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 con­nect Sym­bol instances 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.

As of EDAP Tools v.6 using the FreeStyle Rig­ging Tool is con­sid­ered to be the pri­ma­ry rig­ging method, which should com­fort­ably cov­er more than 90% of the sit­u­a­tions and should be more intu­itive and eas­i­er to use. 

The Smart Mag­net Rig pan­el, how­ev­er, remains the main inter­face where rig rep­re­sen­ta­tions can be loaded for inspec­tion and repair.

Suggested use

The pan­el is used to add SMR info (meta­da­ta) to the ele­ments of a char­ac­ter build after all Mag­net Tar­gets are placed cor­rect­ly inside par­ent Symbols.
Once the ele­ments have SMR info, they become ‘aware’ of their place in the rig hier­ar­chy and all SMR func­tion­al­i­ty can be ful­ly utilized.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tions of exist­ing Smart Mag­net Rigs can be loaded in the pan­el for inspec­tion and repair.

Where does it work?

Hier­ar­chi­cal node-based rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the actu­al char­ac­ter rigs are cre­at­ed with­in the pan­el itself.
Using the tool, SMR info is added by select­ing one Sym­bol instance at a time on the Stage and click­ing on its cor­re­spond­ing Node in the Panel.

EDAP Tools shortcut

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

Interactions

Ctrl-click on a node in the pan­el while the Move tool is active selects the cor­re­spond­ing Instance on the Stage.
Shift-drag­ging a node while the Move tool is active moves the whole chain.
Hov­er­ing over a node dis­plays its SMR ID and Weld­ed sta­tus in the pan­el’s Sta­tus Bar.

Buttons, Dropdowns

Full descrip­tion

SMR panel

Top row:

  • Tools to cre­ate and mod­i­fy Nodes and add SMR info to Sym­bol instances.
  • Drop-down which allows users to switch between the cur­rent­ly loaded SM Rig representations.
  • Menu with some addi­tion­al fea­tures and rig repair tools.

Real-time feed­back check­box which acti­vates a red bor­der around the main area of the pan­el. Switch­es 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:
A node-based rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a Smart Mag­net Rig can be cre­at­ed (New rig rep­re­sen­ta­tion but­ton) or loaded, using the Load rig representation(s) but­ton. The rep­re­sen­ta­tion can then be 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:

  • Load rig representation(s) – scans the cur­rent frame in the cur­rent time­line for exist­ing Smart Mag­net Rigs and loads their rep­re­sen­ta­tions in the main pan­el area
  • Remove SMR info from select­ed sym­bols – removes the SMR info (meta­da­ta) from the select­ed ele­ments on Stage. After that they are no longer a part of the rig.

Notes

Inter­ac­tive pan­el used in the process of Smart Mag­net Rigging.
Dis­able Real-time feed­back when fin­ished rig­ging as it slows down Flash.

Impor­tant! Smart Mag­net Rig pan­el is used only to assign SMR info (meta­da­ta) 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 Real-time feed­back 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.

Change Mas­ter Parent

Functionality

Rede­fines the par­ent-child hier­ar­chy in a Smart Mag­net Rig by re-assign­ing Mas­ter Par­ent sta­tus to the cur­rent­ly select­ed Sym­bol instance and invert­ing some hier­ar­chi­cal chains when nec­es­sary. The sym­bols which need inverse reg­is­tra­tion are dupli­cat­ed while the orig­i­nals are pre­served intact. The Rig info is also dupli­cat­ed so that the new struc­ture (rig) is com­plete­ly inde­pen­dent and non-destruc­tive to the orig­i­nal SMR.

Suggested use

In sit­u­a­tions when the typ­i­cal struc­ture of a SMR is not func­tion­al­ly optimal.
For exam­ple: Nor­mal­ly a mon­key would have its tor­so as Mas­ter Par­ent. How­ev­er, in a sit­u­a­tion where he needs to swing hold­ing a vine with one of his hands, it will be eas­i­er and more log­i­cal to make the hand the Mas­ter Par­ent. Change Mas­ter Par­ent works in the cur­rent frame only and effec­tive­ly cre­ates a sep­a­rate rig.

Where does it work?

