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Q: What are EDAP Tools?
A: Electric Dog Flanimate Power Tools, EDAP Tools or just EDAPT is a free extension package for Flash / Animate which addresses some of the program's most severe deficiencies when used as an environment for character animation.
Q: Can I use EDAP Tools to produce professional commercial animation?
A: Absolutely! EDAP Tools are designed to be used mostly by animation professionals.
Q: What are EDAP Tools Premium?
A: EDAP Tools Premium is the paid version of EDAP Tools, which adds premium features, such as Inverse Kinematics, to our popular and extremely well-rounded free extension package.
Q: What are the differences between the free and the Premium versions of EDAP Tools?
A: The free and Premium versions are inseparable parts of the same project. The Premium version adds highly-specialized features, such as Inverse Kinematics, needed by professional users, working on commercial projects.
Q: I have basic knowledge of Flash / Animate, but now want to venture into character animation. I have seen a lot of contradicting information about this online. How should I organize my files?
A: There are different ways of achieving similar results in Flash. Unfortunately there is also a lot of incompetent advice and misleading information floating around.
We have tried to describe the process in its entirety in this foundational article.
Q: What are Smart Magnet Rigs?
A: Smart Magnet Rigs ™ are a powerful enhancement of the Classic Tween workflow in Flash.
It is very easy to turn your existing Flash character builds into Smart Magnet Rigs. Doing so gives you access to our pro-grade implementation of a Forward & Inverse Kinematics system and powerful and refined tools such as Smart Transform, KineFlex and Smart Magnet Joint.
Here is a link to our overview of Smart Magnet Rigs, which will get you going.
Q: What is KineFlex?
A: KineFlex is our revolutionary on-the-fly skeletal system which uses Smart Magnet Rig metadata to allow an animator-friendly implementation of a Forward and Inverse Kinematics system, with bones that exist only during the current transformation and do not impose any rigidity or structural changes to the Classic Tween approach.
Q: What is SMR IK?
A: SMR IK is our pro-grade implementation of Inverse Kinematics, available as part of EDAP Tools Premium v.6 and newer.
Q: How to make my own fully edaptable character?
A: The best place to start would be our step-by-step guide to character rigging and to download KineFox and SMR MagneBot and study how they are put together.
You should also read the articles on Classic Tween workflow and Smart Magnet Rigs.
Q: What does 'edaptable' mean?
A: 'Edaptable' means that it is ready to be turned into a Smart Magnet Rig ™ with properly positioned Reg points and functional joints to take full advantage of our refined posing and animation tools such as KineFlex, Smart Transform, Smart Magnet Joint, Clean Up and Smart Graphic Control.
Q: What does each of the tools do?
A: There are help entries with full description and video demonstrations for each of the tools at this link.
Q: What are the EDAPT Shortcuts?
A: EDAPT Shortcuts are a part of the EDAP Tools package. They are specifically optimized for animators and animation designers.
Q: Can I become a contributor?
A: If you have an idea for a tutorial article or an EDAP Tools story, we'd love to hear from you.
If you already have a tutorial video showing how you use EDAP Tools in your work, we'd love to see it and share it with our users.
We also like to see animations that our users have made with EDAP Tools.
Send us a message!
Q: I have ideas for new tools. Are you interested?
A: Yes, we are always interested to hear what our users see as a common deficiency in Animate.
The general requirement for a new tool idea to be taken into consideration is that it should solve a common, reoccurring and broad enough problem which either slows down production or is impossible to solve with the default tools.
If you feel that your idea matches these criteria, send us an email.
Q: I found a bug. How should I report it?
A: Please note, that the EDAP Tools team can support with bug fixes only the latest release.
Make sure the bug you have discovered appears in the latest release which is currently available for download.
If so, then file a bug report here, describing all the steps necessary to reproduce it.
EDAP Tools Premium FAQ
Q: Are you following Adobe's subscription model for the Premium version?
A: No. Purchasing a license requires a one-time payment only. Licenses never expire. They are permanently valid for the EDAP Tools version they were purchased for. This also includes any hotfixes and minor updates that may be released for the same version of the tools.
