[Bf-committers] Proposed Armature replacement
Thu, 27 May 2004 10:22:14 -0500
On 27 May 2004 at 11:46, Ton Roosendaal wrote:
> Hi Jeremy,
> Although I really acknowledge the current system has lots of problems,
> I also realize a character animation system isn't simple to design or
> Compared to the initial design doc Reevan made (the coder of current
> system) your proposal lacks a lot of general insight and structure...
Agreed. Of Course, I've only spent about three days on it so it will
be getting more detailed.
> I would propose you to start designing at top level, also based on what
> we already know: the components Object, Ipo, Armature, Pose, Action,
> NLA, IK, Constraint, etc.
> Analyze how the system works, how the compnents relate, and why the
> limitations are as we know, and come with the list of improvements you
> intend to implement. Like:
> - having IK as builtin feature, not as Constraint
> - having Pose mode in two variants by default, forward and inverse
> - soving the speed issue
> Blender's architecture has its limits, but if applied well can help you
> designing good code and a good UI as well. I'd like to see some 'lego
> style' building block diagram, describing what the basic items are
> artists will work with, and how they can use these blocks to construct
> an animated figure.
I can come up with some of those building blocks right now just from
my analyzing of the current system.
> Reevan left the Armature system quite messy yes, but he cannot be
> really blamed for that. Besides the time pressure, he also was pushed
> to (first) make the system work with realtime (game) characters, which
> have much simpler skeletons and which explains why the Armature
> animations are evaluated based on redraw (efficient for games).
> He worked on this long days, and for several months. Although he wasn't
> a very experienced coder then, he certainly is an excellent character
Perhaps one of the questions to be asked is does blender want to
continue to support mostly game animation or expand the tools to
eventually be useful for Movie animation?
> Recently, while trying to fix some bugs in the NLA and Action window,
> the most striking issue (for me) is how the total workflow is
> frustrated with all the small missing details, missing visualizations
> and missing conventions to make it 'feel' like Blender. The workflow
> for Armature animation is totally hidden, and impossible to sort out
> (for me!) without reading the docs again. This is not so much an
> architecture issue, but mainly something a couple of devoted coders
> could maintain and polish, just smoothing out all annoying details.
> Apart from solving the speed issue (which is wrong evaluation code) I
> think the general GUI access & visualization is most urgent to solve.
> Even when it means the underlying code needs a full revision.
A lot of the GUI issues would be fairly easy to fix I think. Workflow
needs a lot of improvements.
> Lastly; this is meant as a constructive contribution, so don't throw
> your work away. Not everyone likes writing long architecture docs or
> reviews, and sometimes ideas just mature better when you can play
> around with the basic code first. You'll have to choose your own
> roadmap for it. :)
I'm not going to throw it away. It's a long term improvement idea.
Armatures could be much more powerful and intuitive than they are
right now. Even Game Skeletons are becoming more and more complicated
these days. I firmly believe Blender could become a favourite for
animators if it had an intuitive and complete armature system.
> On Wednesday, May 26, 2004, at 06:24 Europe/Amsterdam,