Depth sorting needs improvement

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Depth sorting needs improvement

Postby yueda » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:23 pm

Hi, I am a 2D puppet rigger exploring the potential of Moho 12.
When comes to rigging, Moho 12 is much superior than Harmony but one thing I wish Moho handles better is Depth Sorting.
I suggest Moho to implement a new Depth Sorting method that:

-absolutely sort layers in depth based on each layer's Z-position value so users can animate the value to sort layers.
-This method will ignore each layer's X and Y rotation and also how far each layer's origin is from the camera.
-Similar to Harmony, when more than one layer has the same Z-position value, The method decides the Depth Sort based on layer stacking order in Layer Window.

I am currently using "Enable animated layer order" method but it is quite complicated and tedious when I have so many layers to sort depth.

I am aware that "Sort Layers by Depth" method supposed to do what I need but this method is not immune to 3D camera movement and also 3D rotation of layers:
Image
As you see in this GIF that layer sort order gets totally messed up when I rotate the parent group in space.
I can make each layers distant from each other in Z-Axis to solve this but that causes more troubles.
"Sort Layers by Depth" method is probably made for people who want to construct 3D rooms by rotating vector layers in space but that is not useful for me.
Last edited by yueda on Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Depth sorting needs improvement

Postby funksmaname » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:09 am

Hi Yueda,
In your example it looks like 'sort layers by depth' is enabled... if you turn that off it will only use the actual layer position for order and would avoid the problem you are experiencing. If you want to sort the layers do it with 'animated layer order' on the main group - it will key layer order changes on the timeline.
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Re: Depth sorting needs improvement

Postby hayasidist » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:46 am

groups are treated as a single entity so, e.g. in your example where the mouth and eyes variously disappear -- if you have the face and features in a group without depth sort enabled and put that group in a group that is sorted by depth, that issue should go away.

3d rotation of layers (as I'm sure you know) can cause different parts of the layer to be at different z. Moho can't break the artwork in a layer into different slices according to different z -- the chin flipping in front of / behind the body is probably because of that. I'm also sure you have a perfectly good reason to have the different parts of the character in a depth sort group - but if you can put head and torso in a group and put that in a depth sort group (so that arms can go in front/behind??) that will go away too.

However, if you are aiming to use depth sort so that you can have the limbs automatically switch in front / behind - this is where most people do use animated layer order as funks has said. And this is where I'd agree with you that an enhancement (to automate the creation of animated layer order keyframes) could be very useful.
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Re: Depth sorting needs improvement

Postby yueda » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:38 pm

Hi Funksmaname and hayasidist, thank you for your answers.

Funksmaname wrote:
If you want to sort the layers do it with 'animated layer order' on the main group

Like I mentioned, I do use "sort layers by depth" method but it is very tedious if you have 20 layers to sort depth each time you rotate the character:
Image
I also created regular actions with Layer Order keys so I can sort all layers for the character at once.

The GIF I posted is just an example to show how 3D rotation messes up depth sort when using "sort layers by depth" option.
The rig I am working is much more complex and trust me, I tried all depth sort options available already.
The only solution is Moho to have a new depth sort that works for both smart bone action and 3D object/camera rotation.

Moho is a good software but missing opportunity to be popular because it lacks critical functions such as this.

hayasidist wrote:
And this is where I'd agree with you that an enhancement (to automate the creation of animated layer order keyframes) could be very useful.

I don't know what you meant by "automate the creation of animated layer order keyframes".
We can add Layer Ordering keys to Smart Bone actions while using "sort layers by depth" method so every time you move the dial, depth sorting gets updated automatically. With that said, here is the catch; in each layer, you can have only one timeline that has Layer Ordering keys. This is same as how Switch Layer keyframes work. That means, if you have made a Layer Ordering key on a smart bone action, you can no longer animate layer order in your main timeline. It means animators cannot change the layer order freely while animating.

hayasidist wrote:
if you have the face and features in a group without depth sort enabled and put that group in a group that is sorted by depth, that issue should go away.

True, and I do have group for the entire head parts for my rig. The grouping solution doesn't always work because, in some cases, it can mess up masking, bone binding, layer movement and so on.
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