Question about layer comps

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flop3545
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Question about layer comps

Post by flop3545 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:02 pm

I'm looking at purchasing Moho 12 and have a question about exporting layer comps. If I want to export part of a scene - e.g. just the character animation - I understand that I can isolate the character's layers in the scene and create a layer comp, which can then be exported.

What I'd like to know is that if, for example, I export it as a sequence of PNGs, will the PNG dimensions be that of the full scene size (e.g. 1920x1080) or does it crop to the bounds of the artwork/animation in the layer comp?

I have downloaded the trial, but it seems that export options are limited so I can't test it out.

Thanks in advance!
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chucky
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by chucky » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:12 pm

The comp is full size... :D
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flop3545
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by flop3545 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:47 pm

Thanks chucky!

Do you know if there's a way to export an area of a scene, rather than always exporting at the full scene dimensions? ToonBoom Harmony for example has a 'Crop' node which can be used to select an area of the scene for export - does Moho have anything like that?
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by Greenlaw » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:18 pm

Moho doesn't crop the layers during rendering because normally this feature is meant for compositing the elements 'in-place' as they exist in the original scene.

However, if you open the output in Photoshop and export it again using the Export As Layers script, there is the option to automatically trim the image. (I use the third-party 'Fast' version located here: https://github.com/jwa107/Photoshop-Exp ... Files-Fast)

Alternatively, you can create an Action in PS to select the image and auto-crop to the selection, and then batch process that. (This approach might be easier to do and probably makes more sense, now that I'm thining about it.)

Just curious but why would you want to auto-crop all your layer output? Without a consistent origin point or boundaries, it seems like it would be difficult to keep the animated elements aligned properly. Is this for game sprites and you intend to re-align the elements manually?
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by Greenlaw » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:23 pm

That said, a limited region option would be useful in Moho. I use it in 3D animation to quickly render fixes to patch over in composition. It's a lot faster than re-rendering the entire image when I don't have to.
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by flop3545 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:32 pm

Thanks for that!

Yes - this is the process I use for creating animated assets - e.g. for using in 2D games, or as elements to use in interactive web games/books/whatever.

It's straightforward in Harmony as I can have as many different crops and outputs as I need, but Harmony ain't the cheapest so I'd like to move away from it in the longer term! It's a shame that Moho doesn't have something similar, but I appreciate that it's not a typical use for the software :)
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by chucky » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:19 am

A Patch render could be valuable sure, but pretty rarely, and it's a very dirty fix.
I would much rather leave that off the list of requests, till important stuff like 'compensation/mixed actions/ smart blends ' ( or whatever that could be called) and fixing the style and brush panels.
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:18 am

chucky wrote:I would much rather leave that off the list of requests, till important stuff like 'compensation/mixed actions/ smart blends ' ( or whatever that could be called) and fixing the style and brush panels.
I just want better freehand tools and the addition of basic paint tools. Get that, and I'm a happy camper. :P

Last week I was asked to create a t-shirt design and I used Illustrator CC's Pencil tool for parts of the artwork. It's been years since I last used AI and I used to think the Pencil tool sucked, but in the most recent update the Pencil tool has become quite fantastic. I think the Moho dev team should play around with this tool for ideas on how to improve the one in Moho. Featurewise, Pencil is similar to Moho's Freehand tool except that it works much better--very smooth with predictable line quality (no unexpected curly ends or weird welds), and draws accurately with efficient point distribution.
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by flop3545 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:43 am

The last time I used Moho (when it was Anime Studio Pro) was v10 and the dire drawing tools were the reason I never really got into it. It's a shame they are still not much better. I'm pretty resigned to creating artwork outside of Moho if I go ahead with a purchase, but a purchase is looking pretty unlikely at the moment!

I should add that the reason *I* use Harmony's crop node is for creating individual assets, but the reason the crop node *exists* is to export animated scenes at different aspect ratios such as 16:9, 4:3, so it has standard animation production uses too.
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by chucky » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:15 am

The freehand tool got much better in V12, but I agree, those weirds welds and end wiggles are to it's detriment.
The basic load-out settings are totally inappropriate also, as it tries to show off features rarely needed ( although handy) at the expanse of a good first impression.
This means that anybody trying out the program will get a horrible drawing experience and would have to learn all the tricks and settings just to get a even slightly predictable result.
In the dev period for v12 I made all the characters for the retro space pack using the freehand tools, and it was a lot quicker and natural than mouse point by point, or any previous versions (which were actually impossible), but I wouldn't expect anybody who wasn't well familiar with how to make it best work, to get the same experience, at all.
So I totally agree.
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:24 pm

I agree with Chucky that the drawing tools have gotten much better in 12. But, yeah, still not quite there yet. I think that's what makes the tools frustrating for me: they're working just well enough that I keep trying to use them in production, but then I realize after all the editing and fixing of the paths, it's quicker and more accurate if I had just used the point-and-click from the start. And then there's Blob Brush, which actually works well except for that disruptive auto-fit bug.

I don't want to bash drawing in Moho too much because I do nearly all of my drawing in Moho at work these days. Just not with the Freehand tool. The point-and-click tools on the other hand, work great (about as well as in Illustrator.) Point-and-click is still the best way to get optimal paths for bone deformation and I've gotten pretty quick with these tools.

But sometimes I just want to quickly draw elements with my stylus and move on. Especially when I need non-deforming elements or an FBF element.

FWIW, I have used the Freehand tools on a few assignments at work where I needed water, fire, 'magic stuff, and other 'fluid' effects drawn in FBF. I was glad to have the tools and they work well enough for these effects. But for anything detailed, like characters, I still tend to avoid Freehand.

RE: different framing. Moho doesn't have a way to set 'limited region' renders (typically a click and drag process in other programs,) but you can make different output size presets in Project Settings. I know that's not the same thing you're asking for, but I use 'Custom' to create settings with overscan versions of the HD settings, so I have a little play in compositing for camera shakes and outer-edge pixels to prevent border artifacts when using motion-blur, blur and glow tools in AE, Fusion or Nuke. FWIW, you can have different project size presets for game sprite elements.
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Re: Question about layer comps

Post by chucky » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:11 pm

'limited region' renders
Yeah, actually, THAT is something certainly I would murder for, especially in the preview render. When you have to fix the style in w tiny area, but you have to render to whole image? Ye Gods, the days I have wasted, watching that happen.
Area render, yeah that would be high priority indeed!
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