Q: Do you offer a trial version of EDAP Tools Premium?
A: No. To evaluate EDAP Tools, install the standard free version. This plus all the documentation and videos about the premium features should give you a very good idea what to expect from the upgrade.
Q: I have more than one version of Animate and Flash on my computer. Do I need separate licenses for each of them?
A: No. One license allows you to use EDAP Tools Premium on multiple versions of Flash and Animate installed on one device at any given time.
Q: I have two computers. Do I need to buy two licenses?
A: No. You can activate and use your license on any device. Once it is activated on a new device EDAP Tools Premium features will be deactivated on your other computer.
Q: Can I use my Premium version of EDAPT on a computer without an Internet connection.
A: Only for a short period of time. Licenses are frequently validated over the Internet.
Q: Can I upgrade to EDAP Tools Premium in the middle of a project? Do I need to re-work my Smart Magnet Rigs to start using Inverse Kinematics?
A: You can upgrade at any time. No extra work needs to be done on existing SM Rigs to start enjoying the benefits of Inverse Kinematics. IK is realized entirely at tools level and once you upgrade to Premium, you will be able to add SMR Controllers, pin feet to the ground and use IK to pose.
Q: We are a studio. Do you offer license packages?
A: Yes, we do. Currently you can buy 5, 10 or 25 activations as a single package. These are specifically designed for studio environments and are managed by one Administrator.
Trouble getting in touch FAQ
Even worse, sometimes genuine messages can be blocked silently without bouncing back to the sender.
This is rare but can happen, and the section below discusses alternative ways of contacting us, while making sure that you will receive our responses.
Q: I bought a Premium License, but haven't received the emails with my License Key and the EDAPT Premium Web Account credentials. What should I do?
A: The “Welcome” emails should arrive in your Inbox a few seconds after you have placed your order and made a successful payment. If you don't see them after 5 minutes, check your Spam folder.
If after 30 minutes you still haven't received those “Welcome” emails, and they are not in your Spam folder, this may mean that your email provider is silently blocking you from receiving communication from flash-powertools.com. Although very rare, this can happen and we have no control over it.
In such case, you have to email us from a different email address. We strongly suggest using gmail.
If you use the same one that you initially signed up with, it is very likely that our response to you will again be blocked and not reach you.
We need to have an alternative way of communicating with you, and once this is confirmed to work, we will re-send the “Welcome” messages.
Q: I sent you a message via the Contact Form, but have not heard back from you.
A: We always reply to genuine inquiries.
If you don't hear back from us within 48 hours, check your Spam folder.
If there is nothing in there, this could mean that our response was silently blocked by your email provider.
Write to us again from a different email address, which will have a different spam policy. We strongly suggest using gmail.
You have to be proactive and provide us with an alternative way of reaching you.
If you have made two attempts from two different email accounts and suspect technical issues with communication, send us a message on Twitter, Facebook, or post in the Q&A section and check back to see our reply.
Smart Magnet Rigs FAQ
Q: Can I open and work on a file containing Smart Magnet Rigs on a computer that does not have EDAP Tools installed?
Q: Will I be able to continue using the default Flash / Animate tools – Move (V‑tool) and Free Transform (Q‑tool) – to modify my symbols after I convert my traditional character build to a Smart Magnet Rig?
A: Yes. The transition from a standard build to SM Rig only adds flexibility and hierarchical 'awareness' to the symbols belonging to a rig without altering their properties and behavior when modified with Flash's / Animate's native tools. You gain more tools and methods of control without losing any.
Q: How to create a Smart Magnet Rig?
A: Smart Magnet Rigs can be created in one of three ways:
- Using the FreeStyle Rigging tool
- Manually by creating a Node-based representation in the SMR panel and tagging each of the Symbol instances of the character build with SMR info (metadata)
- Converting an existing Layer Parenting hierarchy to a Smart Magnet Rig (Animate 2019 and newer)
Q: Can I have more than one SM Rig per character?
