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I want to have a butterfly flit across the screen while the credits appear. I modeled the Butterfly and made a path in the chor. I made a flitting action but I'm having trouble successfully getting what  I'm after. Using the info I have from a walk cycle tute from days of old, I tried to make it work, but I'm having trouble. How do I get the "flitting" action to work. Get the Butterfly down the path to the end at the end of the chor. I realize that I need to make the chor longer. I'm attaching an embedded version of the project.

I appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks.

Forum Butterfly.prj

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Hi Myron, I did a bit of googling and saw butterflies beat their wings between 5 and 6 times a second when they're zipping about. So I Edited the flitting animation to reflect that. Then I Figured insects tend to move really fast, then hover a bit, then move really fast again. So over the course of the 6 second sequence I adjusted the Ease value in the path constraint to make the butterfly flit to one spot then hover a bit and then flit to another spot. It's not perfect but you get the idea and you can tweak it to suit.

I've attached the changed .Prj but for whatever reason the original project didn't have the textures in it. Hope that helps you get closer to the effect you were after.

Forum Butterfly altered.prj

 

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Thank you soooooo much, Wildsided. I think that gives me enough to go on. Finding out where and how to make the adjustments was my biggest headache. sorry about the textures. I'll  post the final Video when I get things done.

 

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Was just playing around with the altered project. I had to alter the path. What, and where do I adjust the pausing on the path, and the beating of the wings. Is there also a way to adjust whether the butterfly is up or down on any particular point on the path? sorry to be a nuisance.

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To adjust where he pauses on the path go into the path constraint and click on "Ease" then a line with key frame placement will appear on the time line. Then you can select the point in the timeline where you want him to stop and select what ease percentage you want (0% is right at the beginning of the path and 100% is all the way at the other end). Then for example if you were at 2 seconds and set the ease to 40% You could go further along to say 2.5 seconds and set the ease to 40% as well and he should stay put until because you've told him to be at the same place along the path. I hope that makes sense.

As for his direction. You should be able to adjust the rotate offsets in the path constraint settings at key points along the timeline to make sure he's facing where you want, when you want.

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Thanks, my friend. I will employ that knowledge. I've come to the conclusion that it's time for me to spend some quality time reading through the Technical  Reference Manual.

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Ok. I successfully employed the info that Dan helped me with, and was quite pleased with what I ended up with. I couldn't get the action to work right so I animated the wing flapping by hand with a pose slider. I turned out to be a long render due to the materials I used in the lettering, but I hoped to have a clip to show today. However several hours into the render (2/3 of the way through) we had a power outage. There were 235 frames rendered to JPJ images. I've tried to get the chor to pick  up the render from frame 236  (7:26 into the chor. I've set the range in the Camera (Object), the camera Shortcut in the chor, and in the render dialogue all to start at the 7:26 mark, but when the renders start  it always seems to start at frame 0. Is there something else, somewhere else that I do not know about?

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I gave up trying to restart the previous render. I implemented a few things that made the reneder a greata deal shorter and fixed a couple of other things.Here is what I ended up with. I'm quite happy with it. I'll show the full video when I get the project completed.

Since quicktime is no longer ther preferred video format, what is the preferred format on the forum now?

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I would VERY much like to see a screencap of the render settings. It absolutely is possible to pick up in the middle of a render. Something is just mis set.

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Looks good Myron, but Robert is right, you should be able to continue from where you left off.

When you click Render button.png and this

 Render settings.png 

dialogue box pops up, where does the range setting say to start? I noticed you said you had set the range in the 'Camera' settings, which sounds like you mean in the choreography. Robert will be able to clarify but I think you need to go into options and specifically tell A:M to take settings from the camera or it will take its cues from the dialogue box above.

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I'll bring in the screenshot of the settings from my other computer. It's down in my motorhome where I live and I  can't get internet there. I take my laptop back and forth when I come to the "Big House"  Did you see the clip? Once again what format has replaced Quicktime for use here on the forum?

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I did see the clip, it was very good. I especially liked how he settled at the end.

Don't know about everyone else but I've been using h264 encoded mp4's for a while.

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That's beautiful, Myron!

It's hard to give you advice for format because I don't know what you have to work with.

 

Here's what I do for format.

I render to an image sequence. Then I use QuickTime Pro to "Export" that to a QuickTime movie (.mov) with H.264 compression with these settings...

image.png

 

The kbits/sec setting will vary depending on many factors.

 

When it's done, I change the ".mov" at the end of the file name to .mp4 and I have a file that will play in the A:M forum.

Note that this workflow is not the same as choosing MPEG-4 or MP4 when choosing compression.

 

But you don't have Quicktime Pro, I presume.

But you have something that you edit video in, and it probably takes in numbered image sequences and  can render out compressed versions of projects that you edit in that app and when you render out your compressed version you choose settings like what I have shown.

What are you using to put your videos together?

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Actually I DO have Quicktime, I just read somewher on the forum that it was dead or dying wrongfully made the assumption that something else had taken it's place.

Right now I'm using AVS Video editor to assemble clips, but if there's better (free) software available, I'm very open.

Here is the screenshot and a Quicktime version of the clip.

