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View Full Version : Right now, I'd kill for a layer randomizer...


Kargokultti
07-14-2006, 11:45 AM
I'm doing 2d animations on top of video, and I need the lines a bit shaky, so I've drawn the still bits into five different .psd layers. The still-but-shaky bits will be longer than just a few seconds, so randomizing the layers manually starts to be bit of a pain.

Anyone know what direction ought I look into, in order to easily arrange e.g. layers 1 to 5 (copy-pasted over 10 times = over 50 layers) randomly, but so that the layers will never double (as in three Layer 5s on top of each other = not shaky enough when sequenced)? Am working with 6.5 Standard right now, but with 7 Pro starting on Monday, so advice based on either version would be greatly appreciated.

evanfotis
07-14-2006, 01:29 PM
Have a look at aenhancers (http://www.aenhancers.com/index.php?c=3) for expressions or scripts.
Also I think digitalanarchy might have a plug.

Ian Jones
07-14-2006, 03:51 PM
I don't understand what you are actually trying to achieve, I read what you've said but just can't picture it.

m|3
07-14-2006, 05:41 PM
Perhaps this free random Stills AE Script below might be of some use to you... :

http://www.motionscript.com/expressions-lab-ae65/random-stills.html


I've used it myself and works as advertised.

Kargokultti
07-14-2006, 08:15 PM
Thank ye kindly, Evanfotis and m|3, exactly the stuff I've been looking for. I knew I had to look into this script stuff some day. Better sooner than later.

And Ian Jones: randomizing images is a common technique in 2d animation softwares; you only need to draw an image thrice to have a not-repeating but shaky line. It's not often used in mainstream-style animation, but it's very common in the artsy-fartsy-kind. E.g. Beavis and Butt-head used only two slightly differing frames to achieve that special crappy look. I myself am fond of using five to eight images so I can blend them a bit, so the shaking's a bit softer.

Sorry if the explanation's slightly garbled, am slightly drunk.

Edit: Not that Beavis and Butt-head's especially artsy-fartsy, it's just an easy explanation for the shaky-line-thing

Ian Jones
07-16-2006, 07:22 AM
ahh yes, sorry not sure why I didn't realise what you had meant before. Have you got it all sorted?

Kargokultti
07-24-2006, 11:27 AM
ahh yes, sorry not sure why I didn't realise what you had meant before. Have you got it all sorted? Not really, but thanks for asking. :)

You know how you can sometimes be so busy that there's no time to use ingenious time-saving methods? :banghead: <being a rethorical question>

Ian Jones
07-24-2006, 12:07 PM
So you hold a frame for a set amount of time and you want it to cycle randomly through the 5 variations of this frame? I'm trying to think of a solution to this. Fundamentally it seems like a really insane process to begin with, so you draw 5 variations of each frame? and whats your framerate? can the variation not be automated by a filter with randomising parameters? or are you specifically going for variations of sketchy drawn lines which can't really be created any other way.

Kargokultti
07-24-2006, 12:52 PM
or are you specifically going for variations of sketchy drawn lines which can't really be created any other way.

Most prob this one. Repetition is very easy to notice, and though I don't think that the regular joe would care one way or the other, I personally don't like it. I just discovered Vector Paint, but even that won't do the job. I guess it's just a matter of my eye getting used to that special crappy look.

I did decide not to use it on my current project: it just eats time, and the only ones who would appreciate the effort are most likely one or two of my former schoolmates :D

graymachine
07-24-2006, 01:42 PM
Most prob this one. Repetition is very easy to notice, and though I don't think that the regular joe would care one way or the other, I personally don't like it. I just discovered Vector Paint, but even that won't do the job. I guess it's just a matter of my eye getting used to that special crappy look.

I did decide not to use it on my current project: it just eats time, and the only ones who would appreciate the effort are most likely one or two of my former schoolmates :D

Not sure if this will work for you, but it seems to work when I test it. Here's what I did it with:

One nested comp, 5 frames in length, with 5 differing frames, called comp A

Comp A is nested in Comp B.

In Comp B, enable Time Remapping for nested Comp A.

For Time Remapping, paste this expression:

k1 = key(1).value
k2 = key(2).value
r = random(k1, k2)

prev = timeRemap.valueAtTime(time - thisComp.frameDuration)
while (r == prev)
{
r++
}
r



What it does is look at your two values for your in and out time and generate a random number in that range.

What I am still trying to figure out is how to not duplicate a value. With what I have now, it looks at the value from the previous frame, and if it is the same value, it adds 1 to the value as to not repeat the same value. But, I am still seeing repeating values.

Maybe someone else has an idea?

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