PDA

View Full Version : Layout Animation Workflow Question



fahr
11-24-2012, 12:36 AM
I'm having some problems coming to grips with the animation workflow in Lightwave. I used lightwave from version 3 to 6, then moved to Maya and am now looking again at Lightwave to integrate back into my pipeline. With all those years spent in Maya, going back to Lightwave is a bit jarring in many ways, but all in all I'm really enjoying revisiting my old friend. :)

Anyway, one thing I've immediately noticed that I can't figure out is how can resposition non-animated objects in Layout with having to drop a keyframe on them? I'm finding myself editing objects and lights at various points in my timeline, only to have all my edits snap back to their start positions as soon as I move the timeline. The only way I've found to keep the new positons is to drop keyframes, which means that I have keyframes all over the timeline for tons of non-animated objects! Am I doing this wrong? Should objects with no keyframes be able to be moved and keep their new positions without keyframes?

That's pretty much the biggee. The only other real issue I have is more of a feature request. And that's simply to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE unify the navigation styles between layout and modeler. It's jarring and frustrating for (new) noobs like me to go between layout and modeler only to find two different navigation paradigms. Adding some alternative options to emulate other apps like Maya would be fantastic as well. I'm using Lightkeys at the moment and it's wonderful, except Layout's viewport still doesnt behave the same as modeler when moving the view.

Otherwise, I'm REALLY enjoying Lightwave, ESPECIALLY that dreamy renderer that I missed so much.

Thanks guys!

nickdigital
11-24-2012, 01:00 AM
You're not doing anything wrong. It's just how Layout works. Personally I work with auto key off so I add my keyframes manually so I just make a mental note if its an animation or a setup pose.

BeeVee
11-24-2012, 02:48 AM
To reposition static items go to frame 0. Yes, you'll create a key, but it'll just be the one (and it's automatically created anyway). If you are in the middle of a complex scene and don't wish to go back to frame 0 to do this, you can do it at any frame by hitting return, changing the keyframe number to 0 and hitting return again. If you have Autokey on you will make a keyframe at the frame you are at, but you can delete this one by hitting Del afterwards.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2807104/keyframe-small.png

B

fahr
11-24-2012, 11:12 AM
Thanks for the responses guys. It's not too bad to get used to, at least once I know that I'm doing it correctly. I plan to dig heavily into researching a Maya/FBX/MDD/LW workflow for my little studio. In the long term I would like to see Maya get replaced completely with Lightwave seats, but I've got some die hard Maya guys who won't be as open to change as I am. ;) One look at VPR should be enough to compel them to try Lightwave for rendering and lighting, but to use it for animation will take a while... I hope the developers are considering adding some options (like alt-nav) to help ease the transition for non-wavers. Time will tell, I guess.

toby
11-24-2012, 04:43 PM
I did see a plugin once that would allow you to move things without having to key them, I'll see if I can find it. But long ago I got used to hitting "enter, 0, enter" on the keypad when I move something static.

nickdigital
11-24-2012, 05:12 PM
I did see a plugin once that would allow you to move things without having to key them, I'll see if I can find it. But long ago I got used to hitting "enter, 0, enter" on the keypad when I move something static.

I think you're thinking of Dan's static channel lscript.
http://people.dsv.su.se/~dadu9329/evenflow3d/index.php

toby
11-24-2012, 05:22 PM
Thanks Nick!

BeeVee
11-24-2012, 05:29 PM
That's an advanced version, but if you want to make one yourself that's very simple you can just use the LS Commander window in the Utilities tab. With it you can do the following:

1. Open LS Commander;
2. Select a scene item like a light, object or camera;
3. Move it around and you'll notice the Events tab of LS Commander fills up with info;
4. Change to a frame further in the scene and hit return twice. You'll see LS Commander write CreateKey with the frame number. In the black area at the top write CreateKey 0. Next delete the key on the frame you're on and you'll see DeleteKey appear. In the black area make your script say:

CreateKey 0
DeleteKey

Move to a different frame and move your scene item. In the LSCommander hit Execute and you'll see a Delete Motion Key window appear, just hit okay. You've made a static key. Now you can hit the Install button in the LSCommander window and a new menu tab appears along with a window asking you to name your new button. You can put "Static Key" if you like and you'll now have a new button that will create a static key for your scene item. This button can be moved to a different menu and also given a keyboard shortcut (I use Shift 0 since you are shifting the key to 0, see? :)).

