Another animating layers problem

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Another animating layers problem

Postby exile » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:32 am

I tried Victor Paredes' "switch bones" method http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30445 and animating layer order worked. This second try is with switching feet for a front walk. At first, animating layer order seemed to work in the smart bone dial action, but it switched back to the default. Now layer ordering will not work at all, not in the action, not in the main timeline. The main bone has "allow layer ordering" checked. Can anyone tell me what's wrong? The file is here:
http://singadream.com/4forumfriends_htm_files/cant_animate_layer_order.moho
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Re: Another animating layers problem

Postby synthsin75 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:24 am

Once you have a smart bone controlling layer order in a group, it is the only thing that can. If you don't want to animate layer order manually, you'll probably need to place the foot and leg for each side in their own group, so you can animate the layer order independently for each group.
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Re: Another animating layers problem

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:47 am

What Wes says is true, and it's the reason why I generally avoid using Animated Layer Order inside an Action. The few times I've done it, assuming I won't need to animate layer order manually, I always wind up regretting it. IMO, it's better to keep Animated Layer Order open and available for manual keyframing--this is too useful a feature to have tied up in an action.

To work around this, what I like to do instead is to create reference layers/groups at two layer positions, and then animate the visibility between the two inside the Smart Bone Action. This essentially gives me the same effect as using Animated Layer Order in an action, and I'm still free to manually keyframe Animated Layer Order on top of that without the SBA overriding it.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Another animating layers problem

Postby synthsin75 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:26 am

Greenlaw wrote:To work around this, what I like to do instead is to create reference layers/groups at two layer positions, and then animate the visibility between the two inside the Smart Bone Action. This essentially gives me the same effect as using Animated Layer Order in an action, and I'm still free to manually keyframe Animated Layer Order on top of that without the SBA overriding it.


Great point, Dennis.
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Re: Another animating layers problem

Postby exile » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:36 am

Thanks for the speedy replies, Wes and Greenlaw. My problem here is that no method of layer ordering works at all, neither in the action nor in the timeline. In another file where I have the same settings it does work. At least, after two hours of searching, I could find no differences. The only part about Victor's video I don't understand is after 8 minutes and around 30 seconds where he starts by using step and switches to smooth in the action. I don't see how this could influence the layer ordering feature, but can't think of anything else. Thanks for the idea with the reference layer, I vaguely remember an old tutorial by Mike Kelly. Animated layer ordering didn't exist yet.
I've realized that my plan for a generic front walk could be done more intelligently, but it's weird that a feature that normally works has gone on strike.
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Re: Another animating layers problem

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:16 am

Open each action and remove the keys for Animated Layer Order. After the keys have been stripped, you will be able to keyframe Animated Layer Order on the Mainline.

If you really wish to use Animated Layer Order inside an Action, you need set it up so it doesn't conflict with another Action. Strip out the Animated Layer Order keys in your current SBD ACtions, and create a third SBD for the Layer Order change.

Or, if you want to get fancy, make the third SBD a Walk Cycle SBD. In here, you can loop the leg bones motions, animate the foot SBDs, and animate the Layer Order. Then you can animate the Walk Cycle SBD to control the speed of the walk, and use a Cycle key on the SBD to loop the walk cycle until you want it to stop and make the legs to something else.

But keep in mind about we already stated: If you use Animated Layer Order inside the SBD, you won't be able to manually animate it when you need to. To be clear, there's nothing wrong with embedding this feature in an action when it really helps...just be aware of the consequences.

Tip: It might help if you group related elements logically, i.e., put all the left leg layers in one group, and all the right leg layers in a second. This way, you only need to move two leg groups for the Animated Layer Order--this is cleaner and less confusing than animating a whole bunch of separate layers. You might even take this a step further by grouping the legs inside a Lower Body group and enabling your Animated Layer Order there instead of at the Bones layer level. This way, you're free to use a different Animated Layer Order for the arms and upper body.
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Re: Another animating layers problem

Postby exile » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:39 pm

Greenlaw, that's the fix. Took me forever to find the layer ordering symbol. I'm cured, from now on layer ordering is something for the main timeline, not for actions. Thanks to you and Wes for your patience.
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