How do I even get started here??

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spearcarrier
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How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:51 am

Looks like my question is an unusual one. I'm guessing this is because I'm coming to Moho after using 3D for so many years, and although the interfaces are very similar between one and the other the mental "work flow" thought processes are weird and strange. And illogical. -_-

Here is what I want to do: Load one of the premade characters in my library (preferably Liz) and use her to practice on the interface, and animate a talking sequence. There would be lip syncing and talking and a shrug and some angry gestures. Nothing too terribly fancy.


Here is my reasoning:
I notice that 99.99999999999999999999876999999% of the tutorials out there for "beginners" starts off with character creation. I do. Not. Want. to start there. It doesn't make SENSE to start there for me. There's a reason why many tutorial series's (sp) teach by walking the newbie through a simple project from the start. I dunno why Moho can't have the same. In my widdle head character creation is an advanced thing to do. Put me there, and suddenly I have to uninstall the program and do something else because my time is super uber limited. I played with Anime Studio many years ago and never picked it up seriously because of this... I'm old(er), I'm cranky, and I have a lot of commissions and other things. I want to use a premade character. Period. I want to learn to use the interface while creating something I can put out. Period. I don't want to draw a character. I do that stuff for a living. Why would I want to do it for fun, too.

I can think of other reasons if you need me to but I'm too lazy to go on there.

Nowhere. NOWHERE is there a tutorial on how to simply load a freaking character out of your library. Oh, I can get it to load. But it's an unusual mess when I do. When I try to load Liz she comes disassembled (number 5), which annoys the living bajeebus out of me btw. It's not like she's a REAL paper doll I have to assemble to play with. You'd think the program would remember 'oh hey, this character is rigged and ready to go.) If it doesn't remember that, I am stuck wondering if I want to continue with it as I'd have to shut it down frequently and load characters from scratch a lot.

So for clarity's sake here is what I wanna learn to do:

1. Load Liz. Assembled. Or at least know if I have to assemble her. And if I have to assemble her, how. (Which if you think about it would still make better sense as a starting point than creating something from the ground up.)
2. I'm assuming from there I'd start learning how to move her around.

Can anyone help me? 3 days of trying to find a 2D animation solution. It's got me so exhausted and so far behind on my paying work from the preoccupation I have literally been put into tears. All I wanna do is this one simple thing. (kicks rock) Please.
hayasidist
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by hayasidist » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:51 am

You picked a tricky example to start with -- Liz uses "offset bones" -- the idea is that you can keep all the bits separate on the drawing area to make it easier to work on them.

"putting her together" is as simple as moving off frame 0 in the timeline (and animating her) -- or, on frame 0 to see the effect, click the "offset bone" tool
spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:52 pm

You mean... Liz was LYING to me?!?!? *clutches chest, staggers backwards* Say it isn't so.

Okay, so Liz is tricky and I dunno where the bone offset tool is, which boom. Already that's the first thing in the interface I need to figure out where it's at. Thank you so so sooo much!!!

Just in case I can't find that, perhaps there's a better starting point character in the library?

Also, when I load a character, the program asks me which side I want. I thought from my brief encounter using Anime Studio 6 (I didn't get very far) that the characters were build in layers and each side was "inside" the characters as it were. To have a character up I gotta load each side individually then? Or assemble it from there?
spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:14 pm

Well, so far I've gathered with this program that it's expected you dive right in and create a character from scratch and if all you wanna do is load something and get used to the interface first before doing that you're not wanting to learn the program somehow. (This is what I've been given by the "pros".) Very frustrating when you're a kinesthetic learner and only have 30 days to try out a very expensive program and really all you wanna do is fiddle with the dials, learn where everything is, and maybe make a character walk forward a few steps.

