6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2015 10:03 AM by DarrinHughes

    recording selected elements

    DarrinHughes Level 1

      So I am currently working through a test project to help me evaluate what this product can do, the first of a series of custom puppets/scenes designed to assess different aspects of animation problem solving using Character Animator. One of the first challenges has been to be able to record/overwrite one or more specific controls/channels over an existing take without overwriting others. There may very well be an obvious and easy way to do this presently, but it isn't immediately clear to me.


      In this first instance, I have a set of six bits of replacement art I want to time to music and need to be able to record them one or two at a time, without replacing any other animation.


      My apologies if this is supported and documented and I'm just blind.

        • 1. Re: recording selected elements
          CoSA_DaveS Adobe Employee

          Are you controlling the replacements with the keyboard? If so, you've probably found that subsequent keyboard takes replace previous takes that occupy the same time span (twirl down the puppet bar in the timeline to see the takes -- at any point in time, the one on top wins).


          There are a couple ways to get more granularity than just trimming/deleting of the take bars. First, note that you select separate take bars by option/alt-clicking (normally all the bars that were recorded together in one take select/trim together). Before recording, you can turn off the Arm for Record (red dot) in front of each behavior and parameter in the properties panel (when a track item is selected) to avoid recording for the behavior or specific parameters when you next hit Record.


          You can also apply more instances of the Keyboard Triggers behavior in the puppet panel. Then by only having the red dot on for one of the Keyboard Trigger behaviors at a time, you can have each take affect only that particular behavior. Does that make sense? If not, please give a specific example of what you want to do, and I'll give you the steps to do it, if possible.


          Note that currently you can't isolate the individual parts of a face-tracking performance, so you can't re-record just the eyebrows without re-recording the whole face. However, since Face has an alternate way to control the eye _gaze_ (via mouse), that part can be individually re-recorded: you dial down the Eye Gaze Strength and replace it after the fact with a recorded mouse performance by enabling it's Eye Gaze via Mouse Input parameter.

          • 2. Re: recording selected elements
            DarrinHughes Level 1



            I did try and disable specific Keyboard Triggers, but it appears that its all or nothing in the file I'm working with. Perhaps its because I assigned the key commands in Photoshop and they are all now exposed on a single behavior, and adding behaviors after the fact has not impact. So even though I added new behaviors to each individual pair of images, unchecking them (white circles in the Properties list instead of red) they continued to overwrite, and the single Keyboard Triggers behavior that was generated when I imported the file disabled the whole set of 6 controls. I will try to remove the assignments from the PS file and attach them within Ch and see if that resolves it.

            • 3. Re: recording selected elements
              CoSA_DaveS Adobe Employee

              Naming the key shortcuts (e.g. "(B)") in PS or Ch should be the same result. Each Keyboard Triggers behavior will "see" all the shortcuts on its puppet or any subpuppets. But if, during a recording, you only _use_ certain keys when you've armed a specific behavior, then you won't have different keys clobbering each other.


              For example, if you only use the X & Y keys with Keyboard Triggers 1 armed, and then only use key Z with Keyboard Triggers 2 armed. You can go back and only arm Keyboard Triggers 1 and re-do X & Y presses, and it will replace the old X & Y presses without affecting the Z presses. We're still working out how to make this easier, so all suggestions are welcome.

              • 4. Re: recording selected elements
                DarrinHughes Level 1

                Hmmm,,, I am using numeric keys 4,5,6,7,8,9 to control six pairs of image-swap layers in six respective groups [actually I am replacing one image with (#!) and another additively for each control with just the (#) - basically they are images of a dome lights turning OFF/ON with a gradient behind to support the ON state]. When I import the file from PS to Ch there is just one entry of Keyboard Triggers in Properties, which enables or disables all 6 for recording. There is no individual list of the independent triggers, as setup in PS. If I'm understanding, this contradicts your last post. ...I may be missing something simple, but in the interest of identifying UI issues, I figure it is worth explaining.


                Also note another odd behavior - when these triggers are active I can have more than one active at once (e.g. two of these dome lights on at the same time and/or overlapping in time). But, some combinations of triggers seem to "lock out" one or more of the triggers. I was able to repeat being able to fire 1 & 2 but not 3 while 1&2 were still triggered, and could fire 1&2 along with say 4&5, but not be able to then fire 3 or 6. It didn't seem to be simply a matter of only two triggers being ON. The patterns seemed somewhat consistent, but the cause was not immediately obvious from the behavior.

                • 5. Re: recording selected elements
                  CoSA_DaveS Adobe Employee

                  I think this may take a phone conversation to work out. I'll contact you directly for further discussion. It also shows we need a tutorial on keyboard shortcuts and multiple takes.


                  Regarding multiple keyboard keys: keyboard hardware often can't handle more than a few keys being pressed at the same time, so you may be running into that.

                  • 6. Re: recording selected elements
                    DarrinHughes Level 1

                    I got the lamp elements to enable/disable for recording via keyboard input successfully. I still had to add Keyboard Trigger Behavior within Ch to get independent control, but it seems to work. I will be looking forward to feature additions to permit more accurate timing control for lining up takes and for editing within takes.


                    As for my comment about having inputs "lockout" if more than a couple are pressed at a time - you suggested that might be a keyboard hardware/communication issue. As far as I can tell you are correct. I plugged in a Logitech G-13 programmable keypad and that behavior went away. There are other big advantages to using that and other programmable keyboard devices, so I'll likely use it or something similar going forward.



                    testproject sample 01.jpg