5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 13, 2012 11:40 AM by cdunn120

    Odd head turn help for 2d animation.


      I've been following online tutorials from lynda.com and I'm very new to AE. I wanted to animate my characters from my webcomic (Maybe NSFW) http://sotsog.net/archive/23-necronomicon/ and after reading up and experimenting with Flash it turns out AE would be a better fit.

      The tutorials I'm following are incredibly helpful but the character used in the demonstration has some different replacement animations as well as a completely different mouth. For my characters the mouth is always at a side view and I don't mind a small blink or hole in the animation when going left to right but this has lead to some issues.



      I'm at the point in the tutorials where I'm creating a master control where my head will continue to turn on the slider and allow me to easily change the mouths. Through the course I've already set up rotating head/eyes/mouth. At this point I'm removing each part that will use some sort of replacement animation from my "head" comp and putting them into a master control. So my blinks/mouth/head rotation should all be set in there. In the example the demo character's mouth moves from left to right in a fluid motion and used an expression with:





      This was for just moving the x-axis. Because my character is "flat" im not worried about y axis or scale at the moment.

      My mouth does not move at a constand rate like the example.

      Here I am at frame 0


      Frame 10


      Frame 20


      On Frame 10 and 20 they are kinda in the same spot. my x/y positions read

      146.5, 165.0

      105.5, 167.7

      102.5, 167.5


      Again I'm not worried about the y axis

      As you can see its not as simple as from left to right and i need three points in my expressions equation. I think the best way to describe it is frames 0-10 will have movement. I will have the animation expression linked to my head turn time remap so it just keeps turning although I would like it to stay stagnant at frames 10-20.


      Now to make matters worse I would also like to flip/or reflect my mouth between frames 1 and 10. Hopefully since they are already all within the mouth comp all my replacement mouths for animation will also be flipped when the head is turned in that manner. If I can set up an animation expression on frame 3 to flip i think that would work out but again im having trouble finding the right formula. Also I'm sure I'll need to change my keyframe interpulation to Hold in that instance as well so it just quickly jumps to the reflected mouth.


      The course I'm taking does not cover this and I'm having trouble finding a solution through search engines. Any help would be much appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Odd head turn help for 2d animation.
          cdunn120 Level 1

          btw using AE CS5. New to these forums .

          • 2. Re: Odd head turn help for 2d animation.
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            Flipping: Effect --> Distort --> Transform --> negative scale. Assuming all your mouths are in a pre-comp and you just time-remap them, that takes care of the matter perfectly without having any influence on your other animation. I don't quite get what you are trying to do with your "rotation". More than anything else that would be an issue of your hierarchy/ rig (or lack thereof?). There's no magic in expressions. They can only take you so far and without knowing the specific values at a given time, even the most clever code is useless. Maybe you really should find a better tutorial? How 'bout that: http://vimeo.com/29643579? It seems the ones you have watched so far seem to have left out the most basic parts: creating a good rig and understanding parallax.



            • 3. Re: Odd head turn help for 2d animation.
              cdunn120 Level 1

              I may have worded this weird. My hierachy does not seem to be an issue, I have my entire character rigged aside from this one complication. I've been flipping my mouth in my mouth comp by unlinking my scale and putting it into the negatives with a hold on my keyframe interpulation. I seem to have fixed that issue but now im just trying to get this mouth comp to follow my head turn. I've linked my mouth comp to the heads timeremap so I get those 20 frames of movement. I just want it to stay still for a few of them. Are you sure theres no way to set an absolute number or once i hit frame x to stop x-axis animation?  My frames 0-10 of x-axis movement works just fine and at the speed I like with.



              I placed my mouths where I would like them positioned on my time line and recorded for frames 0, 10, and 20. These read 146.5, 105.5, 105.5. (this is only x-axis and unlike my original post I'm just going to leave frame 20 the same as frame 10. frame 20 was originally 102.5 in my first post but thats a very slight movement thats unessesary.)

              Now I just need it to stay still between frames 10-20. I would think this could only be solved in my expressions. I just can't figure out a forumla that would work.



              Thank you for the link but this did not solve my issue.

              • 4. Re: Odd head turn help for 2d animation.
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                I still don't get what you are exactly doing. If you time-remap a pre-comp, you remap the whole comp, not just specific layers and without a hole lot of expression hocuspocus there is no way to derive transform data. Your expression is all wrong, anyway, and there is no need for any such stuff. Really, rethink your whole workflow. Even that flipping in the pre-comp is just not clever - it will royally bite you in your posterior once you start working on episode 2 and want to re-use your current project. You'll spend forever figuring out how you timed things because you made a mess at the root level and it ripples through any comps where you may wish to use your mouth. Again, basic principles of rigging: Decouple unrelated animation where you can, layer your animation and keep the initial rig clean.



                • 5. Re: Odd head turn help for 2d animation.
                  cdunn120 Level 1

                  Bear with me for a bit here, and again I really appreciate your help.


                  I shyed all my layers to just my head, mouths, and master control. I am still very new to this I was hoping I could just go through the tutorials. If this dosn't work I'll start from square one.

                  And from my little knowledge the character rig seemed to be working great up until this one issue. I planned on a simple animation process much like South Park so my main concerns are just animating the mouth/eyes/ and arms.





                  Frames 0-20 are the same as previous post.

                  X position is linked to my head time-remap. Trying to figure out a pause in the animation between frames 10 and 20. The keyframes set right now are just for reference, was suggested in tutorial.

                  Or maybe I should just not link my mouths to my head turn at all and just animate it when my head turns manually?