doable novice exercise. Adding the walk is "OK" but it involves some advanced concepts in reusable, non-linear animation which are difficult to wrap your mind around first time thru. BTW, Martin Hash invented "re-usable"' animation back in the 80's.

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This gives me an idea. Perhaps if I repeat the steps from your tutorial, Robcat, each time I want to initiate new action, it will resolve the issue. This gives me a place to start; or at least a direction to try.

 

Thanks, I'll let you know how it goes.

 

BTW... is what I'm doing called rigging or were you referring to some other horrifying task that awaits me (LOL)? Just curious.

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Later, horrifying task if you decide to invent your own rigs. TAoA:M shows you how to install a preinvented one, AM2001. AM2001 is mostly obsolete now so use it just for that one exercise to see the concept of rigging.

 

there are other better preinvented rigs in the rigging forum.

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Later, horrifying task if you decide to invent your own rigs. TAoA:M shows you how to install a preinvented one, AM2001. AM2001 is mostly obsolete now so use it just for that one exercise to see the concept of rigging.

 

there are other better preinvented rigs in the rigging forum.

 

 

Are these rigs available for commercial use (hilariously I'm asking questions about rigs while not knowing what a rig is)? Once I get to the point where I am creating animations with my characters I intend to sell hi res versions to sponsors and DVD's to everyone. So I have to be careful what I take from others.

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Are these rigs available for commercial use (hilariously I'm asking questions about rigs while not knowing what a rig is)? Once I get to the point where I am creating animations with my characters I intend to sell hi res versions to sponsors and DVD's to everyone. So I have to be careful what I take from others.

 

Rigs are the bones that you've been moving to animate your character. You will install one in "Show some backbone".

 

All A:M rigs are available for any use. Graciously R&Ded and contributed by the users of Animation:Master .

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That's good to hear... about the rigging I mean. I'm going to need all the help I can get until I gather all the assets I need to just animate.

 

And speaking of animation; I think I have the tiger by the tail on this lesson 6. It isn't perfect, but I have an animation that's just over a minute right now, all in the same animation and I'm really starting to get a feel for the workflow.

 

Mostly it's just keyframing, keyframing, keyframing and did I mention KEYFRAMING!

 

Oh, and posing.

 

But mostly keyframing.

 

I'm on my fifth choreography action and I figure I have one more and I'll be done. I've had Shaggy wrestle with the door at this point and now I just have to get him through it.

 

This lesson was supposed to be five seconds long. LOL. Mine will probably be a minute and a half when it's done. I would say it was a waste of time if I hadn't made so many breakthroughs with the program. I'll probably have it done on Sunday night.

 

I cannot emphasize enough how handy the properties window is to have open while you are posing. Thank the Lord I have a computer that runs two computer monitors at the same time. If I wasn't able to see the project workspace, properties, slide posers and a good sized view of the animation itself I think I'd still be having a lot more problems. You keep all those elements open in your workspace and you really start to get a feel for how everything works together. And when it does things you don't want it to do (the program, the animation, whatever) it's so much easier to do your detective work with all those elements open and at your fingertips.

 

Also, I'd probably be four hours closer to being done if I had saved more responsibly. I'm getting used to saving every time I make a major change and I'm not just saving I'm saving multiple versions so I can go back and make changes if I have a major screwup and go on without fixing it (only to notice it later and curse my existance). I'm telling you; saves, lots of them and multiple versions of the same project. It will save your sanity.

 

Thanks for all the help with this one. Hopefully you will enjoy the result.

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I cannot emphasize enough how handy the properties window is to have open while you are posing. Thank the Lord I have a computer that runs two computer monitors at the same time. If I wasn't able to see the project workspace, properties, slide posers and a good sized view of the animation itself I think I'd still be having a lot more problems. You keep all those elements open in your workspace and you really start to get a feel for how everything works together. And when it does things you don't want it to do (the program, the animation, whatever) it's so much easier to do your detective work with all those elements open and at your fingertips.

 

I agree. I tell people the best plugin to get for A:M is a second monitor. The extra screen space really helps.

 

Also, I'd probably be four hours closer to being done if I had saved more responsibly. I'm getting used to saving every time I make a major change and I'm not just saving I'm saving multiple versions so I can go back and make changes if I have a major screwup and go on without fixing it (only to notice it later and curse my existance). I'm telling you; saves, lots of them and multiple versions of the same project. It will save your sanity.

