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Adding Fluid Motion with Time Line

Author: DanaC78

Tools Needed

  • Poser
  • Any Figure will do

Introduction

In character animation, you might have gotten the impression that everything should be keyed at the same time. That is OK, but there is a chance that it might look a little stiff. The reason being, try turning with your hip. Now what you may of notice by paying extra attention..Your Abs and Chest don't move at the exact time, so why should characters? If you are going ARGH by this point, never fear..The Power of Timeline comes to the rescue.:) This tutorial is meant for folks with moderate experience with animation. You know how run the time bar, load characters, and twist things up, so I won't teach basic animation. What I will teach you is how to living up your animation.

Step 1: Setup Your Animation

For the purpose of this exercise, I would like you to load a figure into Poser and leave the IK on. We are not going to do anything fancy, so the Zero Pose is fine for this tutorial.:)

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For exercise, we have Michelle as our lovely guide. Don't mind her snarling attitude, she is pleased to be here. To create the animation, go to frame thirty.

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What I would like you to do now is set the Hip Y-Rotation to 15, Abdomen Twist to 5, Chest Twist to 5, and Neck Twist to 5. Now click on play, and take a look at it before.

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It is good, but still a little stiff. However, we will fix that.;)

Step 2: TimeLine is Your Friend

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Right now, we are going to play with the timeline. What we are going to do is move some frames forward so that the body parts don't all move at the same time. Keep in mind, this technique requires personal taste, and each of you will do something different after this tutorial, but you will get the gist of it. However, don't touch the hips.:)

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What I like you to do is to select Frame 1 of Abdomen, and drag it to frame 15. Do the same thing to Chest. With the Neck, drag Frame 1 to Frame 20. What you should see is displayed in the picture below.

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Step 3: Look at it Now

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What I want you to do is click on play, and see if you notice the difference. Again, this requires personal taste where you want the frames, but in the long run, this will help create more fluidity.

To explain a little about what happened:

Unlike other keyframes, Frame 1 will always have the beginning parameters of your animation. It cannot be deleted in anyway. When you drag it, it creates a copy and places where you want it to be. ;) Since frame 1 and 15 are identical, there are no changes animation wise until after it starts moving. ~~

Step 4: But what if I have something beyond Frame 1?

There are points when you have another motion in store, and frame 1 will only make things worse if you drag it out. I understand that. However, not all is lost. All we need is Copy and Paste.;)

For this part of the exercise, change the animation to 60 frames, and start from the hip on Frame 60.

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Hip Y Rotation: -15

Abdomen Twist: -5

Chest Twist: -5

Neck Twist: -5

Now we are ready for the next step..Copy..and Paste;)

Step 5: Copy and Pasting

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What I like you to do is select the keyframe for Frame 30, but I don't want you to drag it. Instead I want to click on Ctrl+C or click on Copy from the Edit Menu. (Ctrl+C is more efficient).

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Now, I would like you click Frame 45 in Abdomen, and press Ctrl+V or Paste from the Edit menu.

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You have now just copied the parameters for Frame 30 to Frame 45, so it won't go until it comes to that frame. Now do the same for Chest, and for Next, place it on Frame 50, so it looks like below.

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Step 6: Test once again

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Run test once again, and if everything runs perfectly and looks good - you're done!