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Animation: Workflow, tools and transferable knowledge.
Animation: Workflow, tools and transferable knowledge.
by Espen Moe on May 22, 2019 at 4:47:35 pm

Hi! I've got some questions about the workflow, tools and transferable knowledge.

I will mainly animate characters, their props and small movements in the scene. And I've got questions about plugin to choose (which will bring different learning curves) and workflow. I will combine this with Photoshop and Illustrator. But when it comes to animation there are so many different plugins... Rubberhose2, JnS, Duik, PuppetTools 3, Bao Bones and more. I know that there isn't one plugin for every task, or that every task will be effective with one plugin, but I am curious about the overall learning curve when going into this, and what kind of tools you guys go to in given situations.

1: By starting with Character Animator, will this give me a benefit when it comes to learning more sophisticated plugins for animation later? Or will it be a "limited" solution, when my needs are changed, and I need more complex solutions? Is the knowledge transferable?

2: What kind of go-to-tools do you guys have in given situations? For.ex. a flower is growing. You need control of a whole character. There are clouds in the sky changing. How do you guys prioritize this when it comes to what solution to choose? No need to rig every cell in the flower, but it has to grow etc.

3: When you have big scenes with a lot of interactions between what is happening, and the preview is getting slow, how do you cope with this? Of course I reduce preview quality, dedicate RAM, pre-comp a lot and try to go around. Shy guy is good. But when its about timing between pre-comps, I always end up having problem with this.

All answers or insights are much apriciated ☺


Re: Animation: Workflow, tools and transferable knowledge.
by Tomas Bumbulevičius on May 26, 2019 at 8:55:55 am

Hey Espen,

welcome to the forum - strange that nobody shared their input by now.

First things first - by saying I will mainly animate characters - does it mean you do not have experience yet in rigging/animating characters, or just looking for ways to expand your flexibility beyond the build-in AE functionality?

1. I haven't used all of those tools, but had my hands with Duik & JnS. Combination of both allows you to achieve a lot much more, N times faster, than doing natively. Tools has their own learning curve, but it is not limited to only character animation. For example, JnS can open completely new horizons and the ways how you do animation, and allow to achieve interesting outcomes. I am pretty much sure every of those 3rd party tools does, and the only limitation which comes is a limitation in looking for creative ways of doing stuff.

2. Its a trivial scenario, which I don't think could be sorted with some tool especially & in 'particular' only.

3. Few ideas:
~ For complex scenes, set preview frameRate skip frames rate to be less than real-time preview. For example, skip 2 or 5 frames rate. It will render only those frames, but it will give you a sense of animation flow in general;
~ Pre-compose items per scenes based, instead of working in one master complex comp. Not only you will get faster speeds, but also - more tidyness in the structure;
~ Trim down layers outPoints as long as it will be no longer visible in further animation;
~ Turn off visibility of items which are not required for that particular moment of your work;
~ To time between the comps, split preview window into two panels and lock main comps view. That way you will have a preview of pre-comp you are work with, & full picture.

Hope this helps :)

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