Timeline Woes :(

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  03 March 2013
Timeline Woes :(

Hi;

There's something about the timeline in C4D that's really frustrating.

I want the animated fcurves to appear in the left hand object space ONLY when I select the objects in the viewport, other times I just want that space to be empty. People who have used the really decent animation editors like in Maya or Softimage would know, I want the object list to be empty and auto-load just the objects I select in the viewport and display them ONLY... I mean, I tried everything... I turned automatic mode on and so on, to no avail...

As of now, the only way I can work, is to locate the object in the viewport, drag it to the timeline, get to the animated params and so on and so forth... Everytime I pick an object to animate, I need to go through the looong list of pre-dragged and dropped objects in the timeline first...What a waste of time and energy.

Is there a way? I just hope that I'm missing something here.

Cheers;

AJ
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  03 March 2013
Other than scripting it, I cant get to the behaviour you're after. The closest I can offer is to open the command manager, bind a key to "show fcurves" then you can just tap a key which will open the timeline window and lock itself to the current object(s)
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  03 March 2013
Thanx a lot for your reply... Yeah, it's not as efficient but it'll help at least... Better than my current situation. There are just so many thing about streamlining ergonomics and usability in C4D that Maxon overlooks, this is just one drop in the ocean. Great piece of software but they really need a new lease on the subject...

Cheers;

AJ
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  03 March 2013
I had struggled with this a while too and you need three things to enable the behavior I believe you're after.

Enable these in the timeline window>view>link>
•Link TL/OM Selection
•Link View to Object Manager

and in view menu>
•Automatic Mode

you can then further cleanup the view by enable view>show>show animated to hide the object's tags

hope that helps
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  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by demafleez: I had struggled with this a while too and you need three things to enable the behavior I believe you're after.

Enable these in the timeline window>view>link>
•Link TL/OM Selection
•Link View to Object Manager

and in view menu>
•Automatic Mode

you can then further cleanup the view by enable view>show>show animated to hide the object's tags

hope that helps


Aaahh!!! Thank you, thank you... Damn!! This should be default behavior man, this is what I what I was trying to get at with application design... Thanx again

Cheers...

UPDATE: All these adjustments reset themselves every session or even during sessions... Unbelievable... :(
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Last edited by Jacobo : 03 March 2013 at 04:21 PM.
 
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by Jacobo: This should be default behavior .


Totally agree, it's fine once you know how to make it work that way, but having to have 3 different options enabled to make it work as it really should 'out of the box' is silly. I wish Maxon would take a close look at how most animators actually work and give the timeline in C4D a bit of love, it's very clunky in some areas.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by Horganovski: Totally agree, it's fine once you know how to make it work that way, but having to have 3 different options enabled to make it work as it really should 'out of the box' is silly. I wish Maxon would take a close look at how most animators actually work and give the timeline in C4D a bit of love, it's very clunky in some areas.

Cheers,
Brian


Very true, it's total injustice to a great piece of software.

And the keyframing in C4D is a total pain in the ass as well... The Parameter keying on/off button DOES NOT WORK AT ALL!!! Everything gets keyed in auto-key mode, that just drives me CRAZY!!!

Maxon needs to download the trial versions of popular software and try to see what they have implemented for the sake of ergonomics and usability. I mean, how hard could it be to actually put an auto key option in there from which you can choose what param/channel gets keyframed; that is to say, key params/channels that already have an fcurve, or not??

Maxon fails miserably in usability design, which goes to show that they're either waay too conformistic or rhetorical, or that they just don't care...

My 2 cents...
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  03 March 2013
You can keyframe only the parameters you want by selecting them, right clicking and selecting 'add keyframe selection'. Manual, yes, but does the job.

Agreed, some of this stuff should be enabled by default so that new users don't get thrown for a loop. It's the more experienced users that should be tweaking the defaults, not the other way around.
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  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by Jacobo: Aaahh!!! Thank you, thank you... Damn!! This should be default behavior man, this is what I what I was trying to get at with application design... Thanx again

Cheers...

UPDATE: All these adjustments reset themselves every session or even during sessions... Unbelievable... :(



Start with a new document and tweak all the settings as you'd like. Then save it as a file called 'new.c4d' in your main c4d directory.

or better yet, dock the 3 buttons in your interface to easily toggle on/off and to confirm it's how you need it.
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  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by demafleez: You can keyframe only the parameters you want by selecting them, right clicking and selecting 'add keyframe selection'. Manual, yes, but does the job.