A: Yes, you can have multiple rigs for one character, if you need to have different hierarchy to serve specific needs. SMR tools work in the current Keyframe, so all you need to make sure is that the elements in the keys belong to the same SM Rig.
Q: Can I have more than one SM Rig at any given Keyframe?
A: You can have multiple SM Rigs in the same Keyframe. They are usually rigs of different characters.
Q: How to transfer a SM Rig from one file to another?
A: The easiest way is to copy the frames, layers or Symbol instances that contain the elements of a rigged character.
Q: I made a mistake while rigging. How to edit my SM Rig?
A: You can edit your SM Rig via SMR Helpers panel or the SMR panel. They both provide tools for removing SMR info, editing Magnet Targets and transferring SMR info from one Symbol instance to another (Roll Over Rig Info or RORI). Then you can rig again using the FreeStyle Rigging Tool or the SMR panel.
Q: My SM Rig is broken. How to repair it?
A: Use the SMR panel's rig repair tools, located in the drop-down menu at its top-right corner. Many of these repair tools are also available in SMR Helpers.
Q: What are the SMR tools?
A: The SMR tools are parts of EDAP Tools which allow you to create, modify and utilize Smart Magnet Rigs. The SMR commands all have (SMR) at the end of their name in your Commands menu. Smart Magnet Rig panel, SMR Helpers panel, KineFlex, the FreeStyle Rigging Tool and Convert To Keyframe Advanced are also SMR tools.
Q: What are the benefits of Smart Magnet Rigs over the other available rigging systems in Flash / Animate – Bones and Layer parenting?
A: Smart Magnet Rigs integrate seamlessly and fit in with all Classic Tween-based workflows and good practices. SM Rigs assist posing and provide unparalleled flexibility, Forward and Inverse Kinematics, pinned Effectors, soft and hard rotations, quick clean up and magnetic joints. None of these features imposes any rigidity or requires any special changes in the established over the decades good practices. There are only two requirements: Symbols have to be properly registered at joints and should contain Magnet Targets.
Contrary to this Animate's Bones are implemented in a way that requires one Armature layer per character, which means that it is impossible to have separate Keyframes for different elements, rather each key represents a 'pose'. These layers don't allow Classic Tweens and so on. In reality this implementation has proven to be so ineffective that no studio has ever found it of any practical value.
Animate's Layer Parenting is another incomplete and poorly designed implementation. There are many dead ends and bugs with it. Flipping parent symbols produces unexpected results, the way transformations are inherited is sometimes illogical or confusing. It uses Classic Tweens, but again lacks certain flexibility to quickly move elements from one layer to another and so on.
Layer Parenting is FK only, while Adobe Bones' IK is not an Effector-based implementation which lacks too many crucial features. It is unreliable and practically unusable.
Layer parenting is only available in Animate 2019 and newer, while KineFlex and all the others SMR tools are available in all versions of Flash since Flash 8 (incl.) All users who are unwilling or unable for some reason to upgrade to Animate, but have copies of Flash CS can enjoy the power and flexibility of Smart Magnet Rigs.
Smart Magnet Rigs are a professional-grade rigging and posing system which brings 21-st century functionality to Flash and Animate, bringing it on par with powerful software packages such as ToonBoom Harmony.
Q: What is an EDAPT Object?
A: EDAPT Objects are automatically generated symbols which perform different roles in the process of rigging or posing of Smart Magnet Rigs.
Q: What are the different EDAPT Objects?
A: There are five types of EDAPT Objects:
- Center Marker
- Magnet Target
- FK Extender
- IK Effector
- IK Brace
Follow this link for full details on their properties and functions.
Q: What is a Node?
A: A Node in the SMR panel is a graphic representation of a single Symbol instance, usually an individual part in a Smart Magnet Rig. For example there will be 3 connected Nodes representing the 3 parts of the upper limb – upper arm, lower arm and hand.
Q: How to create a Node?
A: Nodes are created by dragging from an existing Node using the Create nodes tool in the SMR Panel (top-left corner). The only exception is the blue Node, representing the Master Parent which is created by pressing the Create New Rig button.
Q: How to delete a Node?
