Smart Magnet Rigging process


Before you begin


When work on the traditional character build is completed, it can be easily upgraded to a Smart Magnet Rig ™.
A detailed step-by-step tutorial how to set up rigs for Flash character animation is available here.

The only requirement for the flawless transition to SMR is that all elements should be properly registered.
Proper Symbol registration is explained in detail in this article.

Registration points of symbols should be 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 and so on.
Registration must always facilitate Forward Kinematics.
If necessary, Symbols can be easily re-registered via Make Edaptable in SMR Helpers panel or Set Reg Point To Transform Point command Ctrl+T.

Rigging methods
Users have a choice of three rigging methods:

  1. FreeStyle rigging, using the FreeStyle Rigging tool
  2. Classic (Full manual), using the Smart Magnet Rig panel
  3. Parented Layers to Smart Magnet Rig (Animate 2019+)*

The first is faster, potentially easier and more intuitive.
The second requires some preparation and may be more suitable for designs with many overlapping elements.
Choosing one over the other is only a matter of preference.
*The third method is only available in Animate 2019.2 and newer as it uses the hierarchy of Parented Layers (a feature introduced in AA 2019) to create a Smart Magnet Rig.

Trouble-shooting SMR
If you need to trouble-shoot Smart Magnet Rig issues, jump to the bottom of the page.



1. FreeStyle SM rigging is a single-pass process


Select the FreeStyle Rigging tool KineFlex by clicking on its icon in the toolbar or press F4.

Click and drag from one Symbol instance on stage to another. An arrow will be drawn from the center of the first instance and a box will be drawn around the target instance.
Upon MouseRelease the target instance will become a child of the instance you clicked and dragged from.
Both instances will be tagged with metadata IDs (SMR info) and Magnet Target and Center Marker will be added automatically where needed.

Repeat this click-and-drag process until you have linked all elements in your character in a logical hierarchy.
While rigging there will be visual indicators around elements that already have SMR info.

If you make a mistake, either Undo or select the element(s) that you would like to un-rig and press the Remove SMR info button in SMR Helpers panel.

Good practice would be to start rigging from the pelvis or the torso and branch out from there.

When done, 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 presentation



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



2. Classic SM rigging (Full manual) is a multi-pass process


  1. Place Center Markers (CM) and Magnet Targets (MT) inside symbols, using Create Magnet Target Or Center Marker command Shift+`(tilda/~ key) and Alt+`(tilda/~ key). Alternatively you can use the and buttons in SMR Helpers panel.
  2. Create a node-based representation of the character structure in Smart Magnet Rig panel.
  3. Using the panel's tool, add SMR info (metadata ID) to each element of your character. This is done by clicking to select a Symbol instance on stage (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.
    Important: Always start rigging by first tagging the Master Parent, which is visualized as the only blue node in the panel.

Once the elements have SMR info, they become 'aware' of their place in the rig hierarchy.

Test your Smart Magnet Rig by dragging the Master Parent symbol (the pelvis in the example above) 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 (represented by the blue node in panel).

Video presentation


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



3. Parented Layers to SMR is a single-pass process


  1. Select all elements that belong to your Layer Parenting rig on Stage.
  2. Press SMRize Parented button in SMR Helpers or choose SMRize Parented from the drop-down menu in Smart Magnet Rig panel.

Upon completion you will have a fully-functional SMR Core. A short report will be displayed in Output. After that you can start using all SMR tools.

Test your Smart Magnet Rig by dragging the Master Parent symbol away from the others and while it is still 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 presentation


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



Trouble-shooting Smart Magnet Rig issues


If a Smart Magnet Rig is not behaving as expected (for example if elements snap to wrong Magnet Targets or do not snap at all) this is most likely due to some Rig info mismatch or a mistake during the FreeStyle Rigging process, where an element was rigged as a child to the wrong parent.

It is important to understand that Rig info (metadata) for each pair of elements is written during the rigging process in two places – the symbol instance and the Magnet Target.

If more than one or two elements behave unpredictably, and this happens just after rigging, it is usually easiest to remove all Rig info, to delete EDAPT objects folder from the Library (which will remove all MTs and CMs) and start over. Rigging with the FreeStlyle Rigging tool will only take a few moments.

If the problem is noticed after some amount of animation has already been produced with a faulty rig, it is usually worthwhile to trouble-shoot. The rig can be fixed in one Keyframe and then this healthy Rig info can be Rolled Over to the left and to the right, using Roll Over Rig Info.

Smart Magnet Rig panel
Loading the rig in Smart Magnet Rig panel will show the node representation of the hierarchy and will reveal any potential anomaly. If an element was attached to the wrong parent this will become very obvious at a glance.

Remove SMR info
Pressing the dedicated button in SMR Helpers or Smart Magnet Rig panels will remove all metadata from the selected elements or Magnet Targets, so that you can rig them again.

Inspect Magnet Targets
Pressing the dedicated button in SMR Helpers or choosing Edit Magnet Targets from the Smart Magnet Rig panel drop-down menu will allow inspection and editing of the metadata written in the selected MT.

Roll Over Rig Info (RORI)
Pressing the dedicated button in SMR Helpers or choosing Roll Over Rig Info from the Smart Magnet Rig panel drop-down menu will allow the transfer (Roll Over) of Smart Magnet Rig info (metadata) from a properly functioning frame in the timeline to keys with broken or missing SMR info in a user-specified direction.

Video presentation


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

Continue with the next article in the series – SMR Forward Kinematics (FK).


 
Comments

No comments yet.