HTH,

B

nickdigital
11-24-2012, 05:34 PM
Heh, I made a lscript that does this but I made it manually. I forget about the ls commander.

toby
11-24-2012, 06:38 PM
Hm, I thought the plugin I saw didn't require any command at all. Unless you like having autokey on, it's barely any better than hitting enter, 0, enter. An autokey motion modifier could be a great solution, then it could be done per-object, and never bother with it again - if only I could script :stumped: After using maya and houdini, I do prefer the way they do it.

jeric_synergy
11-24-2012, 08:10 PM
Anyway, one thing I've immediately noticed that I can't figure out is how can resposition non-animated objects in Layout with having to drop a keyframe on them? I'm finding myself editing objects and lights at various points in my timeline, only to have all my edits snap back to their start positions as soon as I move the timeline. The only way I've found to keep the new positons is to drop keyframes, which means that I have keyframes all over the timeline for tons of non-animated objects! Am I doing this wrong? Should objects with no keyframes be able to be moved and keep their new positions without keyframes?
Ha! Welcome to my world: I've been asking for that facility for about six months now. If you search for "STATIC" in the thread title you'll find my posts.

The quick answer is to turn on AUTOKEY, and at least you'll have the new position recorded. I usually move the item w/Autokey ON, then make a duplicate key at 0 and delete the autokey. Yeah, it's stupid, I know, but it works.

If you download evenflow's Static Channel plugin (http://people.dsv.su.se/~dadu9329/evenflow3d/index.php) you can make individual channels be static, but as of recently Dan hasn't found a way to make that into a motion modifier, nor how to just apply it to all channels simultaneously, so you have to apply it nine times (one for each channel). Remember you can copy/paste plugins.

But, yeah, coming from an AE background, I too would like to designate objects as STATIC, and move them at will. A motion modifier would be ideal.

toby
11-24-2012, 08:40 PM
Dan hasn't found a way to make that into a motion modifier, nor how to just apply it to all channels simultaneously, so you have to apply it nine times
*Yikes*, that's what I was hoping could be done. Select your object and press a 'static' button.

jeric_synergy
11-24-2012, 10:04 PM
*Yikes*, that's what I was hoping could be done. Select your object and press a 'static' button.
Me too. :cry:

Well, the GOOD news is that Dan generously left ef_StaticChannel "opensource" so, if you are very clever you can use his code as a launch pad for your own LScript that will simply do the grunt work of applying the code 9 times. :thumbsup:

Sadly, I am not that clever. :( :help:

Another option is to establish a kind of "reverse KickStarter" (but not KickStarter) campaign that would accumulate funds to that end: IOW, LW users keep throwing in $5 a piece until some programmer says "DONE!" and takes home the kitty. I'm not actually sure that service exists yet, but it should.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_pledge_system
(not quite it, but close, since the goods don't exist yet)


(I don't have anything against Kickstarter, it just doesn't work this way TMK.)

Axis3d
11-25-2012, 10:55 AM
I have used the Modify>MovePath function to reposition an object. This can be done from anywhere in the timeline without leaving extra keyframes.

jeric_synergy
11-25-2012, 11:48 AM
I have used the Modify>MovePath function to reposition an object. This can be done from anywhere in the timeline without leaving extra keyframes.
Excellent work around! :thumbsup: (I don't mean that pejoratively, but since we don't have a STATIC function yet, this works.)

Perhaps moving MovePath right next to Move (on my system Move Pivot separates them) & possibly renaming/adding text to the button would help user remember this workflow.

Like this...
109368

fahr
11-25-2012, 03:51 PM
Well... it's not too bad, but only works for translation, not rotation, and requires different buttons for "Static" and "animated" objects. It seems best to just get used to 'return, 0, return' with auto key off. Heh, it's funny, that feels pretty familar to me. I must have done it all the time back in the lw 3-6 days. Seems so long ago, I can barely remember. :)

Cryonic
11-25-2012, 04:10 PM
Yep, and 'return, return' for items that you are animating :)

jeric_synergy
11-25-2012, 04:20 PM
I can't check right now (rendering), but wasn't there something that would Trans/Rot/Scale a PATH? "PathTool"???

EDIT: no, that's not it. Maybe something in IKB?