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How do I copy an animation keyframe?
Posted: 14 August 2012 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have animated a simple cloud pattern in SkyLab in Bryce 7. What I would like to do is copy the keyframe from the beginning of the animation, and paste it at the end, so that the clouds return to their original positions. I see multiple references to clearing and setting keyframes, but almost nothing about copying them.

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Posted: 14 August 2012 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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OK, first, this isn’t a bughunt, so we don’t need your comp specs, thx smile

I have animated a simple cloud pattern in SkyLab in Bryce 7. What I would like to do is copy the keyframe from the beginning of the animation, and paste it at the end, so that the clouds return to their original positions. I see multiple references to clearing and setting keyframes, but almost nothing about copying them.


I need a little more detail. There are many ways to do this, and I want to know the effect you’re after.


Are you animating JUST the clouds changing shape, or are you ALSO animating wind direction?


Are you after a seamless loop of clouds, or are you OK with just the clouds looping back to the start frame suddenly? Or are you OK with the clouds penduluming from the start condition to the end condition, then reversing direction back to the start condition? Or circling back to the initial condition?


Or is there no looping involved and you want to return the clouds to some intermediary state in the middle of your animation?


You can copy keyframes. I just want to be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons smile

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Posted: 16 August 2012 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the reply. I don’t know about the “right reasons” thing. I have been searching for how to accomplish this process in Bryce for some time; and it is a pretty basic action in, e.g., Carrara or Final Cut. I am surprised at how difficult it has been to figure out.
I don’t think I have animated “wind,” although in SkyLab, I have Sun & Moon, Cloud Cover, Fog, and Haze.
I would like a loop, or something loop-ish. I just wanted to avoid having to generate 3 minutes of random cloud movement. I figured there had to be a better way.
I read this tutorial, but I cannot believe that this is the only way to do this. It seems unnecessarily complex.
I tried to attach the file, but DAZ has some arcane rules about posting, so it did not stick.

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Posted: 16 August 2012 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi Phoney,


OK, I’m going o take your reply out-of-sequence here, as I think I can explain things a bit clear that way.

PhoneyBaloney - 16 August 2012 12:08 AM

I would like a loop, or something loop-ish. I just wanted to avoid having to generate 3 minutes of random cloud movement. I figured there had to be a better way.


OK, bad news first: looping ‘noisy’, irregular materials to make a seamless loop WITHIN BRYCE is tremendously tedious, to the point of impractical. You can configure the material to create identical cloud patterns that will loop, but you will end up creating something that makes clouds so regular that they will fail to look like natural clouds.


The fast way to make seamless materials is to use a video editing program like iMovie, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, and a few other editors for the Mac.


I don’t know enough about your project. Perhaps looping is essential. But WITHIN Bryce, there’s an easier way. Set a keyframe at the start of your animation sequence for your clouds. Set a keyframe at the end of your animation sequence for your clouds. Play with this second range of values. And you’re done.

I have been searching for how to accomplish this process in Bryce for some time; and it is a pretty basic action in, e.g., Carrara or Final Cut. I am surprised at how difficult it has been to figure out.

It’s been difficult for you because the nature of fractally-generated materials and textures are only ‘loopable’ mathematically, not mechanically. In a video editor, it’s easy: capture a sequence, overlap the end of that sequence with the beginning of the same, copied sequence, slow fade between the two and cut off the excess. Done. Copy/paste as you need. This is a simple dissolve from a piece of footage into itself.

I read this tutorial, but I cannot believe that this is the only way to do this. It seems unnecessarily complex.


Here’s the thing that many people new to animation fight against, but have to accept: When you take that step into animation, you will have to learn SEVERAL apps to get the job done. Even high-end do-it-all programs like Maya, Blender, Messiah, Mudbox, Modo and several others all generate CG footage… that is eventually handled by video editing programs, or grading apps, or titling, or particle motion simulators… Animation is complex. Even in Bryce… though in my opinion, Bryce has one of the simplest (and dodgiest) animation features of any application.

I don’t think I have animated “wind,” although in SkyLab, I have Sun & Moon, Cloud Cover, Fog, and Haze.