 

Yes. I like to put a small text description of the major change on the end of the filename so I can easily find a point to jump back to.

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Well it's done. I feel like I gave birth on this one. I don't think I'll be starting lesson 7 right away.

 

I have to say... I'm really happy with the way it came out. Not because the animation is great... it isn't. There are probably a hundred little things you grizzled veterans of A:M can pick out. Even with my limited experience there are a number of things I would polish and finesse if it were important to me.

 

The fantastic thing about this lesson isn't that it's done or (in my humble opinion) looks pretty great, but that I learned enough about the program that if I really wanted to go back in and fix all those pesky little details; I could!

 

When I posted my last post I was really just so delighted that the workflow had finally clicked for me. I'm sure there's a hundred things I did wrong and probably even more things I did the hard way but I get it. It works for me now and I can make animation. I understand how to adjust the interpolation when my feet go below the floor for no apparent reason. I understand how to make a keyframe from choreography action to choreography action just by watching the properties of the bone and transferring and nudging those settings in the newer choreography action. I understand that when a bone starts going bonkers because I moved it in a way it had never been moved before I know I need to look for the hidden elements of said bone because they weren't keyframed when the choreography action began (no matter how hard you try) and force keyframes on them manually so my model doesn't go bonkers. I understand that making keyframes for bones you aren't really using at regular intervals is smart workflow because when you do go to use them if you haven't keyframed them it can cause more trouble to fix than the thirty seconds it takes to just go ahead and keyframe all the bones every once in awhile.

 

I learned so much in this lesson. And I learned it by completing my goal, my mission, my tilting at windmills obsession, to complete the entire animation in one shot with no camera changes. Watch the movie and you will see. This entire 1 minute 28 second animation (it's closer to two minutes all told but the animation itself is 1:28 or so) is all done in one choreography. Two models, one extra light, two cameras (I put in camera 2 for the actual movie as I didn't want to move camera 1 around... I never actually used camera 1 for any filming... I assume the movie used camera 2 because it was on camera 2's view when I rendered the animation... I never chose camera 2 and I'm kinda glad it was on camera 2 because it would have sucked to have to take another 3 hours to render a new film) and more keyframes than I ever thought I would ever make... ever.

 

I thought about adding foley (sound effects) and music; I even thought about doing some voice acting and so on. But the truth is I can justify going wild with an A:M lesson because I'm learning new things while going overboard. The voice acting, audio recording and video editing... I've been doing that for years. I already know how to do that and since this is just a lesson it really doesn't seem like a good use of time.

 

So I threw in a little BNL and some credits while I was eating breakfast. It allowed me to rerender the file into wmv format (the orignial avi was 50 mb the wmv is less than 9; I didn't zip the file because the file difference from zipped to unzipped was tiny and I figured to save folks that want to watch it a step) anyway and allows me to show off a little. It literally took me less than 25 minutes. So not much time wasted.

 

You couldn't possibly enjoy it more than I did making it but I hope you like it anyway.

 

Big thanks to Rodney and Robcat for putting up with my insane level of impatience with this lesson. Thanks guys.

 

;)

lesson6stuckdoor.wmv

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There were only two things from this lesson that I never "got" and both had to do with the model.

 

Shaggy has rotate handles on his bicep bones and the properties for rotate appear in the property values window when the bone is selected; but no matter what I tried I could not get those biceps to rotate. When posing the inability to rotate the bicep often caused his arm to "twist" in funky ways and I would have to wrestle with the forearm and shoulder and hand rotate elements to iron out the wrinkles.

 

Also, Shaggy has individually manipulatable fingers on one hand but not the other. I wasn't sure if this was an error or what but unlike the Rabbit model the ability to hide those finger controls did not appear to be an option so it can make posing that hand significantly more challenging.

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Hey, that turned out real well! clap.gif It looks like you hit all the targets for that one and then some.

 

 

I understand that making keyframes for bones you aren't really using at regular intervals is smart workflow because when you do go to use them if you haven't keyframed them it can cause more trouble to fix than the thirty seconds it takes to just go ahead and keyframe all the bones every once in awhile.

 

I know you watched my keyframing vid, but I'll just note that it shows how to key all the bones that have been keyed previously in two clicks. Maybe three.

