Automated inbetweening

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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 19 Mar 2013, 14:10

Why would you want to draw such a thing A reference to the old story about the new animator at the Disney studio who asked how Mickey Mouse's ears should be drawn when viewed from the top and he got that answer.
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Jotokutora
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Jotokutora » 19 Mar 2013, 15:12

Hello everyone, the process is pretty simple.

1. First you trace both keys with some tools to maximize speed
2. You created the in-betweens you wish and space them according to any animation chart on the key drawings.
3. After interpolation you will need some minor tweaking on the strokes.
4. Then the user needs to paint one key frame. The software will attempt to color the rest. The usual success rate varies on complexity. But the rate is usually 85%-98%.
5. The user do some minor tweaks and thats that.

I will chime in on the comments in regard that it looks tween or computery. Actually, a lot has to do with the amount of inbetweens that are created to make a motion smooth.
For a more realistic feeling it is preferable to not over use the in-bweens. Tweens on Flash always look different than the traditional due to the inherent overly smooth movement of the objects and the clear sliding effect of its assets.

Another factor that is usually not mentioned that it helps make digital blend to the 2d legacy is that in the conventional methods inbetweens tend to have in-perfect line interpolation (manually) although close enough to give the illusion of smooth flow. We are going to address this is through the ability to randomized the lines of the inbetweens (this is not yet implemented)

If you look at the film I did you will not notice that this technology was used. I purposely did not overly use the in-betweens in order to make it feel more organic.

link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE0p4FRNiPw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

PS. I drew the Keys in TV PAint and trace them on this technology
Last edited by Jotokutora on 19 Mar 2013, 16:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Jotokutora » 19 Mar 2013, 15:25

The reason the test are short are because they are just test. The animation is as good as your keys. If your keys aren't good then you will get just smoother bad animation. As far types of animation goes, we do not support yet texture pens as such. This tools are more targeted at large studios that handle animation outsource.

The process is similar to pencil and paper. So as a user you need to take under consideration how long it takes you drawing the keys. As long the scenes difficulty is within what the software can handle, the user will definitely save 20-25% of time from the traditional process.

Things the software can't handle; if a character is facing toward camera and the following key frame is profile position then that will be difficult. It can be done but it would be easier to ad and extra frame inbetween for better result :D

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idragosani
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by idragosani » 19 Mar 2013, 15:27

Paul Fierlinger wrote:Why would you want to draw such a thing A reference to the old story about the new animator at the Disney studio who asked how Mickey Mouse's ears should be drawn when viewed from the top and he got that answer.
It's not that I want to draw it, it's just an example of complex motion that would seem difficult to do with this automated tweening (versus our classic hand-drawn techniques or using skeleton & kinematics in CG)
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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 19 Mar 2013, 15:32

Sorry, I was kidding. It just seems to me that the function discussed here has its limitations, just as Mickey Mouse's design.
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Jotokutora » 19 Mar 2013, 15:41

Every Technology has its limitations unless AI is implemented. All it can be done is clever ways of creating tools that aren't disruptive of the flow of creativity.

Even Meander (BetweenIt) which is Disneys new 2d technology has limitations. Some of the core abilities of Meander (BetweenIT) works better than ours and some aspects and ours works better than theirs.

The important part to remember is the incentive to create tools to offer section of the animation process than to this point have not had any succesful options. Trying is part of progress. :)

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Fabrice
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Fabrice » 19 Mar 2013, 16:07

It's interesting to discuss about it.

One question :
PS. I drew the Keys in TVPaint and trace them on this technology
what do you mean by "tracing" ? I'm not sure to get the exact idea. is it a special process in addition of drawing ?

(I can't follow this interesting topic during a few hours but I will come back, and read everything more deeply)
Fabrice Debarge, TVPaint Team

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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Jotokutora » 19 Mar 2013, 16:35

When I got involved in the technology for the first time, it did not possessed proper drawing capabilities. Through a friend I learned about TVPAint, and fell in love with the drawing tools.

This new technology requires to trace the images in order for the strokes to be interpolated (vectors). Although the earliest version of this technology was bitmap.

Meander (BetweenIT) originally workes in which the artist would supply the images already fully cleaned up. The software apparently would auto vectorize the image. It will break each stroke and store each stroke on its own virtual independent layer ( I believe not accessible to users, this is more the way it was programmed under the hood)) in which individual strokes will correspond to the equivalent position on subsequent key frame.

On that software the user do not (I dont believe) have to trace the images and the software will do it automatically.
However the draw back seems to be that both key drawings could not change drastically if there where topological changes on the images. Therefore they added the ability to connect CGI objects to lead the 2d strokes. This new software is called Meander ( I guess the added CG ability).

From my observations they seem to have to go through the process twice. Ones is the planning stage (CG), and then the 2d drawing afterwards. Its seems that is a process that isn't all that favorable for a 22 minute 2d cartoon show turn around.

On our case the user needs to trace the rough keys, but he/she will gain the ability to have more topological changes than (BetweenIT)
can not to my knowledge.

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slowtiger
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by slowtiger » 19 Mar 2013, 18:20

I don't get it. If you want smooth moving robots, do CGI. And even from the examples I don't believe the software could create perspectively correct inbetweens of a character turning 120° from just 2 keyframes.
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by idragosani » 19 Mar 2013, 18:26

It sounds like it ultimately is vectorizing everything in the end, it's just an automated way of going from bitmap to vector tweening/morphing.
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by idragosani » 19 Mar 2013, 18:29

slowtiger wrote:I don't get it. If you want smooth moving robots, do CGI. And even from the examples I don't believe the software could create perspectively correct inbetweens of a character turning 120° from just 2 keyframes.
I think for more complex motion, you'd need to do some kind of vector transformation or use skeletal armature/kinematics to get the proper movement, if you want it automated. Just tweening the lines might be ok for small point A to point B motion, but there are going to be severe limitations without lots of keys and extremes... at which point you might as well just hand-draw the inbetweens.
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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 19 Mar 2013, 19:18

at which point you might as well just hand-draw the inbetweens.
I think the developers of such programs have people in mind who can't draw anything. I had students like that sign up for my class called, "Hand Drawn Computer Animation" asking me if it will matter that they can't draw. Others asked if it will matter that they know nothing about how to use a computer.
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by idragosani » 19 Mar 2013, 19:23

Paul Fierlinger wrote:
at which point you might as well just hand-draw the inbetweens.
I think the developers of such programs have people in mind who can't draw anything. I had students like that sign up for my class called, "Hand Drawn Computer Animation" asking me if it will matter that they can't draw. Others asked if it will matter that they know nothing about how to use a computer.
What happens if they can't draw, know nothing about using a computer and know absolutely nothing about animation? I guess your course is meant to address the last item but not the first two :-)
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by slowtiger » 19 Mar 2013, 20:04

My animation teacher Tahsin Özgür said: "If you can't draw - forget it."
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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Automated inbetweening

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 19 Mar 2013, 20:19

What happens if they can't draw, know nothing about using a computer and know absolutely nothing about animation? I guess your course is meant to address the last item but not the first two :-)
That's pretty much it -- there are always a couple who can draw, but needless to say, I don't teach anymore and this time I really mean it.
My animation teacher Tahsin Özgür said: "If you can't draw - forget it."
I don't see the attraction for people who join a class based on drawing abilities knowing they don't have it. My guess is they think it's going to be an easy class for an easy grade -- like Kindergarten.
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