If you are creating a scene where clouds need to move over the duration of the action, use the Cloud Motion: Speed control and set a keyframe for it. You only need to set one keyframe for Cloud Motion: Speed at the beginning of your animation. Then the clouds just keep moving for the entire duration of your animation. This parameter is unique in all of Bryce, as it’s the only parameter that uses ONE keyframe to generate motion or change. If you want to change to cloud height, or cloud density, frequency or ANY other setting, you require at least two keyframes.


If I’ve missed the mark here, sorry… But that’s easy to do without a lengthy explanation of the effect you want to achieve, and how it’s going to be used in the final animation.

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Posted: 16 August 2012 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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So, essentially, a keyframe in this cloud animation/skylab context only indicates certain parameters for Bryce to generate random data? A keyframe does not describe what the clouds exactly look like at any point in the animation?

I would still like to know how to copy a keyframe. For that matter, I am also having trouble deleting individual keyframes in SkyLab. Here, I have a keyframe at frame 30:

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Posted: 16 August 2012 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Then I click on the remove keyframe button and remove all timeline keyframes:

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Posted: 16 August 2012 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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But there is still a keyframe at 30, and the “-” button does not do anything.

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Posted: 16 August 2012 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I suspect the problem there is that Bryce will be picking up a regular keyframe you have in your main animation.
As long as there’s no ‘sky lab keyframes’, there’s nothing to worry about.

As for copying a keyframe from one place to another, it’s going to be complicated as the various parameters that are set by keyframes are complex in themselves. So for instance, if you wanted to move an object and then eventually have it back at the same position as the start, you wouldn’t copy the keyframe, you’d copy the “matrix” and then go to the frame you need, add a new keyframe and paste the matrix… or at least I think that’s how you’d do it, no doubt Oroboros will tell me if I’m wrong.

Clouds are pseudo-randomly generated by fractals and phase, it’s not so simple as repeating a pattern over and over, that’s why generating a cloud loop in Bryce is difficult, there is no ‘repeat pattern’ for it to repeat.

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Posted: 16 August 2012 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Actually I’ve just had a quick look at the skylab animation feature and it does seem to hang on to keyframes set, but as long as you’ve deleted them, the settings/parameters don’t change so they aren’t actually doing anything.

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Posted: 16 August 2012 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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At the risk of offense, please disregard Savage’s contribution in this specific case smile Well intentioned, but… not quite right.

PhoneyBaloney - 16 August 2012 01:21 PM

So, essentially, a keyframe in this cloud animation/skylab context only indicates certain parameters for Bryce to generate random data? A keyframe does not describe what the clouds exactly look like at any point in the animation?


Correct. Keyframes are like photographs. They don’t tell you anything about how things are going to look, just the settings for mathematical formulae at ant point in time.

For that matter, I am also having trouble deleting individual keyframes in SkyLab. Here, I have a keyframe at frame 30:


Ah yes. The problem is you’ve ALSO changed something at that point for the SUN. These two groups of parameters share the same timeline, and the gold key is an indicator for both groups. You’ve deleted all the Sky parameters correctly, but you might have changed some sun parameters (setting a keyframe as you did so) so you might need to delete those too.

I would still like to know how to copy a keyframe.

OK. First, understand that every parameter has its own timeline. So ‘Stratus: Cloud Cover’ ranges from 0-100, for instance. Understand also that timelines for parameters are arranged in ‘lanes’, which are grouped into their major areas, like Sun, Sky, Cube 1, etc.

1. Enter the Advanced Motion Lab (AML).

2. Click on the group name that contains the parameter lane, that contains the keyframe, you wish to copy.

3. Cmd/CNTL-click drag the keyframe to a new position on its timeline lane.

 

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Posted: 16 August 2012 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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...OK, the embedded GIF might look all screwed up/magnified in this lame forum as it goes from frame to frame, so click on the image and open it in its own window.

Grrr.

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Posted: 16 August 2012 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Oroboros - 16 August 2012 06:08 PM

At the risk of offense, please disregard Savage’s contribution in this specific case smile Well intentioned, but… not quite right.

No offense taken. grin

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Posted: 16 August 2012 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thank you all for your excellent and practical advice. What I ultimately did was delete all keyframes, gussy up my original cloud mixture, and let it render for the amount of time I needed. I am very glad, however, to have learned as much as I just did about keyframing.

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Posted: 17 August 2012 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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All the best smile Don’t be shy about showing off your work!

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