Thanks to the 99.99999999999% of tuts out there I now know that this program can let you make a character from scratch. I still know nothing about the timeline, cameras, or anything that would actually make having the program worthwhile. And I don't have a grasp of all of it's features, either... you know, things that someone who is trying to decide if they wanna buy a program would like to know. I have the PDF tut in the program open and everything. It's first thing? Let's make a character. That's just not the right step for my situation, though. I only have less than 30 days to see what this thing can do for me. Ugh. *pounding head on wall*
spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:52 pm

Yeah I'm talkative here. Sorry!

Moved off of frame 0 and boom. (Smith Micro also suggested this. What awesome guys.) Liz was assembled. Strange! But it was only one angle. Thanks to owning Poser and Daz Studio, I was able to dope out how to put all of Liz's angles into a single layer group and save her as a complete character ready to go. Progress.

The next feature I want to try - and it's a deal breaking one - is that of premade motions. To wit, a walk cycle. If I can bring one in. I think that's disabled for the trial version? Being just a one woman show, being able to use motions would be an awesome time saver and big help, even if I only want to make things for the fun of it.

After that I want to see how lipsyncing works. Another deal breaker. I already know about timelines and rigging because other programs have the exact same thing. I know it's a little different in 2D but the concepts are the same and I'm comfortable with the idea, so wanna go to other features before I run out of time. And I figure if I get the program I'll start building then. And when it comes to the special effects - which I found the folder and it looks very interesting - I'll play with that if I still have time on the trial after trying out the other things.

And if there are other neat features to try, I would love to hear about them.
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jahnocli
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by jahnocli » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:03 pm

I kind of hate saying this, because I love Moho, but maybe some other program might be better suited? I'm thinking of Crazy Talk Animator. You'll probably need the Pipeline version, so it's roughly the same price as Moho, but it has a lot of built-in actions and characters. The Pipeline edition lets you import your own custom characters too. There's a trial version, so you can check it out before parting with your readies...
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:02 pm

I'm actually also trying out Crazytalk right now as I make my decision. It's a good program, sure, but it lacks in some... well.. manual things I treasure dearly. Like manipulating bones directly. I'm used to doing that when I animate (in 3D) and Moho matches that closer. But I haven't made up my mind yet, and I didn't want to mention Crazytalk here. But I have to admit at least with Crazytalk although you CAN create content off the bat, the tutorials are set so you can make an animation first off just to get used to the interface and the work flow and that's to its benefit.

Buuut I don't want to make up my mind based on someone's intuitive approach to teaching, so I'm still poking at Moho when I have an odd moment. I know Moho can do motions. It's in the product description. I really need to see it in action. It's a big deal to me. And lip syncing, well hey. If I remember correctly my old copy of Anime Studio does THAT....
spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here?? (solved)

Post by spearcarrier » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:06 am

It's been a long day of poking at things and experimenting. Once I was able to move Liz from frame 1 and make her slide across the screen I felt free to poke more, and I think Moho is the winner. Definitely.

Sadly Moho's sale is over and at this stage I begin to save money and get ready for the purchase.In the meantime I found a copy of Anime Studio 11 Pro and, as it also has a physics engine, can probably spring for that. With eyes on the bigger prize of course. My large learning curve is mostly what makes the thought of that possible. I can start with one and work my way up, which is how I approached poser.

The actions (which go by another name in my personal 3D world so it was hard tracking them down because I didn't even have the search terms I needed) look great. I have one last question knowing this thread isn't getting any eyeballs to it, but I'll ask anyway.

Do people share their actions? If Moho will read AS11 actions then I intend to do it. It might be a few months before I can go full Moho.

I couldn't find anything on Moho reading pz2 files so I'm gonna assume not at this stage. Not a big deal. Yet.
hayasidist
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Re: How do I even get started here?? (solved)

Post by hayasidist » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:05 am

spearcarrier wrote:It's been a long day of poking at things and experimenting. Once I was able to move Liz from frame 1 and make her slide across the screen I felt free to poke more, and I think Moho is the winner. Definitely.

In the meantime I found a copy of Anime Studio 11 Pro and, as it also has a physics engine, can probably spring for that ...

