Combine NLA clips

Salem2007Salem2007 Posts: 510
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

I have a walk cycle that I converted to a NLA clip. I want to use the clip several times in sequence to make the walk longer, but the figure reverts to the starting location at the beginning of each clip. I think there is a way to make the second clip start where the first ended, but I can't remember how to do it. Is it possible?

I'll search some more in the forum posts, but I haven't found an answer yet---I really think I've seen a solution to this somewhere...I just can't remember where....

Comments

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    When you add the clip to the track in the sequencer, while it's selected look in the tab on the right and click the 'loop' option.
    However, if you didn't save a loop tracker when making the clip, or if there's anything else wrong with using loop, like if you want to add a second clip after it and change the speed (resize the clip), but need to match the first, then select that second clip after you have it positioned in the track, and select "Match Previous Position", and tell it what to track. I use the hip, Mike uses one of the feet... whatever works well for you.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Inside the NLA loop setting you should see a control for offset. I don't remember exactly how it works (and Carrara is rendering) but essentially you have the standard X Y Z translate controls, maybe rotate too....

    The trick is to place a reference object (like a target helper) at a recognizable point (tip of boot) at the first frame, then you are trying to line up the last frame with that reference point.

  • PjotterPjotter Posts: 258
    edited December 1969

    Why don't don't you do it as it should be done. Select clip > enable "Loop" in Properties > drag the right side of the clip to point where you need it. Do not add multiple clips if you do not need it. This is only for different kind of clips.

  • Salem2007Salem2007 Posts: 510
    edited December 1969

    When you add the clip to the track in the sequencer, while it's selected look in the tab on the right and click the 'loop' option.
    However, if you didn't save a loop tracker when making the clip, or if there's anything else wrong with using loop, like if you want to add a second clip after it and change the speed (resize the clip), but need to match the first, then select that second clip after you have it positioned in the track, and select "Match Previous Position", and tell it what to track. I use the hip, Mike uses one of the feet... whatever works well for you.

    Ahh-- I was not using a tracker. I'll try again tonight...thanks!

  • Salem2007Salem2007 Posts: 510
    edited April 2014

    Inside the NLA loop setting you should see a control for offset. I don't remember exactly how it works (and Carrara is rendering) but essentially you have the standard X Y Z translate controls, maybe rotate too....

    The trick is to place a reference object (like a target helper) at a recognizable point (tip of boot) at the first frame, then you are trying to line up the last frame with that reference point.

    Thanks! I was trying to use the offset but I wasn't specifying a tracker or helper object.

    Why don't don't you do it as it should be done. Select clip > enable "Loop" in Properties > drag the right side of the clip to point where you need it. Do not add multiple clips if you do not need it. This is only for different kind of clips.

    Sounds like a simpler method--I'll try and see how it works--Thanks!


    Edit--woo hoo! I figured out how to quote multiple text in one reply---I'm on a roll!

    Post edited by Salem2007 on
  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Salem2007 said:
    Edit--woo hoo! I figured out how to quote multiple text in one reply---I'm on a roll!

    :P who says you can't learn stuff at these forums! lol

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,082
    edited December 1969

    HI Salem2007 :)

    When you create an NLA Master clip, there is a dialogue panel, where you can name the clip, and also select a "bone" of the figure to use as the "loop point" in a Looping animation.

    Once that's set,. you can add the clip,. set it's option to loop (in the right hand panel) and stretch the end of the clip as far as you need it,.
    you'll also see a dashed line to indicate each loop of the clip as you drag it out.

    Pretty much what Pjotter said :)

    If you've forgotten to select the loop point,.....

    You can "Load the clip data", from an NLA clip, back onto the time-line, as Key-frames, so you could edit that clip, or just save it as a new NLA Master clip, to select the Loop point.

    Hope it helps :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,963
    edited December 1969

    Loop is easy, which is why I mentioned that one first.

    But sometimes it's nice to make slight changes in timing. You can change the timing before selecting loop, and then loop it at that new timing. To change timing of the animation, simply make the clip larger or smaller along the timeline when it is not in Loop mode.

    So I'll often use a simple walk cycle, where I've saved it without any head or arm movements, so that I can animate those separately. I came up with that when I needed someone to hold a gun and walk. But I've later noticed that people don't often walk with their arms in perfect balance with their feet. While it makes for a beautiful walk cycle, I tend to get rid of the arm information, or record that on a separate NLA clip so that I can change the timing. But mostly, I animate the arms and head dependent on the scene. But if it's just a walk cycling scene, then I just record the whole cycle.

    Anyways, now I'll go for a clip length or two at one timing, and and a second version of the same clip, but shrunk down to add a quicker pace or a cycle, and then add another looping clip afterwards. When you start playing with that sort of thing, you'll start to notice how people walk in real life.

    So This is where it can be beneficial to know that you can select a clip, and have it match up to the ending of the clip before it. It really comes in handy a lot.

    Also, my main character doesn't 'loop' properly due to the scale changes I've made to her. This is likely due to the aniBlocks being made for a larger scale... whatever... it skips when I try to loop the clip. So I've learned early on to "Match Previous Location". Since then, I've been finding all manner of ways that this can help me to get what I want!

