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The Semi-Official ProAnimator FX Bug/Not-a-bug Thread

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Brandt Krueger
The Semi-Official ProAnimator FX Bug/Not-a-bug Thread
on Oct 1, 2008 at 8:55:20 pm

Hi all,

Let me start by saying how impressed I am with the out of the box capabilities of ProAnimator FX (for Motion and FCP). Although I'm not a total rookie to the field of 3D graphics and design, I'm very happy with how quickly I was able to go from scratch to WOW in my titles.

That being said, I had some initial bumps in the road, with crashing, bugs and other oddities. A couple of posts here in the forum, though, and within minutes I was having a private email conversation with Matt from Zaxwerks, who was eager to help me solve my problems and to learn if there were bugs they were unaware of.

After a few back and forths, I started to feel like I was abusing his time and asked if it would be OK to start this thread. That way we could share the answers to my questions with others. He agreed. So here it is... The Semi-Official ProAnimator FX Bug/Not-a-Bug Thread!


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Brandt Krueger
Crash loses not only the clip you were working on, but ALL of them
on Oct 1, 2008 at 9:11:09 pm

This was my initial post in the forum. I still find it quite frightening, and unfortunately it's not the kind of thing Matt can reproduce on his end.

Here's what happened. Not once, but TWICE!

I started my first major project involving PAFx and had made about 30 ten second fly-inny, swoop-aroundy, zoom-outy titles, and was really grooving on how quickly PAFx was working. All of a sudden, BLAMO. FCP crashed. "No problem" I thought. I had been saving regulary, plus there's the autosave from FCP. I opened my file that I had saved just minutes before (before I had started on the fatal title). I went to edit one of my already built titles and received the initial "Click to get started" box. I don't know how it's even possible, but somehow the crash caused every instance of PAFx in that project to reset to nothing. I sent the file to Matt at Zaxwerks, and he confirmed- no data in those clips.

Same with the autosave version. Now how is THAT possible? No idea, but about 5 clips into rebuilding the project it happened again.

I removed some plugins that I was no longer using, as well as some trial versions of Boris Red that had expired. I trashed my FCP preferences and did a startup. (Google "Trashing FCP Preferences" and "MAC hold shift reboot" for more info). You might want to try them one at a time, as any or all of it might have been the cure.

Since I have done this, I have not had any problems.

They recommend not only saving early and often, but also saving to different files on a regular basis. Though I have not had any problems as mentioned above, I have, just to be safe for now, been saving as Project 1, Project 2, and Project 3 in a cycle.

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Brandt Krueger
FCP Window Resizing underneath PAFx
on Oct 1, 2008 at 9:23:51 pm

When trying to grab or move something in PAFx, nothing appears to happen. In this example, I was trying to move the time slider and finally realized that I was getting the handles for resizing the windows in the FCP user interface which was underneath the PAFx window. The slider wasn't moving and it appeared nothing was happening. Eventually when I closed the PAFx window, I realized I had resized my Viewer and Canvas windows.

I've noticed some funkyness with the PAFx sitting in front of certain
FCP tools/UI elements. I think this is an OS X issue - since we're
using Carbon for our messaging and FCP is using the new Cocoa. I'm
guessing the system is getting a little confused and not understanding
that our Carbon window is in front of everything.

SOLUTION (from me, not from ZW):
Adjust your PAFx interface to keep important things away from the boundaries of your FCP windows and save it as a custom view. OR, if you have two monitors and you're going to be in there a while, move the whole window to the other monitor. Unfortunately next time you open it it will move back to its original position.


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Brandt Krueger
Mystery Letter Flip caused by Y spin pose action
on Oct 1, 2008 at 9:51:43 pm

Ok, here's an interesting one that hopefully can be duplicated to determine if it's a bug or not. Create a new scene and add a 3D text object. Type the words "MYSTERY TEXT FLIP" and reduce/increase the font so it just fits on one line (52 pt Futura on mine). Add another pose at around 4 seconds, and another around 8 seconds in. Select the middle pose and set "Distribute" to Cylinder Wrap. Adjust the bend to make the phrase a complete cylinder (mine is about 77). Playback yields a nice little effect of the text wrapping itself into a circle, then going back to normal. Now, what if we want to have the text circle spin around once while it's there? Again with the middle pose selected, I set "Pose Action" to "Spin Y" and set the rotation to -360. Everything looks great until it's time to go back to normal in the second transition. Now, the letters M,Y,S,T and R,F,L,I,P all do a little rotational dance.

