Hand management & Midi controller

Explorer ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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Hi,

 

I spent a while playing with characters in Character Animator, got a couple of questions.

 

1) Hand management

 

in order to make a hand with a propper elbow and big finger we essentially need 2 sets of left and right hands (looking inside and outside) Samples:

 

hand_01.png

hand_02.png

The problem is all those hands have separate dragging points, so aligning them properly during live performance gets messy. The only way I see so far is to find good neutral positions and trigger hand animations with midi.

There is also another set if we want to have hands above and below the head

hand_03.png

 

 

Questions:

--> Is there a way to drag hidden arms with the same dragging point as visible? So when I hit the button to switch between regular and flipped arm there is no big jump.

--> Can I use a joystick or some type of a controller to move hands around with other application opened (use case is streaming and animating character)

--> Is there a way to move hands above/below the head without making extra hands in swap set?

 

2) Midi inputs

 

Midi controller is awesome. I am working on the small keyboard, to be able to have a lively character that I can broadcast with.

korvindeson_0-1615417814607.png

Questions/feedback:

--> I use the turning knobs to position/move the character on the screen. The problem is that the Character animator uses absolute values of the midi controller. So when the knob is at 0, the character will jump all the way left before I can position it properly. It would be much more convenient if knob rotation would adjust my X/Y/Scale relative to what is set now as opposed to what value midi controller has

--> On the top left of the last picture there is a small joystick. Seems like a really convenient way to handle eyes or hands, because it comes back to 0 when I don't touch it. Is there a way?

--> I cannot find a way to set X/Y/Scale/Gravity with the midi key. Only know seem to work. Do I miss something?

--> Can I set up the number of steps for knobs? Some knobs like gravity + wind make for some fun effects (bunny ears go down, etc). But I would prefer to have less granular control, so I can physically turn my knobless. Now I have to do 2 full turns on my midi.

 

 

Thanks for the app. It is fun to use

TOPICS
Feature requests , Puppet movement , Tips and tricks

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LEGEND ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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For the two sets of arm artwork, is it hinge at the shoulder? If so i wonder if you can draw the left arm to the left side of the body for both sets of artwork. I am wondering if you can get away with one dragger then (you just drag it a long way to get to the artwork over to the other side). That is, don't draw the left arm heading over to the right. Take what you have and rotate it at the shoulder so the artwork is over to the left as well. Then you can share the dragger position for both arm artworks... i think.

 

For midi, a few suggestions. I assume you know you can set the min and max numbers for the sliders? It comes with defaults, but you click on the numbers at bottom left and right of control and you can type in new values, so control the range of values better.

 

Remember also there is Position X/Y and Anchor X/Y in the Transform behavior. I think one is before scaling, the other afterwards. So you might like to experiment. Maybe you need to use the other one to whichever you are using now.

 

Also note you can add transform behaviors to any layer. So you might be able to put a transform on the pupils, then connect the x and y of your joystick to that nested transform. It probably won't work with webcam and joystick - you would have to pick one or the other. But nested transforms are relative to the parent layer, so you might be able to add another layer at the root of your puppet just so you can add a transform behavior to adjust via midi, relative to the puppet origin.

 

Sounds like a neat set up though!

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Explorer ,
Mar 10, 2021 Mar 10, 2021

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The setup is getting there. I also use the head turn behavior to turn the shoulders a bit

korvindeson_0-1615447827536.png

For the hands, I use swap sets to go between regular and internal (fliped) arms and midi to trigger + I use the pre-recorded dragger that triggers with the same button. This way I have a bit of an in and out, not a hand just randomly flipped to pose + button to have above/bellow the head.

 

Flipping arms would not fix the brown circles for the bear. And with the number of things to shuffle (claws, circles, wrist flip...) it is easier to just rig more arms.

 

I like the idea with a joystick and transform, will play with that.

 

When it comes to the Midi, that is not my issue. I can set up min and max, but cannot set up how many steps between, so have to turn my know a bit too much to get to max. I can set up min = max then I will be able to put a character in a certain position. But because Character Animator takes absolute values of the Midi controller, I cannot do a small adjustment (since x/y/scale on MIDI are set to a different value, small adjustment will have a big effect).

 

I also cannot find a way to set X/Y/Scale with a button, not a knob

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 11, 2021 Mar 11, 2021

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I used translation software to convert Japanese to English.
I'm not very good at English.
So I don't know if I am answering your question correctly.

If you want to control the scale and X,Y position with buttons (PC keyboard or MIdI keyboard), you can

1) Adjust the puppet to the desired position and size.
2) Select the scale next to (...) in the Transform property.
3) Select Hold Replay and Create Trigger.
4) The value will be recorded as a trigger.
5) Specify the desired button (PC keyboard or Midi keyboard).

An instructional video in Japanese has been uploaded to YouTube.

https://youtu.be/i11LIUXBCQw

Did you find this answer useful?
Thank you.

hold_replay.jpeg

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2021 Mar 11, 2021

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Oh, this way you can basically record 1 frame and hit the button to get the character there. Nice.

 

The only issue that in this case, the character jumps to a new place from the original location. I wonder if I can automate the transition between point "A" and "B". I had some success sending clicks and key presses to the Character Animator window with AutoIT.

 

Or is there a way to have a smooth transition between point "A" and "B"?

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2021 Mar 11, 2021

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I think walking behavior may be an answer here. This one moves the character left and right and don't care about the values of X and Y. Seems like this is a better way to move character on the screen

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