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Nerd3D Walk Blocks for AniMate

The Nerd3D Walk Blocks are collections of walk styles that allow you to create walking animations using the AniMate plugin for DAZ Studio.

Requirements

  • DAZ Studio 2.3.3.89 or newer
  • AniMate Plugin
  • Nerd3D Walk Blocks Available from DAZ 3D

Adding the Walk Blocks to AniMate Folders

First thing after installing the Nerd3D Walk Blocks you'll need to tell Studio Where to find them. After you run the installer open Studio and select the AniTimeline tab. If it's not already displayed, It's on the “View” menu under “Tabs” . You'll need to add the Nerd3D Walk Blocks folder to your root folders. Right click the aniMate folder and select add “Add Root Folder” Now browse to the DAZ Studio content folder where you'll find the Nerd3D folder containing the new Walk Blocks. You'll only need to do this once.

Let's make a Walk

Load the target figure for your walking animation. We'll be using Victoria 4 in this tutorial. If you are going to use shoes load then and fit them to the figure. Make sure the base figure is selected when working with the animate blocks or Studio will apply the animation to the shoes and not your intended figure.

First lets adjust the “High Heel Offset” even track shoes have a slight heel so you will want to fiddle with this to get the shoes flat on the floor. Make sure the target figure is selected and add the “start” block for your chosen walk to the AniMate time line. You can double click the block or drag and drop it in place. Make sure the animation pointer is at the first frame. Open the High Heel Offset dialog by selecting it from the AniMate menu. (The little triangle at the right side of the AniTimeline Tab) Adjust the heel angle till the shoes are flat on the floor. This setting remains constant through the entire animation.

OK, so the shoes are level with the floor, but are they on the floor. There's another adjustment to get the feet at the right elevation. Double click the start block on the time line. (Not the one in the list of blocks that will just add another start block) This opens the properties for the block. The Y offset is the one you want. Adjust it till the shoes just touch the floor.

While we're in here you can also change the facing direction. That's the direction the figure is going to start walking in. Also check that the Reorient options are all checked. They should be.

OK, click done on the properties. Now the hard work is over. Start adding blocks to get where you want to go. The only thing you may want to set beyond that is the speed of the blocks. That is also available from the Block Properties.

Customizing Blocks

So you want to' get fancy and tweak the blocks. OK these blocks were made for tweaking. All the walk blocks from Nerd3D are based on 30 frames per pace. This allows you to shorten the blocks at any multiple of 30 frames and the next block will connect with little or no glitch. For example you want a turn, but only 45 degrees. Load one of the curve blocks. Now grab the little black triangle at the end of the block and shorten it to roughly 1/2 it's length, maybe to 2 seconds or 60 frames. Now stick a straight walk block after that. There you have an nice 45 degree turn.

You can save the shortened block by clicking the “Crop” icon on the AniMate timeline. Give the new shortened block a unique name. Now you can use it over and over. This editing will get you tons more mileage from the blocks you already have.

You can also merge blocks if you have a combination you'll be needing to use frequently.

FAQ

The figure snaps back to the start after each block. How do I make the figure continue from the end of the previous block? Double click the second block and make sure “Reorient Horizontal Position” and “Reorient Facing Direction” and both checked. Now you don't want to do that for every block do you? Click the AniMate menu and make sure the defaults for all the reorient options are checked on.

How do I speed up or slow down the walks? Double click the block and change the speed value. Higher numbers go faster. You'll need to do this for each block.

When I add clothes why does my animation vanish? There is a bug in the current release of Studio that causes some items to blank the animate time line when loaded. To get around this bake the animation to the DAZ Studio time line. Save that as an animated pose. Load the clothes and then apply the saved pose.