3 Replies Latest reply on May 22, 2017 9:53 AM by oksamurai

    delay of x frames after keyboard trigger




      I love the power of character animator for speech, basic facial expressions and the life that comes from minor shifts in posture.

      But since I like other movements to be more fancy-shmancy, I have actual animation sequences that I trigger with the keyboard.
      In this way I have a more natural nod, head shake, or the pulling up of a book.
      Now, since the nod or head shake are non verbal I can do a simple cycle layer effect. However it is more challenging to integrate the layer cycle of the example below (character pulling up a book). For the facial features need to appear in a new position (see the onion skin showing start and end position). Currently I have the body, and new face (mouth in the new position) triggered with the same keyboard command. However since the body and head change to the new position in the course of 12 frames, the facial features naturally appear immediately when triggered and not 12 frames later when the final position is reached. So for 12 frames the face is off.


      Is there a way to delay a particular action for an x number of frames when the key is pressed?

      If now, does anyone have an idea for a work around? I guess I could patch things up in after effects by inserting a custom drawn 12 frame sequence. But if I'm missing an easy way out, pointers are appreciated.


      Thanks, Johannes 

        • 1. Re: delay of x frames after keyboard trigger
          oksamurai Employee Moderator

          Nice character! So there are two ways to potentially do this:


          1. Add dummy blank frames to fill in the gaps. That's what Moose did here: https://youtu.be/9VG5R7fxuVE?t=7m48s. Basically you add some blank frames into one cycle so it matches up with the other.


          2. There is a lesser used feature called "pause layers" where if you tag a layer as pause, it will stop there mid-sequence until you press again. So you could have a pause only a few frames in for one match up with several more frames in the other, and then press again to unpause and continue. Probably not as smooth this way though.

          • 2. Re: delay of x frames after keyboard trigger
            donjojohannes Level 1

            Thanks Dave,


            Moose has quite the thing going on. And it helped figuring out a solution. I don't know if it is exactly the same, but this is what I ended up doing:


            In Photoshop I had this setup


            - folder

                 - face.... stuff (mouth) -> triggered with "B" (for book)

                 - body + face animation cycle -> triggered with "B" - hold on last frame

                      - image sequence


            Now I just added a layer on top to hide the rest for the duration of the animated body shift. So now it looks like:


            - folder

                 - body + head animation -> triggered with "B"  - cycle once (no holding on last frame), so duration is 12 frames. Then it disappears

                      - image sequence

                 - face.... stuff (mouth shapes) -> triggered with "B"

                 - body + head animation cycle -> triggered with "B" - hold on last frame

                      - image sequence


            So the top layer (which is a hand drawn animation with body, head and complete face) covers the mouth shapes for the duration of the animation (12 frames). If the character picks up the book and then starts talking, the audience will not notice. If he picks up the book while he is talking there will be a 12 frame gap where the mouth goes to the neutral position (as what you see is the images cycle through). Since I work on a video series and not a live stream, if need be I can fix this in AE by adding the corresponding mouth shapes manually.


            So this works for me.



            Glad you like the character. He's one of three that is going to travel the world (with rl footage in the background)

            3 friends_00000.jpg


            I work with an awesome artist but CH really helps out speeding up the animation process (especially when you are doing multiple language versions of the same video).

            • 3. Re: delay of x frames after keyboard trigger
              oksamurai Employee Moderator

              Wow this is looking super promising - please let me know when it's done!