What is best for rough exploratory animation?

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Rasheed
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What is best for rough exploratory animation?

Post by Rasheed » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:52 pm

Image

How about this little technique I have come up with lately? Create a flip book animation by drawing each frame in its own layer (in an image editor). Export the frames as PNG images and import those into AS, as a switch layer. Now switch the layers, and use the resulting animation as a guide for your vector animation.

You could argue, why not draw directly in vector animation? Because IME drawing pixels is much intuitive then pushing vector nodes. Of course, drawing on paper is even more intuitive, but I guess only if you use the tools for traditional animation (an animation disk and sheets of paper). I don't have that, so I use the next best thing.

What methods do you use for rough exploratory animation and pencil tests? I mean before you start your pose-to-pose animation.
muuvist
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Re: What is best for rough exploratory animation?

Post by muuvist » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:16 am

Rasheed wrote:
What methods do you use for rough exploratory animation and pencil tests? I mean before you start your pose-to-pose animation.
I'm an animator from way back when we used cels and a rostrum camera. Now I like to use Toki for linetests, you can hook up an old video camera and you're ready to go. The exposure sheet works very well and is in a vertical format like an old camera chart.

Please tell me about importing pngs into a switch layer: is there a way of doing this operation simply? (on a Mac)
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:56 am

For this I would use a video file. No additional work involved with layers and switching.
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Rasheed
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Re: What is best for rough exploratory animation?

Post by Rasheed » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:13 pm

muuvist wrote:Please tell me about importing pngs into a switch layer: is there a way of doing this operation simply? (on a Mac)
Yes, there is:
  1. create a switch layer
  2. put an empty vector layer (or whatever layer) in it
  3. navigate to the folder containing the images with Finder
  4. select your images, and drag them on your AS project
  5. AS now responds by asking if you want to trace or import the image; select import
  6. remove the empty layer from step 2
  7. reorder the layers in the switch
The advantage of using a switch layer above a video file, is that you can still play with the timing, by putting more or less frame space (i.e. time) between switch layer keys, and even remove keys if they prove to be unnecessary. Furthermore, for short sequences you will need more time to create a video file from an image sequence than to import an image sequence into AS and putting the keys in the Timeline, using the Switch Layer tool (in the Layer section of the Tool window).

Image Switch Layer tool
rplate
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Re: What is best for rough exploratory animation?

Post by rplate » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:34 pm

Rasheed wrote:
muuvist wrote:Please tell me about importing pngs into a switch layer: is there a way of doing this operation simply? (on a Mac)

The advantage of using a switch layer above a video file, is that you can still play with the timing, by putting more or less frame space (i.e. time) between switch layer keys, and even remove keys if they prove to be unnecessary. Furthermore, for short sequences you will need more time to create a video file from an image sequence than to import an image sequence into AS and putting the keys in the Timeline, using the Switch Layer tool (in the Layer section of the Tool window).

Image Switch Layer tool
Rasheed,
GREAT TIP!
I agree that image sequence files give greater timing flexablity. And with quicktime pro it is simple to export an image sequence. Image sequence lets you pick and choose where and when you want the images. Video locks you into whatever keyframe the movie image shows up on. As you are probably aware by now I like point animation and rotoscoping. So I have used both methode in my contest animation. I recorded myself in front of my iMac and rotoscoped my dialog for Captain Kirks closeup. And, I rotoscoped animations I made in Poser that fit the character actions I needed. In fairness to movie import vs image sequences the movie import gave more continuity to the movement of the animated character. I did't have to worry about alignment and scale once I did the initial setup.
Oh, I wish I had known about that import tip before. However, as I tested it several times, it crashed AS as I was importing. I may have been clicking on the import button too quickly. You didn't say that the import was only one image at a time as you click the what to do button.
Great tip for importing though. Thanks again, I'll use that often I'm sure. Hmm? I wonder, does that work for group folders?
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Rasheed
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Post by Rasheed » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:02 am

I used to have crashes all over the place. I'm pretty sure the culprit is QuickTime 7. It seems to be well defined in Mac OS X 10.3.9, but Mac OS 10.4.6 seems to have some instability issues.

Yes, I forgot that you had to acknowledge all imports. Sorry for that.

It should work for all group-type layers. If you select an existing layer inside a group-type layer, all new layers are created above the selected layer. This is why you need to select an empty layer inside the newly created bone, switch, group or particle layer.
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