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Tippsy
03-08-2009, 08:04 PM
Hi so I have just started doing some character animation and I followed Williams tutorial on the walk cycle but my question is how do I use these frames to repeat the cycle after the first 36 frames are up or later on when I need another walking part?

hrgiger
03-08-2009, 08:29 PM
You can use the repeat function in the graph editor for animated channels. You'll need to adjust the tension on some of the transition keys to get a smooth motion.

Tippsy
03-08-2009, 08:41 PM
well my graph looks like the below picture so I have no idea what to do. my friend made a really complex rig so ya.

hrgiger
03-08-2009, 08:56 PM
Well you should read up on the graph editor in your manual but you can ignore all the channels that are straight lines. The ones with curves have keyframes that have been animated. You want to use the post behavior and set it to repeat for all animated channels.

SplineGod
03-08-2009, 09:42 PM
It depends on your rig and how youve animated it.
I would first put all the channels of any items youve animated
into the channel bin such as IKgoals bones etc.

In the graph editor in the display tab make sure
filter static envelopes is on so that all the extra channels with no animation on them dont appear.

After that I usually multiselect all the channels that have animation and create a channel set so you can bring up those same channels anytime you go back into the graph editor.

After you do that then you can set the channels post behavior to repeat. If you need the animation to repeat a certain number of times set you timeline to the # of frames you need. Select all your channels that have animation and hit the b key which will bake it all into your channels.

Cohen
03-09-2009, 09:54 AM
You could just use motion mixer, that way you can skip editing all those curves, especially as you say there are a lot of rig controls and what have you. And if you indeed think you are going to add some extra motion to the walk later in time, then motion mixer is definitely the best way to go. Its easy to use too, just open up motion panel, select the root of your character (usually a master null), click the create actor button. Then add all rig elements by selecting all bones in the rig, click add items. Then add all objects to the rig the same as you do with the bones. Then record a motion clip of all items or just certain parts you want to a motion clip. You can then squash and stretch your animation, loop it, ease in and out your anim clips, add other tracks and blend the motions together. You can blend entire animations that encompass the entire rig or just certain parts, like adding a waving arm to your walk at a later time. The only thing you'll have to animate by hand after setting up your actor would be to offset your characters postion. Thats usually done by animating the master null that controls the placement of your entire rig.

Tippsy
03-09-2009, 03:44 PM
Cohen: Where are these buttons like the create actor button? Are they just under the motion options or where? Sorry I looked but couldint find it. And also how do you set up a master null for contolling things like placement of the body because basically what I am trying to do is, I have the modeling walking forwards for 36 frames but then he stops at that point because I have only animated 36 frames and I need him to continue walking forward for more frames but I dont want or need to keep maually animating but I am sure you already realized what I was getting at with the motion control actor and null.

Cohen
03-09-2009, 08:59 PM
ok, I just made a couple of videos to walk you through this. Its actually quite simple.

This first video demonstrates the purpose of your characters master null. Its main purpose is to place and orient your characters within sets or scenes you have made for them. But the master null can have many more purposes. For instance, I am using this game character for a game, and I use the master null to zero out all of his animation cycles. That way I can animate him walking and running with inverse kinematics, and when im done, I bake the motion and then zero out the motion by subtracting the distance he travels by keying the master null in the opposite direction. This way I can get the animation clips i need into game. But thats probably too much information here, just keep in mind that the practice of using master nulls is evident in every kind of character animation you do, whether for film or realtime games.

This second video demonstrates how to create an actor, bake some motion, and add that motion clip to a track.

First I use those handy filter buttons in the scene editor to easiliy isolate the entire rig, showing only its objects and bones, eliminating any unecessary display of cameras and lights etc. Click on the root of the rig, that being the master null, open motion mixer by pressing 'F2' on your keyboard, click the create actor button and give him/her a name.

Now that your actor has been created, you need to designate all items that make up that actor. All the items are all rig elements, goals, nulls, controllers, sliders, and bones (So everything thats under the master null).

Start by adding all the objects first. Go into your scene editor, make sure your rig and all of its elements have been fully expanded in the tree view, go to the filter menu and disable all the bones. Now select all the objects in your rig except for your master null, and in motion mixer: click the 'add items' in the actor menu.

Now go back to your scene editor and re-enable the editor filter list to include bones. Expand the hierarchy of your characters object to display all the bones in it. Then, while having your character object selected, disable all objects from the list via the filters panel. Now you should have only bones in the scene editor showing. select them all and go back to motion mixer and add these items to the actor by clicking 'add items' like before.

Now your actor is all set! You have designated the root of your character (the master null) as your actor, and have populated it with every object and bone that makes up the rig. (That being all the controls, ik goals, bones, associated expressions, etc).

Now the next step is to bake your characters' motion to an animation clip. To keep it simple first time around, just click the 'create motion' button in motion mixer. Give it a name like 'simple walk', have the motion be created from the 'actor items' check box, and select the range of motion that you would like to bake. In your case, that would be start frame = 1, end frame = 36 I believe.

Thats it! Now just click the add motion button on the top of the the track view (right next to add transition button) and place it in any track you wish. You can now scale your motion, add weights to it, add pre and post effects, add transitions, add more motions and mix them. =)

By doing all this, you can animate in blank scenes, save your baked motion files to your projects' motion directory and start building libraries of motions. Also note that you do not have to bake the motions of an entire rig. You can, if desired, choose to bake the motion of only selected items. For instance, if you just want to create a motion file of your characters left arm, just select its entire left arm and create a motion file from 'selected items' rather than 'actor items' and be sure to give the key range you wish to bake.

Tippsy
03-10-2009, 03:49 PM
Wow that really hammers in how much stuff I need to learn about this amazing program and also hammers in the fact I have barely scratched the surface with what I have learned at school about this stuff!! But thank you so much for taking time out of your life to write what seems like an entire tutorial for me!! Thank You!!