Lecture 8: Character Set and Trax Editor

Creating Character Sets and IK

Create the Creature
Create one sphere (body) and put on top of the creature
Create one long cone (foot) and position it below and outside of the creature's body
Put the pivot point of the cylinder in the center of the sphere
Edit - Duplicate Special Options and Select Reset Settings from the Edit Menu
Set the Rotate Y to 90 and Number of copies: 3
Duplicate Special
Move each pivot point back to the top of the cone

Create one cylinder (leg) horizontal to the floor
Place it on the same plane as the sphere (body)
Put the pivot point of the cylinder in the center of the sphere
Rotate the cylinder down to meet up with the cone (foot)
Select Duplicate Special (it should be set properly from the last time you used it)

Name each piece of geometry
Freeze transformations and Delete History

Make Leg Skeleton
Animation Menu Set - Skeleton Menu - Joint tool Options - Orientation: None, Second Axis: None
Start at the Body then go to the toe - set four joints (don't forget to add a hip joint)
Hit RETURN

Make More Leg Joints
Select the Skeleton Joint Tool (no options necessary)
Click the root joint (body Joint) then the hip then new knee position and then the new toe.
Hit RETURN

Do this for each leg - the leg joints should all be connected to the body Root Joint

Name each joint (use the position of the joint for ease of identification later)
Parent each piece of geometry to the joints (geometry is child of the joint)
Foot geo is child of Knee Joint, Leg Geo is child of Hip Joint

Parent the root joint to the top sphere

Making it into an IK System

Create the IK Handle for each leg picking the HIP first then the TOE
Don't forget to use IKSCsolver and all three attributes ON except for Auto Priority OFF

Name each IKHandle to go with the foot is is associated with

Add a Nurbs circle under each foot
Select the Nurb Circles and Freeze Transformations
The Circle is the Parent of the IKHandle for that foot

This circle is called the foot control and it is the thing you should select and set KEYS on
You only TRANSLATE it (not rotate)
You can also translate or rotate the top body geometry


Character Set

In Outliner: Pick top body geometry in the hierarchy then the Circles

Character Menu - Create Character Set Options
Name it a short name
Select All keyable
Create Charcter Set

The red arrow in bottom left corner of window will have pull down menu to select the character set

***If you have a character with lots of legs, then put all the legs into the same character set

None will deselect it
Choose the Character Set and it will show up in the Outliner, Graph Editor, Channel Box and other places

Trax Editor

You need to make a Character Set and animate it before you go into the Trax Editor

Window Menu - Animation Editor - Trax Editor

Create menu - Animation Clip Option
Name it
Put clip in Trax Editor and Visor
Time Range
(choose one)
       animation curve = all curves
       time slider - have only the timeslider show the parts you want to animate
       Start/stop frames
Leave all attributes others at the default

Select the Clip
Open Attribute Editor
You can change the number of times it does its thing: Post or Pre Cycle 10

Go back into the Trax Editor and Open the Character Set Arrow to see your clip - zoom out

SCALE: Can select bottom edge of clip and scale it to slow it down or make it faster
Select the clip and can copy and paste and put it under it

On left side of Character Set window:
Lock - first icon
Solo - the middle one
Visible - last one

Can Cut, Copy, or Paste the clip (it only contains animation information not the actual object)

Translate the character set
Make it invisible SEE NOTES
Go to frame 1 set key on tx
last frame move it and then set key on tx again
We won't see the bounce

Then go to Trax Editor - Create Animation Clip - Options
Name it
Put clip in Trax and Visor and Timeslider

You will end up with two chunks

Select the clip in the Trax Editor hold shift and drag - lower right corner to do post cycle and lower right corner for precycle

To trim off the amount of frames animated, drag the top right corner to the left or the left corner to the right

Or type it in Attribute Editor - Source Start and End

Shift and drag cursor on top, it will create a pause (Hold) - can type it in the channel box also

To combine clips:
Shift click both clips to select them
In Trax Editor - Edit - Merge Options
Name it
Add to Trax
(makes a whole clip)

Select the clip in the Trax Editor
Create - Time Wrap options
Enable - Time Warp Curve
Create Time Warp

To get rid of it, select the clip - Create - Time Warp Options
Disable

look in the graph editor (select the curve then View - Graph Anim Curves)

Fix it in the graph editor

To edit the animation on the clip, select the clip and Menu in the Trax Editor - View - Graph Anim Curves...

Hit A to see them all

To make a new Track - right mouse on the track in an empty spot and Insert New Track Below or Above

Put a clip from the Visor in there (Get the Visor from Window menu - General - then click the Character Clip tab)
Drag from the Visor to the Track

Weight Style in Channel Box positions it
*USE THIS** From Start (whereever the last position was)
Absolute will jump back to the beginning

Select the Clip in the Trax Editor and File - Export - Animation Clip

Save it in the clip folder on the project and save as mb

Then you can import the clip

Making duplicates of an animated object

Select the object and Edit - Duplicate Special Options
Edit: Reset Settings
Click Duplicate Input Graph then Apply or Duplicate Special
Since the animation keys are exactly the same, it will jump back to the same spot if you move it, but you only have to rekey the body translation and it will relocate to a new location.

Group the new object to an empty node (Edit - Group), then you can set animation keys on the new group node

You can also copy and paste the key frames by Shift dragging in the timeline.