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Author Topic: Velen Zaiga's Quick Guide to Animation Principles with BrawlBox.  (Read 2393 times)
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    « on: April 11, 2010, 08:51:55 PM »


    Hey there everyone, since I have learned a couple of things from BrawlBox, I thought I would share them with people by making a quick guide about it, namely having to do with animation. The following topics will be covered as shortly and concisely as I am able. So don't depsair if this is long-winded in the end.

    Note that this guide is NOT about how to do animations in BrawlBox, but a guide of principles you can follow as you use BrawlBox.



    • Getting Started -XYZ.
    • Getting Started - All about the Frame Work.
    • Knowing What you Want.
    • Inspector Velen Zaiga, Interpolation! - What is Interpolation?
    • Combating Monster File Sizes.
    • Things To Remember.

    Lets begin, shall we?

    Getting Started - XYZ

    X, Y, and Z. What do I mean by these. If you haven't so much as touched BrawlBox as of yet, then this is going to be some very important information to you. X, Y, and Z refer to axis, and if you haven't had high school algebra (math) yet, then this will be very trick for me to explain.

    Basically, an axis is a plane on which things rotate.

    The X, Y, and Z refer to three different axis, X is Horizontal Rotation, Y is Vertical Rotation, and Z varies,

    Z is variable between bones, it sometimes acts as an inverse of the X axis, or something all of its own. Its up to you to find what which is which for which bone.

    Now moving onto.

    Getting Started - All About the Frame Work.

    Notice that framework has a space in it, there is a reason for this. This refers to frames: the lifeblood of animation. Without frames to move between, the animations will not move, and the characters stay stationary.

    The speed of animations depends on how many frames there are parts of an animation.

    Brawl's standard framerate is 60 fps, sixty frames per second. So if part of an animation lasts only 2 frames, it will be blindingly fast, where as a part lasting 120 frames will take 2 seconds to complete the movement. By managing the speed of your animations with the frames, you can give much vitality to your animations.

    The amount of frames you use depends on what you want out of it, and if you need to, you will probably change that amount to accomodate your needs, but more on that in our next topic.

    Knowing What You Want.

    The above is a very simple statement. "Knowing What You Want" is important in animation. If you don't know exactly what you want, you may end up finding what you want through trial and error, but a sure-fire way to know what you want beforehand is to think about. This includes.

    • Writing things down on paper.
    • Thinking to yourself quietly/aloud about it
    • Doing an activity that may help you get an idea

    As long as you know what you want, you are golden, and ready to start trying to animate. As you gain experience, figuring out what you want might be come easier, or be just as hard, it just depends on the way you think. A good way to gain experience is editing the pre-existing FitCharMotion.Pac files you can find in the Brawl ISO File download on Mediafire here.

    By gaining experience, your animaitons become better and better, and your definition of what looks good will also change and evolve with your standards.

    However, it is time to move onto another topic, which is~...

    Inspector Velen Zaiga, Interpolation! - What is Interpolation?

    Interpolation is a new feature added to the latest version of BrawlBox in order to make animation between key frames smoother. Key Frames are frames that have numbers appearing in yellow in the various XYZ Translation, Rotation, and Size fields on Bones. These act as absolute values, when a number is in yellow, then the position of that bone is absolutely that value, no more or less.

    The Size Fields are mostly never used for key frames, so they will most likely be white.

    What is interpolation by definition? Interpolation is when you take points and mark them on a graph. When you move between these points, approximations are calculated in order to move the line to the next "key" point on the graph. BrawlBox's interpolation feature is alot like that. It takes the key frames you have given it and it will make approximations of how to move the bone. Because of this, however, the results can be just as you want them, or they can be off grotesquely. To fix these, place a key frame in between the key frames causing you trouble, but do not add too many, because then you will have to start...

    Combating Monster File Sizes.

    As you make animations, the total file size will increase, this can lead up to being a lot or a little, depending on what you do. Animations with lots of key frames will dramatically increase the file size, while animations with fewer key frames will increase the file size relatively little. This is because BrawlBox has to remember every single key frame, which is why they are marked in yellow when you view the bones. Nintendo's FitMotion.pacs are relatively large, at about 1-4 Megabytes, and the characters and game both have file size restrictions, as long as you meet or are under the file size limit, you will be fine.

    To clean up key frames from an animation, you can view them in the Model Viewer and load them up, or you can load the animation set directly to BrawlBox. This is especially true if you are a frequent user of copy and paste in BrawlBox, as part of the frame you copy and paste will become a key frame. To counter this, simply click and hold to select the number in the box, then delete it and type nothing into it, then click outside of the box. The box will turn white, and it will no longer be a key frame.

    Be sure to check the end of your animations, as they most likely have keyframes in the translation part of the bone animation, delete those, as they will not affect the end result of the animation if you do.

    By deleting unnecessary key frames, your file size will be kept in check, and you won't have to worry over monster file sizes.

    Now, onto the last topic.

    Things to Remember

    The following are some things that you can keep in mind as you animate.

    If you think it doesn't look right, it isn't.

    You are the biggest judge of how good your animation looks, if it is not up to your standards, then go ahead and try again, and again, until you get it to look the way you want and think it should. Sometimes being lax about it is okay, but other times it will really lower the quality of your animations.

    When the going gets tough, don't give in!

    So one animation is getting you down? Give it time, you'll figure it out eventually, but if it just isn't working out, then see the above.

    Don't let animating cut in too much on your sleep time.

    Just like the homework you get from school, if you do not sleep, your grades will slip, and the quality of your animations can also slip if you're tired. This is entirely up to you, but don't let the animating process dominate you.

    Less is more.

    In many cases, it is best to delete as many key frames as possible to lower the file size, but the quality of the animations can suffer if you delete too many. Delete only the key frames that seem unnecessary to you, as well as the ones that are completely pointless to have, and you're golden.
    ----------------------------------------

    That is the end of this guide, and I hope your reading experience was pleasant. Good day/night to you.
     
    « Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 08:58:26 PM by Velen Zaiga » Logged


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    « Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 11:28:00 AM »


    actually good i gotta say, i learned from just editing frames Cheesy
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    « Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 08:48:23 AM »


    How did I not notice this before?  This is essential for helping people to learn how to animate.
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    « Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 08:53:26 AM »


    This in combination what i've seen from Kit could get me into animations.
    Depends on my free time and will to animate though xD
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    « Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 09:03:47 AM »


    This in combination what i've seen from Kit could get me into animations.
    Depends on my free time and will to animate though xD


    That reminds me, would this be any use to this tutorial/guide Velen?  It's a little demonstration I made a couple of weeks ago:

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