Animation Archives

How to access keyframes for morph dials and parameters in the DAZ Studio Timeline

By default, some keyframes in the DAZ Studio timeline just don’t show up. Morph dials and any other options that appear on the Parameters Tab are such culprits. We can see their effect, but not necessarily a corresponding keyframe. I’ve just found out how to make those values how up and thought I’d make a …

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How to preview a Cine Camera full screen in Unreal Engine

During yesterday’s Twitch Stream, I’ve built a camera animation with the Urban Future 6 set in Unreal Engine. I was wondering how to show the camera full screen while I was positioning it and found out this morning. That’s what a good night’s sleep can do to you 🙂 I thought I’d share it with …

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How to animate UI Widgets in Unreal Engine

I found a very elegant way to animate various properties of the UI widgets we can add to the screen in Unreal Engine. Anything from animating their position to opacity and all kinds of other things can be confined to a mini timeline, then queued programmatically when necessary. Let’s take a look how I’ve animated …

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Retargeting Synty Characters to the Unreal Skeleton

I’ve recently found a much easier way to use Unreal Guy’s animations with the Synty (Polygon) characters, thanks to TC Mabe’s video (and his other one too). This is an updated version of what I’ve described back in March, something I was never really happy with, nor did I fully understand all steps involved. The …

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Switch between frame count and seconds in the Blender Timeline

You may have seen projects or screenshots of Blender displaying a disturbing view of the timeline, in which rather than a pure 12345 frame count, you get something like 44+2 or 18+16. Something that sends the cold shivers down any animator’s spine. What is this madness you ask, and how can we restore it to …

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My Animation Workflow in DAZ Studio – The Basics

I often get questions in regards to Animations in DAZ Studio. It’s a complex topic, because it combines “animating in general”, and “using the animation tools in DAZ Studio”. I recently described my animation workflow to a reader/viewer (Nkem) and thought this information might be useful to others too, so here’s what I said.

Most new users have an issue with the time it takes to both build the animation itself, but also the enormous time it takes to render an animation out. Something relatively short and simple like this is a good example:

Aside from the setup, rendering an animation frame should be treated differently to a still image. We need to live with compromises, because we’re rendering quite a few images (30 frames per second, on a 10 second animation, that’s 300 images). If each of them would take 6 hours to render, the whole thing would take about 75 days, or nearly 3 months. And that’s a very short animation.

Let’ see how we can trim that down to a few hours or less instead.

Read moreMy Animation Workflow in DAZ Studio – The Basics

Removing x-translation wobble when converting keyframes to aniBlocks

When you convert keyframes to an aniBlock, there’s a phenomenon that can happen in that the figure seems to sway left/right. It’s not something that is present in the keyframe animation, and I’m not entirely sure why this happens on conversion. The above shows how Darius 7 does his keyframe funny walk, while the bottom shows what happens after conversion to an aniBlock. In a word: terrible!

aniMate is a powerful tool, and in this article I’ll take a look on how to fix such shenanigans.

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Using Non-Linear Animation (NLA Features) in Blender 2.8

Many animation apps have an exciting feature that lets us re-use a group of keyframes in a more convenient way to build larger and more complex animations. They’re commonly referred to as non-linear editing. A popular example includes setting up an action as keyframes once, and then looping it using an NLA bock of sorts (like a walk cycle). Better yet, animations can be combined and transitioned without interruptions or ugly pops. We can even overlay several actions, such as a walk cycle, an eye blink and a waving hand gesture.

Blender has these features, and while difficult to grasp at first, they’re surprisingly simple to use once you grasp the concept:

  • setup an animation using regular keyframes, or import it from a service like Mixamo
  • turn this group into an Action Strip (that’s what Blender calls an NLA block)
  • add this Action Strip onto an NLA track, repeat it or combine it with other strips
  • add transitions in between blocks to seamless motion
  • add tracks to combine animations

Here’s how it works for me. This might not be 100% accurate, but it’s good enough to build seriously cool animations with ease. I’m using Blender 2.82 for this example, and I’m expanding on principles I’ve briefly touched on in my previous article about looping walk animations.

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Animating sunlight (SS Time) in DAZ Studio

I’ve recently explained how to make use of the realistic sun disk in DAZ Studio. I’ve talked about how to make this thing visible and how to set it to mood/effect you want, and I’m pleased with the results. This workflow works great for still images, but for animations, it quickly becomes clear that the SS Time parameter under Render Settings – Environment cannot be keyframed.

Or can it? Looks like it can, thanks to a little helper tool called the Sun Dial. Let me show you how it works.

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Comparison: 3Delight vs NVIDIA Iray for Animations

For this animation I’ve rendered the same scene twice in DAZ Studio 4.8: once with 3Delight and once with the new NVIDIA Iray engine. It’s interesting to compare the results in an animation rather than a still image due to the different challenges involved.

One thing is that the subject is illuminated differently depending on how far away it is from the camera. Another is that it’s difficult to get matching end results when mixing faster and slower hardware: Iray can take a long time to finish a render if no GPU acceleration is around.

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How to render with Alpha Channel in Anime Studio 8

We’ve been playing with Anime Studio 8 Pro and love it – for years I’ve been bombarded with “special offer” emails that told me how amazing this programme was so we finally gave in. I’m glad we did – Julia and I are having lots of fun creating 2D animations.

The included tutorials are great, but I believe they’ve been made for previous versions of the software. Some features have changed, and this is one I’ve had trouble funding on the web:

How to render an animation while retaining the Alpha Channel.

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Woody dancing at the office

Woody is our favourite wooden artists’ manikin. He currently lives on a shelf with two woolly ninjas (Blackberry and Blueberry) but we though it was time that he was brought to life. I was delighted when I found him in the additional content for Poser 7. I animated him using Animate 2 in DAZ Studio …

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Dancing Robot Splash Screen

I thought I’d share a couple of Splash Screens I created for my (since rejected) iPhone Apps. Splash Screens are loading screens which are shown while the sometimes lengthy startup process would show a black screen – unless you provide an image. Makes for a much nicer user experience.

Dancing Robot (above) is lovely cartoon figure called Klank by 3D Universe – I absolutely love their style! I have a couple of other figures made by them and I’ll show you some pre-production artwork a bit later.

As you may have guessed, Dancing Robot is essentially the same app as Dancing Alien with a different character, an animated background and different music. Guess I won’t be submitting that one to Apple…

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