Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby exile » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:32 pm

Rice Crispies! And what was "the one and only cereal that comes in the shape of animals"? It had a funny 4-second animation.

You'll have to explain this humor to our international members - otherwise they'll attribute it to "Lost Marbles".

Yes, the link you posted did it - I now have automatic tweening!!

Here are some notes on your second video "Drawing, Sculpting, Animating in Blender GP" which might be helpful to the viewers - please correct if I've made mistakes, you might want to post this in the forums that link to your tutorials:

Greg's Key Keys (in the order they appear in the tutorial)

Set mouse position point on screen - Right Mouse Click (RMB)
Zoom - Mouse Wheel (MW)
Pan - Shift+Middle Mouse Button (Sh.+MMB)

Brush & Sculpting Control Panel - toggle with t
Layers and Palettes Panel - toggle with n

Draw - d
Edit Strokes - Tab

In Edit Mode:
Select, deselect all strokes - toggle with a
Scaling - s (accept change with LMB)
Rotation - r (accept change with LMB)
(Both operations work relative to current mouse point)
Move Shape (with all strokes selected) - g
(also to move partial selection)

Open Sculpt Menu:
d,e simultaneously
Adjust brush size - f
Brush strength (intensity) - shift+f
Sculpt with selected tool - press & hold e (zoom level affects brush size)

Move Time Slider - RMB (either R click on point or R click + drag to advance)
Zoom in Dope Sheet - scroll MMB - focuses zoom on wherever cursor is placed

Set Animation Range - drag End Time slider

Adjust Frame Speed - a (with cursor in Dope Sheet), move time slider to Frame 1,
s + release, move mouse to scale frame distance evenly

Select desired Keyframes - up or down arrow keys

Squash Object - Move time slider between two existing keyframes and sculpt

Close gaps in sculpted object - click + pull point, LMB to confirm
Zoom out, zoom in view in Dope Sheet - scroll MMB

Create automatic in-betweens: put time slider between key frames and
with mouse cursor in camera view - Ctrl+shift+e
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby dkwroot » Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:40 pm

It doesn't look like there is a way to swap out grease pencil drawings, similar to a switch layer. Does anyone know if they're working on this?
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby Psmith » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:02 pm

For our International Readers:

What we have been discussing is the emergence of early Health Food - introduced to us, the children of the 50's and 60's - whose minds were untouched and entirely open to the suggestions delivered to us by "The Tube":



And, Boy!, are we the better for it.

Steve the Exile: Thank you for these most excellent and Printable Tips which should be widely circulated.

Here are my notes on your notes (seen in Blue):

Greg's Key Keys (in the order they appear in the tutorial)

Set mouse position point on screen - Right Mouse Click (RMB)
Zoom - Mouse Wheel (MW)
Pan - Shift+Middle Mouse Button (Sh.+MMB)

Brush & Sculpting Control Panel - toggle with t
Layers and Palettes Panel - toggle with n

Draw - d
Edit Strokes - Tab (once you have first entered the "Edit Strokes" mode - hold down "d" and "Tab" - you will be in "Edit Strokes" mode every time you release the "D" key) - (but, if you have enabled "Continuous Drawing", by pressing that Button, or by beginning to Draw by holding down the "D" key and then releasing - just press "E" to re-enter the "Edit Strokes" mode).

In Edit Mode:
Select, deselect all strokes - toggle with a
Scaling - s (accept change with LMB)
Rotation - r (accept change with LMB)
(Both operations work relative to current mouse point) I would prefer to call the "Mouse Point" - when referring to that one created by clicking the Right Mouse Button - the "Right Mouse Cursor".
Move Shape (with all strokes selected) - g
(also to move partial selection)

Open Sculpt Menu:
d,e simultaneously
Adjust brush size - f
Brush strength (intensity) - shift+f
Sculpt with selected tool - press & hold e (zoom level affects brush size)

Move Time Slider - RMB (either R click on point or R click + drag to advance)
Zoom in Dope Sheet - scroll MMB - focuses zoom on wherever cursor is placed

Set Animation Range - drag End Time slider

Adjust Frame Speed - a (with cursor in Dope Sheet), move time slider to Frame 1,
s + release, move mouse to scale frame distance evenly

Select desired Keyframes - up or down arrow keys

Squash Object - Move time slider between two existing keyframes and sculpt

Close gaps in sculpted object - click + pull point, LMB to confirm (one other thing you can do to close gaps and even out point distribution, is to select both the gap and a few points on either side of it - then press "W" and select "Subdivide" from the list - then, with more points available, manually spread them out).
Zoom out, zoom in view in Dope Sheet - scroll MMB

Create automatic in-betweens: put time slider between key frames and
with mouse cursor in camera view - Ctrl+shift+e (I find the Default keyboard shortcut Gymnastics for this action too difficult and cumbersome. You can change this shortcut by going to the User Preferences/Input tab - finding the Grease Pencil shortcut drop-down menu - and making your change for "Interpolation". I have found "Shift-E" to be convenient - and will be using it in my future videos)

One of the handiest Dope Sheet shortcuts is to Hold Down the "Alt/Opt" key and, while the Mouse Cursor is in any view or Panel, use the Scroll Wheel to move the Time Slider forward or backward - any number of frames.

