11 Seconds Club Thingie

  • Alright, 2-2.5 hours more got these clothes under control. I had to do a long sweep on the right arm off-camera, and some significant changes in the trajectory of the left arm, but now the nightgown stays around the arms (I think). At the end there's an incident with the right arm catching the blanket, but a minor adjustment will fix that.

    So I've spent 3.5-4.5 hours getting these clothes under control (and that means, just keeping them around the body). Most of that time was waiting for the 2 simulations to run - when they take 3-4 minutes, and then you need to repeat it 20 times, that really adds up. This is one of the things that is very frustrating with Poser - when you get stuck with something, you spend a lot of time. And I still wish that Poser would bake a simulation, and only redo from a point it changes - or that it would do it in the background.

    Anyway, I'm through the basic setup of the dynamic clothes, and this is final step 5: 12 fps, 198 frames (minus 20 frames for cloth setup):

    Now, next step is the joy of animation: refine, refine and refine. That's where you try to give some life to the characters. You work several hours with the boring stuff just to get to the icing of the cake, and I do enjoy this part. My rule is that from this point on I to avoid large changes in the framework or main movement as if I was avoiding the Devil. Rework from here on is very inefficient, and most of the times when I abandoned a simulation it was because I broke that rule (and I break it all the time, hard to resist).

    I plan to get the final props and environment setup last, as I find those very boring.

  • By the way, critics are welcome.

  • Maybe offset the audio a few frames later, when the stuff starts flying.

  • @krios said in 11 Seconds Club Thingie:

    Maybe offset the audio a few frames later, when the stuff starts flying.

    It's funny you referred to that. Suddenly my audio started to get out of sync with the movie. The audio generated movie is now coming a full second behind the audio in preview. I have no idea what suddenly caused that. After several attempts I just left the audio in this last movie at a random start, and let it to hopefully fix that later.

    If I can't get the audio sync'ed again I'll have to abandon this project, as it depends on exact timing around the sound.

  • @fbs7 Looks good so far.

  • This is the timeline at this point, that is, camera takes set, main poses set, main movements set, dynamics set:


    Notice a few things that tend to repeat to me quite a bit in animations: Poser doesn't allow one to annotate the timeline, so I need to keep the following things in my head (which ends up being the limiting factor in compexity):

    • I use one particular camera as the movie camera (is the aux camera, as the real movie camera is set up as a dolly, and I don't like it), and I keep track of the takes in the timeline by keying that camera. I tend to think in two kinds of takes: one that starts/ends movements, and one that is incidental to show a different shot of the same movement. So the blue arrows are start movement takes, while the red stars are continuous movements that need to have continuity in the camera.

    • Notice as the main camera takes start, the focus of the movements change - red blocks are for Terai and her hair, and blue blocks for the dog. I see that happening all the time in my movies, so one can keep a bit of sanity by identifying those blocks in the timeline and try to remember who is doing what by looking at them, but it would be so much easier if we could annotate the timeline.

    • Notice a few keys in toons that are not in the main movement blocks. These are off-camera setup moves, to get the toon ready for the next take before they start. Usually I do that on the frame immediately before the new take starts, but with dynamic clothes you need instead to spread that out. I try to keep these as a minimum, as they tend to get confusing fast.

    So that's how it works for me - I tend to switch to/from timeline window, and identify where I am in the timeline window by noticing those patterns. That's why I like 12 fps - the timeline is much shorter, and it's easier to view it all.

    This is still a very simple animation, and you can see that from how sparse the timeline is. But now it comes the time of adding the "little movements".. and that's where the trouble adds up very fast, because the timeline starts to get polluted with all sorts of incidentals, and it's very easy to lose track of what one's doing.

  • Oh, and I forgot to note: the yellow block is for the first set of stuff tumbling down, and the violet block is one last thingie that I added falling late to answer for a late "thump" heard in the soundtrack.

  • Check this action out:


    This is the 2 FPS stage, for a 2 min. sequence. Keyframe organization is an absolute must at this point, or down the line (24 FPS) things can become very messy. Some kind of annotation would be priceless, but until that happens, humans have pattern recognition: notice those stars through out the timeline, they are markers, and have no useful keyframes. You can easily tell the characters (green) from the props (gray), and also where each shot begins (spline break), and ends (constant key).

    And as you might have guessed, the last row is for the camera, Dolly in this case. Also helps denote each shot.

  • @krios said in 11 Seconds Club Thingie:

    This is the 2 FPS stage, for a 2 min. sequence. Keyframe organization is an absolute must at this point, or down the line (24 FPS) things can become very messy. Some kind of annotation would be priceless, but until that happens, humans have pattern recognition: notice those stars through out the timeline, they are markers, and have no useful keyframes. You can easily tell the characters (green) from the props (gray), and also where each shot begins (spline break), and ends (constant key).

    That's a marvelous idea! I had never thought of that!

  • @fbs7 said in 11 Seconds Club Thingie:

    That's a marvelous idea! I had never thought of that!

    If you keep your keys organized in this way, when you go to 4, 6 or 8 FPS, it will all look the same, except more keyframes.
    In other words, don't leave any blank frames until you are ready for final frame rate 12/24 fps.

    If you're interested, I'll post the progress of this scene for you... next step being 6 FPS.

  • This is the first draft of step 6 - give incidental movements. My keyword here is subtle and make no harm; of course I couldn't follow that, I added some leg flailing, which sent the blanket flying, so I had to spend 2 hours fix that (I swear I hate Poser's cloth simulation, I'm sure that would be a 10 minutes task if I could simulate the clothes in Marvelous Designer).