Stage, one select­ed Sym­bol instance, which is already part of a Smart Mag­net Rig

Notes

If at some point in ani­ma­tion you need to go back to the orig­i­nal struc­ture, the best approach would be to either copy the frames that car­ry that Rig info or use Roll Over Rig Info.


Video demonstrations



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 Actions… 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 rep­re­sen­ta­tion 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 Load rig representation(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 3/4).
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

Roll Over Rig Info (RORI) allows the trans­fer (roll over) of Smart Mag­net Rig info (SMR info, meta­da­ta ID) from sym­bol instances on the time­line to oth­er sym­bol instances on the same layer.
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.

The com­mand can be invoked by press­ing its ded­i­cat­ed but­ton in SMR Helpers or by choos­ing its menu entry from the ham­burg­er menu in the top-right cor­ner of Smart Mag­net Rig pan­el.

The full help arti­cle is avail­able here.


SMR Break Apart

Functionality

SMR 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 cir­cum­vents a bug in Ani­mate CC, allow­ing users to break apart con­tain­ers of Smart Mag­net Rigs and retain all functionality.

Upon exe­cu­tion SMR 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 SMR 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 SMR 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.

edit: 5 April 2019. The issue described above was final­ly fixed in Adobe Ani­mate CC 2019.2, released on 3 April 2019. If you have Ani­mate CC 2019.2 or new­er you should be able to use the default Con­vert to keyframes, Break Apart and drag in the Time­line to cre­ate keys with­out los­ing SMR functionality.


Video demonstration:
Analyse Rig, Edit Magnet Targets, Roll Over Rig Info


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

This pan­el is part of the Flan­i­mate Pow­er Tools pack­age. Down­load the lat­est ver­sion from the Down­loads page.
 
Comments

Hi. I real­ly like your tools. How­ev­er when i click “show rig at cur­rent frame and time­line” it always crash­es adobe ani­mate. I can still ani­mate the SMR rig but I can’t mod­i­fy it or trou­ble shoot because I am unable to dis­play the rig in the SMR panel.

Hi Cullen,

We’d like to inves­ti­gate your report, but to be able to do so we will need to be able to repro­duce the described behav­iour (which we can’t at the moment).

So here are some addi­tion­al questions:
1. What is your OS and exact ver­sion of Ani­mate? Are you using the lat­est EDAP Tools v.5.0.0.1?
2. Does the SMR pan­el crash Ani­mate with one of our sam­ple rigs, which you can down­load to test the functionality?
3. If crash does not occur with every file, please sub­mit via email or share via a file-host­ing ser­vice (such as Google Dri­ve) a file which always crash­es the pro­gram, so that we can test with it.
4. A screen record­ing or a screen grab of the crash would be use­ful too.

Thanks!

Hi Sor­ry for late response. I still have the same issue. Every­thing works great but ani­mate crash­es when I click “show rig(s) at cur­rent frame and time­line” in the SMR pan­el. The answer to your ques­tions are as follows:

1. What is your OS and exact ver­sion of Ani­mate? Are you using the lat­est EDAP Tools v.5.0.0.1?
Win­dows 10 pro / Ani­mate v 21.0, Using lat­est ver­sion of EDAP 5.0.0.1

2. Does the SMR pan­el crash Ani­mate with one of our sam­ple rigs, which you can down­load to test the functionality?
The SMR pan­el works as intend­ed with the sam­ple rigs. Not sure what I did dif­fer­ent as every­thing else works

3. If crash does not occur with every file, please sub­mit via email or share via a file-host­ing ser­vice (such as Google Dri­ve) a file which always crash­es the pro­gram, so that we can test with it.
What email address should I send it to?

4. A screen record­ing or a screen grab of the crash would be use­ful too.
I will include a screen record­ing as well

Thank you very much for this extreme­ly use­ful crash report and the files, Cullen.
I will move this dis­cus­sion under Smart Mag­net Rig pan­el as it is not spe­cif­ic to Ani­mate 2020, but hap­pens every­where with EDAP Tools v.5.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly
I use Adobe Ani­mate 2020.0.2
The tools don’t work with me ?
Such as :
Smart Mag­net Rig

Does the tool work with me “Cen­ter-mark­er”? Why?
Adobe Ani­mate CC 20.0.2

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GfC73ZASNp347tE-fT8F7PTQR7xfm6kE/view?usp=sharing

Hi Nadia,

Thanks for post­ing a file. It made things very easy for us.
Your rig had many mis­takes, that is why it did not work.

