I have many puppets and illustrations in my scene I'm making. Its pretty much all one illustrator file. Is it better to rearrange my scene in the illustrator file, the character animator rig window or just use transform behaviors on everything in record space? Right now everything is just centered on top of eachother in my illustrator file and I move it later in character animator.
Typically I like making everything separate. Each character as their own AI file, and each background as well. While doing everything in one file is technically possible, it leads to a lot of confusion when you're dealing with multiple behaviors on the right and a messier timeline below.
One outlier would be examples like the Puppet Maker puppets, who also have their backgrounds included in their file to make things easier for the end user. But having rigged some of those puppets, even that can lead to confusion - so my advice is to separate when possible.
Hey, thanks for your time Dave. I understand what you're saying. I'm still a bit confused though. If I bring each illustration in by themselves, each becomes a puppet by themselves technically. I can drag them all in the timeline to bring them into the scene. I need to be able to use triggers on all my characters and props while I'm streaming and gaming. I thought I can only activate one puppet at a time so I just made one big puppet. Hope I'm making sense.
Gotcha. So for that specific use case, you could still make them all separate, and then just select them all in the timeline. So if I import three puppets and a background into the timeline and select them all, then if they all had a trigger when I pressed B, all of their triggers would work simultaneously. But if you're using the more visual controls panel instead, then yeah, maybe combining everything makes more sense. Basically both methods could work, it's just what feels like it works best for you!
Wow, such a simple thing I missed. I'm still earlier into my project so no worries though. I didn't realize you could select and control more than one puppet in the time line for some reason. This is the direction I will go since I use a color coded midi keyboard setup and I don't rely on the controls panel as much. Such a big help and thank you for all the youtube videos. I've learned so much and I'm almost through them all! Hope to share my project with you some day soon.
Sorry, one last thing. Say I did go with just one large puppet and illustrator file. Is it better to move things where I want them in illustrator or character animator once they are imported? Does any of this effect performance?
You can use either, but when possible I try to do it in the original art file. This ensures that if anything happens to the rigging or I need to restart something, things will be where they're meant to. It just feels more foolproof to me. I only ever move stuff in CH rig mode if things have become mismatched with an artwork sync, like the legs moving to the side of the body because I made the body art wider or something like that.
Dave, while we're on the topic, if I have multiple puppets and I've selected them all so I can trigger them, is it possible to make a replay out of all of these separate triggers on separate puppets?
You would have to do that individually. So if I select a bunch of stuff across different timeline track items (puppets, backgrounds, etc), it's not going to let me make a replay. I think blending is the only option that shows up then. But you could record and make replays for each puppet individually, and then make sure they're all triggered by the same key. Then selecting them all in the timeline and pressing that key will activate them all.