Smart Magnet Rig panel (SMR)

Main Rigging Tools


Functionality

Interactive panel through which users are able to visually establish the hierarchical structures for the Smart Magnet Rigs and link Symbols in parent-children relationships.
The panel assigns metadata IDs to Symbols and Magnet Targets and enables the use of Smart Magnet Joints, Smart Transform, Clean Up, Smart Transform Point (Inverse) and KineFlex.

Suggested use

The panel is used to link the elements of a character build after all Magnet Targets are placed correctly inside parent Symbols.
When the elements are linked all SMR functionality can be fully utilized.

Where does it work?

Hierarchical node-based representations of the actual character rigs are created within the panel itself.

EDAP Tools v.4 shortcut

n/a; open the SMR Panel from Window menu > Other Panels (Extensions in CC) > Smart Magnet Rig

Interactions

Ctrl-click on a node in the panel while the Move tool is active selects the linked Instance on the Stage.
Shift-dragging a node while the Move tool is active moves only this one node rather than the whole chain.

Buttons, Dropdowns

Full description

SMR panel

Top row:

  • Three tools to create, modify and link elements to Nodes.
  • Drop down which allows users to switch between the currently loaded SM Rigs.
  • Menu with some additional features and rig repair tools

„Listen for Stage updates“ checkbox which activates a red border around the main area of the panel. Swicthes on or off the interactive mode of the panel where it actively checks a few times a second the status of the rig on Stage and the content of the individual elements; then reflects its findings by visualizing the presence or absence of MTs or any other status changes. This is resource intensive and has to only be on while rigging or trouble-shooting rig problems.

Main panel area where a node-based representation of a Smart Magnet Rig can be created, loaded or imported. Then modified, renamed or deleted (by dragging individual nodes or the whole structure to the bin in the bottom right corner of the area)

Buttons at the bottom:

  • Create new rig – pops up a dialog for name and creates the master parent for a new Smart Magnet Rig
  • Show rig(s) at current frame – scans the current frame in the current timeline for existing Smart Magnet Rigs and loads them in the main panel area
  • Remove links – removes metadata and breaks the links between the selected elements on Stage and their node representations (if users need to reassign them elsewhere or discard them)

Notes

Interactive panel used in the process of Smart Magnet Rigging.
Disable “Listen for Stage updates” when finished linking as it slows down Flash.

Important! Smart Magnet Rig panel is used only to assign metadata IDs to elements. Once this is done the panel is not needed for animation. Posing and animation are assisted by Smart Magnet Joint, Smart Transform, Clean Up and KineFlex which need the metadata to function. Good practice would be to close panel after rigging is completed and only activate it when some modifications to the rigs are necessary.

Compatibility Mode

In some rare cases the Smart Magnet Rig panel will run Stage Updates in Compatibility Mode. This happens only if both your OS X and Flash version are quite dated and don't support any of the optimized methods. Compatibility Mode for Stage Updates allows the full functionality of the panel, but slows down Flash significantly and cursor may blink. Only turn „Listen for Stage Updates“ on when you need the visual feedback during editing of a Smart Magnet Rig. When Stage Updates are disabled the panel can be used normally without any negative effects on performance. If in Compatibility Mode, keep the checkbox disabled at all times when you don't explicitly need this functionality.

Video demonstration


All our videos are 1080p. If for some reason full HD is not available here, try watching them on youtube.

Additional SMR Tools


Smart Magnet Rig panel provides tools for analyzing and repairing existing broken rigs.
These are placed in the More Options… menu at the top-right of the panel.
Analyze Rig

Functionality

Checks the currently loaded rig for potential problems and displays a log of found inconsistencies in the Output panel for review

Suggested use

If a Smart Magnet Rig is not behaving as intended. For example, elements not snapping to their parental symbols or snapping to the wrong magnet targets.

Where does it work?

Smart Magnet Rig panel, current rig

Notes

A Smart Magnet Rig has to be loaded for analysis. A Smart Magnet Rig has to be present at current frame. The information is loaded into the panel by pressing the Show rig(s) button at the bottom left of SMR panel.

Edit Magnet Targets

Functionality

Allows the users to inspect and manually change the metadata of individual Magnet Targets (MT)

Suggested use

If for some reason during rigging or later edits MTs have acquired inconsistent metadata across frames.

Example: Arm snaps correctly to shoulder MT at frame 1 (front view of torso), but does not snap to shoulder MT at frame 2 of torso (which is 34).
By selecting the MT at frame 1 and running Edit Magnet Targets you can view the metadata that works, compare to the metadata of the same MT at frame 2 and if different, unify them by using the available fields (copy > paste > apply).
When MT metadata is unified for the selected joint the elements should snap correctly.

If this 'inner' repair operation does not solve all functionality issues, you can move onto the next option – Rolling Over the Rig Information on the 'outside' - at character timeline level.

Where does it work?

Selected Magnet Target (MT) inside an element that belongs to a Smart Magnet Rig

Roll Over Rig Info

Functionality

Allows the transfer (Roll Over) of Smart Magnet Rig metadata from a properly functioning frame in a timeline to keys with broken or missing metadata.
The users can specify direction (to the left or to the right) or frame range(s) and also can roll over rig info layer by layer or in larger chunks.

Suggested use

Last step in a Smart Magnet Rig repair process or if a character has been converted into a Smart Magnet Rig after some of the animation has already been created.

Example: A broken rig has been fixed using Edit Magnet Targets or un-linking and re-linking of elements via the Smart Magnet Rig panel. All these repair works have been done at frame 1 of the current character timeline, but animation for the character already exists.
By applying Roll Over Rig Info to the right the correct linkage metadata will be transferred to all subsequent keyframes and functionality will be consistent throughout the timeline.

Where does it work?

Timeline or Stage selection. One or multiple selected symbol instances (Stage) or keys (Timeline), placed on one or multiple layers.

Notes

Only works when there is one element per layer. If elements change layers during animation, it is a good idea to roll over the rig information one element at a time. If elements occupy the same layers through the whole timeline the roll over can be safely done in one pass.

Smart Break Apart

Functionality

Smart Break Apart only works, one at a time, with Symbols containing Smart Magnet Rig elements inside.
The command is a feature-rich replacement of the default Break Apart and also circumnavigates a bug in Animate CC, allowing users to break apart containers of Smart Magnet Rigs and retain all functionality.

Upon execution Smart Break Apart 'punches' temporarily the timeline of the container at 'Current frame' and then releases the outer wrapper to produce an exact replication of this 'Current frame' on the outer timeline.

It also provides options to remove hidden (guided) elements and non-SMR elements.

Suggested use

Character animation. For example when a walk cycle is nested inside a container and we would like to animate out of the cycle into a couple of smaller half-steps, overshoot and stop. A suitable frame to get out of the cycle is chosen, then the outer wrapper is released using Smart Break Apart. The result is that all symbols appear on one layer. These are then distributed to layers and can be animated on the current (outer for the walk cycle) Timeline.

Where does it work?

Stage or Timeline key selection; One symbol at a time

Notes

Important! Animate CC users who use Smart Magnet Rigs must use Smart Break Apart to retain metadata. Due to a bug in Animate CC, its native Break Apart function wipes out metadata during operation.
Flash CS users can still use default Break Apart without losing SMR functionality.

Video demonstration


All our videos are 1080p. If for some reason full HD is not available here, try watching them on youtube.

 
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