    Anyway, I ended up doing the old switcharoo with the blanket: there are two blankets now, one for the initial static position, and another that gets visible when she jumps up. That 2nd blanket got the sides morphed with the morph tool to positions on the side of the bed, and then these sides were made chroreographed; that anchors the blanket to the sides, and stops it from flying out (that's called pinning in Marvelous Designer).

    I also found the reason why sound was getting out of sync - Poser bug, of course. If you set animation start at frame > 1 and set sound start and another frame > 1 then the movie will be generated with sound out of sync; so I had to get the 1st blanket simulated with the initial sleeping position to frame 20, then create morph called FitAtFrame20, then set that on frame 1 and get rid of the fitting frames as these were throwing the sound out of sync.

    So I should be working on incidental movements, but instead I worked only 15 minutes on that and spent most of my time fixing sound and cloth simulation. Anyway, for the incidental movements the idea is to have the head move ahead of the body (eyes always move ahead of the head, and head always move ahead of the body... if you move the head with the body that gives a robot motion), then small variations around the paused positions (or the toon will look like a statue). So I'm halfway done with that. But all has to be subtle; the head prep move for example is just 2-3 frames ahead, and the moves to unpause the body are just lke 2 or 3 degree rotations. I also added a small jump as I thought that would be fun.

    Notice there are still many small artifacts with the clothes - intersections, parts get stuck with each other, spurious collisions, etc... I'm leaving these for now as I think I can fix them at the end when I'm done with all movements, and maybe a better simulation will help with that. I might even retime to 24 fps for the cloth dynamics alone.

  • @fbs7 Not really a suggestion, more of an alternative submitted for consideration.

    Here's how I do cloth sims:

    Firstly I'd hide cloth items & finalize the animation, then I'd be re-time to 30, or sometimes for quick movements, 60 fps for the cloth sims(you can re-time back to 15fps later if you like, I prefer 30 personally), but I wouldn't use that simulation...after simulation runs create keys every 30(or 45 or whatever) frames (match the keys of figure if you like, but not necessary), then spawn a morph target(name morph frame#_, don't forget frame1) at those keys (you can spawn 'tweeners' & edit any of those with the morph brush if needed, use a minimalist approach only fixing poke-thru) then clear the simulation, or better yet export the item and import a new object and copy morphs from original(hide original).. Double-click on each morph, set min0 max1 (force limits if available) set value at 1 for that frame and check that keys before and after are 0. Sounds like a lot of work but... viola, near perfect (smooth & editable) cloth simulation.

    When it comes to re-timing your animation , parent your cloth and/or other items to your dolls 'body' (never a body part, as movement of body part may be transferred to the cloth or other items) any changes made in re-timing the body will automatically transfer to the rest of your scene.

    I'd post an example video, but everything I have is NSFW and may violate NDA with other parties.

  • Thank you , JAFO; I'll keep that in mind.

    This is second iteration of step 6; I started to replace some props with better props, courtesy of 3D Warehouse from Sketchup; that's a bedrom set with bed, nightstnds, lamps and a beautiful flower vase; I got rid of the flower vase as I don't want to get in the complications of deforming the flowers while they fall; painting is also from 3D Warehouse, just a bitmap on a basic box.

    I also refined some movements; as this point, the idea is refine, refine, refine, and then keep refining. It's the same thing as painting; you get the basic painting done in 15 minutes, but then you spend 50 hours refining it. The keyword is make no harm (or try not to):

  • There's a thump at 6-7 sec. maybe the picture frame could fall off the wall to match that

  • @krios said in 11 Seconds Club Thingie:

    There's a thump at 6-7 sec. maybe the picture frame could fall off the wall to match that

    Thank you; I'll check that.

    You're considering doing an animation for October too? I'm thinking of submitting for October just for the fact that I have never done an animation with sound, and wanted to see how that is - I'm definitely not good at that.

  • @fbs7
    You welcome!
    If work permits, it would be interesting to do something with sound FX instead of dialogue.
    Looks like there are only two entries so far this month.

    Also, if you want some feedback before you submit your clip, hit up the forum.

  • @fbs7 I made a quick animation of a tank top as an example of method I described above simulation ran about an hour, spawning morphs and key-frames about 20 min... no fussing around with it at all(it could use some), morphs are smooth as silk while, the original simulation was totally unusable. One thing I forgot to mention, all morphs have to be linear else they'll be bouncy.

  • Appreciate it.

  • Alright, next attempt on the last step; no major changes in movements, just small adjustments of movements all over the place; I've created a simple morph face for the dog as surprise to give a bit of comical effect:

    I think I'm almost done with this; at this point it's in the range of smaller returns, and I have no ambitions about it, just wanted to see how I'd do with with animation with sound and to show my workflow for animation at 12 fps.

    Up so far about 12 hours spent on this, of which maybe 9 hours were trying to get these stupid dynamic clothes under control. In restrospect I should have made the dress conforming, and should have given a skeleton to the blanket (say 8 bones like a spider) and animated it like a figure; that would have been way simpler and probably faster, but then I didn't expect that the blanket and dress would interfere with each other the way they did.

    If I find some patience hiding around I'll try to retime it to 24 fps to see if the artifacts with the cloth simulation (the shimmering in some areas) will go away.

  • Alright; I'm done with this project; final considerations on this:

    (a) Don't use dynamic clothes unless you really need them; I was too optimistic about that blanket and nightgown, and ended up spending 80% of my time on them instead of refining the animation; in the long term these dynamic clothes proved to be a mistake

    (b) I ended up doing a last minute retime from 12 fps to 24 fps to improve the dynamic clothes; these retimes make movements to look odd, as the timings get off, but I didn't have more time to invest on that, so I left that as is; it's a pity, as the animation of these details is really what makes animation enjoyable

    (c) The sound file added constraints on the timing; I still would rather do a silent animation than one with pre-set sound, where I can set timings for movements without other constraints.

    That's it. Thanks.