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advance parallax effect and fluid head turns

Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2019

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Hi there is there an option or an tutorial how to add the parallax-effect?

as far as I can see this effect is only influencing the "eyes" and "nose"-taged elements but i want the mouth to be influenced as well and

maybe if possible the ears and some other parts of the face (maybe even inverted paralax movement to simulate rotation for the ears and hairstrains)

Or maybe in addition to that is there any work-around to create a fluid head turn - I found a tutorial on making it with cycle layer options but it stresses my out to set every key and group-Setting on every frame and it seems to make it laggy with many of these complex single frame-groups as "inbetweens" regarding my computer performance. Isn't there a chance to rearrange and maybe even transform the Face-Elements in Character Animator itself for the different Head-Position and it tweens the motion for every element between the set positions?

Another thing I just can't fix on my project, the pupils movement seems to be inverted (left ist right und up is down) - can't figure out what may be the issue...

I would be very glad for any kind of help or links to tutorials regarding the topics. Thanks.

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advance parallax effect and fluid head turns

Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2019

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Hi there is there an option or an tutorial how to add the parallax-effect?

as far as I can see this effect is only influencing the "eyes" and "nose"-taged elements but i want the mouth to be influenced as well and

maybe if possible the ears and some other parts of the face (maybe even inverted paralax movement to simulate rotation for the ears and hairstrains)

Or maybe in addition to that is there any work-around to create a fluid head turn - I found a tutorial on making it with cycle layer options but it stresses my out to set every key and group-Setting on every frame and it seems to make it laggy with many of these complex single frame-groups as "inbetweens" regarding my computer performance. Isn't there a chance to rearrange and maybe even transform the Face-Elements in Character Animator itself for the different Head-Position and it tweens the motion for every element between the set positions?

Another thing I just can't fix on my project, the pupils movement seems to be inverted (left ist right und up is down) - can't figure out what may be the issue...

I would be very glad for any kind of help or links to tutorials regarding the topics. Thanks.

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Valorous Hero ,
Jan 02, 2019

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It seems like when two behaviors try to control the same layers, one wins. So because there is a mouth behavior, the mouth parallax no longer works. But what I found you could do was put the Mouth layer as a child of the Nose layer, then the mouth will move with the nose.

I believe it should be possible to get the ears moving in the opposite direction, but might not be easy To get it all looking natural. You need to get hair etc moving. Also you cannot change the proportional width of the eyes, so you would only get a bit of movement. I wonder at times whether it is the right thing to do versus just draw the puppet at different angles. I mean is it still a cartoon? Or should use use a 3D rendering engine if you really want 3D. (E.g. Unity 3D.)

I had played with trying to do a head turn. I was experimenting with pinning parts of the jawline, to get a side on view of a character with the jaw and cheek bones etc. But I really had to ask whether I was doing the right thing. I did not get that far with it.

Eye pupils going the wrong way is normally due to the eye pupil layer being larger than the eye pupil range - which can be due to stray pixels in the layer. I wrote a blog post on eyes https://extra-ordinary.tv/2018/04/21/debugging-character-animator-eyess/ - in particular, look at the end with the added section on “crazy eyes”. You can get some really interesting things happen at times. Also have a look at “Project Wookie” - there is an episode on eyes. https://extra-ordinary.tv/2018/10/22/project-wookie-a-beginner-youtube-playlist/ (17 to 21, where 21 is on crazy eyes).

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 02, 2019

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thank you very much for your long and helpful reply - I know the parallax effect is not meant to replace the head-view settings - but I think this feature might have more potential than you might think.

Therfore i would like to see a tool for individual parallax-settings implemented for different elements with individual speeds and the option to inverse the effect - that would be great to create some dynamic effects.

Your Tipp is nice: the stapeling/parenting the mouth to the nose is a good idea I'll try it.

I really wish for some kind of "key-frame"-settings including transformations/sacling etc. for single elements, whole groups and cycle-Layers for the the different head-positions within Character animator (and than trigger the tweening forth and back with the camera tracked headturn - that would be awesome, I think) - at the moment to set every trigger and element-effect for every transition headturn-position is so annoying even a quite simple face with just a few emotions and switch layers for different Mouth-Sets and blink-alternatives is just so much work to get working in every transition state/view (not even thinking about working with cycle-Layer transitions to get it smoother)

the pupils of my test project still moving in the wrong direktion - I still don't get - there is no stray pixel in the pupil-Group/layer and the eye/pupil range ist much bigger than the pupil itself, the X and Y offset is not negative... therefore I am still guessing what might be the issue to that, but I must say it's not that much of a deal...

But once again thank you very much for your help, the links and the very good suggestions alank99101739

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Valorous Hero ,
Jan 02, 2019

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You could experiment with adding transform behaviors to lower levels in the the puppet. E.g. I put transforms on the hands to do things like rotation of the hand alone. I tried this with my HTC Vive integration experiment. HTC Vive Head Position and Rotation Demo (Adobe Character Animator) - YouTube - I was controlling the puppet using HTC Vive controllers. The Vive controllers were generating MIDI events which was controlling the different transforms on different body parts. I guess you could record a replay for individual parts of the body, so trigger it with keyboard/MIDI triggers (e.g. in live session - like a hand wave).

I agree on the pain of head turns and redoing expressions for each turn. I have avoided them to date for the puppets I have created, mainly for that reason. I was also trying to get Paralax going. I was wondering if it would be possible to synthesize a puppet programatically once a pattern was worked out, but the SDK is not released yet. E.g. have a template for getting parallax going, then tweak some parameters to adjust different characters.

I did get a little luck with getting a jawline looking a bit more natural as the face turns (the jaw moves slightly faster than rest of face, so it looks like the chin sticks out. Sorry, I take that back. I got it moving, it did not look natural yet! 😉

Regarding the eyes, feel free to drop in some screenshots. I would look for stray Eye related tags in the artwork. Go through each layer one by one and look at the tags. Look at the yellow and blue bounding boxes at each layer. Sometimes I have found parts of the left eye in the right eye artwork etc. Or an additional tag for a pupil in the other eye, causing it to get confused. It has often been as simple as removing a tag. Feel free to share your puppet if you want me to have a quick look, or show some screen shots of rigging with different eye layers shown and highlighted. Seeing the yellow and blue outlines might reveal the problem.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 02, 2019

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Wow you seem much deeper in the sources working with motion-traking and MIDIs beyond the ground settings of Character Animator.
That seems to be a bit too advanced for me to get behind ... but thank you very much for you reply once again.
I am just a bit relieved that the whole turning head thing is just an issue that I am not alone to struggle with... and that there ist not a really simple solution to this whole parallax thing I am just missing ...maybe in the future they improve CharacterAnimator this far that they will allow parallax ankers/or parallax-pivit-points to the toolbox of Ch ... but I repeat myself.
I really hope they don't stopp improving this program... it's the best thing since MoHo for me....


I just updatet the illustration for my puppet with different head-positions... I think I need to start from scratch regarding the import in Ch after all my triggers and layercylings etc. are gone....after that I'll see if the inverted eye-movement is still a thing, if yes maybe I'll contact you on youtube to show you my puppet. Thank you so much for your help and very nice reply - I really appreciate it.

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