Studio 2

Week 7 Journal

What I did:

I finished my rapid production project, compiled and rendered out my video.


Completed my Post Mortem blog and my usual blog. As well as completed my Transferable skills meeting. Due to the chaotic nature of my week, I don’t have as much physical work to present this week, all I have is notes really, which will be useful for my research report for my specialisation.

What I learnt:

From the tutorial link below I took notes from the series of tutorials, I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, and there are some sections at this time I don’t think I will watch or don’t know if I will watch just because I think that they won’t be beneficial to me as much as other tutorials.

Through my transferable skills meeting, I learnt basically that I am improving, but I still have more improvements to make especially regarding adapting and being more flexible to scheduling and to continue trying to problem solve by myself. That I need to work on talking more clearly and at times in a more logical manner. That I need to be less harsh on myself and be nicer to myself in general. Also that my positivity and kindness towards others doesn’t go unnoticed which is nice.

This information I have noted will be used on specialisation,  although not all the tools will be suitable. But as my cross-discipline project is 2D, the workflow particularly the rigging as well as some of the tools, will be very useful in the cross-discipline project as it more complex. Throughout there the sections of the tutorial there is just general good workflow things and shortcuts. Also I call the pick whip the pigtail tool or the pig whip tool cause it reminds me of a pigtail and its what I always think people say in videos.

Basic set up

Have to adjust After Effects to allow scripts to make file changes
Duik is its own window,
Set up with different tool boxes
Automation- “automated expressions for different properties” without keyframes/animating
Animation copying sections of animation and working with keyframes
Camera, simulation of cameras
When customising settings within Duik, for it to update the changes made you have to close then reopen.
The notepad, in Duik saves after effects, not the project file.

Forward Kinematics
Involves parts of the character being linked via a hierarchy to animate, pivot point where it joins to its parent, this means that it is a lot of keyframing.

Inverse Kinematics
Parts of composition controlled by controls which affect different layers all at once. Fewer layers to worry about and animate. Moving and keyframing the movement of the controller creates animation, compared to a moving the pieces of the character to get them to move
Use shy guy to hide unneeded files. Have control layer selected press ‘e’ to bring up effects. Double click on IK, the effects panel will come up,
Clockwise selection changes the direction that the elbow faces can be keyframed.
FK gives the option of changing to FK.
Turning off auto stretch keeps the pieces in the same orientation with each other no gaps. Can manually add in the stretch from the stretch setting, both positive and negative.
Shrink has a similar effect but works off how far away the control is rather than the layers.
When the Goal checkbox is unticked the part that the control is on will have the same orientation/ rotation as its parent, eg the hand will face the same direction as the arm. When its ticked the hand would be able to face/rotate in any direction
Designing the character with rigging in mind is extremely important, having body parts/sections of the body as separate layers are the way you want to do it.
Having parts of the body overlap prevents gaps occurring accidentally when animating.
Spacebar selects the hand tool.
When adding in puppet pins, a mesh should be visible, the mesh shows the area affected by the movement of the puppet pin. If the mesh is too small and doesn’t cover the whole body piece then the bit outside the mesh won’t move you can use the expansion value to increase the mesh size/coverage.
Facial features are within a pre-comp in a body pre-comp so that they move with the body, and makes everything more organised and streamline, then within the pre-comp facial animation is done. This also takes away the stress and tedious task of keyframing the face in position.

