Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

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masusaca
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Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:24 am

Hello, I am getting into 2D animation now and I want to know how to properly animate an image. The thing is that I don't like drawing in Moho (Anime Studio) just because it doesn't have the same feel like in Photoshop. In Photoshop is easier and there are better tools. So, I saved my layers in "psd". When I import that into Moho I get all of the layers exactly like I wanted. However, when I add the bones and try to move them, part of other layers stretches. I have done different techniques on animating an image.

Option 1: I bind the bones to the specific image layer, the result is that the layers don't mesh with the others. When you move the bones all of the layers move but you can see the cut out from the separated layers.

Option 2: If I don't bind anything and just leave the bones like they are when you add them, the layers will stretch everywhere when I move the bones.

Option 3: Using "Selected Bones For Flexi-Binding" seems to work better then the other options. However, there's still issues. The layers moved together and are meshed to each other which is what I want but once rotating them to the inside of the character part of the layers shrink.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by Greenlaw » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:31 am

If you have trouble controlling the internally generated mesh (i.e., the 'shrinking',) it may be because the resolution of the mesh is inadequate. If you're using Moho Pro, you would do better to manually create your own mesh and use Smart Bones to correct the deformations. If you're using Debut, however, this will not work since custom meshes are not supported in that version.

If you're using Debut, the options for smoothly deforming image layers are more limited, but you can try controlling the deformations by adjusting strengths and adding 'holder' bones. Use Selected Bones For Flexi-binding is a good method--this helps you define exactly which bones can influence which layers explicity, so you're on the right track there.

If you want the best deformations, you really need to learn how to plot vector points in Moho. By creating your own vector shapes, you can strategically place the points to where they'll deform nicely, and use Smart Bone Actions to correct any problems (assuming you have Pro.) If you want to use bitmaps with vector layers, you can fill and stroke the shapes with Image Texture. (This is the typical technique I use in the TV shows where I've used Moho.)

I like to use this in combination with Layer Binding and Point Binding. Layer Binding is great for layers or groups that need to be rigidly bound to a specific and you don't want any deformations to occur on the layer (typically used for attached props.) Point Binding is similar but you can vary which parts of a vector layer are rigidly bound and which parts can still be flexi-binded. You can still use Smart Bone Actions to animate the points with either method. These methods are generally used with vector layers, but if you want to use them with images, you can use the methods with Smart Meshes to precisely deform your image layers. (Or with shapes filled with Image Texture if you can't create Smart Meshes.)

Hope this helps.
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chucky
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by chucky » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:13 pm

Sounds like you are not quite getting the flexi. binding right.
Select one layer at a time before flexi- binding using selected bones.
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masusaca
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:37 pm

Greenlaw wrote:If you have trouble controlling the internally generated mesh (i.e., the 'shrinking',) it may be because the resolution of the mesh is inadequate. If you're using Moho Pro, you would do better to manually create your own mesh and use Smart Bones to correct the deformations. If you're using Debut, however, this will not work since custom meshes are not supported in that version.

If you want the best deformations, you really need to learn how to plot vector points in Moho. By creating your own vector shapes, you can strategically place the points to where they'll deform nicely, and use Smart Bone Actions to correct any problems (assuming you have Pro.) If you want to use bitmaps with vector layers, you can fill and stroke the shapes with Image Texture. (This is the typical technique I use in the TV shows where I've used Moho.)
Hope this helps.
Okay, now I completely did the whole character in vectors. I used images parts before and it is harder to control, so now my character is in vectors. Once again, even using vectors instead of an image I am having the same problem. Although, the stretching part is not happening with the vectors but they are not meshing (connecting) with the other layers to properly bend.
masusaca
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:53 pm

chucky wrote:Sounds like you are not quite getting the flexi. binding right.
Select one layer at a time before flexi- binding using selected bones.

I already tried like that. I have watched a lot of videos trying to figure out what am I doing wrong and I can't fix it. Now it's happening with vectors and not images.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by Greenlaw » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:58 pm

We can only guess blindly at this point. It would help if you can:

1. post the file and/or...

2. post screen caps and/or...

3. a video...

4. describe which version of Moho or ASP your using, Pro or Debut.

Without seeing your character design, and how you've prepped the artwork and rigged it, the issues you described can be caused by any number of things. Knowing which version of Moho or ASP your using also makes a difference in suggesting how to fix the problem because the feature sets between the two are very different. (e.g., Debut does not support Actions, custom meshes, etc.,)
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masusaca
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:33 pm

Greenlaw wrote:We can only guess blindly at this point. It would help if you can:

Without seeing your character design, and how you've prepped the artwork and rigged it, the issues you described can be caused by any number of things. Knowing which version of Moho or ASP your using also makes a difference in suggesting how to fix the problem because the feature sets between the two are very different. (e.g., Debut does not support Actions, custom meshes, etc.,)
I am using Moho 12 Pro. Here is a short video showing you the different ways I used to rig the character and how the manipulation works by using them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-xRajW ... e=youtu.be
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synthsin75
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by synthsin75 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:54 pm

For cutout characters using images, you need to prep the parts by adding rounded ends to where you make the cuts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HErhYNecAr4

You can also use Bone>Create Smooth Joint For Bone Pair to keep things like elbows from losing volume as they bend. For vectors, you can keep more stuff on one layer, and still actually connected, and then use more point binding and shape sorting.
masusaca
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:02 pm

synthsin75 wrote:For cutout characters using images, you need to prep the parts by adding rounded ends to where you make the cuts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HErhYNecAr4

You can also use Bone>Create Smooth Joint For Bone Pair to keep things like elbows from losing volume as they bend. For vectors, you can keep more stuff on one layer, and still actually connected, and then use more point binding and shape sorting.
I did that before, adding a round part to the end of the cut-out. The problem was that whenever I tried to rotate the hand, you could see the round part from the forearm.
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by Greenlaw » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:17 pm

I see...that's different from what I imagined you were dealing with.

