From a music / audio background - Part I

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From a music / audio background - Part I

Post by Joelsquare » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:33 pm

Hi there,

Quick background - I am a composer / producer / sounddesigner by trade: ( , and I guess over the past little while I've become a hobbyist animator.

I love Anime Studio Pro, but as I work on it, I find myself longing for some of the standard tools that I have in my audio/music software. I've had a few thoughts, some of which I'm going to outline here:

The first thing that I long for is essentially the animation equivalent of a SOLO/MUTE button. Maybe this exists, but I haven't found it yet, and I have been looking. In the music world, this is a simple set of toggle buttons that do just what the name implies - it either mutes the channel that you've selected (MUTE), or mutes everything BUT the selected channel (SOLO).

I've found that when I'm animating, I need to do all of the minutiae first - facial movements, hand gestures, etc., because it is simply too hard to do these after adding the bigger movements, especially locomotive movements like walking. For example, if you've got a character that you want to have raise his eyebrows and tells jokes while walking down a busy street, and have creative camera movements, it is essential to figure out the right order of operations for animating, or you end up needing to erase and redo. In this case, I'd start with lip sync and other facial movements, following by hand gestures, followed by walking, followed by background movements (cars, dogs, etc), and finally, the camera movement.

But sometimes I really want to not work in that order, and in cases like these, it would be helpful to be able to mute or solo certain animations without having to erase them. For example, maybe I want to do the background traffic first, because I want to make sure that my character is in the right location to have to jump out of the way of an oncoming car at the moment the recorded dialogue goes "Whoa! A Car!", and have the camera do a drastic movement to match.

Having the ability to animate (or, sequence, as we call it in my world) the locomotion of the character first would be great, it would really help with creating a natural feeling character... and then, once satisfied with that... being able to 'mute' the locomotion, and focus on the characters facial movement, get that rocking, and then unmute the walking, to watch how it all works together.

On the other end of the spectrum, let's say I get the animation 99% done, but the characters' left fingers don't feel right. it's quite difficult to focus on the left fingers of the character, because he's walking across the screen, waving his arms, and gesturing wildly. In this case, it'd be great to be able to 'SOLO' the left hand so that everything else doesn't happen, and those minute finger movements can be focused on with ease.

I hope I'm making myself clear. Essentially, sometimes certain parts of an animation make it harder to animate other parts of the same scene, but in the same breath, sometimes these are the things we want to animate first, to get a natural feel.

So, feature request: Muting / Soloing in the timeline sequencer.

I realize this can open some cans of proverbial worms, so I'd take the audio analogy even further - it'd be great to create 'Busses' as we call them in the audio world - i.e. groups of things that work together. For example, when you record a drum kit, you mic all of the drums individually, and set your levels to that all of the drum sounds work together relative to each other, but then you send ALL of those sounds to a single 'buss'. Then, you can adjust all of these together with 1 fader, and set all of the drum levels relative to the other non-drum instruments.

To translate this into Anime Studio Terms, let's say my characters left hand is made up of a wrist, palm, a thumb, and 3 fingers. I could then assign all of these to a buss called 'Left Hand'. You could then focus on the individual components by soloing or muting the wrist, palm, fingers, or thumb - , or, if you wanted see how they were all working together, you could solo your 'Left Hand' buss.

Yeah, I realize I'm long winded and maybe not explaining this too well. But does this make sense?

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Post by chucky » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:12 am

Click the eye icon on the layer tab with 'alt' pressed.
That will solo a layer.
If you have a look at actions, there you will be able to build motion for individual parts in isolation, then mix those actions on the timeline.
Just a couple of ideas to get you started in that direction.
Sequential offender.
my latest animations
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