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Dragging to change Duration

Valorous Hero ,
Feb 13, 2018

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It would be nice if you could grab the white line representing "end of scene" and adjust it by dragging. At present you have to type numbers into the "Duration" property by hand I think. This would make it quicker to re-adjust the duration when your recording extends the duration. I don't mind having to grab it in the bar at the top, or below all the tracks. Its just typing in Duration by hand you don't get all the snap effects etc.

Could go further and allow dragging of the scene start as well, so you can have things before the scene start - which would allow the twitching of characters at the start of a scene to be clipped out. (That is, introduce a separate "Skip Frames At Start" property, as mentioned before. The same dragging should be possible for the start and end of a scene.)

Or introduce "start of scene" and "end of scene" marker types.  If I use them, they control when where the scene starts and its duration. Maybe "Duration" and "Skip Frames At Start" properties are automatically calculated if those markers exist. (Recording beyond the end of the end of scene marker does not increase the Duration property if an "end of scene" marker exists.)

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Dragging to change Duration

Valorous Hero ,
Feb 13, 2018

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It would be nice if you could grab the white line representing "end of scene" and adjust it by dragging. At present you have to type numbers into the "Duration" property by hand I think. This would make it quicker to re-adjust the duration when your recording extends the duration. I don't mind having to grab it in the bar at the top, or below all the tracks. Its just typing in Duration by hand you don't get all the snap effects etc.

Could go further and allow dragging of the scene start as well, so you can have things before the scene start - which would allow the twitching of characters at the start of a scene to be clipped out. (That is, introduce a separate "Skip Frames At Start" property, as mentioned before. The same dragging should be possible for the start and end of a scene.)

Or introduce "start of scene" and "end of scene" marker types.  If I use them, they control when where the scene starts and its duration. Maybe "Duration" and "Skip Frames At Start" properties are automatically calculated if those markers exist. (Recording beyond the end of the end of scene marker does not increase the Duration property if an "end of scene" marker exists.)

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 22, 2018

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Thanks for those suggestions.

When new recordings go beyond the previous scene duration, it should automatically extend the duration of the scene to encompass the new takes. I think there was an issue with that in an earlier version, but it might be fixed in newer versions.

Sounds like having something like a work area (like in After Effects) could help? If so, what operations would you expect? Trimming the scene to that range of frames? Exporting using that range? Others?

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Valorous Hero ,
Mar 22, 2018

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When I do a new recording that goes beyond the previous scene duration, it does automatically extend the duration of the scene. That is the problem. I understand that sometimes this is useful, but it is also often painful.

When layering takes one on top of the other, it is hard (impossible) to hit the "stop recording" at the same time for all takes. So you need to record a bit longer than needed to be safe. But doing so extends the duration.

The last suggestion I had is probably still my current favorite. Introduce two new optional properties or markers so I can say "I REALLY want the recording to start here, and I REALLY want the recording to end here." Could be properties (like Duration), or special marker types (like the "End Marker"). But the idea is if I set them, I want them to be used no matter what. They don't change because a recording goes beyond the markers.  (If they are not set/used, then the current behavior stays exactly as is.)

The start offset (skip N frames of the take before you start exporting real frames) stops things like hand twitching with draggers, or excessive hair bouncing for long hair at the start of a scene. How long to wait depends on the hair length, gravity etc - so I don't mind setting it by hand.

The end offset is so I can set it, and recording beyond the current end point DOES NOT extend the length of the exported clip.

First example: zero draggers or anything recorded. Notice the bobbing hair. So I want to set the start time say a second into the scene so the hair has finished bobbing up and down.

Scene - Liana - FRONTAL_1.gif

Zero movement again, but this time I dragged the hands before recording the scene. Nothing is moving in the scene - it just I guess is jumping from the default position to the dragged position in the first frame, causing the unwanted twitch. This is the twitch I want to get rid of again by skipping the first few frames of the scene so it can settle down.

Scene - Liana - FRONTAL_2.gif

I can do it in Premier Pro etc, but its a pain - I have to redo the export each time.

For the end point, here is a random scene I just grabbed for illustration. If I want to record a drag over the top of this scene, I need to make sure it goes at least as long as the scene - so I overshoot the recording, and then have to set the duration back to the old duration each time. I manually put the marker in now to remind me where the end point should be.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 22, 2018

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Gotcha. Thanks for the additional detail.

We have an existing feature request for defining a range of frames (e.g., with a work area bar or similar) so that any subsequent recording will only exist within that range. I'll add this request to that one.

We are also investigating ways of dealing with initial twitchiness with Dragger, as well as when you want physics simulations like Dangle to settle for a bit first. A "punch-in" recording (in which you start your actions then start recording while it's happening might work for some things, but not if you need to use the mouse or keyboard for other things and can't start a recording at the same time.

Thanks.

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Valorous Hero ,
Mar 22, 2018

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The other painful part is while editing in Character Animator you don't see the twitch/bounce. It's only visible when you export to a media file or (I suspect) use dynamic linking (which I personally try to minimize for performance reasons). So I don't know how long to skip until AFTER I have built a scene and try to render it. Only then I can work out how much of the start I don't want.  (Personally I export a MP4 file then use Premier Pro to work out how much to remove from the front.)

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Valorous Hero ,
Mar 22, 2018

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Oh, and I was after frame level precision. Having to hit a key or click a button at just the right time, and not being able to go back and adjust it down to frame level resolution would be very painful.

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