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Hello all...

 

So, I'm working through the "It's a Pitch" project and am finding that I'm getting stuck very early into the process. I've restarted a few times, and get stuck at the same point each time working on my own. So I decided to follow the tutorial video for it, located here, but am having trouble still at exactly the same spot.

 

I've been following the video as closely as I can by watching it. There's no indication of how far to rotate or move anything, so I'm just following what the person doing the demonstration is. The problem comes in for me starting at 2:31 where he begins to move the torso into position.

 

In the video, exactly what I would expect to happen is what happens.. the torso is moved and the knees bend accordingly. However, for me, when I try to move the torso, the legs go all crazy. The Knight's left leg rotates on its own and bends completely out in the wrong direction, and the Knight's right leg "warps" all over the place as I move it, as though it's having trouble figuring out where it should be. It usually ends up bending backwards into some weird position.

 

I've tried to move the knees manually to fix it, but it seems you can only rotate the knees around the Y axis, not actually move them. So, their movement seems driven by the position of the feet and torso.

 

In all cases, it seems to be the legs that are getting me stuck. It's almost like there's no constraints on them, or the Knight is double-jointed or something :-p

 

Anyone have any idea what I might be doing wrong here? I'm kinda at a loss.

 

For now I'm gonna go finish up my plane model.

 

Thanks :)

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Check out the notes in the first post for the thread on that tut especially the "Rig Tip" and see if that solves the problem

 

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...ost&p=24787

 

 

Also, there was a odd Knight model on some CDs ( I think you have that one)

 

check out this one in this post instead:

 

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=320179

 

 

And if you still have trouble after that, come back and ask some more!

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Check out the notes in the first post for the thread on that tut especially the "Rig Tip" and see if that solves the problem

 

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...ost&p=24787

 

 

Also, there was a odd Knight model on some CDs ( I think you have that one)

 

check out this one in this post instead:

 

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=320179

 

 

And if you still have trouble after that, come back and ask some more!

 

And we have a winner!

 

I'd already tried the bit about turning the Balance options to 0. He actually does that in the video as well, so I followed suit.

 

It was ultimately the model/rig that was the problem. I replaced it with the one in that thread, and voila... it's working like a charm.

 

See, I wouldn't even have thought to look for a bad model. I assumed it was something I was doing wrong somehow.

 

Thanks again!

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After you do this introduction to keyframing, you may wish to watch my "Keyframing Basics" video, found in the screen-cams tuts link in my signature.

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After you do this introduction to keyframing, you may wish to watch my "Keyframing Basics" video, found in the screen-cams tuts link in my signature.

 

Hmm, will definitely do that.

 

Thanks for the tip!

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So here's the rendered movie for "It's A Pitch!"

 

This one gave me trouble. I don't know if there's a trick to *moving* bones versus rotating them, but every time I'd try to adjust or move a bone to a new position, it would seem to want to rotate it instead. So I spent a lot of time trying to fix bizarre and awkward (not to mention uncomfortable - poor Knight) positions that the arms would get into. It was especially the arms that gave me the most trouble.

 

Coming off this, I can't really say I have a better understanding of how bones work, because I spent most of the time feeling like I was fighting with them, rather than controlling or positioning them. I think I'm gonna revisit this one, maybe after doing a few simpler bones/animation tutorials to get a better "gist" of how it all works together. Then we'll see if it goes more smoothly.

 

Anyway, here's the results!

Pitch.mov

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MikeV,

 

It's a good first try. I would recommend moving him onto a 'mound' and moving the camera to a 3/4 angle just below his waist but aiming at his waist.

 

This will give you a MUCH better feel for the overall motion.

 

Just from the angle you rendered, it appears rushed. The timing seems... well... 'off' to me.

 

Here's my old one from several years ago. Keep in mind you always want to work on a shot and make it the best you can. It really helped me with timing, emotion and getting across what was going on in later shots I did on The Tin Woodman of Oz.

 

MMZ_TimeLord's - "It's a Pitch!"

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Coming off this, I can't really say I have a better understanding of how bones work, because I spent most of the time feeling like I was fighting with them, rather than controlling or positioning them.

 

 

I made some notes regarding moving bones for the "Move it" Tut. See if this clears up anything for you...

 

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MikeV,

 

It's a good first try. I would recommend moving him onto a 'mound' and moving the camera to a 3/4 angle just below his waist but aiming at his waist.

 

This will give you a MUCH better feel for the overall motion.

 

Just from the angle you rendered, it appears rushed. The timing seems... well... 'off' to me.

