Change a movement without affecting everything before it

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Mohlar
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Change a movement without affecting everything before it

Post by Mohlar » Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:29 am

There is sure to be a ridiculously simple answer to this query - but for the moment I'm stuck.

I'm experimenting with imported images which are assembled to make a character. OK so far.

I've animated a simple left-to-right movement over frames 1-72 as a test and everythig works.

I then wanted to move the character from right back to the left between frames 72 and 144 but make him rotate and also change height en route ...... but now what happens is everything is affected. In other words, he starts rising up and spinning from frame 1 instead of from frame 72.

Obviously I need to lock the character's position at frame 72 and there is sure to be an OMG is it THAT simple? way of doing it. I've scanned the tutorials but haven't found the answer ..... it must be Sunday Tiredness striking again!
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cribble
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Post by cribble » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:24 pm

Try uploading the file somewhere so people can look at it...

It sounds like you've animated a group layer, and then you've animated the layers inside of it. So the group layer acts independently to the layers inside, and thus destroying some movement.
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AmigaMan
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Post by AmigaMan » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:30 pm

I'm guessing that, like me, you come from a traditional animation background? Yep, computer animation is weird! :D

You need to place a keyframe at frame 71 for rotation / translation (ie the frame BEFORE you want your characvter to move) otherwise the software has no way of knowing you want the character to stay 'put' upto that point.

All computer animation works this way and it takes a while to get used to but makes perfect sense once you think about it.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:53 pm

I call it psychic software syndrome. ;)

You have to tell the mindless, stupid computer exactly what to do all the time. It just can't read your mind. I've tried and tried but all I get is a head ache. ;)

-vern
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:29 am

All computer animation works this way
Well, that's an explanation, but for sure no reason to still build it this way!

Since the normal way of animation is "don't move until I tell you", why isn't the software so clever and places another key right before the first key the animator creates in a timeline? (This "before" key of course is copied from frame 0.)

(And while we're at it: why can't I duplicate keys with alt-drag like in other programs? It would be so much easier.)
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Post by Genete » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:10 am

slowtiger wrote:
All computer animation works this way
Well, that's an explanation, but for sure no reason to still build it this way!

Since the normal way of animation is "don't move until I tell you", why isn't the software so clever and places another key right before the first key the animator creates in a timeline? (This "before" key of course is copied from frame 0.)

(And while we're at it: why can't I duplicate keys with alt-drag like in other programs? It would be so much easier.)
Good point slowtiger. That's the main problem for the most of the software: Software companies hire computer programming specialist and ask them to make a program. Then the user open the program and it doesn't do what it is supposed to do. I'm playing with synfig (open source 2D vector film quality animation program) and regarding to keyframe insertion it works as you say: once created the model you don't have ANY keyframe in the timeline. Let's say that there is no frame "0". So if I place the cursor on frame 24 and modify some properties of the model then that property is the same from frame 1 to frame 24 and from frame 24 to the end. Only when you insert more than one keyframe in the timeline is when you obtain a transition.
Anyway the workflow depends on user preferences and the kind of animation you are doing, and changes from one person to other.
-G
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:19 pm

Since the normal way of animation is "don't move until I tell you", why isn't the software so clever and places another key right before the first key the animator creates in a timeline?
Oh goodness. This is psychic software again!

Picture this:
A key on frame 1 of a stationary object. Frame 10 a key that moves it horizontally. A key on frame 20 to move it vertically. In that situation the object moves a certain distance horizontally for 10 frames then moves a certain distance vertically for 10 frames. This happens without stopping or pausing. Zig zag. 10 frames over, 10 frames up.

According to this "psychic software" feature a key will be placed... where exactly?

On frame 11? or... frame 19? Or maybe frame 15? How does the software "know" where to put this extra key? How does the software know you WANT this extra key frame? Where does the animator want the key? do you want a "step" motion? or do you want a bit of ease in?

Amigaman got it right. This is just the way it works. There is no other way.

I would love to see a step by step illustration of how this should work. Exactly when and where a key should be placed in the time line, or how to make it NOT be placed. I just can't see how this can work.

It could be you are confusing this problem with keying all channels when ever you make a change. That could be a good feature. For instance if you keyed a bones translation it would automatically put in a rotation key and a scale key.

But... that has disadvantages as well. You will end up with a ton of keys you may not want. Then you have to hunt down THOSE keys and delete them.

I often forget to put in those keys. I do it all the time. I go back and put them in and move on. You just have to remember that whenever a key is set the next key will "in-between" from that previous key. You need to consciously put in a key with the same value or slightly different one, somewhere later in the time line if you don't want it to move beyond that last key.

It is the same as putting in a key to make something move... you have to
"make it stop" the same way.

"don't move until I tell you" is the same as "don't STOP until I tell you"

-vern
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:19 pm

A key on frame 1 of a stationary object. Frame 10 a key that moves it horizontally. A key on frame 20 to move it vertically. In that situation the object moves a certain distance horizontally for 10 frames then moves a certain distance vertically for 10 frames. This happens without stopping or pausing. Zig zag. 10 frames over, 10 frames up.
I wonder which tool you use to get that effetct ...
I would use the layer translate tool, and that's only one tool for horizontal and vertical, so the first key is the first and only key which matters ...
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:25 pm

slowtiger wrote: I wonder which tool you use to get that effetct ...
I would use the layer translate tool, and that's only one tool for horizontal and vertical, so the first key is the first and only key which matters ...
Uh... what?

