5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2016 8:18 AM by oksamurai

    head turn 360


      I am making an animated movie and I need to show my characters from ALL camera angles -- including head turns. I am amazed that this is almost completely left out of all of the tutorials. Is CA just for front shots? How can you make characters interact, and move around a scene, if they only face forward, or 45%? I can do some work-around magic in AE, but it is extremely time consuming. Am I missing something here?

        • 1. Re: head turn 360
          oksamurai Employee Moderator

          Check out Gina in the examples project:

          Character Animator Examples


          She has several different body positions, which could either a) be set up to automatically shift via head turn, or b) show up via key triggers. If you followed her lead, you could do the same for any number of body positions, including 360 looking backwards views. So basically you would want one body folder and then several groups inside as separate triggers.


          I'm also planning to dig into this more in next month's tips & tricks video, which will include digging into our new intro cartoon that we had made by a professional animation studio - several of their characters have multiple head + body positions.

          • 2. Re: head turn 360
            neiltoon Level 1

            Thanks for responding so quickly. I looked at the Gina example, but like the figure in the tutorial "Making Your First Character" (~25:00) the mouth is only moved a short distance. If, however, the head would be turned 90 degrees, then the mouth would change shapes. This is where I am lost. How do you deal with objects changing their shapes dramatically. This is especially true with the mouth (front vs. 90 degree). This would require new mouth tags for each new shape. Is there a way to do this?


            Also, in hand drawn animation, a 90 degree head turn can have over 20 different drawings. To create a smoother head turn, I would like to suggest that CA incorporate a "flow" of images, rather than clicking between each image. Then after a new position is complete, all the gesture movements could be used again.


            The head turn section in "Making Your first Character" is very short and hard to follow. Please make a longer tutorial on this process, even if it is only 45 degrees. The re-tagging seems to be the hard part.


            Currently I have to make 3 or more different scenes in CA: a front view, a 45 degree view, and a 90 degree view with different mouth shapes and movements (in CA), then put them in AE and stitch them together.


            Thanks again.


            • 3. Re: head turn 360
              oksamurai Employee Moderator

              You would either need to use free transform / distortion tools to skew the mouths into correct positions, or create view-specific mouths for each. In that same example pack I linked above, there's a snowcreature called Wendigo. Note that he has a completely different set of custom mouths for his 90 degree side view. So it depends on how extreme your head turning is and how you line up the transition from view to view.


              Every time you tag something as a view like Frontal or Right Profile, Character Animator says "okay, let me look for a new set of eyes, mouths, eyebrows, etc." If everything is named correctly from the start, you shouldn't have to retag anything. Retagging only comes into play if you make big structural changes to your character (changing group structure), and even that will be largely fixed in the next upcoming release.


              If you wanted to do a 20-drawing head turn, you could totally do it - but I wouldn't recommend using the default Head Turner then, I'd do cycle layers instead. So have a default front head group, then key trigger a 20-frame cycle layer animation where the last frame is a group with a completely different head with all the relevant features. You may need to manually add a new face and lip sync behavior to this new group, but it would work.

              • 4. Re: head turn 360
                neiltoon Level 1

                Again, thank you for your quick and detailed response!


                If I use "cycles" it becomes overwhelming (perhaps I am doing it wrong). Let's say I want 10 cycles to do a 45 degree turn --  and my character has 20 shapes. That means I have to set up all 20  shape layers to have 10 sub-layers that must all match (so, at cycle #5, everything is in sync, etc.). This is hard enough, but then when I try to include a talking mouth, or moving brows during the cycles, things get all messed up -- especially when objects, such as the eyes, change shapes (not just location).


                I would like to request that you make some new tutorials on "cycles" and head turns, including when objects such as the mouth change shapes during the cycle (like front view to 90 degree side view).


                You have a great program, and I use it now for static shots of different angles that I later edit together in AE. Because my characters talk to each other, and move around, and look around, head turning is one of my most frequent images. But even using CA in the limited way I do has been a massive improvement, so thank you very very much!!! neil

                • 5. Re: head turn 360
                  oksamurai Employee Moderator

                  Good idea. Sadly I would not consider myself a professional enough animator to know exactly the best way how to do this, but we will try to teach about it in the future. My best suggestion now would be to screen capture modern shows like Rick & Morty, Simpsons, Bojack Horseman, etc, and see how they do it frame by frame. Judging from the limited examples I've seen, most head turns are quick and only a few frames - but ideally we want to give you the flexibility to do whatever you want.