Possible to "switch" two characters with keyframes

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Bee-ruce2
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Possible to "switch" two characters with keyframes

Post by Bee-ruce2 » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:14 pm

Hi. Theres probably an easy answer for this that more experienced users are aware of but hav'nt been able to wrap my brain around this yet. If I have 2 different rigged/boned characters ready to animate in an A.S. project (character 1 and character 2) and I then animate an entire scene with character 1 (creating keyframes)..........but then decide that this scene(and its related animation/keyframes) would be better suited for character 2.........is there a way to "switch" character 1 and 2 so that character 2 now has character 1"s animation/keyframes? This would save alot of time from reanimating the scene again with character 2. I've tried a couple copy/paste keyframe procedures but not having any luck. Appreciate any advice.
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sacrejacques
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Post by sacrejacques » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:28 pm

I don't think you can switch keyframes, because the keyframes each apply to specific bones and points.

What may be possible is to go to frame 0, and redraw. Also, try copying the vector layers into the other bone layers if the bones are et up similarly.
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:52 pm

Well, in a way - and it's not as easy as flipping a switch.

What I did was doing some animation with a character's bones, then made a copy of that file and erased all vector layers which were attached to that skeleton. Then I created new vector layers and attached them to the bones in frame 0. It worked, but I was using layer binding only.

If the two characters happen to have the exact same bone rigging and the exact number of vector layers with the exact same amount of points which were attached to the bones in exactly the same way ... well, maybe it could work, but to exchange them one would have to dig deep into the file structure. I don't think it's worth the time and effort.
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bupaje
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Post by bupaje » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:18 pm

I haven't tried this one myself but check out mactons "Save Layer Animation" and "Load Layer Animation" scripts here

http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2448
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Bee-ruce2
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Post by Bee-ruce2 » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:29 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried copying the vector layers of character 1 into the bone layers of character 2.....it partially worked but got some distortions. I think ...as slowtiger mentioned.....for this to work properly, may have to think about the possibility beforehand and have two characters rigged identically being the same size,same pose and same size bodyparts, etc..I tried using the scripts but did"nt have any luck. Perhaps I followed the wrong sequence of actions (I"m not very knowledgable about scripts). Within the project...In the menu...clicked scripts...selected the "Save Layer Animation" script....clicked OK and saved it to desktop.I end up with a named file without an extension. If I then select the "Load Layer Animation".......click OK and try to open the saved file......its "greyed out'. Not sure what extension the saved file should have.Tried .lua and .anme but still "greyed out".
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Rasheed
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Post by Rasheed » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:31 am

I think this shows again that you should put the most effort in prepping the animation (story, thumbnails, sound design, storyboard, backgrounds, building the models, sound recording, animatic, etc.). Animation is only a small part of the whole process.

I think the more effort you put in pre-animation, the easier the animation gets.
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Mikdog
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Post by Mikdog » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:35 pm

bupaje wrote:I haven't tried this one myself but check out mactons "Save Layer Animation" and "Load Layer Animation" scripts here

http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2448
Yup. That's your best bet. But, FIRST PRIZE is to decide first hand why the character's there, and then make sure you needn't create animation which might later be turfed. Of course, easier said than done.
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Bee-ruce2
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Post by Bee-ruce2 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:11 am

Mikdog wrote:
bupaje wrote:I haven't tried this one myself but check out mactons "Save Layer Animation" and "Load Layer Animation" scripts here

http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2448
Yup. That's your best bet. But, FIRST PRIZE is to decide first hand why the character's there, and then make sure you needn't create animation which might later be turfed. Of course, easier said than done.
Of course, you and Rasheed are correct that its best to try to plan things out thouroughly as possible beforehand however I think ...if it was possible...it would be useful to know how to do this in general....for example...sometimes I'll make a short animation for a friend's or relatives birthday(similar to an e-card) where they are the main character. When friend/relative #2 or #3"s birthday comes along.......sometimes it would be nice to be able to just use the same animation and "insert" the new character into the existing scene as opossed to starting from scratch with a new animation. (for those of us with limited time, this would be very useful)
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:19 am

If you set up a character using ONLY bones, and ONLY switch layers.

Then you could fairly... uh... relatively easily switch characters.

Don't use point motion... just bones and switches. Those keys are independant of the points.

I often do this with group layers. If I do a bunch of keyframing, or distortions on the GROUP instead of the individual layers, then I can stick anything in that group.

If you use a "generic" swich or bone layer, duplicate it... delete the contents and replace with new... keep the bones, keep the switch key frames. You could have a "new" character with the "old" animation.

Not saying it would be simple.. but it wouldn't be prohibitively impossible.

Might be easier using a text editor to make the "switch".

-vern
DVTVFilm
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Post by DVTVFilm » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:35 pm

This may be overly naive of me, but how about simply copying all the keyframes on the bone layers/timeline from one character ( by drawing a marque around them and hitting copy on the timeline ) and pasting them on the bone layer/timeline of the other character. You would do this for each bone/layer group in your LAYERS so you make sure you get them all. Bone layers should probably have the same names...

Should take you all of 2 minutes to do...

This way Character #2 will have the same "motion" keyframes of Character #1 --and just remove/delete/make invisible Character #1 on the timeline.

just a thought....
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bupaje
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Post by bupaje » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:19 pm

@heyvern - this may be a wacky idea but I know you are a big user of that script to use the master control bone layer? Would it be possible to animate the control bones and save that, then just attach to the slave bones on any similarly rigged character? So if the walk cycle is on the master bones, if you have 5 different characters all similarly rigged couldn't this master bone layer control any of them as far as the animation is concerned?
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7feet
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Post by 7feet » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:42 am

I think that's a really cool idea. If you had a "standardized" bone setup (I kinda do for the basics at this point), you could just have a master bone layer, with animation, that you could import into any project, and then just use that to control your new characters basic moves, like walk cycles and such. It would need some tweaking after import, compensation for differnt proportions and such, but it might get you 90% there pretty directly.

I really need to work on some of that bone script stuff, but right now I'm taping drywall in my new crib. But I got a bigger and cheaper place where I can do the live/work thang, so I should have some more time to diddle with stuff without having to worry 'bout the rent so much. 'Kay, back ta the mud.
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bupaje
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Post by bupaje » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:28 am

Sounds like fun, enjoy your new place.

The bones thing could be cool if it works.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:47 am

bupaje wrote:...Would it be possible to animate the control bones and save that, then just attach to the slave bones on any similarly rigged character?
If the bones have the same names as the master bones, this would work. The slave bones don't even have to be in the same exact position... you could always "tweak" it as well... for slightly different characters.

-vern
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