Question to heyvern: Head turn of cartoon hero

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Question to heyvern: Head turn of cartoon hero

Postby Vincent » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:09 pm

Hi heyvern,

in one of your interesting posts you showed a kind of cartoon hero that performed a fluid head turn. Although this topic is often discussed on this forum (and I read most of the messages posted) I did not quite get the method you used in order to achieve this smooth movement.

Was it just a switch layer containing copies of one sub-layer (say a front view of a head) the copied layers being turned point by point into the different views needed and then keyframed via swich layer or did you use any other methods (exclusively or in combination)?

I am also wondering about how many different layers you use when building a head.

I hope you do not mind these questions; I'm just particularly interested in this specific subject and marvel at the technical perfection of your use of MOHO.


Vincent
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Postby heyvern » Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:06 pm

Woohoo! Thanks!

Keep saying stuff like that I might give you my banking information... ;)

The head turn you speak of was only two switch layers. Yes... just two. A front and a sort of 3/4 or a tad more.

Switch layers work fine for basic stuff... however there is the drawback that you can't use keyframe interpolation (ease/in/out/smooth/linear) on a switch layer transition. You can't "stop" a switch layer "half way" through.

I added a "trick" to the switch layer. I use it as a... resource for point translations on a single layer.

Say you have two layers in a switch set for interpolation... both layers MUST have exactly the same points.

I start with the front, usually traced from a very tight Photoshop or Illustrator drawing (I don't import AI anymore. I draw in Moho exclusively for Moho)

I then sketch the second view (3/4 in this case) using the first as a reference. And then "trace" that second view in Moho using that sketch as my rotoscope. So I just move the points around from the front view copy to match the second view.

This works GREAT.

Okay the trick is this...

If you key a switch layer you can go later in the timeline of the layer that is changing and copy those changed points. The points can be seen as they transform from one layer to the next.

You can create keyframes of these points and "copy" them.

Is this making any sense?

I use the switch layer to get the transition points at any point in the timeline of the switch transition I want. A switch layer can't be stopped half way... you can't use interpolation... so I use it only as a sort of... resevoir of different head turn postions for the points of the main head layer (I duplicate this layer so I have a "clean" switch layer as a backup).

Using this technique I can create... new head "poses"... I can set interpolation (ease.. ease in/out etc) on the point changes. I can start and stop a head turn at any point anywhere during a transition.

I can even create NEW LAYERS for the switch group... fine tuning the head turn even more.

If the turn is "rough" or not quite right. I can grab points at the half way point and tweak a new switch layer. Then continue from there etc.

If any of this doesn't make any sense whatsoever... I will try and document the procedure with pictures. Won't guarantee when I can do this but I will try.

---------

The simple head turn I had originally was a simple outline style with tapered ends. It was all one layer. I hid parts of the head shape... like ears and such by moving the points.

On a head with lots of shading... it depends. Sometimes I can do it with one layer... but usually I use several layers... I like to use the blending layer effects (Multiply, Screen, etc, in the layer properties).

... to do it again (which I plan to) I would put some elements on seperate layers (like ears) so I can hide them easier during a head turn.

I have been playing with the technique of using a slight "3D" z axis offset to do head turns. This is really cool. I saw some others doing this and it really is an elegant solution.

Thanks for the comments. Ask anything you want and I will try to answer. I tend to ramble so beware. ;)

-vern
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Postby Vincent » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:54 am

Vern,

first of all thanks for sharing your knowledge. Still I am not sure whether it would be wise to give me your banking information ;-)

Seriously, I understand the procedure of achieving those head turns with the exception of this special twist concerning the creation of new head poses. I would definitely appreciate it if you could explain that step by step to complete dummies like me.

I tried to follow this procedure by using simple forms but I did not succeed. I would be grateful if you took the time to provide further explanation of that matter.

Anyway, thanks for your patience with complete amateurs in this field.


Kind regards

Vincent
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Postby heyvern » Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:13 am

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Postby Vincent » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:35 pm

heyvern wrote:I posted the tutorial here:

http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=23245#23245

-vern


Hello, Vern,

thank you so much for the tutorial. It works like a charm. It does not only show your experience but also displays the hidden potential of MOHO that is yet to discover.

By the way, I heard that you worked with A:M for years. So probably you easily got to grips with MOHO. Before I dropped A:M in favour of C4D (cannot do without SDS anymore) I had started working with sPAtch by Mike Clifton (he is Lostmarble, is he?) which owned a technology similar to A:M and certainly to MOHO. It even employed the same shortcuts, such as "A" for "adding point", etc.


Well, who's the one who tends to ramble now ;-)


Anyway, thanks a lot and cheers

Vincent
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Postby heyvern » Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:21 pm

Yes, I am a long time user of AM... still using it.

I have no knowledge of sPatch. I've heard of it but don't know how it relates to Moho.

I always thought that Moho was the "2d version" of AM. ;) Currently Moho and AM are my two favorite apps (in no particular order).

I feel that Moho is very easy to learn. I felt like a power user in just a few weeks! (yeah right... in my head only).

I have been using it now... a year? two years? I can't remember... it will either be two years or one year of use in October... man... why can't I remember? ;)

I stay away from the 3D stuff in Moho... as much as possible. That was one of the reasons for getting it. I was burned out on 3D. I got tired of worrying about that darn z axis... or x axis.. y? Whichever one creates the depth. ;)

I figure I have the tool for 3D if I need it... I needed some kick arse 2D tools.

-vern
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