Auto Rig

With autorig, there are 3 different types of rigs, each depicting different generic animal body types, you can do the whole body or you can do it in sections. Parts the tail neck and parts of the spine, allow you to select several layers, through using a range, of how big/how many layers you want as apart of the piece of the rig. You select the layer/layers that you want as each body part.
Anchor points are still important for auto rigging, they should still be positioned at rotation/joint points.
The whip/pigtail tool, drag it from child to parent.
Renaming layers to names used by the autorig, makes it easier for it to connect stuff together.
If you select all the layers of the body, it means that auto rig will know what you’re trying to reference, if they are named correctly then it should automatically add them to the rig and will take you through limb by limb so you can see how it is rigging it and make adjustments. Labelling left and right with letters
If your character doesn’t have a tail you can ignore it.
Auto stretch is on automatically
When you have a controller selected you can change its colour, size,
shape etc. This is handy when you have multiple controllers near each other. I think it would be great when limbs overlap to colour coordinate them to front and back or left or right. Press update.
To create a master control, go into the controller menu make sure scaling, positioning and rotation are selected. Make it a unique colour and large size, then create and position. In this tutorial, he positions it to the right. Rename controller master. Pig tailing controls to the master control doesn’t work. You need to use the zero layers that aren’t parented to anything. The zero layers are created when the auto rig is created, ” they are used for parenting with expressions, so layers don’t go flying all over the place.” It’s best to keep them locked and out of sight so they don’t get messed up, but they are necessary for this step. And parent them to the master control by using the drop-down menu on the right where you can select parts of the character, that’s where you select the master control

Puppet pins
In this tutorial, the character is very simple and has the body and then each limb as own piece, so subsections. I’m not sure if you had the limbs split into pieces like bicep, forearm and hand how it would react or work.
To add puppet pins, select the layer/piece you want to add them too. Select the puppet pin tool from the top menu button. Then starting at the top, click and place the pin, a mesh should pop up, make sure it covers the whole part of the body you are rigging. Place where there will be movement/where joint would be and one at the end

By selecting the body part you add puppet pins to and pressing ‘u’ it shows all the puppet pins in that piece as well as menus for it. Delete all the keyframes for the puppet pins.
Select all the puppet pins and use the Duik renaming tool in the rigging toolbox. Make sure you select the pins, option, name :pin and select number from one. This renames all the pins and gives them a unique number.
As the puppet pins are going to be used to create bones, they need to be renamed so bones don’t reference multiple bones.

You can animate with just puppet pins but it makes things more tedious and time-consuming.
By using puppet pins as a base to create bones, you can use bones to create IK.
When creating bones you can go into settings for rigging, you can change their colour and whether they are null (see-through) or solid. For characters like my frog when I’m animating in a side on view, it makes things easier if you change the colour of the limbs for the front limb and back limb or having null bones for front and solid for the back for example so that it’s easier to differentiate them.
Select a layer with pins, select puppet so pins are visible then click all the puppet pins and select bones on the Duik menu
Its good to rename the bones, to the body parts they are representing, looking at what auto rig calls them is helpful, and add r for right and l for left.
With all the bones selected, go through the auto rig and make sure everything is in the right place.
Hide and lock bones cause they aren’t needed and they cause clutter.
If things aren’t moving as they should try unclicking clockwise.
Ik goal when used allows the child of a parent to have its own rotation (it doesn’t rotate with its parent ) it generates its original orientation/rotation.

Bezier IK 

Bezier IK is IK created for the use on “long chains of objects that are not parented together”. It connects everything and produces some controllers to animate the chain. Useful for tails, necks, rope and animals like snakes.
Bezier ik relies on an end and root layer, the root being the start of the chain e.g. the head of a snake or where the tail attaches to the body.
Make a controller for the root, rename it root, make a controller for the end.
Select every part of the thing you’re animating end to root, first the root controller then every piece of the tail, rope or creature then last is the root control.
Then go to bezier IK and choose between simple and cubic, cubic will give you more controllers and curves.
It’s a good idea to change the colour and size of the controllers that bezier created.
You can connect the first piece (root) of the animation subject to the root control you made, using pig whip. It makes everything move together then. If you don’t like where the controls made by bezier are positioned, press a and you can move them, by moving there anchor point without animating, this will make it easier to animate.
“Bezier IK also works with bones made from puppet pins. Its useful for rigging anything with more than 2 or 3 layers or puppet pins that need to be linked together.”

Rotation morph changes a selected property based on the rotation of a layer. Basically, the rotation of one layer triggers the change of another, the more it rotates, the more change occurs depending on the minimum and maximum rotation set.
Keyframes in the selected property must be done first as well as the rotation that triggers it.