    Finally, as PJotter said, using different clips will also require a matched location. Or you could match it up manually as Holly points out. But I also like to switch clips for different scenes.

    My first test animations, strung together to make a longer length video, were made using test renders of my earlier experiments in bringing in aniBlocks, PZ2 animation poses, and making my own animations. Well a lot of those tests were walk cycles. Walk cycles for Rosie, for Dartan, for horses and lizards...

    As much as I like the meaningless little video I made, I start to see how stagnant walk cycles can become. Especially when the whole video is mostly just walking. So I started cutting keyframes before saving out to an NLA clip. Loading new aniBlocks just to get certain arm, head, or leg movements. This, of course, made me realize that the more aniBlocks I have, the more freedom I have at making more combinations this way. Yeah... I love to key in my own animations... I really do. But GoFigure aniBlocks are made using professional motion capture techniques of real people. So it works nice as a way of seeing the natural timing of things. This also helped me improve upon my own key framing.

    So I ended up writing bout it in the old forums, and saved a bunch of that to this new forum in this article:
    AniMating in Carrara

  • Salem2007Salem2007 Posts: 510
    edited December 1969

    Thanks everyone--I'm be able to try this in a few hours....I'm looking forward to using the "loop" feature. The original cycle was made from an aniblock and I forgot to edit the hands so I need to start over......no big deal. I like how I can slow or speed up the NLA by stretching it out or pushing it in--very handy!

    To be honest, I used to use the "Create NLA clip" option as a way to REMOVE all my keyframes and start over---it took me a while to realize how useful they were!

  • Salem2007Salem2007 Posts: 510
    edited December 1969

    Ok--it worked just as you all suggested...I never doubted you for a second!

    Thanks!

  • That Other PersonaThat Other Persona Posts: 381
    edited December 1969

    I just started trying to make NLA clips today but ran into a serious bug that will crash C every time as well as another oddity I don't understand.

    I am on a Mac, an iMac running 10.9.2 and Carrara 8.5.

    Following Mark Bremmer's training vid:

    open new doc, medium
    drop in the A4e from the Objects, aviation
    create animation group
    create new editable clip (oddity here: see below)
    open motion method: select rotation
    keyframe
    move to new frame, rotate, set keyframe, repeat, then option drag the 1st keyframe to end of clip
    double click the 1st tweener. choose Bezier
    double click 3rd tweener, click Bezier TOTAL CRASH (I can repeat this)

    If I save every step along the way, then I can eventually get C to add the Bezier by relaunching after the crash and then opening the saved file, so all is not a total loss, but it would be nice if a bug fix came out...


    The oddity is when I work in frames, the length of the clip doesn't match up with the timing. For example, if I have a 24fps project and input 12 for the length, I get a clip that is 48 frames long. But, if I switch over to time and input 0.5 sec, I get a clip of the proper length.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,555
    edited December 1969

    A4 should already have an NLA track by default. Could this be part of the issue? I also create my animation before I create a clip. You can still choose to have it editable. Could this be another part of it? What happens if you keyframe you animation and then create the clip? Can you change your tweener before the clip is created without a crash?

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,555
    edited December 1969

    Oops! I just realized you were talking about a plane and not Aiko 4. Please forgive my densitude. ;-)

  • That Other PersonaThat Other Persona Posts: 381
    edited April 2014

    Submitted a ticket.

    Hopefully Daz will quickly produce a fix!

    Post edited by That Other Persona on
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,082
    edited December 1969

    Hi That other persona :)

    Firstly,. the method you're using isn't the "only way" to create NLA clips.

    Try this,...

    Load your model,. animate it traditionally by creating key-frames in the time-line.

    when you're happy with the animation,. (if this is a "Rigged figure") it should be an "Animation Group" and will have it''s own NLA Track,.
    Select your Figure,. Go to the NLA Tab, in the right hand panels,. and select (Create Master Clip)

    this will take all of your key-frame animation and convert it into an NLA clip,.
    The NEW clip, will be placed in the SCENE / Clips panel, on the Bottom Right.

    Drag your new NLA clip, from the Clips panel,. and drop it into your Figures NLA track, in the sequencer.

    you can also Drag the new clip to your browser, and drop it into your (My Clips) area.
    then you can drop it into another scene.

    If this isn't a "Rigged Figure",. then you'll need to go to the Animation menu, and choose (create animation group)
    this will add the selected objects to a new Animation group, and add an NLA track for this group.
    then you can key-frame and create an NLA Master Clip in the same way.

    If you're making a cyclic animation, such as a Walk, which could be repeated,
    When you click on "Create Master Clip", there is a panel with options to select a "Loop Offset"
    this is the "bone" which Carrara will use to calculate how the animation will loop.

    Hope it helps :)

  • That Other PersonaThat Other Persona Posts: 381
    edited December 1969

    Thanks 3DAGE! I'll give it a try. As always, there seems to be more than one way of doing things. I had only tried it because it was in the training course; looks very useful.

    It is not something that I use that often, yet. I do want to get around to making cycles for my characters, just don't have the time right now. If I could just take a three month vacation... !!!

  • BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 589
    edited December 1969
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