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Deliverance Animators & Pose-Makers
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Deliverance

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Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 274
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:23 am    Post subject: Deliverance Animators & Pose-Makers Reply with quote

Hey guys!

When I originally posted this thread, it was in reference to the original Flash avatar animator and pose-maker on my page, also available as a sticker =) Most of the instructions below refer to that original product.

Since then I have added other products. Notably, there is now a PRO EDITION Animator, with many more features, including the ability to see the mesh. You can find it here.



There is a Couple Poser:


...and a Facemaker, for making facial expressions:


This is the help thread for this set of products =)

********************

Instructions [for the original animator] follow. It might look like a lot of information, but basically you just twiddle the bones and save =)

BITS AND PIECES



1 - Name of the currently selected bone.

2 - Joint type for the current bone. These are established by default to help you move the bones in biologically reasonable ways. There are six types:
(i) Ball & socket (for example the hip joint that operates the thigh bone). This type of joint can be moved in 'trackball' fashion into any orientation.
(ii) Pivot (for example the wrist joints). The joints rotate around the bone's long axis.
(iii) Hinge Y and (iv) Hinge Z (elbows, knees etc.). These joints work like simple hinges.
(v) Saddle (such as first knuckle joints). These are more limited than ball & socket joints, in that the bone does not rotate along its long axis, but they allow more freedom than simple hinges.
(vi) Fixed. By default, the hips, clavicles and metacarpals are set to fixed, to help prevent squashed pelvises, hunched backs and skewed palms. If you really want to move them, change the joint type.
Note that this is a drop-down menu, so you can change the joint type for any bone if you wish. Changing to Pivot or Hinge may be useful to rotate a bone along one axis only. See also Thingy (24).

3 - Reset all. This will delete the current keyframe. If the current keyframe is zero it will return the avatar to the default pose. If you hold shift while clicking this, it will delete all your keyframes and reset everything.

4 - Reset bone. Returns the current bone to the default position. The reset will not be saved until you click on a bone (thus allowing you to undo the reset).

5 - Reset view. Returns the view to the default position.

6 - Help. Takes you here =)

7 - Toggle zoom. This toggles the way the scene responds to mouse-movement. In the 'off' position, dragging the mouse up and down on the scene background will rotate the avatar such that you can see it from above and below. In the 'on' position, you can zoom in on the selected bone - useful for small bones like those of the hands and neck. Moreover, the bone will automatically move to the centre of the window. In both positions, dragging the mouse left-right turns the avatar around horizontally.

8 - Duration. For poses, it sets the time that the posture will last. For animations, it sets the time the animation takes to run through all 188 frames, though note that on export your xaf will by default be truncated at the last keyframe. Reducing the duration has the effect of speeding up your animation, and vice versa.

9 - Load. Opens a window for you to paste in the xaf for a pose or an animation. If you load a pose (i.e. a xaf with one keyframe) it will load into the current frame. If you load an animation, all existing keyframes will be deleted before loading the file. Note that while poses saved as xaf files in any application should load perfectly, animations saved in other applications will probably not load correctly.

10 - Save. Copies the xaf for your pose or animation to the clipboard, allowing you to paste it into a file with a '.xaf' extension. If you do not know how to make a file with a xaf extension, right-click and download this empty xaf file, which you can then open in Notepad. The xaf file is the one you need to see the pose/animation in the previewer.
If you are making an animation (as opposed to a pose) please note:
(i) You can save any keyframe as a pose by selecting it as the current frame and clicking on save while holding down the 'control' key. This feature will allow you to use the same frame in different animations.
(ii) Just clicking on save will make a xaf animation that is appropriate for IMVU. However, if you wish to continue editing it another time or keep a ‘master’ copy, hold down shift while clicking on the save button. If you do not save master copies in this way, on re-loading, the animation will be stretched such that the last keyframe is number 187.

11 – Avatar. Move the bones with your mouse to create your pose or animation. Try both horizontal and vertical mouse movements, since after cumulative rotations and with different joint settings, the bone movement may not be intuitive. Change the joint type to Pivot or Hinge to rotate around one axis only or use the Thingy (24).

12 – PelvisNode. This is a special bone that rotates the entire avatar. For instance, if you need to make a pose in which the avatar is lying down, use the PelvisNode to rotate the avatar into this position. See also (18 )– Floor.

13 – Background. Drag your mouse to change your viewpoint. The viewpoint will change according to the setting you have on the Toggle zoom button (7).

14 – Play. Plays the animation.

15 – Stop. Stops the animation.

16 – Copy. This will copy a keyframe into the current frame. It is useful, for example, in animations that you wish to loop, since it is an easy way of making the first and last frames identical.

17 – Current frame. Indicates the current frame.

18 – Floor. To raise or lower your avatar, raise or lower the floor. In other words, to make a ‘lying down pose’, rotate the avatar into a horizontal position using the PelvisNode (12) and then raise the floor to make the avatar lie on it. To displace the avatar horizontally, hold down shift while dragging the floor.

19 – Keyframe zero. This is the only frame used for poses, or the first frame of an animation.

20 – Frames. There are 188 frames number 0 to 187, each of which can either be empty (transparent grey) or contain a pose. If it contains a pose it is a keyframe, and is marked red. A frame becomes a keyframe as soon as you move a bone in it. If you place the current frame marker in a frame that is not a keyframe, the avatar will asume an appropriate pose intermediate between the previous and next keyframes (or equal to the last keyframe is there is no next keyframe).

21 – Keyframes. Keyframes are frames which contain a pose. An animation is made up of a series of keyframes, which blend into one another on playback.

22 – Current frame marker. Shows the position of the current frame, which may or may not be a keyframe.

23 - Toggle Thingy. Shows or hides the Thingy (24).