Zero tool, is a bit confusing to understand its use without an example. Basically, the zero tool resets the transform properties back to zero, except the anchor point. It then copies this information into a zero object. By using the zero tool it allows you to be able to ” link properties across compositions and pre-compositions.”
It would be useful for facial animation. If you zero out what you want to animate and the control you want to use to animate then you can use the pigtail tool to parent the objects across comps and it will work in the main composition.

List tool “allows you to add multiple expressions, animations and automation to a single property of a layer.” Eg position or scale. It duplicates the property by 5, under effects and titled the property you want to add more animation/effects too.

Measure tool measures the distance between 2 selected objects in the scene, it gives the distance between both their pivot points in pixels.

Lock property, allows you to lock singular properties of an object, not the whole object. Select the property you want to lock then click lock property when it’s working the value of the property will go red. If you click the stopwatch while its locked it can mess it up.

The rename tool is pretty self-explanatory but is really useful with some great features. It allows you to rename multiple things at once: layers, pins or project items (stuff in the project window). You can change their name, or add a suffix or prefix to the name.
To use the tool, just select everything you want to rename, in the rename tool select the options you want to use. It can take time, it may break things while doing this, it will try and repair them. If it doesn’t it will say so in an orange pop up on the viewport. When everything is renamed click on the magnifying glass and it will take you to where stuff is broken.Rename tool is extremely helpful when renaming things causes problems. When the orange error pop up comes up and all the stuff has finished renaming, click the magnifying glass and go to the line on the timeline of the property that has a yellow caution sign comes up, hover over the bottom line on the timeline until a connected up and down arrow comes up. Drag down so you can see the whole script. Find a name that is incorrect, copy the name into the search bar in the replace tool window select active comp, then type what you want to replace the mistake was.

Wiggle adds a wiggle to whatever property its added too. Double click on it where its listed on the timeline, and adjust its parameters in the effects window, the amplitude is the distance/radius in which it wiggles, the frequency is how many wiggles per second. Loop duration is how many seconds until the wiggling resets to the start of the pattern/starting position. 0 in looping duration means it will always be random. If you select separate dimensions when setting up the wiggle, it allows you to change the X and Y axises differently with the amplitude and frequency.

To make a fake camera shake,
Make an adjustment layer, which will effect everything placed below it. Drag the adjustment layer to the top of the layers. Then search for the transform effect, drag it on the adjustment layer. Open up the transform affect, within the timeline. Then select the position and rotation and adjust their frequency and amplitude to get the desired effect you want, one at a time.

