Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

A place to discuss non-Moho software for use in animation. Video editors, audio editors, 3D modelers, etc.

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

Post by exile » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:18 pm

Psmith wrote:Here's how to setup and optimize Blender's Grease Pencil Interface. It's a breeze !

Next - and very soon - "How to Draw, Paint and Animate with Grease Pencil"

Though it very likely will never change - I hereby state I hate the name of these Blender 2D animation tools.


Greg Smith
First of all, an apology for barraging you with frantic personal messages! I guess "a breeze" is a matter of definition. Got it set on my laptop/tablet according to instructions, saving the startup file every time I got a step down right. Several times, instead of closing a panel, the same mouse movement doubled it. I closed the program at least six times and tried again, finally it looks like on the video. Whew!
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:06 pm

Steve:

It's quite alright to ask all questions - personal or not. Everybody is benefitting from these questions - and their answers.

It is a chore to set this up. But, once it's done - NEVER AGAIN. Your friend is "Cntrl-U" (Save Startup File)

I just downloaded and tried the "Official" Blender 2.78 - for Mac - which was released today. It is missing some very important features that are in the "Blender Builder" release for Mac from several days ago. I haven't checked the Windows Official 2.78 version.

Since my experience of the Mac "Blender Builder" release candidate 2.78 has shown that it is quite stable and includes these important functions left out in the Official Build - just stay with me, you other Mac users out there. It works - as I will demonstrate, today, with a new video session.

I'll check and comment on whether both, or either, the Windows Official 2.78 build or the Blender Builder Release Candidate for 2.78 works and contains the important functions.

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

Post by exile » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:22 pm

Psmith wrote:Steve:


It is a chore to set this up. But, once it's done - NEVER AGAIN. Your friend is "Cntrl-U" (Save Startup File)


Greg Smith
That's the one shortcut I really learned today - and now I don't need it any more!
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herbert123
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by herbert123 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:22 pm

Hey Greg,

Nice to see a new 'convert' :-P

I agree that I can be a tad over-enthusiastic about Blender; I guess I am spoiled (take that any way you like) after a decade of Blender use (and I have used other 3d software quite intensively as well). And now that those nice new 2d animation tools have been integrated, it really becomes a full-on 2d and 3d (and mixed) production studio app - with that nice built-in nodal compositor!

And thank you for the GP video tutorials. I believe you are the first one to create such calm and easy-to-follow GP tutorials. You should post them over in the Blender Artists forum as well - I think many users will appreciate your videos quite a bit.

As for the lack for mesh deformation tools: no need for specific mesh deformation tools in Blender: those are built-in by default.
For example, install the COA tools addon, and load up the 2d "Stip" cutout example character.
https://github.com/ndee85/coa_tools

1) select Stip's head rectangle.
2) enter Edit mode (tab)
3) press A to select the face, and W-->subdivide to add more faces. You can also create your own mesh cuts for more control, of course. This is similar to OpenTOonz's mesh add option.
4) select one or more vertices, and create a new named vertex group. For example, select a vertex of Stip's snout.
5) save this selection as a vertex group. (object data tab in the properties panel), and assign the vertex (vertices) to this new vertex group.
6) create an empty object. Name it "Snout controller".
7) select the head rectangle again, and add a HOOK modifier. (modifier panel)
8) select the snout controller in the object field, and the snout vertex group in the vertex group field.

Done! You may have to re-position the controller object. And the falloff type, strength and radius can also be controlled in the hook modifier properties. To animate the mesh deformation, just animate the position of the empty. Even all the hook's properties may be animated, including the fall-off radius and strength.

Pretty powerful stuff. Btw, the controller object should be parented, otherwise you get strange results when the character as a whole moves.

Obviously, an alternate approach would be to assign multiple bones that deform the mesh.

I am not aware whether the hook modifier works with GP tools - but then again, the default selection tools allow for a lot of deformation control with falloffs anyway.

Have fun exploring, and I will be following your tutorials with much interest. Assuredly so!
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by herbert123 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:25 pm

herbert123 wrote:Hey Greg,

Nice to see a new 'convert' :-P

I agree that I can be a tad over-enthusiastic about Blender; I guess I am spoiled (take that any way you like) after a decade of Blender use (and I have used other 3d software quite intensively as well). And now that those nice new 2d animation tools have been integrated, it really becomes a full-on 2d and 3d (and mixed) production studio app - with that nice built-in nodal compositor!

And thank you for the GP video tutorials. I believe you are the first one to create such calm and easy-to-follow GP tutorials. You should post them over in the Blender Artists forum as well - I think many users will appreciate your videos quite a bit.

