Eyeball is not getting identified

New Here ,
Mar 04, 2021 Mar 04, 2021

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Hey ! I am very new to character animator 2020. And using illustrator for making character. Despite I am tagging eyeball as eyeball (and pupil range tag is appearing after tagging) the pupil's are getting outside the eyeballs (i.e pupil's are not getting masked) , when I trying to solve this problem by making eyeballs a mask then it's getting solved, but when I reduce the opacity of this layer to 50% pupil's opacity is also getting reduced ( I have seen this in a tutorial video ). 

Could you please tell me what's I am doing wrong?

Thanks for your time.

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FAQ , Puppet movement , Rigging

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Explorer ,
Mar 06, 2021 Mar 06, 2021

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Hi Udit,

 

I have found that using Illustrator as source is riddled with bugs:

1. Check for clipping masks. Try to avoid clipping masks at any cost. They may or may not start behaving like you have set a pin. The puppet is pinned down by misinterpreted clipping masks.

2. check for the layer depth. Having too much layer hierarcy in your source file lead to buggy face control.

3. Do not use gradients... you may already have noticed that 🙂

4. Create a illustrator with your desired scene settings (FullHD, 4k) as illustrator WILL NOT SCALE as you are expecting for a vector programme. If you plan to use it with the vector tick activated in Character Animator any machine will run into performance issues.

 

From your description I would guess that your Eye-Object has too many layer hierarcy going on. My suggestion: rearrange the eye that you have only one layer for eyeball, one for pupil one for lids without any additional layer structure within these

 

Hope this helps

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New Here ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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Hi Marius,

 

Also have same issue. I am totally new to character animator. I am building my character from scratch using illustrator (not using any template) and my eyeball seems to be recognized eventhough is tagged. Only eye pupil gets recognized and pupils comes out of eye frame even though all layers are tagged. My character uses gradients (As its an animal with fur that required some shading) so could you please explain why we should not use gradients? is it troublesome for the character animator to recognize? I also have a few layers in my eye group: eye frame (includes eye lashes top and bottom), eyeball, eyeblink and eye pupil. Are these too many layers?

 

Please let me know,

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Katherine

 

 

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New Here ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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Sorry  typo I meant my eyeball doesnt seem to be recognized.

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Explorer ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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Hi Katherine,

nice to see you here. First, I am quite a beginner by myself. But while building some scenes I run into some remarkable troubles.

First, scaling: I decided to use Illustrator instead of Photoshop so the puppets would be scalable. This did not work out so well!

I started the Project with 4k resolution (which was also a dumb move, I never expected, a 2D program would eat up so much render time and have my hardware boiling) which made some mistakes more visible.

I guess you just started up Illustrator with a canvas size of Letter or A4 like me.

When inserted into a 4k-scene, a puppet, that was fitting a comlete A4-drawing board, is imported approx 1/16 of the scene size in Character animator. You may scale the figure up (resolution up to 400%) but that is the end of the line, if you need to scale your puppet more than 4x times, it will become pixelated like any bitmap art! As soon as your puppet is rigged, it is not possible to just scale up the illustrator file, all handles and stuff would become offset. So my advise is, open illustrator with a matching size to your videoproject (1920x1080 or 3840x2160). Working this way ensures that you have control, how big your puppet will be after importing. And you have enough reserves for zooming in.

 

Gradients: instead of struggling with pixelation, you also could tick the "Render a vector" tickbox (sorry, if the names are not correct, I am using the German localizated version. All menu items are translated into German, some in the most ridiculous ways)

But, if you tick the vector-render option, your machine really needs to be massive. every single illustrator form will be rendered as a stand-alone high-res PNG. It uses up crazy amounts of speed and memory and allocates thousands of small files (i noticed when thousands of small, few pixel big PNGs slowed down my back up for hours. Also, gradients will be ignored, which in your case, sounds like a deal breaker.

 

Also, if you wish to create a shadow under your puppet, you must not use a gradient to transparency! Character Animator will, understandably, not know, which background the transparency is transparent to, leading to harsh, opaque color gradients instead of a shadow. Changing the blend mode (in CA) did not work for me, as it did crash. 

But you may convert your transparency gradient to a bitmap within illustrator. Transparent gradient bitmaps do "cast shadows" to the background. (well, look alike).

 

Now regarding the layer structure:

Sorry if i confused you. Of course, your puppet can have as much layers as you need... BUT!!! Please refrain from having complex layer hierarcies within a taggable layer. For example:

head

-right eye

--right blink (invisible)

--right pupil

--right eyeball

 

is a normal setup, but

if, for example you have more layer depth within one structure that are not necessary for placing puppet-tags:

--right eyeball (tagged)

---venes

----red venes

-----small venes

------highlights

 

the eyeball may stop working as an eyeball, even though the tag is displayed correctly and from an Illustrator point of viewm this is the way to work best.

 

My finding is, do not use layer structure deeper than the level the tag is on.

Pay attention to groups in groups, you may notice, that, having nested groups, is not displayed correctly in CA. the top group may be displayed as "unnamed" and the other groups are not displayed at all. but cause mayham when trying to use them for IK, for example.

 

Next, i used some assets that had been imported to the library. This leads to additional clipping masks to each library-item. If you find strange behaviour, like, for example the head is deformed when the eye is moving but the pupil is tagged independent (with the little crown), this may be the reason. I had a hard time, tracking through my puppets, eliminating every clipping mask i could find. Every time i removed one clipping mask, the distortion looked different, until all clipping masks were gone and suddenly my puppet worked like a charm.

 

Hope, I was of any help, please let me know if you were able to fix your problem and how

 

Cheers

 

Marius

 

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New Here ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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Thanks so much for your detailed answer!

 

I am so glad to find people like you who can help me with the issues I am encountering as a very beginner user.

I will take into account the tips you suggested: the resolution when building my character in illustrator, the cleaning of clipping masks and also to keep structure using conventional names without going too deep in structure.

 

So far, I have used gradient only to colour the face background and not for shadows but good to know I should not used gradient to transparency.

 

Best regards and have a great day!

 

Katherine

 

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