I just fixed it and here is the fixed file.

The reg­is­tra­tion of sym­bols was not correct.
You had too many mag­net targets.
You had hand inside arm and foot inside leg.

To learn how to do these things prop­er­ly, please, fol­low our detailed step-by-step tuto­r­i­al on char­ac­ter rig­ging.

Also, look into sym­bol reg­is­tra­tion: Under­stand­ing sym­bol reg­is­tra­tion in Flash and Animate

Also, read all the infor­ma­tion about Smart Mag­net Rigs. You need to know what you are doing.

Final­ly, down­load some of the free sam­ple files that we pro­vide to see how they are made.

In con­clu­sion: The tools work just fine in 20.0.2. You were not using them prop­er­ly, that’s all.

Good luck!

Thanks for your kind and prompt reply
I wish you a hap­py day
Thank you so much

Hel­lo Mr. Nick,
You have no idea how you made my life simpler .
So hap­py to learn all what you are teaching .
I was using smart mag­nate on a torso.
Low­er part worked well upper part dose not want to work with cen­ter mark­er of the hand .
Made sure reg­is­tra­tion is correct
What do you think I am doing wrong .
I am using Ani­mat cc 20.

Thank you
Aleme

Hel­lo Aleme,

It’s dif­fi­cult to know what the rea­son for the mis­match might be.
In such cas­es when there is the poten­tial of messed up meta­da­ta, it’s usu­al­ly best to just remove all SMR info and to start over.

To remove SMR info from sym­bols, select all ele­ments of your rig on the Stage and press the (X) but­ton at the bot­tom of SMR panel.
Then open the Library and delete the EDAPT Objects folder.

Then fol­low the rig­ging instruc­tions very closely.
You can try FreeStyle Rig­ging or Full man­u­al. Either should work.

You may look here for some com­mon mis­takes that oth­ers have made.

It may be a good idea to prac­tice SM Rig­ging first with some­thing very sim­ple like 3–4 rec­tan­gles to get used to how it works.

Hope­ful­ly the sec­ond attempt will be a success.
Good luck!

Thanks for the quick response . Now it works in the whole body . the only prob­lem I have is on the torso.
all of the sym­bols with CM and MT con­nect with upper sym­bol. By this I mean for exam­ple the hand has Cen­ter mark­er and con­nects with low­er arm which con­tains MT . In the pelvis I put cen­ter Mar­ket at the bot­tom and 3 MTs one for left leg , One for the right leg and then on Mag­net tar­get for the Tor­so ( the tor­so has Cen­ter Marker ) .
It works fine , but when I got to Smart rig Pan­el and try to tag it (the Pelvis ) It gives me error message
(No MMag­net Tar­get found with the 4px etc.)
What could be my mis­take Mr. Nick

Thank you ,
Aleme

Hel­lo Aleme,

If you get this mes­sage it means that the Reg­is­tra­tion point of the child ele­ment (tor­so) is not per­fect­ly matched with the Mag­net Tar­get in the par­ent ele­ment (pelvis), i.e. it is not with­in the reach of the tagging/rigging script.
So maybe your reg­is­tra­tion is off or maybe the ele­ment is not posi­tioned correctly.

If you’d like send me your rig via email and I will look into it. It prob­a­bly is some­thing very small that you are missing.
Just use the email writ­ten at the top of con­tact page.

Alter­na­tive­ly you can post a link to your rig file here, which may be help­ful for oth­er peo­ple who face sim­i­lar issues.

ps. It’s impor­tant to under­stand that Cen­ter Mark­ers are just this — they mark the posi­tion of the Reg­is­tra­tion point. The Reg point itself is the active point, not the CM. So you need to re-reg­is­ter the sym­bol with, say Set Reg Point To Trans­form Point, not just move the CM.

It is pos­si­ble to call “Roll Over Rig Info” func­tion with hotkey?
And, much bet­ter, with some stanadart options (like “To the Left, all frames”)

I already have 114 ani­ma­tions (sym­bols) in one file, and now using these tools to assign rig to all animations.
i man­u­al­ly cre­ate rig in one ani­ma­tion, and then copy one frame with all lay­ers to end of oth­er ani­ma­tion, then use “Roll Over Rig Info”, and after that, delete copied frame.