What Larks - aaay Pip ?


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Last edited by Psmith on Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby exile » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:56 pm

From the Golden Age of cereals and animation! I only remember the few seconds of the animals charging across the screen, part of the gag was the brevity of the commercial. Clever of the company. Saved advertising money, made a strong impression and created viewer sympathies by being so short. I really enjoyed the long version, though, great lion.

The revised standard version was worth printing out in color.

Notes from a "clueless user's viewpoint": Everything in the tutorials works, it takes frequent stops, going back, replaying. Some weird things happen, though. In the bones tutorial, suddenly the zoom and pan functions stopped working - everything else was ok. Another thing, I could not render anything from Blender except blank frames, regardless of export format. Looked up the documentation and saw a tutorial on rendering, followed directions - still nothing but gray blanks. Everything is fine in the regular window. It will be a while before the first masterpiece, but still a bit disconcerting.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby Psmith » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:43 pm

Steve:

Here is one of the best things about Grease Pencil: Your animation is already rendered as you make it - in the Viewport.

You don't render it as you would a typical Blender file or animation.

At the top left of the interface, under "Render" select "Open GL Render Animation". For starters, I would set the Rendering Properties (in the "Properties" Panel "Rendering" options) to render the animation as an .avi file - in a place you can find it. Just for testing purposes.

However, what you see in this rendering will be very close to what you have been seeing in your Viewport - (accept for slightly less saturated colors).

I haven't had a chance to demonstrate this in a new tutorial video, yet - but very soon.


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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby exile » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:56 pm

Ahhh - that done done it! Thank you!
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby Psmith » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:20 am

Here are revealed all the secrets of the Jumping, One-Legged Man.

It's not necessary to have a steady hand or to use a graphics tablet, even. Grease Pencil has phenomenal smoothing tools for drawn shapes - both for smoothing during Drawing and for "Sculpting" - after the fact.

A very convincing animation that progresses and advances across the screen can be created with only a couple of drawings - and a couple of Sculpting Tools - along with Blender's Rotation, Scaling and Grabbing Tools.

You should have watched a couple of the first videos before you watch this one:



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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby exile » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:11 pm

I've been impatiently waiting for this one, and am not disappointed. Great stuff, many thanks, and I'm looking forward to how the adventure continues.
Edit: It's great legwork, no bones about it.

Edit 2: After completing the tutorial in detail, only one small point: in my version the default key combination for single in-betweens is Ctrl Alt E, but now I've changed it to Ctrl E as in the video. Praiseworthy aspect of Greg's tutorials: there is always a little lesson in general animation included - in this case the anticipation, follow-through and the gorgeous foot slap.

Concerning the question about switch layers up above: I have a lot of questions about Grease Pencil as well, and have looked around for other tutorials. Sorry to say, most are demonstrations of possibilities and not really tutorials - speed drawing to music, etc. Besides what Greg is doing I don't see much out there that's any use to people who are getting into Blender now because of Grease Pencil 2D animation.

One absolutely impressive feature is the way the smoothing tool takes care of disjointed lines after an extreme rotation of, say, a foot. Less impressive: the line thickness sculpt tool. Interesting - no matter how many color layers are under your line drawing, they will also be moved with the grab tool (G) unless they are locked.

A little accidental discovery: If you select too many points with paint select (C), you can press shift and de-select the unwanted ones.

Final (?) Edit: The student is not greater than his teacher, but a neophyte could get this far under Greg's tutelage: http://singadream.com/4forumfriends_htm_files/legwork.gif. Laughter is permitted.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby Psmith » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:08 pm

Grease Pencil is marvelous in making an advancing Walk a relatively simple thing - streamlining the introduction of variation:



Let's uncover these mysteries,


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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby herbert123 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:22 am

The beautiful thing about GP is the ease with which drawings can be modified and sculpted.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby Psmith » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:59 pm

Herbert:

This, indeed is the case - and, what is more, we can watch this ease demonstrated in the following video where we examine and construct the advancing walk cycle of the TWO-Legged Man (of sorts) - further unlocking the power of the Grease Pencil 2D Animation Suite of tools:



I hope you enjoy this,

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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby exile » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:12 pm

As expected, this was more very rewarding hard work. Can't say my 2-legged man walks as elegantly as yours, but I think I'm getting the hang of working this way. Bone animation might be faster, but offers less freedom.

