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Manu
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News from the front

Post by Manu » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:14 am

Well, bit of a dramatic title. All it means is that I've been doing some animation in Moho and these are my impression of what's lacking. And before anybody tries to get smart with me, I was animating in Moho, not AS pro. Both are pretty much the same at the moment, so this list is still valid. Seeing that Anime studio now has nearly unlimited development resources (joking! joking!), I didn't feel like holding back:

- Make the bone-lock work. Don't like them dancing feet, unless I ask for it.
- Expand the possibilities of the swatches. Add a "real" colour swatch, colour-wheel, sliders (RGBa, HSBa). Maybe under tabs?
- Allow for colour picking anywhere, any layer. Even a window from another application.
- Allow for drag and drop of colours between colour-wells and colour-swatches
- Allow for selecting of layers visually on the canvas. Maybe with a hot-key?
- Allow for multiple selections with the shape selection tool. I Wouldn't mind being able to colour a few shapes in one go.
- Allow for multiple selections of layers. With the possibility of changing any common parameter (eg. transforms, opacity, masking...) or dragging multiple layers into a group layer.
- Creating groups of points is a good idea, but implementation feels a bit anaemic at the moment. When I push the "create" button, an error appears: "to create a group, you must first name it". How about replacing that error message with an input field to name the group? Much more productive, no? Plenty of tools can create selections, but only the selection tool can create groups. This feels a bit inconsistent.
- Allow for creating groups of bones so you can easily select all bones in the arm, hand...
- Why not groups in fills/strokes?
- You know the contextual menu in the timeline? How about if you add an item called "Add Keyframe to >" with a sub-menu that shows all the available groups (points, bones, fills). So you can freeze certain parts of an actor (say all the bones in the arm) easily
- Add a key-stroke to create keyframes in all the channels of the current selection. If nothing is selected, add keyframes to all. Maybe reduce the amount of keyframes it would create by only adding keyframes to channels that have been made visible in the timeline settings. This would effectively allow you to freeze the pose of your character in one keystroke. K is still available I think.
- Allow for onion-skinning the bones, with an option of only seeing the bones.
- Allow for colouring the bones. Add "auto colour" function where bones get alternate colours as they are being created.
- How about a click and drag way of working for the bone parenting tool? Click on the child, drag to the parent. The arrow follows dynamically. The tool as it is at the moment doesn't really flow.
- Allow the IK tool to go beyond bones with multiple bones attached to them.
- Let the render panel remember the name of the last render. Add an auto-numbering feature. Specially nice when constantly creating test quicktimes.
- Auto numbering feature for saving project.
- Copy and paste between timelines, opening multiple project to allow copy and paste between them
- The whole idea of the offset bone for rigging is interesting, but ultimately confusing. Once rigged, you can't see your character anymore. Specially if you want to do something to the vector-layers inside the rig. You can't see them in context anymore.
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7feet
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Post by 7feet » Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:58 am

Allow for colour picking anywhere, any layer. Even a window from another application.
First part I have written around here somewhere, go through all the vector layers and find a shape under the mouse and yank it's shape properties. But I was a little fuzzy about how to do things (very bad code recursion, dumb on sifting layers) but I'm better at it now. The last part, tried but didn't know at the time how to get data back properly from an external library. If there's a good simple crossplatform color picker, (likely) no sweat. There are some harsh deficiencies in the scripting interface (I think ?) with setting style properties, but might be able to bust out something usable pretty quickstyle. Would be better if it was core, it's pretty basic.
Allow for selecting of layers visually on the canvas. Maybe with a hot-key?
Describe that one better. How about being able to select any layer by clicking on an existing object (point/curve/shape) visible in the workspace, would that be okay?
- Allow for multiple selections with the shape selection tool. I Wouldn't mind being able to colour a few shapes in one go.
Probably not too hard, a script mod akin to the multiple bone selection. Added that to the rest of the bone tools (that didn't have it) on my machine and seems okay, but haven't tried to beat them to death yet. SO I haven't put them up yet, but I think the problem is similar, and pretty easily solvable.
Creating groups of points is a good idea, but implementation feels a bit anaemic at the moment. When I push the "create" button, an error appears: "to create a group, you must first name it". How about replacing that error message with an input field to name the group? Much more productive, no? Plenty of tools can create selections, but only the selection tool can create groups. This feels a bit inconsistent.
Simple, I believe. If I didn't have stuff to do tonight for a Comedy Central pilot (not animation, makeup fx stuff) I would do it right now. Annoys me too. Should be spread across the point tool range, and a popup to enter a name is entirely sensible.
- Allow for creating groups of bones so you can easily select all bones in the arm, hand...
Yeah, ditto, but that's not one set up in the core scripting engine so more complicated (maybe too complicated to implement usefully on my end).
- You know the contextual menu in the timeline? How about if you add an item called "Add Keyframe to >" with a sub-menu that shows all the available groups (points, bones, fills). So you can freeze certain parts of an actor (say all the bones in the arm) easily
Hmmm, now that's an interesting one. I'm sure I'd use it.
- How about a click and drag way of working for the bone parenting tool? Click on the child, drag to the parent. The arrow follows dynamically. The tool as it is at the moment doesn't really flow.
uick look in the script, seems like a good possible tweak, the basics are there. I'd like this one too.
- Allow the IK tool to go beyond bones with multiple bones attached to them.
That would be good again, and it think it could be done with a script tweak, but I never really played with that one, most of the stuff with a lot of matrix transforms make my brain hurt.
- The whole idea of the offset bone for rigging is interesting, but ultimately confusing. Once rigged, you can't see your character anymore. Specially if you want to do something to the vector-layers inside the rig. You can't see them in context anymore.
Probably amenable with some tweaks to the appropriate scripts. Almost sure of it, so maybe you could insert a checkbox for alternating between the "Manipulate bones" behavior and the rest of the bone tools behavior at frame zero. Another one I'd like myself.

Theres a few there I may just do momentarily. Some of the more complicated(or impossible at this point)ones I have to leave for LM. And they're all backburner for me as I try to keep a semi-permeable roof over my head. But large chunks of what you ask for are possible for someone who has a little time to apply to it. I spent more time than I should have working on a mixer script ( (TM) Coming Soon!), and have to get back to other stuff for a bit. Unless, somebody wanted to pay me, I seem to have a perverse adddiction to writing stuff for this program, and I come pretty cheap...
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Manu
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Post by Manu » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:36 am

About that colour-picker. I was just looking at Flash. That one can grab any colour that's on-screen, including windows. Very, very handy. Having said that, a colour picker that can grab colours from other layers would already be 200% improvement.
7feet wrote:
Allow for selecting of layers visually on the canvas. Maybe with a hot-key?
Describe that one better. How about being able to select any layer by clicking on an existing object (point/curve/shape) visible in the workspace, would that be okay?
Yes, anything that stops my eyes having to travel from the workspace and the layer palette back and forth. Photoshop has a hotkey that gives you a contextual menu with all the layers that are currently under the pointer. Or more precisely, all the layers that are not transparent at that spot.

Well, if you could implement some of these ideas, that would be fantastic. Just make sure to give that roof of yours priority. If only I could write script. I've opened those lua scripts more than once hoping they would magically reveal their inner secrets to me, so far without success.
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