Smart Magnet Rigs

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With version 2 of EDAP Tools we are proud to introduce Smart Magnet Rigging to the world.

Smart Magnet Rigs are a powerful addition to the Classic Tween workflow in Flash. Smart Magnet Rigs allow animators to handle structurally more complex and detailed characters with greater ease, which results in more subtle and organic-looking cutout animation.

Smart Magnet Rigging enables the use of Smart Magnet Joints (SMR), Smart Transform (SMR), Clean Up (SMR) and Smart Transform Point CW/CCW (SMR).
Via the Smart Magnet Rig panel users establish the hierarchical structure of cutout elements and assign metadata IDs to symbol instances on the stage. When this is done each element's relationship to others can be maintained by a simple press of a button.

Important note: Smart Magnet Rig panel is used only to assign metadata IDs to elements. Once this is done the panel is not needed for animation. Animation is assisted by Smart Magnet Joint (SMR) and Smart Transform (SMR) commands which are accessed via keyboard shortcuts and need the metadata IDs to function. Best practice would be to close the panel after rigging is completed.

The metadata IDs are assigned to Symbol Instances on the Stage.

  • If a symbol is deleted and reintroduced from Library it will need to be tagged with metadata ID again.
  • If the instance type is changed, for example from Graphic to Movie Clip, it will lose its ID.
  • If an instance is swapped it will retain the metadata ID.

Smart Magnet Joints

Smart Magnet Joints do not force users to always keep their rigs perfectly hinged. Smart Magnet Joints do not interfere with the traditional Flash workflow, but they are always there and at a press of a button a dislocated limb is perfectly attached again or a broken joint (due to tweening along a line instead of an arc) is fixed during clean-up. Elements know where they should snap to whenever the animator needs them to.

Smart Transform

Smart Transform allows chain selection of all linked children (forward) or parents (inverse), placing the transformation point of the selected group of symbols at the Reg Point of the highest ranking parent for easier-than-ever posing.

Smart Magnet Rigging process

When work on the traditional character build is completed it can be easily turned into a Smart Magnet Rig. (More information on how to set up a character for cutout animation can be found here.)
A very important prerequisite for the flawless transition to Smart Magnet Rigging is to have all Registration points of symbols correctly and logically positioned, i.e. upper arm's Reg point must be in shoulder, lower arm must register in elbow, thigh – in hip joint, lower leg – in knee, etc. Inverse transformation while animating is achieved via temporary re-positioning of the Transformation points. Registration must always facilitate forward kinematic. (Reg points can be easily edited via Set Reg Point To Transform Point command Ctrl+T)

Smart Magnet Rigging happens in three steps:

  1. Place Magnet Targets inside symbols, using Create Magnet Target command Shift+`(tilda/~ key).
  2. Create a node-based representation of the character structure in Smart Magnet Rig panel.
  3. Using the panel's Link tool, link each element of your character to a node in the panel. This assigns hierarchical metadata ID to the symbol instances on Stage. Linking is done by clicking to select a symbol instance on stage (left hand for example) and then clicking on the corresponding node in the SMR panel. When tagging is successful the node icon changes to show the presence of a tagged MT.

Test your Smart Magnet Rig by dragging the master parent symbol away from the others and while it is selected, press 1(for­ward) and then `(tilda/~ key to the left of 1/! and below Esc). This should select all children and assemble your character around the master parent.

Video demonstrations

The videos below give detailed explanations and a practical demonstration how Smart Magnet Rigs Work and how to convert your existing Flash character build into a Smart Magnet Rig.

Note: All keyboard shortcuts mentioned in the video presentations are the EDAP Tools shortcuts which come as a part of our package.

Flash Pro CC, CC2014, CC2015 (and newer) users, please, also read this important article.

1. Introduction to Smart Magnet Rigs – the first video demonstrates what Smart Transform and Smart Magnet Joint do; how you can use them during animation for quick and flawless posing.

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

2. Smart Magnet Rigging Basics – this video introduces Magnet Targets and Smart Magnet Rig panel and demonstrates in a step-by-step manner how to create a hierarchical representation of a 3-symbol limb and assign metadata IDs to it so that you can start using Smart Transform and Smart Magnet Joint.

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

3. Character Smart Magnet Rigging (part I and II) – the last two videos show how actual characters are put together. Topics discussed are Registration points, Magnet Targets, Center Markers, Smart Magnet Rig panel as well as the three commands Create Magnet Target, Smart Transform and Smart Magnet Joint.
Flash CC users read these notes!

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

Wasib Qureshi

Hi nick,
Great Tool buddy, not yet use but i sees lot of potential watching the demo.

I'm starting to use it and not able to find Create Center Marker in my commands menu. Any idea how to fix this. (Installed EDAP Setup using Adobe Extension Manager CC 2014 for Adobe Flash CC 2014)

Hi Wasib,

If you load the EDAPT shortcuts and press Alt+` you should get a Center Marker instead of a Magnet Target.
The Magnet Target command does two things (MT and CM) and 'listens' for a second shortcut which has to have Alt+ assigned to it.
You can't do it via the menu. You will need to assign a shortcuts. Shift+anything for MT and Alt+anything for CM. Or just use ours if you want to give them a go!

Check this link to see what our keys do

And here is some more info on the command

Have fun!

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