 

 

Also, Shaggy has individually manipulatable fingers on one hand but not the other.
There's a Show fingers ON/OFF pose in his pose window under "Hands"

 

You couldn't possibly enjoy it more than I did making it but I hope you like it anyway.

 

Big thanks to Rodney and Robcat for putting up with my insane level of impatience with this lesson. Thanks guys.

 

;)

 

You're welcome. Onward and upward!

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Very nice Rob!

 

Your ability to move above and beyond the basic exercise is still serving you well. The next time you approach an animation that'll pay off in a big way.

 

I don't suggest delaying exercise 7 though!

Its a relatively straightforward exercise (some would say easy) that'll take you in new directions with A:M.

 

As an added benefit... while you exercise those muscles with the rest of TaoA:M the lessons you've learned up to this point will sink in all the more.

 

Congratulations to your success thus far.

Very nicely done.

Bravo! :)

 

Challenge: As you progress into the next exercises think about how the new lessons could apply to and enhance your efforts in Exercise 6 even more. (You don't have to repeat Exercise 6 but thinking about that will make the lessons all the more relevant)

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Thanks for the kind words guys. The video made my niece and nephew laugh (followed by 10 minutes of "why couldn't he go through the door?" and "why did he want to go through the door?" and so on, etc, etc, ad nauseum, in terra pax [they are 2 and almost 5]) so big bonus there.

 

Robcat, I have watched your keyframing videos several times and I do understand how to use the shift keyframe button but what I don't understand, and this is the reason I've been making them all manually, is exactly what each option applies to.

 

I know you go into detail about the different options in the video but before I feel comfortable using it I think I'm going to need a clearer explanation of what the different options mean and what specifically they apply to when you select them.

 

And for that I might need a better understanding of rigging for that, I don't know. I just know that the few times I've tried to use it I ended up with huge problems that I didn't understand. Plus the number of things it is going to apply keyframes to (depending on which option you select) seems arbitrary and confusing to me.

 

So I'm letting my ignorance shine through here. All I can say is the one time I tried to use it it didn't work for me the way I needed it to (or the way I thought it would from the video tut), so I tried each option with the intention of "undoing" the result if it was undesirable and at one point it slammed Shaggy into the door and merged them together. When I tried to undo it, all the color left the models and I had a greyscale Shaggy/Door merged model and no amount of "Undo" would fix it. This was one of those times when I hadn't saved very judiciously and I lost a lot of work.

 

So yeah, I've been making my keyframes manually and probably will continue to until I understand more thoroughly how those options work and what they apply to.

 

Also, I looked for the "Show Fingers" on/off switch in with Shaggy's pose slider property menu. I knew it should be there because that's where it was with Rabbit. I couldn't find it and I spend about 16 hours with Shaggy. Maybe I missed it but I don't think so. I'll look again next time I get a chance.

 

Rodney; as tired as I am from the immersion that resulted once the workflow "clicked" for me I am eager to move on. I might take a glance at #7 tonight and possibly get to prepping for it. Probably start it tomorrow.

 

As for thinking about how new things may aply to past and future projects... man that's about all I've been thinking about for the last few days. ;)

 

Thanks again guys. As Robcat said, "onward and upward."

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Robcat, I have watched your keyframing videos several times and I do understand how to use the shift keyframe button but what I don't understand, and this is the reason I've been making them all manually, is exactly what each option applies to.

 

There's like a 3 "axis" matrix of possibilities.

 

one axis is the filters that decide whether any of translation, scale, rotation... etc. are eligible to be keyed by the Keyframe button

 

a second axis is the filters that decide if a single bone, bone branch, or whole skeleton gets keyed.

 

the third axis is the choice of "only in filtered channels that pre-exist" or "all filtered channels"

 

 

I'll try to think of a clearer way to demonstrate how these interact.

 

 

 

When I tried to undo it, all the color left the models and I had a greyscale Shaggy/Door merged model and no amount of "Undo" would fix it. This was one of those times when I hadn't saved very judiciously and I lost a lot of work.

 

I'm going to guess that you somehow had the "modeling mode" (Thom button) on while in the chor. That's the only way i can imagine copying and pasting two models together, while animating. Modeling in the chor is a feature of A:M, although rarely used.

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