The actions (which go by another name in my personal 3D world so it was hard tracking them down because I didn't even have the search terms I needed) look great. I have one last question knowing this thread isn't getting any eyeballs to it, but I'll ask anyway.

Do people share their actions? If Moho will read AS11 actions then I intend to do it. It might be a few months before I can go full Moho.

I couldn't find anything on Moho reading pz2 files so I'm gonna assume not at this stage. Not a big deal. Yet.
I don't have AS11 on the system where I am right now, so I can't be 100% sure about this but:

Actions: not yet generally shared - but you might like to check out "Swiss Army Bones" here: http://www.kelleytown.com/forum/animato ... IC_ID=2369 ; and Moho 12 has hade some significant changes to actions and sharing across similarly rigged characters -- export / import actions.

Characters: try the Character Wizard -- there's been a few comments about the actual output of this - but it'll give you a start. and the built characters come with actions such as walk, jump...

Poser Integration: not something I use, but from comments here it's actually pretty reasonable.
spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:21 pm

Thank you for replying! =^-^=

Couldn't get into Kelleytown without joining. I always hesitate to join a forum because I know real life will take me away from it and I'll disappear eventually, despite my best efforts. I only remember to enter DAZ3D's forum because I'm always doing something in 3D somewhere. Maybe if I hunt around on Google I'll find something on it.

I have the Moho trial installed right now, it's just it's very expensive. I saved out an action and looked. Sure enough, it was a simple script file in a folder. I ordered a copy of AS11 because I prefer physical copies so will have to wait for it to arrive, unless I find a trial I can install in the meantime. Then I'll see if it treats actions in the same way. If it does and my Moho trial is stll active I'll see if Moho can read it.

But if they've made changes then the chances are super low my plan will work.

When it comes to poser import, the only thing I've found was for AS11... you basically import a poser scene to get your character. This is a very very big deal for me and was the deal maker feature. I have a ton of characters I've made for 3D. But I also intend to simply render their artwork out and convert that to 2D. It will depend on how the 3D import looks on final render. I'm peculiar about that part.

So my thought is that with AS11 I can begin tutorials and learning the program in all seriousness while I tuck the money away. Then when I'm ready Moho will be miiiiine. It's a plan that has worked for me on various other important items, and this way I can get started on what I wanna do while I work towards the final goal.
anthonytsb5
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by anthonytsb5 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:13 am

I was in the same boat as you so I would do two things:

- I'd check out shonuff93's tutorials on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/ShoNuff93/videos). They're also here on the board (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19226) but I like looking at all the thumbnails to get a good idea of the content. They're very practical and on point.

- 3d is different than 2d in a lot of respects but from my brief 3d experience the character building is a lot more arduous and time consuming that 2d. There is a lot of people trying to build the perfect rig but the reality is you can do some pretty cool stuff with simple rigs. That being said, check out the character wizard built into moho and put together something very quick. The characters are pretty ugly and it's no one's idea of a world class rig but I found being able to have a quick character that I can just move around and play with was a great place to start learning.

Hope this helps.
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Greenlaw
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by Greenlaw » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:16 pm

Since you're just starting with Moho and have given yourself a short time to learn it, maybe my first 'Moho' experience can provide some helpful ideas.

How I learned Moho (ASP 9.5 actually--this was at towards the end of 2013) was I first read through the tutorials and docs to get a good idea of the program's features and capabilities, and then I storyboarded a short film that I felt I could create in a reasonable time using the program. Once the animatic was assembled, I figured out how to use to program as I worked my way down the shot list.

If you're curious, here's the original storyboard in animatic form: https://vimeo.com/77204978/bc4dd77d8c

And here's the final Moho/ASP version: https://vimeo.com/87465384

I didn't try to memorize everything in the manual, I just got familiar enough with the concepts and referenced the info in detail later when I needed it. Chad Troftgruben's video tutorials on YouTube were also a big help, and I got a lot of help from users in this forum whenever I got stuck on a feature or a technique that wasn't working the way I expected.