I'm talking about any movement, bone, layer, etc. A zig zag motion not a diagonal motion.

Look at these two nearly identical animations:
(Get this Anime Studio file here)

This is the original motion with out a "magic" key frame.
http://www.lowrestv.com/moho_stuff/foru ... frame1.mov
Image

Here I have added a key to make the ball STOP moving before moving up.
http://www.lowrestv.com/moho_stuff/foru ... frame2.mov
Image

Where should the key go? I moved it around a couple of times before I decided on a spot.

What if I really wanted the first version which is how all other animation software works? I would have to delete a key now instead of add one... I would be deleting keys all the time that I don't want. Keys I didn't place myself but were placed by the software so I might not know where they are or how they got there, most likely on a frame I didn't choose and would need to change later.

p.s. Show me one other animation package that puts in these "psychic keys". I don't think I have ever seen one. Flash doesn't have it... AE doesn't have it... I've used a bunch of animation tools over the years. None of them had this... and it really never came up. No one actually wanted it.

-vern
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Mohlar
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Post by Mohlar » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:07 pm

AmigaMan wrote:I'm guessing that, like me, you come from a traditional animation background?.
To be strictly honest, I don't really come from any animation background because, apart from using 'Tales Animator' (which uses a wholly different approach), AS is my first serious foray into the world of animation .... BUT, you are right in assuming that my interests have always been aligned with traditional approaches to animation - notably 'cel' work. Over the years, before retirement, I read and researched quite a lot, so yes, my theoretical background is traditional.

Can I add a thank you to everyone who is chipping into this thread. I didn't realise I was kickstarting such an interesting debate. I'm picking up a lot of useful tips and examples - so thanks to you all.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:42 pm

ou are right in assuming that my interests have always been aligned with traditional approaches to animation - notably 'cel' work.
I came into animation only as a result of computer technology. I can remember when QT was first introduced. My "mentor" and I were looking at the first buggy slow choppy tiny version of a QT movie... and we both agreed that the computer would never be the same again. We predicted then that QT was the future.

Of course we screamed bloody murder when "Windows Media Player" came out much later and stole all the thunder. Many people actually believed that Microsoft "invented" computer video. It would drive us nuts! We got into a lot of arguments with PC people over that one. ;)

Up to that point the extent of my animation was using HyperCard on the Mac.... which is definately "cell" animation... I really didn't like it much but I had fun playing with it.

After HyperCard I used Director for many years. Long before Flash even existed the standard was Macromedia Director. Director was my first introduction to key frames... you put in a key frame to move something... and a key frame to make it stop... (or you used Lingo. ;) )

I have no knowledge of or interest in traditional cell type animation. I've been using key frames and "tweening" for so many years it is part of my DNA. ;)

And yet I still forget to put in that extra key for the hold every so often...

"Why is that stupid box drifting like that darnit?!"
"Oh... I forgot to add the hold key."

-vern
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Mohlar
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Post by Mohlar » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:09 am

heyvern wrote:Look at these two nearly identical animations:
(Get this Anime Studio file here)
Forgot to say Thanks Vern, for this little file. It's the kind of ultra-simple example that should be seen as the kind of thing that REALLY helps newbies to AS and computer animation. (Shame there isn't a library of files like this). No complicated graphics and very simple actions that are easy to study and experiment with whilst trying to understand some of the techniques and idiosyncracies involved when animating with AS.
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toonertime
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manual labor

Post by toonertime » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:58 am

I think one of the weaknesses of this program is its
documentation. If it weren't for Vern and other
patient vets of AS it would be even more difficult
to learn!
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Mohlar
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Re: manual labor

Post by Mohlar » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:05 am

toonertime wrote:I think one of the weaknesses of this program is its
documentation.
I'm in total agreement - which is why I keep banging on about the need for a traditional, SEARCHABLE type of help file.

And it’s just not me who has this opinion --- this from a review of AS ….
http://www.vnunet.com/personal-computer ... ime-studio
The lack of a printed manual is irritating, but the HTML manual on the CD includes a series of tutorials that takes you from basic drawing through to complex animation work.
The online manual is a bit irritating. It romps quickly through keyframing techniques, and poor editing means that we spent ages looking for a particular command mentioned in the tutorials, but which is only available in the Pro version of the program.

However, there's always the 'official' book that's due to be published in October of course. But will it be understandable to mere mortals?

UK Amazon link
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anime-Studio-Ef ... 420&sr=1-1

US Amazon link
http://www.amazon.com/Anime-Studio-Efro ... 420&sr=1-1
Last edited by Mohlar on Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:06 am

HyperCard ... I still have that box with version 2.2 which had that special plug-in for colour support - don't know why I still keep it!

Yes, this and Director are my muddy origins in computer animation. A bit later I was introduced to Toonz and Animo, again a bit later came Flash, then finally Moho and Mirage. But I started with frame-by-frame animation on paper long before that.

Vern, I still think you're thinking of something different than I meant. What I meant was something like "if I place a key in a timeline and it is the first key for this object and with this tool in this timeline, then the software should copy that object's frame 0 key right before the key I put."

I should add that this only makes sense for all the red line keys, not the "summary" keys on the blue line.
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