Understanding Layered Animation Tutorial

Page 3

Feather Roll

Create a new layer and rename it Feather Roll.
Select Local Mode from the Reference Mode menu button in the Viewer window (fig 12). This will allow you to rotate the feather in local space.

Fig 12.

Block the main parts of the animation by setting keys on frames 1, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 55.
Go back to frame 10 and rotate the Feather Controller 10 degrees on the X axis. Also key the controller on frame 20 at -21 degrees, frame 30 at 12 degrees and at frame 40 at -18 degrees. The rotate X curve for the FeatherRoll layer should look like this (fig 13).

Fig 13.

Final Tweaks

The feather’s motion is looking much better with the layer edits that have been done to it so far. Finalize it by putting some minor tweaks in the translation of the controller.
Create a new layer and rename it Final Tweaks.
Set a key on the translate Z at frame 1 and at frame 55. Go back to frame 1 and move the Feather Controller -85 on the Z axis, set a new key frame to record this location.
Select both key frames of the curve by clicking on translate Z on the left side of the FCurves tab and dragging a box around the blue curve. Press the Set Flat Left button at the right side of the FCurves window to change the tangents (fig 14).

Fig 14.

To give additional complexity to the animation, go to layer FeatherFwdBkw select and select all the transforms on the left side of the FCurves window. Draw a selection box on the Action Timeline from frame 10 until frame 40, move those keys one frame to the right by clicking and dragging between frames 10 and 20 (fig 15).

Fig 15.

Repeat the process for layer Feather Yaw but this time move the keys to the left one frame. On layer Feather Roll move the keys to the right one frame also.

The following movie shows the progression of the animation through the different layers.




Through the use of layered animation you have enhanced the motion of a feather falling down through a non destructive approach. If at any point of the process the new changes are not desired it is easy to go back to the previous stage by deleting the layer that they are in. Understanding layer animation will make it easier for you to enhance motion capture data through hand key framing later on.

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