Thursday, 29 May 2008

workflow life savers

some things i found to help MASSIVELY when it comes to workflow in animation

use digicam instead of video cam for reference
- no need for recoding resizing importing

use tools that can draw over video and save only your drawings out as an image sequence
- bauhaus mirage - flipbook by koshigaya

grease pencil tool by jason schleifer for drawing in maya

blocking all poses out in the beginning - so not timing the poses
whole shot has 10 keyposes - you have all those poses on the first 10 frames

timing those poses out and setting interpolation to "step tangents"

going from stepped to copied pairs
(having all keys interpolation on linear - hold the keyposes for certain ammount of frames with a 2nd copy of that pose)

color coding the important poses in the timeline with the special key tick color function
1 Select Window > Settings/Preferences > Colors > Animation.
2 Choose a Time Slider Tick Special color and click Save.
3 In the Graph Editor, select the keyframe(s) you want drawn in the Time Slider Tick Special color.
4 In the Command Line or Script Editor, enter the keyframe MEL command with the -tickDrawSpecial(-tds)
flag as follows:
keyframe -tds on
The keyframes you selected and set the -tds flag for are now drawn with Time Slider Tick Special color in the Time Slider.

use tween machine by justin barret to help creating rough inbetweens
then make them nicer

make a lot of inbetweens - put overlap and follow through into inbetweens
break up the spine and head and arms and hands in the inbetweens
every 4th frame a pose - every 2nd frame a pose
then go to spline

use video software that allows drawing frame by frame over the playblast/capture
like flipbook by koshigaya or mirage or tvpaint or fcheck(rightclick draws in WIN(not osx))
to give yourself feedback on your animation
doing that in 2d instead of in the 3d app helps a lot and drawing it on the video even more


there is also a tool calles AnimTools by dimos that has a couple of nice features mentioned here all in one package
but its not free like the ones i mentioned

other softwares like xsi or 3d studio max may have the same tools
i know for a fact that xsi has the grease pencil tool and the tweenmachine - just google them


cartoonist said...

thanx for ur great info........
i hv 1 question wht u mean by grease pencil tool by jason schleifer for drawing in maya???is that a plug in??and whr i ill get that??
thanx in advance....

Kris Staber said...


there are a couple of versions out there
or just google it

G1toons said...

i had a question about the special key colour thing what keyframe mel are you talking about? thanks

Josh Bowman said...

Realise I'm late to the party but I created a special key tick mel script that you can just stick in your shelf and it'll turn your key ticks on and off and change the colour without having to go through the settings.

Get it here:

vadi said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Flipbook Software