Friday, September 02, 2005

Animating Shapes on top of Envelopes

I'm trying to use shape animation to animate the eyeballs of the characters. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

1. Only point clusters can be used when animating shapes (nothing happens if you try to use polygon clusters)
2. Make sure to switch to Secondary Shape Modeling Mode before saving any shapes.
3. Turn on Model > Modify > Component > Relative Mode.
4. Make sure Mixed Weight Mode is turned on in the Shape menu.
5. Make sure Local Relative Mode is turned on in the Shape
6. Rename the Shape Key and the proxy parameter shape weight after EACH savekey.
7. If the shapes shoot off or otherwise go wacky, try turning off Normalize Overlap Weights in the Cluster Shape Combiner Property page and/or setting the Overlap Weight to zero.

The last unsolvable problem that I have is with the shapes going "wacky". The weird thing is that everything works fine, I can animate the shapes and render, but when I save and reload the scene, the shapes are no longer shaped the way they were when created and animated. I've given up on using shape animation for the moose and the tiger.

For the moose I just added two nulls, children of the upper jaw bone, and enveloped points to them. I'm using the nulls to control the pupils transforms. For the tiger, I've just added geometry, again children of the upper jaw, and I'm animating their transform (in reference mode... reference to a flat polygon cluster on the eyeball).

I will need to use Shape animation on the canary when it eats the tiger ... hopefully that will work better.

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