My project was loosely scheduled but I got everything done in a few months. From what I recall, I knocked out the storyboard over a weekend and then worked on the film whenever I found some spare time. I mostly worked on it using a small laptop during my lunch breaks at work, in the evenings at home, and a few hours every weekend at a public library. As I worked through the scenes, I found some things were easier to do with Moho than I expected (mainly rigging and animating with bones and actions,) and a few things that I thought would be easy turned out to be more difficult. (The 'simple' FBF scenes come to mind. Nowadays, FBF is easier to do in Moho than it was in ASP 9.5, but it's still not the program's strong suite.)

I also got help from my wife, who painted the backgrounds based on my rough sketches. That was a huge timesaver and it was fun to collaborate with another artist. What she created was different from what I had in mind and I think her paintings look better than what I would have done. And, to be completely honest, painting the backgrounds myself would not have taught me anything about ASP/Moho, so delegating this task to another artist made sense to me.

The way I worked with ASP back then is different from how I use Moho now. Back then, I drew and rigged each scene to do only and exactly what was needed for that scene. I found it so easy to create 'throwaway' rigs in the program, and this turned out to be the quickest way to finish scenes and try out a lot of different techniques. If you compare the animatic with the final short, you can see how many of scenes were designed to test a specific feature or technique and then move on to something else.

Nowadays, I tend to make complex 'general-purpose' rigs for characters that can can hopefully work for about 80% or so of what's seen in the animatic, and then I'll create simple 'throwaway' rigs or modify the 'general' rig for the remaining scenes as needed. The 'general' rig might also be animated by other artists besides me and potentially used in more than one project, so it's practical and more efficient this way.

That said, I would keep the rigs simple for your first project like I did. I think you'll find this more gratifying since you'll see results immediately, and you'll probably learn more because you can try out different things with each new scene. Once you've mastered all these little tricks in your first project, you can combine them to create more complex rigs and setups in future projects.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

P.S., You know, I don't think I've publicly shown the animatic for Scareplane before, so this is a first. :)
Last edited by Greenlaw on Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:31 pm

Shonuff93's tutorials I actually found days ago, and yes. They're very very nice. I expect I'm going to be very thankful for them in the future.

And oh yea is 3D creation more tedious in some respects. Unless you use morphing. One of my favorite 3D characters, Aiko 3 with the Kioki add-on, is very versatile. So I use dials to morph her into new shapes and those are my characters sometimes. (Sometimes I use a Blender to reshape things myself.) I tried building from scratch once, a hair object, and ended up flipping a bird to that and giving a great nod to all the creators out there. So when someone treats 3D like it's not a true artform I get a little defensive on the artists' behalves.

The truth is I can draw. The further truth is I f***g hate drawing backgrounds. And my hands are very tired as I have overused them in my life. I started on this path doing a comic book (and book covers), actually. Poser and DAZ were my go-to's for pose references. I know someone who was using 3D for their comic and thought to myself, "Hrm." From there it's been a very slow sauntering dive into evil as I have worked harder and harder to create models and render styles that are close to how I would draw by hand. I never realized I would fall in love with 3D so completely. The benefit of using 3D has been my art style has been unified that way. Before that, how I did things was all over the place. I will straw draw some things by hand, though.

I've been pushed into going back to 2D because the render times for my 3D animations are too slow. I mean, I'd looked at it because I do love the look of 2D animation... but I never had the motivation to go further before. (I'd like to have animated sequences for my comics, but not bad enough I guess.) I've been trying to render out a short 10 minute talk for all of a week now, and I'm not even a third of the way through it. I rendered something in Crazytalk and was done before I knew it. So now fiddling with Anime Studio, I see that animating here is going to be a snap for me once I learn the controls.

Scareplane is cute! When watching the animatic I got the sense the kid was just playing, so when they fell out of the box I was like, "I KNEW it!!" Ho ho ho... It's sweet to see the progression from one to the other. I could see the mix of 2D with 3D in it, but that's common these days. And I love it! I gotta share it on my Facebook now. "Box by amazon" made me bust a gut.