This is good (I always set up rigs for clients this way) but when you have Autokey on in Cinema and you change any other parameter in the scene that isn't set up this way you can easily set keys that you didn't mean to. Whereas in other apps Autokey only adds keys to parameters that are already keyframed. I guess this is why we have that obvious red border around the viewport when autokey is enabled as a warning but considering how useful Autokey is that seems like a bandage rather than a good workflow to me. I've raised most of these issues with Maxon over the last couple of years but I guess it takes a lot more users asking that things work better before they will change them. I imagine it's kind of a chicken-and-egg situation in that not many animators use C4D and the ones who do try it are likely to find the workflow less than optimal so they go back to the more standardized apps for it again.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  03 March 2013
Very frustrating behavior for a newcomer to C4D, especially for one coming from Maya.

The menu language doesn't help. "Link TL/OM Selection" is amateurish and even more confusing. It's also inconsistent with the very next item, "Link View to Object Manager", which is much more elegant. Why hasn't quality control fixed this yet? It would only take a few seconds.

Just name it "Link Selection to Object Manager" and it would be perfectly understandable.

"Automatic Mode" is meaningless, forcing to you seek further information. Why can't it be "Load Objects Automatically"?

Having had this little rant, I actually quite like the Timeline in C4D. Very nice to use and has some nice features that Maya could take from it.
 
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by eikonoklastes: Having had this little rant, I actually quite like the Timeline in C4D. Very nice to use and has some nice features that Maya could take from it.


Indeed, there are some nice features like being able to set up layers for tracks, mirror F-Curves and that kind of thing. Conversely I miss things from Maya like being able to show only certain tracks, like say Rot X for example, I use that all the time when polishing the animation on a spine. Oh and a Euler filter command for goodness sake.. it's 2013 after all, lets see some of the basic essentials in there already!

Cheers,
Brian
 
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by demafleez: You can keyframe only the parameters you want by selecting them, right clicking and selecting 'add keyframe selection'. Manual, yes, but does the job.

Agreed, some of this stuff should be enabled by default so that new users don't get thrown for a loop. It's the more experienced users that should be tweaking the defaults, not the other way around.


Thanx demafleez... But you see, like Horganovski pointed out, what if I don't want any of the parameters to be keyframed? Because, when you're working, you're just not animating, sometimes you go in and adjust an attribute of a material or something. There are some many things that you do, if by accident, you forget to turn off auto keyframe before you make an adjustment, you're done for... The developers at Maxon are senseless robots me thinks. They deem these things already working, so they never touch them. They'de rather pour precious R&D time and resources to sculpting and such. Well, what's working for them, doesn't necessarily mean that they are there to help the user, unfortunately as of now, it's just the opposite. When you loose time with petty annoyances while trying to meet a deadline, seconds lost add up to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days... I just hope to god that they'll change that mentality soon enough... :(

PS: Thanx for all the tips btw, I appreciate it a lot...

Cheers;

AJ
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  03 March 2013
You guys need to RTFM and learn how to use the keyframe selections.
Right-click any parameter and add to the keyframe selection. Once done, only the parameters that have been added to the selection will be keyframed.

Sorry for sounding harsh, but the Maya-sausage fest gets on my nerves. Sure, the workflow is probably better in Maya, but the behavior is there in C4D too.

As for the timeline defaults, I couldn't agree more, and have been asking for better defaults for years, to no avail. I'll add another slab onto it, now that you all reminded me of that!
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  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by Horganovski: This is good (I always set up rigs for clients this way) but when you have Autokey on in Cinema and you change any other parameter in the scene that isn't set up this way you can easily set keys that you didn't mean to. Whereas in other apps Autokey only adds keys to parameters that are already keyframed.

I missed that. Indeed, that's true. I guess the best way to get a similar behavior is to use the selection object and restrict auto-keyframing to that selection.
Not quite as specific as a per-parameter option, but gets you closer.

Anyways, our system is a bit more limited indeed, I guess I just don't see the state of despair you all seem to make out of it, but you bring up some fair points.
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