24 - Thingy. The Thingy is useful for rotating bones. It is comprised of three rings aligned with the X, Y and Z axis of the bone. One, two or three rings may be displayed according the joint type (or no rings if the joint is set to 'Fixed'). You can click on a ring and move your mouse left-right to rotate a bone along one axis only, as an alternative to dragging your mouse on the bone directly.


KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
There are a few keyboard shortcuts, which are as follows:

To change the view:
Shift + L - View the avatar from the Left
Shift + R - View the avatar from the Right
Shift + A - View the avatar from Above
Shift + U - View the avatar from Underneath
Shift + F - View the avatar from the Front (same as clicking 'reset view')
Shift + B - View the avatar from the Back

To change the joint type:
Shift + X - Hinge X (or Shift + P - Pivot)
Shift + Y - Hinge Y
Shift + Z - Hinge Z
Shift + O - Ball & socket

Toggles:
Shift + M - Toggle the zoom on and off
Shift + T - Toggle the Thingy on and off


HOW TO MAKE A POSE
To make a pose, ignore the controls at the bottom of the window.
Move the avatar’s bones to create the pose. Set the duration of the pose (8). Click save (10), and paste the code that's now in your clipboard into a file with a ‘.xaf’ extension. Use this file in the previewer.

HOW TO MAKE AN ANIMATION
Select a frame and make a pose in it to represent the form the avatar should make at that point in the animation. Do this for as many frames as you need. Hit play (14) to preview the animation. Adjust duration as necessary. When you are happy hit save (10) to copy the xaf to your clipboard. Paste it into a ‘.xaf’ file to use in the previewer. If you want to keep a ‘master’ copy of your animation for later editing, hold shift down while clicking save.

QUICK GUIDE TO TRIGGERED ANIMATIONS AND POSES
(i) In the previewer, derive from something (such as the Empty Clothing product).
(ii) Click on the ‘Actions’ tab.
(iii) In the ‘Actions’ box, click on ‘Add’.
(iv) Next to where it says ‘Trigger:’ type in the trigger word.
(v) Where it says ‘.xaf’, browse to your xaf file.
(vi) Where it says ‘Composition’, select ‘Replace’.
(vii) Activate the box that says ‘Disable Gaze’.
(viii) Click 'Apply Changes'.
(ix) Click the ‘Play Action’ button to preview your animation.


POSE-SPOT TUTORIAL
Please see this thread.


Many thanks to the guys at Papervision for the API, to BorisTheEngineer for his online description of xsf and xaf formats, and to FounderEffect for some awesome as3 programming. There are surely bugs, so please post them here =)

((hugs))


Last edited by Deliverance on Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:55 am; edited 29 times in total
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Mercuria
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



This will come in handy for people who do not have 3ds.

Way cool!

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DreamMint

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. It's not loading up...there seems to be too much stuff on your page to load up for those who have slower connections. ... Okay I refreshed the page and it loaded up the second time. And I had to click on the "rs all" button.

It's taking me a bit to get hang of the controls, but I think that's something you'd face whether using 3ds Max or Boris's Pose Tool.

And it has a head...as much as I love Bori's tool it lacks a head, so it's next to impossible to move the head and neck.

The options of choosing "ball and socket," "hinge y" or "hinge z" and the rest makes it very easy.

This is a great, great, great tool. Expect a lot more hits to your homepage.

**massive thumbs up**
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome new toy =) thanks deliverance

DS
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LucidityLashes

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sensational idea! Be warned. You will see me frequent your page more. Wink

~Luci~
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, thank you, thank you Smile

Don't know how you do it, but your contributions are always so helpful Smile (and that's an understatement!)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i love this EXCEPT for the view controls. i'd much rather have arrow controls instead of mouse button controls for camera movement so that i can get a direct side view, or a direct front view.

other than that it's awesome ^^ nice work!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its perfect in every way Very Happy

I love that I can use my mouse to control the movements; can't thank you enough for the amount of time and effort you put into making this as well as putting it here for everyone to use.
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Deliverance

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@everyone: Yay! Thanks for the thumbs-up =)

@DreamMint: Yes - I have a lot of stuff on my page. It should load quicker once you've visited it once, though, since it will be in your cache.
Maximum respect goes to Boris without whose documentation on file formats this wouldn't have been very feasible.
As for having to click on 'rs all' to start, I'll fix this. It's an issue with the flash preloader and timers and so on. I may just put a big ole 'Click here to start' button right across the middle that disappears when you click it. [Edit: Done]

@MarniDawg: Clicking 'reset view' allows you to see the avatar from the front. For 'direct side views' and so on I've added a few keyboard shortcuts, which let you view it square on from left, right, above, below, front and back. I've added them to the first post =)

@cyrstaldiamond: ((hugs))
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i see that now! totally sweet!!
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Deliverance

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've added a little more functionality with a few more keyboard shortcuts.

Shift plus X, Y or Z allows you to rotate the current bone around one axis only. Using these shortcuts has the same effect as selecting a joint-type from the drop-down menu, but I figured it might be more convenient to use the keyboard, especially when the avatar is obscuring the control panel =)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:12 am    Post subject: Re: Deliverance Animator and Pose-Maker Reply with quote

Deliverance wrote:
Hey guys!
I made an avatar animator and pose-maker in Flash. It’s on my page =)
Instructions follow. It might look like a lot of information, but basically you just twiddle the bones and save =)



You're so good to us. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't make poses but this would be a huge help to many. Very Happy
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Deliverance

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now with added Thingy!

I've added a Thingy to help the user rotate bones along individual axis. The Thingy is made up of three rings perpendicular to each of the axis of rotation. You can now rotate a bone by dragging its Thingy =)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this is a very cool and useful tool, and a good alternative to those who don't have Max.

Thanks for making such a great tool for making poses.
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