As for the lack for mesh deformation tools: no need for specific mesh deformation tools in Blender: those are built-in by default.
For example, install the COA tools addon, and load up the 2d "Stip" cutout example character.
https://github.com/ndee85/coa_tools

1) select Stip's head rectangle.
2) enter Edit mode (tab)
3) press A to select the face, and W-->subdivide to add more faces. You can also create your own mesh cuts for more control, of course. This is similar to OpenTOonz's mesh add option.
4) select one or more vertices, and create a new named vertex group. For example, select a vertex of Stip's snout.
5) save this selection as a vertex group. (object data tab in the properties panel), and assign the vertex (vertices) to this new vertex group.
6) create an empty object. Name it "Snout controller".
7) select the head rectangle again, and add a HOOK modifier. (modifier panel)
8) select the snout controller in the object field, and the snout vertex group in the vertex group field.

Done! You may have to re-position the controller object. And the falloff type, strength and radius can also be controlled in the hook modifier properties. To animate the mesh deformation, just animate the position of the empty. Even all the hook's properties may be animated, including the fall-off radius and strength.

Pretty powerful stuff. Btw, the controller object should be parented, otherwise you get strange results when the character as a whole moves. Or animate the character in-place, and later position it in the scene by linking, and animating the overall movement.

Obviously, an alternate approach would be to assign multiple bones that deform the mesh.

I am not aware whether the hook modifier works with GP tools - but then again, the default selection tools allow for a lot of deformation control with falloffs anyway.

Have fun exploring, and I will be following your tutorials with much interest. Assuredly so!
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:41 pm

Herbert:

Yes, the more I examine the Grease Pencil suite of tools - the more I am impressed - even excited. Even more so since I have learned to streamline the interface - tailoring it for Grease Pencil use. Thanks for helping to change my mind.

Today's experimentation has revealed that all character "Limb" bending, posing and animating can be done completely without Bones - probably in a way that is much simpler and straightforward, more flexible and fun. Much more "artist-friendly" than trying to rig everything.

Regarding "Meshes" - as found in OpenToonz and now in Moho - these are entirely unnecessary - really. The Grease Pencil Sculpting Tools have everything one needs to reshape and smooth all Grease Pencil strokes and shapes - with incredible speed and flexibility.

Also, the DopeSheet is soooo fast and direct for composing animations - with instantaneous Mouse Controlled Zooming, Panning, Selecting and Range Setting. Lengthening and Shortening of an Animation is a click and Single Keystroke endeavor (with Mouse Dragging).

There are many, many advantages to using the Grease Pencil system - which I hope to soon chronicle on my YouTube Channel.


Thanks again,

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

Post by Psmith » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:53 pm

Unfortunately, I have just verified that some of the most important Grease Pencil functions are missing in the Official 2.78 Windows build - as released on the Blender.org website. Namely, these are the Stroke Subdivision Tools and all of the "Automatic In-Betweening" Tools.

However, these important Tools and Functions are included and working fine in the latest "Blender Builder" 2.78 releases for Windows and Mac.

So, don't be afraid to use these Blender Builder releases - since they are reliable and the important functions all work.

I think you will love it.


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

Post by Psmith » Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:36 am

Here is my "Foundational" Grease Pencil Drawing, Sculpting, Animating and Automatic In-Betweening video:



The emphasis is in using Grease Pencil in the fastest, most efficient manner - using Keyboard Shortcuts and Mouse-Click functions.

Of course, I tried to present all of the most important ones verbally and textually - but repetition can only be valuable for those who will work to memorize these things.

A little exploration will reveal all of the buttons and menus that accomplish the same thing - for those who prefer to work this way.

I think you will like it and learn a lot.


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

Post by exile » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:54 pm

herbert123 wrote:Hey Greg,

Nice to see a new 'convert' :-P
A convert who's now buried under tons of new things to learn! I'm still pretty impressed with some features of Open Toonz, but evaluating Blender will keep me busy for a while.

A warning and encouragement to others:
Warning: A twelve-minute tutorial by Greg does not mean you are done with it in 12 minutes! It's a stop, go back and repeat the next day type of thing, packed with info.
Encouragement: So far, it's always been worth the trouble.

Edit on Oct. 4th: Can't get the in-betweener working - not too sad about it, I can continue experiments with Open Toonz until that gets sorted out.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:43 am

A brand new video featuring Bone Rigs, Squash & Stretch, Motion Paths and Dope Sheet time saving methods:



Here is the link for the entire Grease Pencil Playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... YcYjp6-b7A

I hope you enjoy these - and learn a lot - quickly,


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

Post by Psmith » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:25 pm

The One-Legged Man:




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

Post by exile » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Nice little example, after another hour's worth of information packed into 5 minutes. The musical introduction is tops.

I've had to put Blender GP on hold until I can get auto-tween working, hope that gets taken care of for Windoze soon.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:11 pm

Exile:

No need to hang GP up. Have you tried using the "Blender Builder" latest version of 2.78 for Windows? These are also quite stable, too:

https://builder.blender.org/download/

I believe all of the "Interpolation" controls and settings are working in the latest Build.

You just gotta keep going, here.


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

Post by exile » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:36 pm

Thanks Greg, I thought that was the one I had, but I took something with a Windows installer instead of the zip versions. Maybe that's the problem. I'll try again tomorrow and will let you know if it works. Cheerios, Steve
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:26 am

Exile:

Raisin Bran !

Greg Smith
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