 

Here's my old one from several years ago. Keep in mind you always want to work on a shot and make it the best you can. It really helped me with timing, emotion and getting across what was going on in later shots I did on The Tin Woodman of Oz.

 

MMZ_TimeLord's - "It's a Pitch!"

 

lol that's neat! Made a whole routine out of it, I see.

 

Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if things are off in the video since I never really felt "in command" of it any point. More like, messing around with the bones 'til they looked something like what I wanted them to.

 

I did hit the poses at the designated frames, though, so the timing should be right.

 

Also, unlike in yours, where he's "in place", mine is sliding all over the place lol.

 

I posted it to show that, hey I got through it. I'm not happy with it by any means, though. That's why I'm going to return to it again at some point.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

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Coming off this, I can't really say I have a better understanding of how bones work, because I spent most of the time feeling like I was fighting with them, rather than controlling or positioning them.

 

 

I made some notes regarding moving bones for the "Move it" Tut. See if this clears up anything for you...

 

 

Nice! Checking it out now.

 

Also... I subscribed to your channel :)

 

Edit: Okay, checked it out. I see that you're working with Exercise 3: Move It.

 

Ironically, I didn't have trouble with that one at all, and I was using the IK setup, like what you're doing once you re-start on that video. That exercise went very smoothly for me - almost effortless - as the bones behaved the way I expected them to. Grabbing the bone itself moved it, grabbing that "handled" coming off the bone would rotate it.

 

That was not the case for the Knight model, however. Things only seemed to want to rotate and there was a *very* small window where I could get it to move instead.

 

Now that I think about it, I did replace the Knight with the one using the 2010 rig (if I'm not mistaken), and when I went to save the project for the first time, A:M gave a warning about something to do with a different version of the rig being used and that it wouldn't be compatible with the version it was made in. Might that have something to do with it? Maybe my Knight model/rig is still a bit wonky?

 

I wonder what would happen if I tried that same example, but using the rabbit model, or Kee Kat, like TimeLord did. I might try that just to see how it goes.

 

In the meantime, here's my project file for it. Maybe you can check it out and see if there's anything weird with it at your end.

Pitch.prj

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That was not the case for the Knight model, however. Things only seemed to want to rotate and there was a *very* small window where I could get it to move instead.

 

 

If you could screen cam yourself having trouble with a bone, that might make it more clear.

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Hmmm...

 

Okay, I guess working with bones just isn't clicking for me yet. I just tried the exercise with the rabbit model, and am running into the same problem. Everything cooperates up to a point, then it seems like I can't get anything to do what I want it to. Everything wants to rotate instead of move.

 

So, it just has to sink in for me. Maybe I can find simpler animation/bone examples that will illustrate it better, on simpler rigs? I'm finding it difficult to figure out which bone I should be using, and then selecting them is proving difficult, too. I keep selecting the wrong ones, etc. So, the problem it's causing for me is that when I do get it to do what I want, I'm so far lost in the weeds, that I can't recognize what it is that I did correctly.

 

But, I'm just really getting started, so, not going to beat myself up too much.

 

I work on some modeling exercises for now and come back to the animation later.

 

There's also an animation exercise in my Animation Master 2002 book, involving a flour sack. Maybe I'll try that one and see how it goes.

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That was not the case for the Knight model, however. Things only seemed to want to rotate and there was a *very* small window where I could get it to move instead.

 

 

If you could screen cam yourself having trouble with a bone, that might make it more clear.

 

 

Edit... Ugh okay. Because I'm a stubborn cuss, I'm going to give it one more try tonight and see how I do. I just watched the video version of the tutorial and payed attention to how he's moving things. I think I might have picked up a hint or two regarding what I'm doing wrong. He makes heavy use of different views, namely front and side. I've been mostly rotating the camera around, and I think that might have been affecting how I'm moving the bones around. It might have nothing to do with it, but I'm willing to give it a shot and see if it makes a difference.

 

I hate not being able to figure something out lol.

 

Incidentally, is there a program you'd recommend for doing video captures? Only one I know of is Fraps and that only records in 30 second intervals unless you purchase a license.

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Ironically, I didn't have trouble with that one at all, and I was using the IK setup, like what you're doing once you re-start on that video. That exercise went very smoothly for me - almost effortless - as the bones behaved the way I expected them to. Grabbing the bone itself moved it, grabbing that "handled" coming off the bone would rotate it.

 

That was not the case for the Knight model, however. Things only seemed to want to rotate and there was a *very* small window where I could get it to move instead.