I only have 1 project in mind at this time. The bulk of any animation I do is for my tribe and the restoration of our language. I have a page: http://www.moheganlanguage.net. I don't get to do it as often as I should. That being said, my current animation goal is to find a suitable premade little girl so I can get started moving her around for a translation of Heads and Fingers, Knees and Toes. I may need to learn how to replace her hair. (In the meantime I'm still slowly building my own characters.) All I plan to do is Step 1. Walk her out with squeaks in her shoes. Step 2. Lip sync her to a premade audio track. Step 3. move her according to the audio track. She will need to bend. step 4. Ta da! and she walks off. Nothing fancy.

After that maybe some animated sequences for a short comic I'm planning. I tend to learn slowly and by degrees, so I know it will be a while before I'm ready to make a full length major motion picture. ;) Finding tutorials on things I gotta do next are exactly my learning style, but I still intend to eyeball the program's documentation.

For the language project I try to do something once a week. It's been a full year and I'm not very far in, so I'm desperately trying to speed some things up. I don't see the point of creating a storyboard for this, and making an animatic is something I'll have to study about as I can see it sets timing down a bit with speech (the animation monster). That's some serious work here.

Re: the backgrounds... Paintshop pro by chance? =^-^= They're great looking. I'd be interested in learning about how the seats moved; if you used layers in the scene's construction or what.

I'm excited to learn a new skill, and I've literally been dreaming up ways to incorporate what I know into this. (Last night's dream was about one of those pompous dukes and how to get his belly to shake. I have no idea if it will work, and all I remember now are the movements of his mouth as he talked.) As I suggested before I've got a character's PSD file in progress now so I can learn how to import and rig - all those steps I wanted to skip until I was sure this was what I wanted. (It's ironic, I know.) I'm using an old character that came with a demo I found as my example on how many eyes to make, knowing they've changed that in Moho. It's also slow and tedious work, but I keep reminding myself... not as tedious as some... not as tedious at SOME!!
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chucky
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by chucky » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:50 am

Hi Spearcarrier, I want to encourage you to let yourself fall into Moho.
I remember my first attempts, they started with," oh this is easy is", but then became "What the hell?" and 'F. this! ', before I finally clicked and fell in love with it.
At times your might find a frustration, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Moreover, it has had a history of constantly growing and weeding out failings whilst adding surprising and powerful features that do share a lot will 3D apps'
I hope it has just a bright future. Certainly the last few years has seen it come a long way.
What is more, is that you will find a very supportive community here you'll never fed high and dry, people here find solutions and help each other out.
Your project sounds very important and admirable, I wish you all the best, no matter what direction your take.
:)
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spearcarrier
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Re: How do I even get started here??

Post by spearcarrier » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:46 pm

Thanks chucky. :-) It's been interesting so far.

I had a simple animation finished but decided to upgrade to Windows 10.

Windows 10 did not ask if I wanted it to format my external drive.

I no longer have a finished 2D animation. Or my 15 years of collecting items for 3D work either, for that matter. 15 years of collecting - that's a lot to back up. So most things were not.

I'm still running the demo of AS11, as I'm still waiting for the disk to arrive. So far, though, I'm finding things easy because they're already what I'm used to. Smart bones, for example. I've seen a lot of "smart bones are this wonderful revolutionary thing!" So I finally sit down to watch a tutorial on them last night and I discover they're just JCMs. It's nice to see how to create one, and they are definitely great things, but I was still a little disappointed I have to admit. LOL!!

The biggest thing that makes it seem easier to me, though, is the fact that if I set a key frame to my character in AS11 the character obeys that. if I do that in Daz Studio the character flips me a bird and moves about anyway. But so far so good.

I started to look at a tutorial on how to do things like complicated head turns but it looked very very tedious and I was too tired. Maybe later.
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