Concerning wishes for the next tutorial, can I vote twice for being in two forums with you? :P

With the knowledge from your videos so far, I think it should be possible to animate a complex character. That makes it hard to decide what to wish for. Background objects at different distances, switch layer equivalents, more uses of animated shape order, possibilities of coloring? Why don't you just give us what you've been exploring, and simplify it for us mortals?
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby Psmith » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:25 am

Steve:

Vote as many times as you like. Had it not been for your vocal qualities - I wouldn't even be messing with Grease Pencil, probably.

I don't see any easy way to do the equivalent of switch layers. It would be a real hassle.

There is a way to do complete, Bone Articulated 2D animation - but it really doesn't involve Grease Pencil tools - which also induces the loss of onion skins (since Blender has none, natively). So, I hesitate to demonstrate these things.

Since Blender is a true 3D environment - layered (in space) backgrounds, objects and even characters become possible and visual to adjust. Nothing tricky, here.

Animating Grease Pencil "stacking order" is quite easy - making all those 2D "character turns" doable. The latest "walk" video shows this a little.

As we all now know so well - character animation is just plain hard and mostly tedious work. Grease Pencil has everything needed for the most complex characters - but its approach is a "modeling" or "sculpting" approach. This is where it shines. Not in automation - as Moho 12.1 does shine.

Everything boils down to taste and ways of working. Some people really like to "rig" everything - streamlining all repetitive tasks - while others like more of a "hands on" direct approach - offering more "freedom" as you pointed out.


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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby exile » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:03 pm

Psmith wrote:
Some people really like to "rig" everything - streamlining all repetitive tasks -

Greg Smith


Been there, done that - only to find that in spite of gimmicks like automated head- and even bodyturns, blinking eyes, arm muscle bulges etc., I ran into a snag that stymied me (such as needing one character lassoing another) and ended up throwing in the towel on yet another project. Not that this is the "fault" of any software, I just think I need a workflow that allows for some post-tweening hand edits.

Herbert (by the way, I think he's the one lured you into GP, not me) might have some tips on switch layers, since he says he uses Open Toonz to assemble his stuff for the final steps. OT and of course Anime Studio have excellent switch layer capabilities. For some reason, OT could not "read" png files I exported from Blender, although AS could.

On the one hand, I'm surprised there hasn't been a large-scale response to your offer to do a tutorial "as wished by fans", on the other hand, there is enough in the last two tutorials for a flying start in GP, one sure way to find out more is to test ideas. I've started putting together a "real" character with a face and upper body, have to decide how many separate shapes to use, but will stick to one layer. So your pioneer spirit is at least potentially contagious ...
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Postby Psmith » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:00 pm

Steve:

Wow! Lassoing a character using 2D Tools seems like one of the more impossible tasks to attempt. At least, using Blender, you could cheat by offsetting the "back" of the lasso drawing in 3D space - making the whole exercise a 2 1/2D one.

Using automated tools and rigs of every kind tend to produce what you would expect in an animation - an automated effect. Which brings everything back to square one. Why are we even bothering to produce animation in 2D when doing it in 3D solves so many automated problems? I think, for most people, it is the lure and aesthetic of making something "by hand". To get a "by hand" effect you effectively have to make the thing by hand - in the end.

Even Pixar, with their hoards of computers, custom software and animation slaves realizes the need for that "hand made" touch - and most animators produce this effect for their masters by hand-tweaking every frame a little.

Now, I think I have demonstrated pretty thoroughly what Grease Pencil was designed to do best - and, until it is modified to allow Bones to act on every Grease Pencil Shape as though it was a Mesh - the workflow remains one of 1) Making Original Drawings 2) Modeling or Sculpting the Key Positions 3) Using the Auto-Inbetweener to help establish the in-between frames.

That's pretty much it.

Those who wish to hand draw every frame can do this with many other FREE software applications - and good luck to you.

I have started my YouTube Channel (a first for me) - for experimental purposes to check the viability of several things:

1) Whether my teaching style was what people want.
2) How long it would take to gather a true "following". (not just "likes" and subscriptions)
3) Whether my skills and methods would be worth MONEY.

So far the statistics have shown a mediocre result. They have indicated to me that 2D Animation, itself, is really a "niche" market of relatively small proportions. They have told me that no matter what the length or depth of any video session is - people have about 2 minutes of attention span in them. They have told me that curiosity is what drives the general audience - and not necessarily the will or intent to learn. They have revealed to me that very few females want anything to do with this kind of technological endeavor.

These are some of the reasons that video channels which feature Cute Kittens will always be far more popular than one like mine.

I am pondering, right now, how much more time and effort can be justified by the current response - and whether there is a potential for a future, profit-making endeavor. I'm not throwing in the towel - merely pondering.


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