 

Now that I think about it, I did replace the Knight with the one using the 2010 rig (if I'm not mistaken), and when I went to save the project for the first time, A:M gave a warning about something to do with a different version of the rig being used and that it wouldn't be compatible with the version it was made in. Might that have something to do with it? Maybe my Knight model/rig is still a bit wonky?

 

The Knight model that you were using is the 2001 rig. For that rig, it is best to set balance and balance rigid sliders = 0 BEFORE animating. If you don't, it makes posing difficult. (The same would be true for the 2008 rig, I believe). If you set it now, after animating, you will probably have to do some reposing.

 

I notice in this exercise you were animating with the arms in FK (not IK like in the other exercise). The knight may have some euler limits placed on his bicep, forearm bones that will limit your movement in FK mode (euler limits are usually set in some pose). I doubt that saving the Knight in a later version had anything to do with anything

 

As for feet (or anything else) slipping - you can fix that by examining your keyframes in curve mode and you can usually see where 2 keyframes might have the same value but the interpolation method (spline usually) causes the inbetweens to "slide around". You can change the interpolation mode to zero slope (or linear) to help that. Spline interpolation is the default, and usually gets you some nice easing, but can cause problems. Usually better to go with zero slope if slipping occurs.

 

Hope that helps

itsapitchMike.jpg

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Okay!

 

So I think my tenacity paid off.

 

Here's a video taken of a second take on it. This time I did my best to try and "mimic" what the narrator does in the video tutorial, in terms of using the different views more, and I notice he was very slow and deliberate in how he moved things. I don't know if that was for the purpose of demonstration or what, but I did a similar thing and had much better results.

 

Still not "perfect" - the left arm is a bit quirky in the follow-through - but a far cry better than the first one, I think. And I feel like I had a better "control" over everything.

 

Here's a video of it....

 

 

Also, thank you everyone for your feedback and advice, etc. It really is helpful, if for nothing else than to keep me from getting frustrated and discouraged :). Just wanted to let ya's know it's appreciated.

Pitch_TakeTwo.mov

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Okay!

 

So I think my tenacity paid off.

 

Here's a video taken of a second take on it....

 

I think that's well within bounds for this assignment.

 

Nancy mentioned IK vs FK for the arms... I forget which the tut has you use but that is a key distinction in how you pose the arms.

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Ironically, I didn't have trouble with that one at all, and I was using the IK setup, like what you're doing once you re-start on that video. That exercise went very smoothly for me - almost effortless - as the bones behaved the way I expected them to. Grabbing the bone itself moved it, grabbing that "handled" coming off the bone would rotate it.

 

That was not the case for the Knight model, however. Things only seemed to want to rotate and there was a *very* small window where I could get it to move instead.

 

Now that I think about it, I did replace the Knight with the one using the 2010 rig (if I'm not mistaken), and when I went to save the project for the first time, A:M gave a warning about something to do with a different version of the rig being used and that it wouldn't be compatible with the version it was made in. Might that have something to do with it? Maybe my Knight model/rig is still a bit wonky?

 

The Knight model that you were using is the 2001 rig. For that rig, it is best to set balance and balance rigid sliders = 0 BEFORE animating. If you don't, it makes posing difficult. (The same would be true for the 2008 rig, I believe). If you set it now, after animating, you will probably have to do some reposing.

 

I notice in this exercise you were animating with the arms in FK (not IK like in the other exercise). The knight may have some euler limits placed on his bicep, forearm bones that will limit your movement in FK mode (euler limits are usually set in some pose). I doubt that saving the Knight in a later version had anything to do with anything

 

As for feet (or anything else) slipping - you can fix that by examining your keyframes in curve mode and you can usually see where 2 keyframes might have the same value but the interpolation method (spline usually) causes the inbetweens to "slide around". You can change the interpolation mode to zero slope (or linear) to help that. Spline interpolation is the default, and usually gets you some nice easing, but can cause problems. Usually better to go with zero slope if slipping occurs.

 

Hope that helps

 

 

Hmm, that seems pretty interesting. I don't quite grasp it yet, but I think I get the general idea. I'm sure it'll make sense to me as I go on and learn more. At some point I'll remember this post and think, "Ah! That's what Nancy was explaining to me". Right now I think it's a tad beyond me.

 

As for the sliding of the feet, on my second go, I went back and tweaked the position of the feet on each frame, to make sure they stayed put. You should be able to see the Knight's feet are planted much more firmly, other than the pivoting of the rear foot.

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And don't forget to watch my Keyframing basics video.

 

Watching that right now... then I have to crash. After midnight here and my alarm goes off at 6AM. Ugh.