Hi Sergey,

We’re glad you decid­ed to upgrade to Smart Mag­net Rigs!
For the moment the only way to call Roll Over Rig Info is via the SMR Pan­el’s drop-down menu. There is no hotkey option as it is a much less fre­quent­ly used com­mand and we do not want to clog the Com­mands menu with too many entries.

In v.6 of EDAP Tools, which we will be releas­ing in a few weeks, we have made Roll Over Rig Info a but­ton in the new SMR Helpers pan­el, so it will be eas­i­er to access with one click, rather than hav­ing to go into the pan­el’s drop-down menu.
You will still have to deal with the dia­log, but it remem­bers the last used direc­tion, so it will be two clicks — the RORI but­ton and OK.

can i copy ani­ma­tion of one rigged char­ac­ter to another.….…??????

No.
You can sym­bol swap if the lengths of sym­bols are the same. Or you can clone a char­ac­ter and cre­ate a vari­ant by edit­ing the sym­bol content.

What might be going wrong if an MT is not rec­og­niz­ing the cor­re­spond­ing CT? Once I have cre­at­ed the CT (auto-cre­at­ed at the reg point), and cre­ate the MT, I can­not lock it to the MT, because I get the error “Smart Mag­net Joint:
There are no Cen­ter Mark­ers found with­in the 50 pix­el range.” The MT will lock to oth­er CTs (or MTs) on oth­er layers. 

I sus­pect this issue also returns an error when attempt­ing to match the sym­bols to the node representation.

Hi Aya,

If, as you say, CM in one sym­bol is locat­ed over the Reg Point of that sym­bol, and a MT in anoth­er sym­bol is placed close this CM, it should snap over it.
It is impor­tant to keep in mind that SMR hier­ar­chy uses the Reg­is­tra­tion Points of sym­bols and snaps the Reg Point of one sym­bol to the Mag­net Tar­get placed in anoth­er symbol.

It is very dif­fi­cult to guess what the issue might be with­out see­ing the actu­al file.

If you like, send us the FLA and I will look into it. Use the email address at the top of the con­tact page. We will also need to know the exact ver­sion of Flash/Animate and what OS you are using.

If you don’t want to send a file, you can record a video with a screen record­ing soft­ware, show­ing how you place the Cen­ter Mark­ers and the Mag­net Tar­gets, and how you get the error mes­sages when attempt­ing to snap or tag with SMR info.

OK. It’s pos­si­ble that I mis­un­der­stood the pur­pose of the CT/reg point/ MT. I will pre­pare a copy­right-safe file with the issue and post the link here as well when I have time.

For any­one else who might be look­ing for a quick answer, I got around this error tem­porar­i­ly by using freeform Kineflex.

Great to hear, Aya!

In the upcom­ing v.6, which will be released soon, there will be many UX improve­ments to the rig­ging process to make it eas­i­er for new adopters.

Good luck with your project!

Hey, where can i find smr helpers pan­el, i saw it on youtube at someone?

Not released yet, mate.
It will be intro­duced with EDAPT v.6.
You must have seen a video by some of our beta testers.

hi nick,

some­how I have a hard time to con­nect my sym­bol to the SMR node, I fol­low the instruc­tion and click on the tor­so sym­bol then clock on the first blue node , but a pop up with title Set SMR info 6.0.0 keep show­ing up and it ask to select one sym­bol on stage which I already did. not sure what is hap­pen­ing, thanks

Hi Stan, pleаse, look into FreeStyle rig­ging. It should be eas­i­er to do. 

Try to work with sim­ple rec­tan­gu­lar box­es first before you get into rig­ging real com­plex designs. If you make unsuc­cess­ful attempts, it is like­ly that you have messed up SMR info in those instances. You have to clear this meta­da­ta by select­ing the instances on stage and press­ing the but­ton in SMR Helpers panel.

If you still expe­ri­ence dif­fi­cul­ties, record a video of the prob­lem and email us a link to the video and your FLA file to look into it.
Hope this helps!

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