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Animating Multiple Characters - Copy & Pasted

Community Beginner ,
Dec 31, 2022 Dec 31, 2022

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Hi, can anyone tell me how to animate multiple copies of the same character. I copy and pasted the same charcater 5 times, and anchored and parented each. Now I just need them all to dance at the same time. Any help is greatly welcomed and appreaciated, I'm a bit new to this. 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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if you go to the character's timeline and animate there, all the instances will display that animation.

 

if you want the character's timeline animation to not start immediately, add this.stop() to its first frame and then apply this.play() to each instance when desired.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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Hi, kglad thank you so much for your response! Okay, so I pasted eacy copy to the timeline ( made sure to parent them exatcly the same), but when I hit play all my copies disappear and I'm only left with my original charcater. I am really not sure what I'm doing wrong, here. If you could spare a bit more of your time it'd be greatly appreacited. Thanks again.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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Sorry not "pasted", but distrubted the copies to timeline. 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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i don't what this means, "i pasted each copy to the timeline".

 

you should find your character in the library. (all 5 instances should have the same library symbol, do they?)

 

if yes, double click that library symbol.  you are not editing that symbol.  all changes of that symbol will be shown in each of your 5 on-stage instances.

 

fo example. if each of the 5 are motion tweened on your main timelilne, editing their library symbol to "dance" will result in all 5 dancing as they're motioned tweened.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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I'm sorry, I meant distributed not pasted. I think I understand what my problem is now. I had to take off my tween because I was having some issues, but I'm going to add it back and play it through. Thank you for your replyig again. Hope you have a great day!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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you're welcome, and repost if there's a problem.  (happy new year!)

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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Got it and happy new year to you too!!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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How did you figure it out?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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Hi Nicktendo28, 

 

After I copied and pasted my characters I realized that I pasted them in place. So they were actually hidden under my original character. I moved them from under my orginal character, placed them where I wanted them go (MAKE SURE YOUR TIMELINE IS AT THE BEGINNING), and then started animating within my timeline. When you copy and paste you have to distribute each copy to the timeline, just like your original character. You also have to make sure your characters are anchored and parented exactly the same. Then paste the first keyframe of your original character to each other character (EVERY LAYER). When you want to add another move or position insert a new key frame within that keyframe. Do this with every charcater. Then when you've finished add your tween and play it through. Hope this helps!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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It sounds like all of your character's layers and body parts are all on the main timeline. Is this correct? If so, a much easier way is to nest your character in a Graphic symbol and then duplicate this symbol as many times as you like on the main timeline.


Animator and content creator for Animate CC

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Participant ,
Jan 02, 2023 Jan 02, 2023

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Yeh keyframer and kglad are right- put your character and their animation inside a symbol- key framer says graphic but I think if I was doing this I would use a movieclip.   Let's say I make a movieclip and then go inside this mc and make an animation of a dog doing a backflip.  I can then drag my backflipping dog  out to the main timeline as many times as I want.  

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Guru ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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Graphic Symbols are for animation intended for export to video; Movie Clips - for interactive content.

 

Nick - Character Designer and Animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of the Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Community Expert ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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You can create multiple Graphic symbol instances also and control them using the Frame Picker, or Properties Panel (Looping section) with keyframes on their own layers. But yes, MCs can be duplicated as well but will need code to control each instance.


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Community Beginner ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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Hi, _keyframer, 

Thanks for your reply! I think I got confused because I was still in the process of animating, and wasn't aware that I should have finished my intial animation and made it a symbol before duplicating it. I tried beforehand and realized I could no longer move my characters limbs. So as of yesterday I was using onion skinning to animate each duplicate seperately. However, at one point in my animation each character will dance differently, so I'm unsure if I can use the symbol method now.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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correct.  if they're all going to dance differently, they need to be different symbols.

 

they may all start the same (ie, right click the library symbol>click duplicate) but each must be different symbols if their timelines are going to need to be different.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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Hi, kglad

Thank  you for replying!

Okay, I think I'm still a bit confused. At first I need all the characters to dance the same, but then I need them to dance separately. So at first should I just duplicate my first symbols 5 times then later redistribute my character to the timeline 5 times, animate them separately, and make each one a new symbol?

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Community Expert ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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one way to do this:  

 

use 5 different symbols all with the same initial timeline. (ie, duplicated your current dancing symbol 4 times so you have 5 different symbols.)

 

at this point they all look the same with the same initial dance, but extend each timeline with a different dance so they all start with the same dance and then dance differently.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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Ahhh now you are saying all instances will have the same dance (starting out). So then just duplicate the original symbol as many times as you need and then just continue the animations inside each of those symbols. Just remember that if you edit any of the individual symbols INSIDE/NESTED each duplicate symbol, they will update acros all instances. 


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Community Expert ,
Jan 03, 2023 Jan 03, 2023

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Yeah, if each character needs to dance differently - then you'll need to duplicate your original symbol then edit that duplicate symbol by removing all the keyframes across all of it's layers and animate a new dance. But at least you'll be starting on frame 1 of the duplicated symbol with a rigged character.


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