Swing automation
It will move the whatever object its applied to, on a selected property back and forth between 2 values on an endless loop
Spring automation
Adds bounce based off any preexisting motion of a property. ” It can be added based on either the keyframes or parenting depending on the settings you use.”
Select the keyframed property, the select spring, then double on spring in the timeline, and its properties will show up in the effects window. “Trigger speed is the speed at which the animation needs to happen with the keyframes in order to trigger the spring effect.”
Damping affects how long it takes for the spring to stop. Turning it down causes it to take longer for the spring to stop.
Elasticity affects the nature of the pullback in the spring if you lower makes the pullback more intense with the wiggle and shake. If you increase it the pullback is looser and less dramatic.
When you want to add spring to an object that has no animation, but is the child of an animated object, then as long as you are adding spring to the same property that the parent has animation keyframes on then you can add spring to the child. Select the property on the child then select spring, it will come up with 2 options “without simulation- light” which is on animated layers/objects and “simulated- heavy computing” which works on unanimated layers/objects as long as their parents are animated on the desired property. Choose the second option.
Blink automation
It causes the chosen property to switch or blink between 2 values constantly. It’s similar to swing but without the in-between animation, it is only one of the 2 values.
To use it, select the object/layer you want to affect, then the property you want to affect, then click blink. To edit the settings, open it up in the effects window, the frequency is how often it blinks or changes. Time on changes how long its on or off, by adjusting the percentage of which it’s on, therefore the remainder is how much time it spends off. “The offset will affect the timing of when that on/off starts.” The off value changes the values of the property you are affecting/animating e.g. if its opacity, how opaque it is in off or with position its location on both the Y and X axis.
Orient to path automation
Only works on the rotation of the layer/object to be ” adjusted based on the direction of the motion path.” Just select the object/layer that you want to affect, find a place on the timeline where it is already facing the right way, click orient to the path in the toolbox. Then go into the rotation of the affected later and adjust the rotation so it is facing the right way at the right angle. It rotates around the anchor point.
“The wheel automation rotates the layer/object based on its position value.”
It used to make wheels spin when they are moved. It works on animated layers/objects or on unanimated objects that are children of animated (move position) object/layers. The wheel tool requires the radius of the wheel. There is a measuring tool within the wheel tool but you need 2 separate layers/anchor points for it to work. So “make sure that the anchor point is in the centre for animation and measuring purposes.” Then for the second layer/anchor point needed to go to the layer tab – new- null object. And position its anchor point to the edge of the wheel. Select both the wheel and null objects using shift, then click measure. Then you can delete the null object and have the wheel selected. There are 2 choices in how the wheel is animated, either based on horizontal movement- back and forth motion or curved which is the same as horizontal with the addition of up and down motion, which means it takes longer to process. Then click the wheel button. If you click on the wheel property in the timeline you can adjust things, more interestingly you can click and make the wheel to move in reverse, which also means more processing time cause it uses the curved animation option.
“The move away tool is a simple link that adds an effect controller to any layer that will exclusively move it towards or away from its parent layer, in the most direct route no matter where it’s located in a composition.” “Move away is based on the parent layer’s position.” If you have multiple children that you want to use then you can have them all selected at the same time. The move away is basically a positioning with a slider and it only moves the children closer or further away from their parents, no matter where the child is. Get the tool open and use the slider in the effects window.
Distance link uses the distance of one layer/objects to the property of another. It uses the distance between their pivot points to trigger and adjustment of a property, if you link it to the property or effect of an adjustment layer it can affect multiple objects or the whole scene. So one object has to move for this to work, when adding the distance link you must select both layers you are using and the property of the layer that you want to be affected/scaled. If you open up the distance link in the effects window (can be accessed by pressing f) on the layer that’s property is being affected it gives you options like setting the range in which triggers the change, which could be used to make the effect on the property only happen over a section of the movement. Fallout allows you shorten or lengthen the time it takes for the change to occur.
And reverse so it could go from blurry to clear for example instead of clear to blurry.
Can use null objects to make it simpler to animate the onset of effects.

The randomize tool allows you to set properties (position scale opacity etc) at random values. it also allows you to randomise when they appear or disappear on the timeline, based on the limits/ range you set.

The time remap tool allows you to basically copy and paste animation without all the effort allowing you to make looping animations. Select all the layers needed (including zero layers if you have them and right click, precompose.
Then select the pre-composition you just created. Select loop on the time remap tool, then choose between “loop out which will loop after the last keyframe over and over again, whereas loop in will loop into that keyframe and then stop the loop.then select time remap button. You can adjust keyframes after time remapping.

Paint rigging allows you to have pictures you paint in after effects to be animated/appear in the stroke by stroke in the way you painted them or in reverse. First, you need to paint in Duik, make a new layer, select the brush tool and choose the brush and colours, double-click on the layer you are going to paint on so it comes up as its own window, not the composition. Make sure the timeline indicator is at the start. You can paint in different colours and brushes, when finished go back into the composition window, and double click on the paint property so it comes up in the effects window and click on paint on transparent so you see the layer below it on the timeline. Select the layer you painted on, select the paint effect/property and then select paint rigging from the toolbox. Then the paint rig effect is added to the layer. In the effects panel, it gives you ‘start’ which allows you to draw on and off the paint strokes (chronological order) and the end does the same thing in reverse. And diameter changes the thickness of the brush. All this is adjusted and animated using keyframes.
Paint group is applied to the strokes, it has all the same options as paint rigging, with the addition of colour, if it’s in the same group it’s going to be the same colour, as well as the anchor point, position, scale and rotation. Paint group means everything is painted simultaneously.


Toggl Report:


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