5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2018 11:30 PM by Felix Winkler

    Let this guy perform a pull up

    Felix Winkler Level 1

      Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 9.32.25 PM.png

      I recently created this Character in Illustrator and wanted to bring it to live now. Since I have had absolutely no experience with this I started with Character-Rigging in After Effects. After hours and hours I then gave up to use Ae and moved over to Character Animator. I already understand the basics of Ch, however the task to let the character perform a pull up seems pretty complex to me.

      The first problem is that the character is drawn from a slightly sidewards angle and therefore the right arm needs to be in front of the head. If I follow the basic structure of a puppet (head and body separately in a +"character name"-group) the arm is behind the head. Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 9.26.35 PM.png

      Also I can't fix the hands on the bar and let the rest of the body move around freely without glitching.

      If you could maybe tell me how I should structure the body and where to put the Bones, Draggers, ...

      And is there any way to stop a shape, for example the arms, from stretching?

       

      Thanks for your answers!

      Felix

        • 1. Re: Let this guy perform a pull up
          alank99101739 Level 4

          Fun challenge! Hopefully someone like oksamurai will jump in with some advice for this more advanced sort of use case. (He knows all!)

           

          Some suggestions in case helpful.

           

          When trying to keep the position of something relative to the actual character, one thing I have seen is to include it in the puppet. That is, make the bar etc part of the puppet (a part of the arm). Then nail it down with pins etc so it does not move. That way the hands are glued to the bar because it is really the same artwork. You can change the opacity of the bar during a recording if you want to make them appear/disappear, or have a separate puppet (that looks the same) for with and without the bar.

           

          Another approach is to put a dragged on the hands then touch that dragged once at the start of the recording. It will remember that dragged position and not let the hands move.

           

          Sometimes I put draggers on the elbows too, to give me more control. If you don’t use them, they have no effect. I assume you would put draggers in the body to move the body up/down for the pull up. if the elbows flop the wrong direction, that is when I record a frame or two at the start so the elbows start in the right place.

           

          Remember you can slow down the recording time to give you more precise control over draggers while recording. There is a drop down next to the record button in the scene window to change the record speed and playback speed. Can be helpful. I have not found a way to stop stretching from happening completely, but slowing down the recording helps. E.g. using sticks you can control better where stretches occurs. E.g. you would put normally put sticks down the arms to stop bends in the middle of an arm, but it will still stretch lengthways.

           

          It is too hard to explain lots of options with sticks, but put simply, put sticks where you don’t want warping to occur. E.g. you might do one across the shoulders from arm joint to arm joint, with a small gap between the two arm bones and the shoulder bone. That might be enough.

           

          It is also worth thinking outside the square. You can put sticks in the body and arms and legs, but put the origin near the shoulders maybe. Then put dangles on the feet. That way the rest of the body will flop around, dangling from the shoulders. You don’t have to tag them with “Arm” etc tags if you are not using the walk behavior. You can adjust the springingness of springs to affect how much the body will (or will not) stretch from the dangles.

           

          But since you are doing something a bit different, expect to need to do some experimentation. Just remember that what is in front of other things is controlled by the ordering of the layers. So you need to nail that down first. E.g. the bar might really need to be two bars that just look joined in the middle, so one can be attached to the left hand and now to the right, where the hands are attached to one arm in front of the body and the other arm behind the body. 

           

          It could be tricky if the head is meant to be behind the bar. Even more tricky if you then want the head to go in front of the bar (e.g. the chin). That is when you start looking at creating two puppets (e.g. a head only) so you can play with the depth arrangement easier.

           

          Good luck!

          2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Let this guy perform a pull up
            Dan Ramirez Adobe Employee

            If you post your project/.puppet, I can have a go at it.

            • 3. Re: Let this guy perform a pull up
              Felix Winkler Level 1

              Here's the link to my Dropbox:

               

              For the Ai: Dropbox - Pull Up.ai

               

              For the puppet: Dropbox - Pull Up.puppet

              • 4. Re: Let this guy perform a pull up
                Dan Ramirez Adobe Employee

                Got it. Great puppet and interesting problem.

                 

                I ended up animating the hands individually downward, then animating position Y for the entire pullup assembly. Adding extra animation to the body using Face or Dragger would help considerably.

                 

                Of course, once you put this in a scene, you'd need to compensate for that background moving by applying the inverse of that motion.

                 

                What I really want to do is animate his body and let the arms bend automatically, then correct any awkward shapes by putting the joints where you want them using the Dragger. Unfortunately, I think we've got some layer order issues where that prevent that from being a viable solution.

                 

                In any case, great idea. You've given us a really helpful file to spend some time thinking about.

                Dan R.
                CH QA

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Let this guy perform a pull up
                  Felix Winkler Level 1

                  Thank you very much for your efforts, I really appreciate it!

                   

                  What I really want to do is animate his body and let the arms bend automatically, then correct any awkward shapes by putting the joints where you want them using the Dragger. Unfortunately, I think we've got some layer order issues where that prevent that from being a viable solution.

                   

                  This would be a great idea to do it, how would I need to arrange the layers? As you may have seen I have also linked the Dropbox to the Ai, so help yourself!

                   

                  Felix Winkler