Sliders

Animation tools, character animation, non linear animation

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ilac
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:24 am

Postby ilac » Sun Aug 17, 2003 12:38 pm

broken wrote:Sliders would be no good, since sliders are meant to represent a percentage or a position within a finite range. A LocX could be 1 or 1000000000 blender units - what do you set the upper limit of the slider to?

Hos wrote:I wouldn't say no good completely... for example, RVK sliders use the N key
while the mouse is over the key name to set the upper and lower limits
of the sliders on the fly.


That's why I thought they would make sense. YOu don't have to use them if you don't need them, but for animating certain things you set a range and use the slider.

For the NLA influence IPO its a percentage range so it definetly fits in there!


broken wrote:About visualisation of this NLA sliders idea, rather than changing the NLA strip to another colour, it would be cool to show the influence curve on the strip itself. You can find this idea in non-linear editors, using curves on strips to control fading, volume envelopes for audio, etc.


Well thats what followed the change of colour comment in my first message....

ilac wrote:Also, on the action Strips with 'Edit ipo' on we could see the ipo (just see - not edit) similar to a waveform in audio strips in audio programs

:P

guess my posts really did have a thorax effect on people! :?


Hos wrote:Using sliders with more than one Loc axis
however requires the same kind of skills needed to operate an
etch-a-sketch properly. =D


...in 3D :!: :!:

matt_e
Posts: 898
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Postby matt_e » Sun Aug 17, 2003 12:46 pm

ilac wrote:
Also, on the action Strips with 'Edit ipo' on we could see the ipo (just see - not edit) similar to a waveform in audio strips in audio programs

:P
guess my posts really did have a thorax effect on people! :?

D'oh! /me puts on his reading glasses!

I still think number fields would be good though as a general purpose addition (not just for this particular idea). I think the UI control to adjust LocX, LocY, etc. is a different concept to having sliders for controlling the influence of NLA strips, right?

ilac
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:24 am

Postby ilac » Sun Aug 17, 2003 1:04 pm

broken wrote:D'oh! /me puts on his reading glasses!

:P


broken wrote:I still think number fields would be good though as a general purpose addition (not just for this particular idea).


Definetly! Easier numerical input is a good idea!

broken wrote:I think the UI control to adjust LocX, LocY, etc. is a different concept to having sliders for controlling the influence of NLA strips, right?


Yes, initial concept does differ - Controling the influence of an NLA strip is similar to RVK's. ie. 0% to 100% ...and maybe more. LocX, loc Y etc are more global so sliders would be handy when you want to define a range within which to animate - which in a way makes it similar to RVK's and NLA strips! Think I just went full circle! :)

soletread
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 7:11 pm

Postby soletread » Sun Aug 17, 2003 1:20 pm

slikdigit wrote

that way you could create a slider that controled both armature movement and rvk ipos,via creating actions.


To have RVK slider and armature sliders in the same area would be absolutely fantastic.

To use the NLA would mean mixing linear and non-linear concepts. so instead of actually converting an action into a strip. one would just leave those action keys as they are and have sliders on the left. The minute you convert to a strip then the sliders dissappear?

And how would one show sliders for the RVK's here?

Not quite as functional as slikdigits idea though, closer perhaps?

:P

slikdigit
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:52 am
Location: Northampton, MA (US)

Postby slikdigit » Sun Aug 17, 2003 6:40 pm

Ok, I've had some sleep and figured out how this would work. here's an example with one mesh and one armature.
FIRST: what blender needs to add as a bare minimum to make this work:
1-mesh rvk keys in adition to being controlable in the action window can have named actions (mixable in the nla) just like armatures do.
2-clicking on the constraint buttons while a mesh is selected gives you the action constraint in adition to the current ones (track to, copy loc, copy rot and null) the actions in this case would be the rvk actions from 1.
EXAMPLE:
a head mesh with a smiling mouth rvk and an extreme smiling mouth rvk.
an armature for the head that opens the jaw.
a slider armature.
by creating actions in the first two object and having a bone (grin for instance) as the target bone for the action constraints, you can use it to make a realistic open mouth grin, with the final smile being less extreme/different since the mouth open changes how we smile.
SECOND: what blender needs to make the interface more 'cute':
1- a new object type called controls. similar to armatures, made up of sub objects, these are sliders. the object shows up as a small square when unselected, when selected you see its sliders, to minimise clutter.
2- the ability to use the slider object in the action constraint, or the adition of a new constraint for both meshes and armatures called slider, that ties the action between position 0 and 1 of the slider.
EXAMPLE:
same as before but now we have a nice named slider for the task.

NOTE: I suppose this can be somewhat done in python since the new api? I might give this a shot.
anyway its just another idea. sliders would be cool, but I think they're more useful when you can group multiple things in them. this is one way I can see that working.

soletread
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 7:11 pm

Postby soletread » Sun Aug 17, 2003 7:42 pm

slikdigit

YES! then you can control an entire expression from one slider? Not just a facial expression but an experssion that takes body language into account. Obviously depending on how well the character has been designed.

And if you create a new object called slider, you could then create a new window type as well and have all the sliders for the same armature displaying at the same time without having to select the relevant mesh.

So then would the slider objects be a child to the armature, so that in order to display all the sliders per character all one has to do is select the armature?

Is that right?

cheers

slikdigit
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:52 am
Location: Northampton, MA (US)

Postby slikdigit » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:18 pm

I'm not quite sure what you mean by body language, but my guess is you're right, depending on the design of the character/rvks/armature actions. As far as creating a new window type, that is a posibility, though I have a certain fondness for the 'hud' style display first seen (I believe) in Project:Messiah, check out the screenshot:
http://www.projectmessiah.com/x2/products/images/messiahstudio_screen.gif
as far as parenting the slider to a specific armature, I had thought not (though you could) because the slider could theoretically control various armatures and meshes. Instead selecting the (new object type) would show all the sliders that object contains.
I don't know how to explain it better other than make a mock 'tutorial' for how this could be done.
Oh, and this is actually all implementation. the main thing, I think, is to be able to control multiple mesh and armature (and potentially other) with one slider, and to be able to group relevant sliders together.
something I didn't mention is that a slider should be able to control other sliders in the same way, and that slider keys should be 'put-able' in actions for NLA mixing.

soletread
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 7:11 pm

Postby soletread » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:42 pm

Man is that Messiah character really rigged or what?

I see the HUD you mention. And I start to understand your concept a bit better.

The big question: How much of this is do-able in the current Blender framework? And would anything have to be re-done to get this to work? I am thinking specifically of the RVK sliders and the NLA.

The idea of controlling sliders with other sliders is a good idea, it would be fantastic if it was possible in Blender.

slider "angry" = "ClenchFist.R" + "ClenchFist.L" + 5 other facial features ? Yes?

----

slikdigit
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:52 am
Location: Northampton, MA (US)

Postby slikdigit » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:56 pm

from my (limited) understanding of the blender code this is indeed possible. And I believe this could be independent of the existing RVK sliders, and would have to modify the NLA to allow actions on RVK'ed meshes (I believe this was planned anyway)
your example is a good way of showing what I meant.


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