[Bf-committers] re: Animation Baking Take II

Roland Hess rolandh at reed-witting.com
Tue May 8 16:43:21 CEST 2007

Hi Robert --

> offset bones. But the whole approach in the NLA to modify animations with
> curves I think
> should be added to. Baking is a destructive way of manipulating Animations
> and is
> always good if there is an option to modify without baking.

One of the things I mentioned on the wiki page, which I'm not sure if 
you saw (http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BlenderDev/AnimationBaking) 
was the down-the-road item of "virtual baking". Once a good baking 
framework is hammered out and functioning, you virtualize the process so 
that your original work is held for later easy adjustment, rolling 
changes into a new live bake. Also, I'm not just talking about 
destructive baking there, but conversion as well, giving you the 
flexibility of converting Loc/Rot keyed animation to curves and back -- 
whichever suits the needs of your shot best.

> I myself are not a great fan of using the NLA in Blender, or any no-linear
> editor in any package. I never seem to find
> a situation where I will save time using it. And The few times I have I find
> It hard to keep the same quailty of animation
> I lose to much control over what I set out to do.

I agree completely, and find that for good quality animation, using NLA 
isn't an option right now. But that's a lack of functionality and tools, 
IMO, and not a failing of the concept of NLA. I still think it would 
produce good results quickly to have a library of anim data for a 
character, build with NLA, then bake, then tweak and liven afterward. 
Using the NLA as an animation construction tool, not as an end result.

> I think we should really look at what our basic keyframe needs are and what
> we have got. My major problem
> character Animating in blender is the Quaternion Rotation IPO's which
> Blender got with the new Armatures
> a few years back. ... At the moment you have the 4 quaternion curves to
> fight with, which do a great job of
> quashing gimbals, but are hell on earth when you want to tweak that foot
> strike or sharpen that kick-off.

This question comes up often with new animators "how do I adjust my anim 
with the Quat curves?" Answer: You can't. Try something else. Which is a 
bad answer. In reading docs for other packages for the book, I found 
that several of them let you work in Eulers when fooling with curves but 
use Quats behind the scenes (and they list it as a Feature, which 
probably means that you couldn't always do that!).

> But I really think before we go any further with
> the NLA and the Action Editor that we nail down a concrete Curve/IPO 
 > editor that is consequent for both object and Armatures.

This is true, but I can code baking tools, but have never looked at the 
Ipo Editor code, so... :) Ah well, maybe it's time to expand my horizons.

Thanks for the feedback.

Roland -- harkyman

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