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Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:54 pm
by DK
This is something that has bothered me for a long time and I was wondering if anyone could share some tips regarding use of animated layer ordering with Smart Bones.

Frustratingly I can only get two or 4 animated layer orders to one Smart Bone group before things start to go wrong. I've used the extra grouping technique to avoid using animated layer ordering too much in one layer but this can be really problematic with complicated models especially if you have to cross over an object in another layer that has already been grouped with an object you want to stay below things.

I guess what I am asking is for someone to clarify the best way to group objects so that you can get unlimited
amounts of layer ordering happening with your Smart Bone Actions.

Many thanks
D.K

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:25 am
by synthsin75
Generally, SBs aren't best suited for layer order. That said, I guess you could make references of many parts of the model and make the SBs swap visibility to other groups that allow layer orders the first doesn't. Could get pretty complicated though.

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:55 am
by DK
Ahhh....That's right. I ended up moving to layer visibility instead of layer order. Only prob with that was the doubling up of layers made for a huge model. no probs. I thought someone may have some other handy tips they could share on this topic.

Cheers
D.K

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:54 am
by Víctor Paredes
In some projects, I have created a specific 'layer order' smart bone. Then I rotated that bone with step keys every time I wanted to change the order.
To work properly, no other smart bone modifies the layer order.

PS: This layer order smart bone is normally around 50 frames long. I just put all the possible layer order combinations inside of that smart bone, one frame for each order.
It's very hard your rig will need 50 different layer order combinations (less than 20 is probably enough), but I like to have room there in case the rig need to be updated or I discover there was a combination I didn't consider before.

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:01 am
by DK
Hi Victor.
This sounds amazing. I will give it a shot. Thank you so much for sharing your tip.

Cheers
D.K

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:45 pm
by Lukas
Víctor Paredes wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:54 am
In some projects, I have created a specific 'layer order' smart bone. Then I rotated that bone with step keys every time I wanted to change the order.
To work properly, no other smart bone modifies the layer order.

PS: This layer order smart bone is normally around 50 frames long. I just put all the possible layer order combinations inside of that smart bone, one frame for each order.
It's very hard your rig will need 50 different layer order combinations (less than 20 is probably enough), but I like to have room there in case the rig need to be updated or I discover there was a combination I didn't consider before.
I usually do this too. But it feels like a dirty way of doing it.

The other safe option is doing it manually, which is often fine anyway.

The complicated route of having extra copies of layers that have visibility or masking keys in smartbones is usually the easiest rig to control and you have some extra options because you can pretend layers are moving in and out of groups (great for shading that clip to groups!), but the slowdown of having too many layers in a project is a huge trade-off that is often not worth it in my experience...

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:38 pm
by alanthebox
Víctor Paredes wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:54 am
In some projects, I have created a specific 'layer order' smart bone. Then I rotated that bone with step keys every time I wanted to change the order.
To work properly, no other smart bone modifies the layer order.

PS: This layer order smart bone is normally around 50 frames long. I just put all the possible layer order combinations inside of that smart bone, one frame for each order.
It's very hard your rig will need 50 different layer order combinations (less than 20 is probably enough), but I like to have room there in case the rig need to be updated or I discover there was a combination I didn't consider before.
Do any of Moho's included example scenes include this setup? I admit my rigs are pretty simplistic and I rarely use animated layer order, so, I'm interesting in seeing how this could be utilized. Would it just be something like:

SBD frame 1 - move L bicep behind torso
SBD frame 2 - move L forearm behind torso
SBD frame 3 - move L hand behind torso
SBD frame 4 - move L bicep, L forearm, L hand behind torso

etc? And just repeat for any combination you foresee using?

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:21 am
by DK
That looks pretty close to Victor description alathebox. If it works please feel free to share the file.
Cheers
D.K

Re: Unimited Animated Layer Order with Smartbones?

Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:03 pm
by Víctor Paredes
I'm sorry, Alan, I can't share the files in which I have used this technique. But as DK said, your approach seems to be same I was describing :)