In the main animation I'm using a model that Holmes made for me years ago, and it's much more sophisticated than my skills at this time, but I'm learning. I made a pose for that character that happens over the first 4 seconds of the clip. When I then try to animate from there, the changes affect previous aspects of the pose.

Question one:  How do I animate from that point without affection anything previous? Will "Force Key Frame" 'set' things as they are at that point (I thought I tried that but it didn't take) so I can take it from there?

Question two: In the model that Holmes made, there are many poses. There is a "Body Rig" user property with a properties triangle behind it, but no  pose. When I click on the triangle a list of poses string down for the various body rig poses. It acts like a folder. I've learned how to make folders in the groups, etc.. but there is no option to make a folder in the pose settings. How do I do this to organize my user properties section?

I have made a committment to truely learn how to use this wonderful program and become an animator. I'm using little projects to learn these things so I can move on to a Major project I have in mind. this Forum and the people on it have always been one of the strengths of A:M.

sThis One Two.jpg

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QuickTime has gone away, sort of. It  should be disabled in all your browsers and you should not play any .mov from an untrusted source.

I think the 32-bit version of A:M still supports it however.

QuickTime Pro is an extra cost version of Quicktime that could also resave video with new compression settings and into new codec. i use it to compress my image sequences into movies.

I don't know if they still sell it.

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I made a pose for that character that happens over the first 4 seconds of the clip. When I then try to animate from there, the changes affect previous aspects of the pose.

Do you mean you key-framed the character into a particular stance in the choreogaphy, or do you mean that you made an actual Pose slider for it and are turning that in the choreography?

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Pose sliders are an awkward way to do animation. Nearly impossible.

It is better to do your animation in the Chor, "pose-to-pose" (not the same as an A:M Pose) and then each new pose of your character wont' interfere with the others.

When I say lowercase "pose," I just mean the way you have positioned your character at a moment in time, not a "Pose slider" or "ON/OFF Pose".

 

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Robcat, I tried to send you a personal message but it said that you acnnot receive messages.

I tried to download these tutes from your page and got an error message:

Keyframing Options. Video explains the right way to use the Make Keyframe button and how to control what bones it makes keys on. Quicktime video link

Keyframing Basics. Keyframing Basics covers much the same ground as the above "Keyframing Options" but in a slightly less complete way.Quicktime video link.

Pose to Pose basics. Basic workflow for doing pose-to-pose keyframe animation. Quicktime video link.

Making Bones Stay in Place. New animators are often surprised to see bones moving sooner than they wanted them to. This video shows how to make bones stay put and only move when you want them to move.Quicktime video link

Paired Keys. Workflow for blocking animation with "paired keys," a common animator technique

Un-paired Keys. Workflow for animating motions like walks that do not have holds as in the "paired key" situation

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Those got lost in one of the forum updates. I have backups much of that but I'll have to get on a different computer. I'll try to find them for you.

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Hi Myron,

This zip has the ones that were  a dead "QuickTime Video link"

KeyFrameOptionsMP4.zip

The last two on your list are still live, you just have to go to the page the link leads to.

It's been years since I made those and I haven't re-watched them yet. If you have questions, ask!

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Okay! Rendering now, the first 06.10 from the video chor. Using the pose to pose/keyframe method. I watched the videos and did some keyframe reading. The Butterfly is in the video, contrained to a path. He is going to reappear later in the video on a different path. How do I deal with the whole old path/new path thing? Constraints and such. do I need to delete the old constraints and path at an inbetween point in the chor? Inquiring minds need to know? :)  I'll show what I've rendered thus far when it gets done.

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Here is the render. There is a number of things I will tweak. I would still appreciate any advice about the Butterfly's second appearance. New path+ new constraints? do I delete the old constrains and path?

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hi myron.

 I actually did not notice the butterfly until the second viewing. With the character in front, signalling for our attention the butterfly is easily missed.

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New path+ new constraints? do I delete the old constrains and path?

Is this the same scene as the title screen? I would just make a new path for whatever you want to do in this new scene.

If you have time to come to Live Answer TIme we could talk about your scene. (Maybe you already said you couldn't make it?)

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The Butterfly will hold his own shortly, the view through the window is an introductory tease. I figured out the second path issue and have essentially finished the animation. About 44 seconds give or take. Some credits will be added at both ends to add a little more length. A bit of tweaking to do to fix some small details, but I am pleased with the project, and my progress in the learning curve. I'm learning enough to go in and fix glitches, that makes me VERY happy.

Thanks for all your help and I'll be annoying you all further as time goes on. 

I probably won't show anymore renders until the project is finished.

When is the live answer thing and how do I participate?

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My friend got a new guitar last summer. Because of the bridge she named the guitar "Mariposa". I made the model of the guitar and was using the presentation of that model to my friend as an occasion to build up my animation chops. I learned a ton. The background music is a cut we recorded of her singing Neil Young's Harvest Moon.. I pulled the vocals and just used the backing track with my lead, bass, and percussion. By this time next year we will have redone the cut and I will propably redo the video at that time. I intend to be a much better animator by then.  I have lots of climbing to do up the A:M learning curve.

Thanks for ALL of your help. I will be bugging you again soon. 

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