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A number of people have created music videos - hopefully they will jump on and say how they did it.
But your question just made me try something new, and it worked! I can now do a perfecty smooth linear drag between two points (not a curved arc, just a straight line).
In Character Animator, when you record a take, there are little squares in the corner that you can grab and drag to blend from the old value to the new value. E.g. you can set the default puppet X/Y, then arm the record button for transformed and set the new X/Y value and start recording. The recording will hold the new X/Y values. Stop the record and extend/trim the recording to the desired length. You then grab the little square in the top left Corner of the take and drag it over to the right so you see a slope - this will blend from the old value to the new value smoothly. I think this video has an example as well: Simulated Camera Panning in Adobe Character Animator - YouTube
The advantage of using blends is you can zoom in on the timeline view and adjust the start and end of a blend down to frame precision.
In comparison, if you record a drag, on a slow computer the video playback update can get out of sync with the drag, so its really hard to line it up. Using blends you get complete control and precision.
Well I had not tried it before, but you can blend drags as well! You drag the object to the destination, do a record (keeping the object completely still), then stop recording when the recording is long enough for the movement. You can then trim the take shorter (you might be able to drag the right side to extend it, not sure). If you played it back, the puppet would jump from the pre-drag position to the post drag. But if you use a blend, it smoothly transitions from the start point to the end point, in a straight line. You can grab the ends of the take and adjust them to again give you frame level precision.
There is another approach using Premier Pro. I sometimes export a video, then use Premier Pro features to speed up and slow down parto of the video using video effects. So I take character Animator output that is roughly correct, then splice it, then adjust the length of the clips (using speed up/ slow down) to line it up correctly, join the fragments back together, and superimpose the original sound track back on top (Because speed up/slow down affects pitch).
I might try to do a video sometime - probably easier to demonstrate.
First of all, I love your piece! I'm a composer of children's music as well, so I can be critical, but this is very good. Personally, in terms of the head, I would put a dragger on the head and try to move it in rhythm. Remember that you can record at 1/2 speed (.5) So I find that helpful. I had my puppets made for me, so I'm not as familiar with editing the puppets.
I want you to know that it takes a ton of time to animate. Hate to say it, but it is still extremely labor intensive. I've spent most of my summer on one 2 1/2 minute song. I've also found the CA usage instructions extremely sparse. Most of the documentation is on making a puppet, not using it.
Hang in there. -Sharon
Thank you so much for your thoughts and recommendations. I will be referring back to it as I start work in getting my character to move :-) Although it is a robot, I'd still like it to move as naturally as I can, so I too shall try dragging blends.
Thank you - Tim
i see that I cannot edit my posted comment so that my thank you was addressed to you... sorry about that
So glad you liked the song! Its one of many that do well in iTunes, Amazon etc and is used by hundreds of teachers so I'm glad you like it too. Check out the merch store if you'd like the robot on a t-shirt :-P
The dance moves I want the robot to have are those that i have worked on over the years so I know work well in the classroom and of course give me a clear idea of what the robot should do. Shake It, Shake It, Hello Song. Fun English and ESL Kindergarten Songs - YouTube
I've learned already how long this is going to take... I had to learn illustrator before I could even have robot to animate that I was happy with. From what I have read else where any movements I create I can apply to other robots that i have drawn, and the moves themselves I can also recycle for the other 30 songs I have. I've convinced myself that time spent on this one puppet will be an investment of time down the road.
As a Teacher too my time to work on it will be holiday dependent, so periods of no progress than periods of late night sessions. I'm going to see what training my school may pay for too, although i haven't seen anything to purchase that is better than the YouTube clips I've poured over.
Thank you - Tim
(Yukinori appears to be my school log in name... I'll correct that shortly)
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I just did a YouTube video of some ways to get more precise recordings of hand positions etc. Hopefully contains some useful tips.