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Old 13-01-2003, 12:02 AM   #1
kal
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Default no tangent handles?

Having an odd problem with my tangent handles in the graph editor. I'm trying to animate the shoulders on that character thats in my walk cycle post, but for some reason i cannot edit the handles.

To begin with the handles wouldnt even show until i deleted the keys by breaking conntections in the channel box that were set on the y and x channels (even though i only set keys on the z axis!! - another maya bug or is this "right"?)
So anyway, now i just have keys in the z axis, and i can see the tangent handles, but not move them! I can move the keys themselves, but the second i select a handle it just selects the whole curve....
maybe I've been sat at my computer too long animation and have just lost it, but I've never had this happen before!

thanks for any help,

dan
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Old 13-01-2003, 12:07 AM   #2
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How is your character rigged in the shoulder area? Do you have a control for the shoulder or are you actually animating the joints?
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Old 13-01-2003, 12:13 AM   #3
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the shoulder has a separate control much like the Jason Scleifler setup in the "integrating a creature production pipeline" dvd - if you havnt seen it I'll try and explain it in some more detail, but *crosses fingers* hopefully you have seen it (as its bloody hard to explain)
basically there is a control which lets me move the shoulder independantly of the elbow and collar bone, though I dont understand why that would prevent me from editing handles on keys when i can move the keys ....
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Old 13-01-2003, 12:30 AM   #4
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Not sure if I unserstand what you're asking, but I'll give it a go. (I don't know anything about animation) Observe the image below.....

Image1 - This is what the animation of a cube I created looks like. You see the Translate X and Y curves. You must first select the move tool. Select the point circled in red.
Image2 - Now, a portion of the curve is highlited.
Image3 - Select the top handle circled in red. If it fails to select, try again; this time making sure to select the point at the end of the handle.
Image4 - Dragging the middle mouse button, you can modify the curve.

Hope this helps.
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Old 13-01-2003, 12:44 AM   #5
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Thanks darkwave...yup - thats exaclty what it wont do! other curves in the scene are fine, but not this one
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Old 13-01-2003, 12:45 AM   #6
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Various other tips about the Graph Editor.....
1. Each point you see on a curve in the Graph Editor represents a key.
2. With objects that have both X,Y,and Z cordinates keyed, too many curves can make it difficult to modify animations. To View one curve only, simply select one of the Translate, Rotate, or Scale views on the left. You can Control+Select multiple views as well.
3. To loop animation, select the animated object, then choose Curves>Pre Infinity or Curves>Post Infinity and select the type of loop you want.
4. Sometimes, animations can turn out to be too, well... curvy. If you want an aimated object to run from one key to another in a straight path, select the keys (points on the curves) in the Graph Editor and select Tangents>Linear. There are a number of other options under Tangents as well. Clamps help with walk cycles.
5. If you select a key in the Graph Editor and have the Move tool selected, you can move the entire key up or down on the grid with the middle mouse button. (selecting JuSt the key - not the handles of the key)

Well, you might or might not have known any of that, but I guess if a noobie runs across this thread, he or she will now know something new.
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Last edited by Darkware : 13-01-2003 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 13-01-2003, 12:46 AM   #7
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Kal, wanna post the scene file for me? It's hard to troubleshoot rigs without actually playing with them.

And yes, I know what you're referring to about Jason's rig. I use a similar approach.
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Old 13-01-2003, 01:03 AM   #8
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thanks alot Danny - sending email now
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Old 14-01-2003, 01:28 AM   #9
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kal,

Got your file, and I think I've figured out the problem. The rotation interpolation of your shoulder control curves is currently set to Synchronized Quaternion. A quaternion rotation automatically calculates the smoothest interpolation between keyframes using an invisible 4th curve instead of tangents (a quaternion is a 4-dimensional complex number). To gain access to tangent handles, you need to change the rotation interpolation to Independent Euler (Graph Editor | Curves | Change Rotation Interp). It looks like some of your other controls are set the same way. One thing you should also check is the Default Rotation Interpolation for new curves in Preferences | Keys. It's entirely possible that you have it set to Synchronized Quaternion as a default instead of the more familiar Independent Euler.

This should thoroughly confuse any n00b who stumbles into this thread...
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Old 14-01-2003, 01:53 AM   #10
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You got that right dannyngan!
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Old 14-01-2003, 02:04 AM   #11
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Aaaaaaaah!!!!!!! Damn I forgot i set it to quarternions (as default in the key preferences). Was experimentsing with it when i was rigging and forgot to change it back - didnt know that could be set through the graph editor too though will remember that one.
Doh anyhow thanks alot for that - I'd never have remembered to check that myself, and I've been banging my head over this for the past 2 nights! your a life saver (well sanity saver
*cracks open some beers and sends them danny's way*

btw dont know if you've noticed already, but Jason has a new DVD out at the A|W online store - already have some of next months wages earmarked for that one
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Old 14-01-2003, 02:21 AM   #12
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Not a problem. Thanks for the virtual beers.

For future reference, Euler rotation keyframes in the Graph Editor are displayed as squares; quaternions are displayed as diamonds.

Yeah, I saw the new DVD there. Can't really justify it at the moment, but it is something I'm considering in the near future.
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