For the elbows, the problem is that you don't have the artwork joints overlapping properly. The ends of the drawings/shapes segments should be circular with the centers of the circles overlapping.

The way I work with this is I create an actual circle in a layer, copy and paste it in the same layer, then scale down the copy to get the center point for the circle. Then, I move this 'target' over the bone joint and reshape the vectors to follow the outer circle. This essentially creates a ball joint for the character, like in a physical drawing mannequin.

I do that more typically with the wrist joint and ankle joint, but it really depends on the character. For a character like yours, I like to use Smooth Joint instead of Patch layers, because it's much easier to set up and works great with bitmapped images. (I used this method for the elbow joints of some characters in All Hail King Julien and Puss In Boots.) With a Smooth Joint, you'll want to make the arm one segment instead of two.

I typically make different hand poses in a Switch with some limited animation, which means I can't use Smooth Joint for the wrist. (It would be tricky anyway because normally you can only use Smooth Joint between two bones, but Victor Paredes came up with a clever workaround if you wish to explore it. Do a search for Smooth Joint in this forum to see his explanation.)

Alternatively, you can make a single vector layer for the upper and lower arm, and then use a Smart Bone action to correct the points deformation at the elbow. This will give you better deformations without any of the tearing your currently getting. This approach also allows you to have 'pointy' elbows instead of rounded ones. (You might also use a holder bone to maintain the angle of the elbow point. I learned a neat trick from Victor using Angle Control Bone constraint setting set to 50% of of the lower arm rotation to automate the holder bone's angle. )

As for the pulling at the chest, if you use Use Selected Bones For Flexi-binding properly, you can select all the torso and neck layers and then select all the spine and neck and bind them all at once. Then do the same with the arm drawings and arm bones. This will prevent the arm bones from pulling the chest and vice versa.

If you need the shoulders to deform with the spine, there are several ways to deal with that even while Use Selected Bones is in effect. A common way is to add clavicle bones and extend the arm artwork into the chest. If you want it to be precise, you can use point binding and just lock the points from 'inside' of the shoulder art to the clavicle or spine bones. You may want to use an Action to keep the shoulder shape looking right when the arm raises and lowers. (TBH, I don't normally bother with shoulder setups because it makes it harder to create characters that can turn. But I'll sometimes use this in more realistic characters and when making a full turn isn't necessary.)

Tip: When I'm setting up a complicated rig, I like to keep a separate 'test' project open where I can experiment with different techniques using minimal setups. I find this quicker and easier to troubleshoot because the problems appear in a more isolated scenario. Once I get the simple setup working the way I like, I'll recreate it for the final rig scene.

Sorry, I know that was a little rambling but I hope some of this info helps.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:06 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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synthsin75
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by synthsin75 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:19 pm

masusaca wrote:
synthsin75 wrote:For cutout characters using images, you need to prep the parts by adding rounded ends to where you make the cuts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HErhYNecAr4

You can also use Bone>Create Smooth Joint For Bone Pair to keep things like elbows from losing volume as they bend. For vectors, you can keep more stuff on one layer, and still actually connected, and then use more point binding and shape sorting.
I did that before, adding a round part to the end of the cut-out. The problem was that whenever I tried to rotate the hand, you could see the round part from the forearm.
That's the point. If you align the bones so they pivot at the center of the round ends, you don't see them much and they look natural.
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:24 am

synthsin75 wrote:
masusaca wrote:
synthsin75 wrote:For cutout characters using images, you need to prep the parts by adding rounded ends to where you make the cuts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HErhYNecAr4

You can also use Bone>Create Smooth Joint For Bone Pair to keep things like elbows from losing volume as they bend. For vectors, you can keep more stuff on one layer, and still actually connected, and then use more point binding and shape sorting.
I did that before, adding a round part to the end of the cut-out. The problem was that whenever I tried to rotate the hand, you could see the round part from the forearm.
That's the point. If you align the bones so they pivot at the center of the round ends, you don't see them much and they look natural.
I managed to fix the issue by just doing that but adding the round part to both layers. For example, the forearm connecting to the hand and vice versa. However, there is another problem with that. Now, they move the way I want them to move and are meshed to each other but when I manipulate the bones other layers (or the layer bone I selected) are shrinking or stretching depending where I move it.
masusaca
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:26 am

Greenlaw wrote:I see...that's different from what I imagined you were dealing with.
Sorry, I know that was a little rambling but I hope some of this info helps.
You gave me a lot of information to fix my issue. The problem is that I haven't been using the software that long so I can't really understand how to do much of what you said. A video would be perfect, but I don't expect you to make me a tutorial, it would take long.
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by masusaca » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:32 am

Greenlaw wrote:I see...that's different from what I imagined you were dealing with.
For the elbows, the problem is that you don't have the artwork joints overlapping properly. The ends of the drawings/shapes segments should be circular with the centers of the circles overlapping.
Okay, here is the file of the character I want to rig. If you or anyone else could please figure out how I can properly rig it. Also, the left arm is the only part of the body that is not cut (meaning that when rotated you can still see part of the other image on the back).
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Re: Image Layers Stretch When Moving Bones

Post by hayasidist » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:33 am

masusaca wrote:Okay, here is the file of the character I want to rig. If you or anyone else could please figure out how I can properly rig it. Also, the left arm is the only part of the body that is not cut (meaning that when rotated you can still see part of the other image on the back).
no file link for download!?
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