12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2009 12:00 PM by Adolfo Rozenfeld

    A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?

    Ramon0

      Hello! Well, if I can't add an Expression to an unanimatable feature (let's say Mesh "Expansion" setting of a Puppet Mesh i.e.) I can't link an Expression Cotrol Effect to animate it, so... Could exist any other way to achive this goal? Maybe by scripting or any other kind of helper that allow more control at any other level? It can seams weird, but It'd be very important to me can animate this kind of features for experiment pourposes! So... thanks for any hepl/ideain advance.

        • 1. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

          Well, it depends on the unanimatable feature in question

          For example, the lack of keyframes for blend modes is often circumvented with the Calculations effect (which does allow setting keyframes for modes).

          For Mesh Expansion specifically, I don't know. Scripting gives you access to features that have UI access. It's doesn't make a difference in that regard.

          T

          • 2. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
            Ramon0 Level 1

            Well Thanks for the answer, I wondered if some other way to acces to certain level of control was posible in some way that I was unawared, although if scripting doesn't be able to help with this, I think After Effects has no much more hopefull secrets to me in this matter... Anyway thank you for reply again and... well, I'll continue experimenting! That is always fun at least... BYE!

            • 3. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
              Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

              Well, of course, many times amazingly creative things come up by using features in a way that's completely different from (or even contrary to) their intended purpose. But in this case, if you explain why would you want to animate mesh expansion (which is mainly about avoiding artifacts and debris in the source image's edges when animating puppet pins), maybe there could be a clear case for making it animatable. Or maybe "avoiding artifacts and debris" is exactly what you don't want?

              • 4. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                As pointed out by Mr. Rozenfeld, animating that particular parameter does not make sense at all. It affects the internal algorithm and would only lead to jumpy results. Generally you can assume that when a property is not animatable it is for a good reason. In your case, you could always apply effects like Minimax or Simple Choker before you create the mesh. after that, you can safely disable the effects while retaining your expanded borders without resorting to the Puppet Tool's internal controls.

                 

                Mylenium

                • 5. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                  Ramon0 Level 1

                  Hey! First of all thanks for the answer guys

                   

                  Now... Yeah, I'm trying to use features in the weird/wrong way all the time, it's like a curse, but in general, I used to have some good (deep down) reason... In this special case, I expected to can get some "tolerance" arround the characters to can play with puppet tool and vector shape designs, I mean, if I have a vector shape based character, I wanted to be able to modify & animate paths to animate his form (a little at least) and avoid artifacts caused by the mesh border adjusting the Mesh Expansion as needed, I know this wouldn't be the panacea but could help a little in this matter and bring some liberty in the combination of this two new marvellous features, I don't know if I have made my point and I still imagined this could result in some weird and jumping results but... How I'd only love to see it with my own eyes! Cause, as you said, it could genereate interesting results at least... well, we'll never know...

                   

                  Anyway, I understand some features can't be animated by interface, of course, but I still think that some tool sould be provided just in case you want to do it for your own count, I mean, by expression, scripting, programming... It'd always be encouraging...

                  • 6. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    For your specific need, you may want to look into RevisionFX' RE:Flex toolset. It provides enough options for corrective warping/ morphing, which I think is mostly what you are looking for - you want e.g. to retain the volume of joints, but not really change how they move. Combining both techniques should provide that feature.

                     

                    Mylenium

                    • 7. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                      yenaphe Level 4

                      Well here is a workaround for your unanimatable puppet expension.

                       

                      If you really need to do this, then select your layer, go to the frame where you want to change the parameter and then split your layer (ctrl-shift-D or cmd-shift-D if your on a mac) and then change the parameter on your sliced piece.

                       

                      Then slice it everytime you want to change the parameter.

                       

                      I agree that's not the best solution, but it does work.

                      • 8. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                        Ramon0 Level 1

                        Oh, thank you I was investigating about that pluging in the past but I love the simplicity & squisy deformations that Puppet Tool provides and I'm not sure if any other deformation tool can be comparable... cause of that I'm SO obsessed with it! And I'm testing all posibilities that pass though my head, even the most stupid and weid things... Now I'm treating to get advantage of puppet effects into several "Effect Layers" above it instead apply it into the Shape Layer to can conmute between them by means of the layer Opacity setting, althoug I'm encontring another kind of problems that I'm not sure if I'll be able to resolve, we'll see... Anyway, THANKS for your attention and proporsals! Because they are always welcomed and remember me that I'm not totally alone (rolling eyes)

                        • 9. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                          Ramon0 Level 1

                          Oh, wait, wait, wait... do you said split the layer??? Could be that what I'm imagining? I mean, like when you split a video clip in Adobe Premiere? Just split it in two parts and both remaining "beside" each other in the same line? Cause if so... that's something that I've always wanted to do! But I thoungt that duplicate the layer was the only one choice... Well, I have not After Effects with me now , but that feature is the first thing I'm going to try as soon as I be in front of it... THANKS! Whether it works in this specific case or not!

                          • 10. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                            yenaphe Level 4

                            I did say split like in premiere, but, the 2 slices won't stay on the same layer, depending on a preference (edit > preferences > general preferences) the splitted slice will go on a layer above or under your current layer.

                            • 11. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                              Ramon0 Level 1

                              Oh... So finally it's simply like a "shortcut" to duplicate the layer and adjust the in & out points automatically... TOO BAD! Jaja :-( ...At least I have not to wait until night to know it... Well, then, am I the only one that would love to can split layers in the other (premiere) way? Cause I have found interesting that posibility for this kind of uses, althougt I'm not sure if it could be well implemented for several reasons... Well, anyway I'll test that you said as soon as posible! Just in case...

                              • 12. Re: A way to Animate UNanimatable Features?
                                Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                                That's essentially the difference between a layer-based model and a track-based model.

                                In a track-based model (like most editing software) tracks are containers that exist independently from the clips you eventually add to them. That's why you can several clip in such a container. It's surely a better model for long-form narrative and temporal editing in general.

                                In  layer-based model, each layer defines its' own track -to put it somehow-, and because of this, two layers can't co-exist in the same track. This model is probably better for visual content which is more, well... layered in nature