Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Trax Editor

So I felt like I should get to grips with the Trax Editor to help me animate faster.

I had a look on line as to how the Trax Editor works and I was amazed at how easy it was to create a clip and to then loop it.

So I will be using the Trax Editor for my walk and run cycle of the cat, just to get my head over how it works and to get a looping animation without having to key it in over and over again.

To begin with I needed to create a character set so that I could use the Trax Editor. This also helped me animate the cat a little more.

The easiest way I found to set up a character set was to hide everything and then show NURBS Curves, so that only the Rigs controls were visible,  I then selected them all except the spine and tail and created a character set from that. I named it Melvin so that I knew that the correct character set was chosen.

I then went into the saved layouts and chose the Perspective/Trax window so I could see both windows to work from. To get my animation clip I created one with the Trax editor and it came up in the bottom bar. I made sure that the first frame and the last frame were the same when I created this run so that it was seamless.

I then looped the animation with the editor so that it did more steps and lasted longer than the original. When I played it back and the cats animation went very strange as you can see in the above picture. To fix this I had to edit the channel offsets so that the cat stayed in place. I had to make them all absolute as the cat was moving forward very slightly every frame so by changing it to all absolute the cat stayed in place.

I really enjoyed using the Trax editor. It was relatively simple to use and once I got my head around it. It greatly improved the time I spent doing animation. I didn't have to do all the steps for a run and I could look what I had done and saved my time so that I could do other animations.

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