Merging animation layers question....

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Old 04 April 2010   #1
Merging animation layers question....

Ok, so am working through a few Mobu tutorials and was a bit confused about the different animation layers. I've gone through different tutorials and found some said that animation layers should be merged, while others didn't seem to mention anything about merging layers.

I thought layers worked additively and as such it didn't really matter as long as it was all in one take, so yeah, does anyone have any information about why one must merge them - not that its a hassle either way - I'd just rather do the correct way.

Oh, and I looked at the Mobu help and although it did say how layers could be merged didn't say why or that it even had to be....and in my animation it didn't seem to make any difference - as in, not merging them still worked quite well when exporting it back into Maya.

Thanks.
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Old 04 April 2010   #2
You don`t have to merge layers except those times, when you have to)))

Maybe this tutorial had such situation, I don`t know. I merge them when I know I won`t need them anymore.
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Old 04 April 2010   #3
Hey Pawel, ok, since I am extremely new to this and I'm basically now slowly starting to understand why things are done in a certain way am I right to say that one doesn't really have to merge layers??

Cus, I was sorta testing it out - well, I was just following this tutorial where they didn't merge layers, but had mentioned it before, and when I took the animation back into Maya the neck turn I had placed on layer 1 seemed to work like it was working in Mobu without me merging it - it was only later that I realised that I was supposed to merge it - or rather it should have been.

So yeah, I'm presuming its a 'do it if its final but it doesn't really matter either way' sorta thing??

Again, sorry these questions seem a bit basic, and thanks again for answering both my questions in both these thread
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A animated music video featuring pose to pose and motion captured animation...
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My portfolio site here.
 
Old 04 April 2010   #4
Quote: I'm presuming its a 'do it if its final but it doesn't really matter either way' sorta thing??


Something like that, however I have never tried to export animation with layers. Mostly because I animate on Control Rig, plot onto skeleton and export only that skeleton.
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Old 04 April 2010   #5
Originally Posted by DruG: Something like that, however I have never tried to export animation with layers. Mostly because I animate on Control Rig, plot onto skeleton and export only that skeleton.


Actually that makes sense - cus when I plotted the animation onto the skeleton I didn't have to merge any layers and the new animation just got plotted onto the skeleton. I don't know if I remember hearing somewhere that it happens automatically when plotting - not sure, but anyway, thanks.
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A animated music video featuring pose to pose and motion captured animation...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSKGQ49Tq04

My portfolio site here.
 
Old 04 April 2010   #6
Originally Posted by RafiS: I don't know if I remember hearing somewhere that it happens automatically when plotting


No, it doesn`t. When you turn in Control Rig again, all layers are still there.

edit: are they?! Damn, you`ve got me doubting! ;D Have to check this
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Old 04 April 2010   #7
The short answer is that now it depends on what your need is.
I don't use many layers, I tend to delete and merge them often, that is more of my edit style but it also keep the edit clear. I tend to keep a max of 2 layers and once I am in final edit mode I don't del/bake my layers but early in the process I keep the data dense and layers clear.

If you bake back to the skeleton before going to maya you don't need to merge layers.

With the 2011 products and updated FBX you can take the Layers back and forth between Maya and MotionBuilder allowing for also taking the FBIK rig in to maya and continue refinement there with added rigging if needed.
 
Old 04 April 2010   #8
Thanks guys - I love these forums - I can actually ask questions and get replies from senior riggers and senior animators haha.

Anyway, I think I'm just going to stick with what has worked for me - which is that I didn't merge layers (cus at that time the tutorial didn't tell me to) and when I plotted the animation back onto the skeleton rig from Maya, the animation had the movements that I had only made in the layer.

There was a tutorial that told me to merge layers but now that I think about it, it was more telling me how to as opposed to actually saying that I needed to.
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A animated music video featuring pose to pose and motion captured animation...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSKGQ49Tq04

My portfolio site here.
 
Old 04 April 2010   #9
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