It's the combination of SpinY and Distribute that causes the weirdness.
Add a 1 Frame Pose with no pose actions attached. As we moved -360 deg, we no longer need Spin Y because we're back where we started. I have a feeling that this could be the easy workaround to a lot of potential problems. If something's not animating the way you'd like, you might give the 1 frame pose a try.

I say bug. ZW?

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Matt Rhodes
Re: Mystery Letter Flip caused by Y spin pose action
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:53:15 pm

The issue here is that at the end of the second Pose, everything has been rotate 360 degrees along the Y axis, so getting everything back to the default location requires some interesting flipping.

This is mathematically correct, but it's visually misleading.

I did the following as a workaround:
- I added a single frame Pose right after the second Pose
- Since the newly-added Pose is a copy of the second Pose,
I removed the "Spin Y" Pose Action. It looks the same as
the end of the second Pose, but it doesn't have the extra

Now, when transitioning from the single-frame Pose to the
third (now fourth) Pose, things look correct.

I'm looking into a fix for this. Selecting the "Minimize Rotations" checkbox in the Transition between the original Pose 2 and 3 should do the trick - but there may be a bug here.

Matt Rhodes
Zaxwerks, Inc.

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Matt Rhodes
Re: Mystery Letter Flip caused by Y spin pose action
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:27:13 pm

After some delving into this problem, I've found a problem with some of the math in this particular scenario. The spun letters caused some funky rotation values. I've put in a fix that will show up in the next release.

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Brandt Krueger
Timeline slider does not adjust when zooming in
on Oct 3, 2008 at 9:40:03 pm

Another minor bug, but Matt seemed to want all I could find.

When you zoom in on the timeline, the horizontal slider does not adjust to reflect the zoom until you click on it. This can give you a misleading idea of where in the project you are in relation to your zoom level, as well as can create sudden giant leaps of time when you only wanted to move the slider a little.

Other times, it will disappear completely until you click around a little on the zoom buttons and slider bar. I have been unable to determine what sequence makes it disappear.


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Matt Rhodes
Re: Timeline slider does not adjust when zooming in
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:24:59 pm

That's a bug. It will be fixed in the next release.


Matt Rhodes
Zaxwerks, Inc.

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Brandt Krueger
Layer Map Texture Resizing Issue
on Oct 7, 2008 at 7:23:33 pm

I don't know if this is a bug or I'm doing something wrong...

Here's what I get if I follow these steps:

Open Motion, Create Solid Color, Apply PAFx filter.
Import a couple of jpgs.
Assign JPG1 to Layer Map 1, JPG2 to Layer Map 2 and hide the originals.
Open PAFx and create a new primitive- once open make it a cube.
Apply Map 1 to the face on the left, Map 2 to the face on the right.
Close PAfx. Hey look, cool! My JPGs are the two sides of the cube facing me.

It looks great, so let's render. Export as JPG image (or anything). Crud... my textures are "zoomed in" and don't look like they did on the screen. I have tried adjusting both the screen and export drop down boxes to various combinations, but the result is the same. The scale on the final export is way off from how it looks on the screen.

Any ideas? I'd really like to get this layer mapping thing figured out ASAP as I have to do the same animation about 80 times with just different bitmaps applied...


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Brandt Krueger
Scale of Imported 3DS object
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:11:03 pm

When importing a 3DS object, I am unable to adjust the scale- I can select the 100.00% listed in the box, but am unable to type in any numbers to replace it, or delete it. This is a problem because when importing a 3DS object, it comes in TINY. This may be why some people are experiencing what they describe as not being able to see their objects on the stage (3DS purchased from TS has been mentioned a couple of times in the forums as no importing correctly).

Let me know if you'd like to see some examples...


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