 

Okay, now I understand the Zero Slope thing Nancy explained, since you go over it in your video. At least when I encounter that now, I'll know what it is and how to fix it. So that'll be helpful.

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Okay, so after I was "done" here last night, I watched the video again, frame by frame, and realized his arms were horribly inverted. Elbows were facing the wrong way. That's something I should have caught the first time through, but I think I was too focused on just being able to do it lol.

 

Anyway, I went back and tweaked both arms, frame by frame, to make sure everything looked at least correct anatomically and he doesn't look like a triple-jointed Knight.

 

Maybe wasn't all that important to do at this point, but I wanted to get it right, or at least better - the left hand/arm is still a bit wonky near the end for a few frames. But at least I can move on for now and not have inverted elbows nagging at me.

 

So here ya go...

Pitch_RenderThree.mov

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Okay, so after I was "done" here last night, I watched the video again, frame by frame, and realized his arms were horribly inverted. Elbows were facing the wrong way. That's something I should have caught the first time through, but I think I was too focused on just being able to do it lol.

 

Anyway, I went back and tweaked both arms, frame by frame, to make sure everything looked at least correct anatomically and he doesn't look like a triple-jointed Knight.

 

Maybe wasn't all that important to do at this point, but I wanted to get it right, or at least better - the left hand/arm is still a bit wonky near the end for a few frames. But at least I can move on for now and not have inverted elbows nagging at me.

 

So here ya go...

I like it!

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Okay, so after I was "done" here last night, I watched the video again, frame by frame, and realized his arms were horribly inverted. Elbows were facing the wrong way. That's something I should have caught the first time through, but I think I was too focused on just being able to do it lol.

 

Anyway, I went back and tweaked both arms, frame by frame, to make sure everything looked at least correct anatomically and he doesn't look like a triple-jointed Knight.

 

Maybe wasn't all that important to do at this point, but I wanted to get it right, or at least better - the left hand/arm is still a bit wonky near the end for a few frames. But at least I can move on for now and not have inverted elbows nagging at me.

 

So here ya go...

Good show MikeV !

I like your lighting too. He looks nice and, well, metally!

If you look in some books on animation, here I'm thinking of The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams, you will learn that strangely bending arms and legs in rapid motion has a long and noble tradition in the history of animation!

It may well be that you will find yourself putting them all back in again one day ;)

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Okay, so after I was "done" here last night, I watched the video again, frame by frame, and realized his arms were horribly inverted. Elbows were facing the wrong way. That's something I should have caught the first time through, but I think I was too focused on just being able to do it lol.

 

Anyway, I went back and tweaked both arms, frame by frame, to make sure everything looked at least correct anatomically and he doesn't look like a triple-jointed Knight.

 

Maybe wasn't all that important to do at this point, but I wanted to get it right, or at least better - the left hand/arm is still a bit wonky near the end for a few frames. But at least I can move on for now and not have inverted elbows nagging at me.

 

So here ya go...

Good show MikeV !

I like your lighting too. He looks nice and, well, metally!

If you look in some books on animation, here I'm thinking of The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams, you will learn that strangely bending arms and legs in rapid motion has a long and noble tradition in the history of animation!

It may well be that you will find yourself putting them all back in again one day ;)

 

Thanks! Though I can't take credit for the lighting or metallic look. That's A:M's default lighting and material setup. I just rotated the camera around to a 3/4 view in the Choreography screen and let it render from there. It does look nice for a basic, "out-of-the-box" look, though.

 

The brown circle on the ground is actually supposed to be a basic "dirt mound", just to have him standing on something and to give me a point of reference for how he's moving during the animation.

 

As for that Animator's Survival Kit, I actually own that! I bought it forever ago and have recently pulled it back out and started reading through it. Some good stuff in there for sure.

 

What I really need to work on is rebuilding my hand-drawing skills. Many years of computer use and using Photoshop and the like has made them rather weak.

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I do understand and sympathize with the challenge the new user feels at trying to manipulate that character trapped behind the screen. It took me a long time to get comfortable with it.

 

I think learning to use alternate views and the bird's eye view frequently to check positioning is key> we can't actually see out character in 3D but looking at him in alternate view helps establish the 3D shape in our mind.

 

Also, learning to use the controls of the rig properly is important.

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I just realized I'd accidentally started a duplicate thread for this exercise; forgot I had this one going already.

 

It can be deleted if a moderator wants to do so.

 

Sorry 'bout that!

 

 

 

Note: Original and duplicate threads have been merged.

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