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GrogMcGee
02-23-2007, 02:58 PM
Hi, new to the forums here. I'm using Maya 7.0.

Here's my question-problem:

I've modeled and animated a character. He has in one long time line multiple differnet animations in no particular order. What I want to do is clip each one into Trax so that I can string them together in whatever order I so choose. However, when cliping even a piece of the timeline into a clip it destroys the whole timeline. Now I also have multiple saves of this file with certain changes to the already completed animations. However I'm not sure if I can share Character Sets and their respective clip libraries... By all that I mean, is there is a way to have multiple versions of the same file all use the same character set?

example:
file 1: Run
file 2: Walk
file 3: StandToWalk
file 4: WalkToRun
file 5: WalkToStand
file 6: Wave

Is it possible that eachone of those could using the same character set?

If not what might be a good idea - I'm really not keen on the idea of redoing all the animations... from scratch...

Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks

isoparmB
02-24-2007, 05:39 AM
I don't really get all of what you're saying, but the way it's usually done is to create a character rig with character sets before animation, then animate, and then create clips from those animated characters. That way, character sets remain consistent, and you can reuse the clips you create as long as you source the same file.

Regarding stringing together character clips you just have to string them together by using multiple tracks. When you right click on a character set line in the trax editor, it gives you the option to create tracks above or below the current track. You place one character clip on each track in sequential order, and use blends to smoothen out differences (which I have yet to test). Tested it out on a crab character we had and it works like a charm.

GrogMcGee
02-24-2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the response - even if it's a, "What you talkin' about Willis?"

I've posted this question in three forums and this is the first and only reponse I've had.

And since you've have responded and told me "You make no sense." I'll try and clarify - I really do appreciate the response:bounce:.

I understand that what I should have done was model --> rig --> create character set --> animate. However, I didn't really understand that at the time. So what I did was model --> rig --> animate. And since what I want to do is make an animation that involves all of the animations that I made (run, walk, wave, jump, stand still, etc.) I need to somehow clip the animations so that I can use the Trax editor for looping.

However, I'm totally lost at this point since I don't really want to start from square one, ie, go back to the model/rig point and then create the character set and then redo all the animations I already have... (I'm lazy). So what I'm hoping is there is a way that I can do something like this:

One version of the file has the Character Set.
File 1: Character Set

One version of the file has the Run animation
File 2: Run

One version has the walk animation
File 3: Walk

and so on.

So what I'm hoping I can do is this:

Clip the run from file 2 and "give it" to File 1 where the character set is. (I'm not even sure how to phrase that). I'll try again: I want to open File 2 and clip the Run into File 1's Character Clip library.

Hopefully that made some sense....

If not here's another question:
When animating in a character set which channel do you animate. That is, do you animate the character set's channel for say right-foot or do you animate right-foot that is the original bone?

I'm not sure that made anysense... hmmm... When you create a Character Set all the keyable channels that were part of the thing before you created character set appear in the character set, eg, If the original thing is a skeleton you would something like right-foot, right-knee, right-hip, spine-root, upper-spine etc, and then when you select the spine-root and create the character set. The character set has all of those keyable attributes in it. So which should you be animating when you want to create a clip?

Hopefully all of this makes some vague kind of sense...

Thanks

yenvalmar
02-25-2007, 04:51 AM
if you create a clip of the desired frame range, from within the trax editor you can export that clip as a maya file which can be imported into another scene using the same rig. you will have to go through your main scene and export each animation as a separate clip.

when you want to animate something defined as a character, set the character to NONE in the thing by the timeline and animate as you would normally. if you select the character, any keys you make will automatically key every attribute of the character, which is not what you usually want, i.e. keying the toe will key the head, arms etc also if the character is selected. you only want to select the character that way when you need to go into the trax editor to manipulate the clips. so before you import the clip from the run scene select the character..

isoparmB
02-26-2007, 02:01 AM
One version of the file has the Character Set.
File 1: Character Set

One version of the file has the Run animation
File 2: Run

One version has the walk animation
File 3: Walk

and so on.

So what I'm hoping I can do is this:

Clip the run from file 2 and "give it" to File 1 where the character set is. (I'm not even sure how to phrase that). I'll try again: I want to open File 2 and clip the Run into File 1's Character Clip library.


You can do this to keep your scene clean. Open the master file (the one with the character set), and then reference in the animated file. Unreference it once you're done.

Regarding getting the animation from your separate animated files, you may have to manually transfer the animation once for every file from your animated character to the one with the character set. Painful as it is, you have to do it at least once so you can extract a clip. You just have to copy the keyframes from the channel box of every animated controller on your animated character (one controller at a time) and paste it to the corresponding controller of your master character. Once you've transferred the animation this way, you won't ever have to again because trax clips do that for you. Make sure to check the animation to see if you've transferred properly.

You can animate either through the character set, or the actuall controller (since character sets and their attributes share somewhat of a two-way relationship), although yenvalmar is right in saying it would be better to keyframe the selected keys of your contrller object than your entire set, it makes for cleaner keys.

Regarding using bones in character sets, it's completely allowed, but I think it's usually better to just add the controllers to the character set, unless you animate the bones directly.

Mark-J
02-26-2007, 09:22 AM
The easiest way IF the rigs are the same between the scenes, is to just reMake the characterSet in all scenes from scratch. The key is to ensure the selection order of the objects is consistant between scenes when you make the set..... making the members of the chSet in the same order.

You can manually tweak it afterwards if you really need using the CharacterMapper, this just does simple remapping saying.... this channel actually maps to this attribute.

Then make the clips and import into 1 master scene. It doesn't make any difference if you've already animated the rig, you can still make the chSet and throw that anim out to a clip.

Hope that helps

Mark

GrogMcGee
02-26-2007, 11:10 PM
Hey everyone,

thanks so much for all your responses. The export/import seems to be the simplest solution since I have so many versions of the same file (I'm rarely overwite).

I'd try the referencing except that I have no experience with the referencing system in Maya... (I'm teaching myself Maya - going to be going to school for it next year (I can't wait:bounce:)).

But again thanks everyone!

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