FBF and bitmaps

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Jkoseattle
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FBF and bitmaps

Post by Jkoseattle » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:32 am

I will be starting a project with storyboards and fully drawn characters already done. The artist does not want me creating new bitmap layers by tracing over her drawings, she wants the actual imported bitmaps to be animated. I do not have Moho 13 yet, so I have not worked with bitmap layers. I have also never worked with FBF animation, though I know that capability is in my Moho 12. How should I be approaching this? We have agreed there will be very little fully animated motion. It will be primarily switching between drawn images, though I would like the ability to nudge bits around a little to add details here and there.

So I'm wondering: Can I import a png from her as a bitmap layer, then duplicate it and make little adjustments using the new bitmap tools, and then use either FBF or switch bones or something to switch between these bitmaps? Is that how this works? How is it normally done when the animator is not creating the original art but instead animating someone else's drawings?
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synthsin75
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by synthsin75 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:40 am

You could make cutouts of the provided artwork, splitting the elements apart so you can animate them with a bone rig. It would only require filling the gaps left by the cutout parts, which could be done, probably easier (as v13 doesn't have a full set of bitmap tools yet), in any image editor.
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by hayasidist » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:50 am

synthsin75 wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:40 am
You could make cutouts of the provided artwork, splitting the elements apart so you can animate them with a bone rig. It would only require filling the gaps left by the cutout parts,
how were the original drawings created? if they were done digitally the artist may have these layers - so no need to try to fill in (obviously if these were hand-drawn / painted then this is not an option)
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slowtiger
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by slowtiger » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:45 pm

Big red flag: "she wants the actual imported bitmaps to be animated". People with no understanding of the requirements of animation shouldn't be allowed to make films. Let them use Powerpoint.
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chucky
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by chucky » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:20 pm

If she wants the actual bitmaps, use bones not FBF.
Follow this method in Moho 13.


There's part 1 for this too but pt 2 is what you need.
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Jkoseattle
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by Jkoseattle » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:09 pm

The originals are digital, and she's being careful about her layers so that she can export each individual object I need separately. The first shot is a city street corner seen from high up. There are buildings and a bus stop and cars and people walking and a girl crying and a bird in a tree. She has each of these objects in a separate layer in Procreate, ready to export them as I need and in whatever format I need that she is capable of.
slowtiger wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:45 pm
Big red flag: "she wants the actual imported bitmaps to be animated". People with no understanding of the requirements of animation shouldn't be allowed to make films. Let them use Powerpoint.
Oh, she knows that she knows nothing about animation, no sin in that, and if I explained to her she'd get it - she was just telling me her preference. Which is why I came on here to ask the pros and cons of different methods I should consider. I've mostly only animated my own work, this is a first for me too.
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neeters_guy
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by neeters_guy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:26 am

I feel the cut-out method needs to be clarified a bit. Here’s a concise description:
Post by Greenlaw » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:54 pm
'Cut-out style' is, traditionally speaking, where the elements are cut out from paper and animated on a plane. Think Terry Gilliam's kooky animations from Monty Python's Flying Circus, or the movie Twice Upon A Time.

In the digital world, it's kind of a broad term but the concept is generally same: the parts (head, torso, limbs,) of the character are in separate layers and animated; how the elements are drawn, photographed, or whatever, doesn't really matter, the animation just isn't drawn frame-by-frame. Programs like Moho, After Effects, and Harmony take it a step further by allowing you to add deformers like transforms, mesh warping and bones.

Many Moho animations are a cut-out style hybrid because you can mix the style in Moho with other animation techniques including bones with IK, procedural, dynamics, and FBF.
Here are examples of cut-out animation. Is this the type of look you’re after?





Here’s previous lostmarble discussion on cut-out and FBF: FBF Animations with cutout characters

Here are some how-to youtube videos on cut-out techniques in Moho:
From Poptoogi:


From JamesPotterProject:


Finally, you could use switches to simulate fbf animation as in this example:


Hope these are of help in your planning.
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Jkoseattle
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by Jkoseattle » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:44 am

OK thanks, these are good references. This was pretty much the approach I am planning on using, except that my cutouts will actually be .png line drawings, so IF there's a moment where the cutout style just doesn't get me the effect I want, I can cheat a bit and use traced vectors - she'll never know
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Greenlaw
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Re: FBF and bitmaps

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:51 pm

If you're using bitmap layers in Moho 12, be sure to learn about creating custom mesh layers and using Smart Mesh. This allows you to apply Smart Bone techniques you might normally associate with vector layers.

I agree with Wes about Moho 13's bitmap tools to edit and animate for FBF. The current tools are okay for quick painting but they're too limited for making major changes to a drawing, especially if the intention is to create FBF animation. IMO, it's still better to create and edit the 'frames' in a separate program like Krita or Photoshop, and import the frames to a switch layer.

For most bitmap rigs, you'll want to use bones with the bitmap layers, and probably with custom mesh layers to get nicer/smoother deformations. Use FBF or Switch layers to create smaller details like mouth shapes and hand poses. (Moho 13's drawing tools work fine for this sort of thing.)

I also like using hybrid techniques for bitmap rigs, that is, filling vector layers with bitmap textures. You can make the vector layer's edges look like bitmap by adding a brush stroke and filling the stroke with the same texture used for the fill--Moho will map the texture between the stroke and fill as a continuous image. This way, you get the best of both worlds. For example, with a hybrid setup, hands and fingers can be directly edited in Moho as vectors, even though the fills make them look just like bitmaps. A lot of the TV work I did before Boss Baby, like Puss and The Croods, was handled this way. The easiest and most efficient way to do a hybrid setup is to use the Image Texture FX but in certain situations a bitmap layer with a vector mask can work better. There are pros and cons with each method but I'll have to save that discussion for another post.

That said, the best way to learn and figure this out is to experiment with your own rigs because the desired character design and animation style may determine the best path.

Oh, one more thing to be aware of when using hybrid techniques. The textures will not deform when you animate the shapes directly, and they will appear to slide. This can be a good or bad look depending on your intent. To get the textures to deform with the character, you will need to use bones, a smart mesh or a combination of the two.

Hope this helps.
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