A: Nodes are deleted by dragging and dropping them over the Bin icon at the bottom-right corner of SMR Panel's main area. To move use the Move nodes tool (second tool at the top).
Q: How to move a Node?
A: To move Nodes use the Move nodes tool (second tool at the top).
Q: Why one of the Nodes is always blue?
A: The blue node represents the Master Parent of the rig.
Q: What is SMR info?
A: SMR info is metadata (invisible to the user information) written into Symbol instances. This metadata is used by the SMR tools to determine the place of any given element in the rig hierarchy. When this is known, elements can magnetically snap to each other or can be selected and modified in logical groups.
Q: How to write SMR info?
A: SMR info is usually written when one Symbol instance is selected on the Stage and its Node representation in the SMR panel is clicked. It is also written by the FreeStyle Rigging Tool while rigging.
Q: How to delete SMR info?
A: SMR info can be deleted by clicking the Remove SMR info button in the SMR panel or SMR Helpers panel. It can also be wiped out if you change the symbol type in Properties panel, for example from Graphic to Movie Clip or vice versa.
Q: How to transfer SMR info?
A: SMR info of Symbol instances can be transferred by using Roll Over Rig Info, located in the drop-down menu at the top-right of the SMR panel or as a dedicated button in SMR Helpers.
Q: What is RORI?
A: RORI stands for Roll Over Rig Info. This is one of the rig repair tools, found in the drop-down menu at the top-right of the SMR panel or as a dedicated button in SMR Helpers.
Q: Can I view the SMR info of a selected Symbol instance?
A: Yes, you can. Load the rig in the SMR panel and hover your mouse over one of the nodes. The ID will be displayed in the panel's status bar.
Q: What is a Master Parent?
A: Master Parent is the highest ranking parent in the hierarchy, represented by a blue Node in the SMR panel. It is the element from which all other elements branch out.
Q: How to change the Master Parent?
A: You can change the Master Parent by selecting another Symbol instance in the rig and choosing Change Master Parent from SMR panel's drop-down menu (upper-right) or the dedicated button in SMR Helpers.
Q: What is a SMR Chain?
A: A SMR chain is any group of Symbol instances which belong to the same SM Rig and are in parent-children relationship. There is always a start of the chain – the highest ranking parent in the group – and an end to it – the lowest ranking child. For example: upper arm, lower arm and hand are a SMR Chain, where upper arm has the highest rank and the hand has the lowest.
Q: How to create a SMR Chain?
A: SMR Chains are created during the rigging process. A SM Rig usually contains multiple chains.
Q: How to select a SMR Chain?
A: Click on a Symbol instance which is a part of a SMR chain and press 1 to select all children down the chain. Press Shift+1 to select up the chain.
Q: Do I need to edit my existing Smart Magnet Rig to be able to use SMR IK?
A: No. The only requirement for the IK to function is to have a Magnet Target in the second element of the IK chain (which in most cases is there anyway).
Q: What is an IK chain?
A: An IK chain always consists of two elements which are in a parent-child relationship.
Q: How to control an IK chain?
A: All IK transformations are accomplished either by dragging the chain's SMR Effector with KineFlex (IK Transformation) or by dragging the element on the other end of the IK chain with KineFlex (Reverse IK Transformation, RIK), in which case the Effector works as a pin.
Q: How to pin the feet to the ground?
A: Make sure the SMR Effectors for the legs are in RIK Active state. Pull the torso with KineFlex while holding down Shift.
Q: Do I need to switch between IK and FK modes?
A: No. IK and FK are simultaneously available. Dragging SMR elements directly in most cases results in FK transformations, while dragging SMR Effectors or RIK elements will result in IK transformations. That's all.
Q: Can I set some constraints so that an IK chain does not stretch all the way or bend too much?
A: Yes, you can do this via Effector Properties.
Q: I dragged the Master Parent too far from the pinned Effectors and feet left the ground. Is there an easy way to have legs fully stretched, while the feet stay planted?
A: Just use the Move / Solve button in SMR Helpers to bring your whole character back to the ground.