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QAvimator basics: sits that work for chairs and AO’s.

Thursday, March 31, 8pm SLT.

location: Academy of Industry building

Ever wonder why you sink through certain chairs if you don’t turn off your AO before sitting? It is is because AO sits have an offset built into them BEFORE the pose is uploaded, while many furniture poses are uploaded at default position and use a sit script to adjust the offset. Can a sit work for AO and furniture without expensive scripts? Yes!

In this class we will make a simple animated sit pose using QAvimator. You must have QAvimator installed on your computer, and have verified that the SAVE function works before  class.

You will need about 100 L in your account to pay for uploads.

Download links for QAvimator:

Mac 10.4.11
http://zi.furhome.net/downloads/qavimator-0.0.118.dmg

Mac 10.6
http://referencethis.com/QAvimator-osx-universal-svn-2008-12-06.zip

Windows
http://www.qavimator.org/

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One Comment

  1. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk March 30, 2011

    It helps to be familiar with the controls before you come to class so the jargon is meaningful. Here is the down and dirty start guide. Play with it.

     

    QAVimator is known to be locky and crashy. As soon as you open your file, “save as”  with a .bvh file extension (Mac)  so you can recover your work. On PC you might save your work as .avm and export it for SL as .bvh later, if it will not let you type the .bvh extension when you save. Save early and often!   SL only recognizes .bvh format for animations.

    The menus are very easy to understand, scroll through them. Joint limits will restrict how far you can move the bones to keep your pose looking natural.  It is rather easy to get your elbows and shoulders twisted without realizing it.

    Grab the floor with the mouse, move the camera around.
    Shift-mouse to pan camera.
    Alt-mouse or wheel-scroll to zoom camera.
    Click a bone, it turns red. Now move it with the hoops or sliders.
    Click a thigh, then shift-click the other thigh, they turn yellow and you can move them in tandem.
    Doubleclick a hand, the arm turns purple, now you have reversed kinematics. Doubleclick hand to get out.

    Frame 1 is the frame of reference. SL will refer to frame 1 to figure out which bones are to be animated.

    Always start your work in frame 2. Any bone that is not moved from the frame of reference in the course of your work will keep a blank timeline and will remain ‘loose.’ Experiment with leaving your head and neck loose so you can look around naturally. 

    If you are making a partial pose for the upper body (like a drinking animation to put in a cup), DO NOT touch the hip bone, or short avatars will be lifted.  It is very important to leave the lower body ‘loose.’

    The “K” button (second button to the right of the timeline)  at the bottom of the screen removes markers from the timeline. Mouseclick the timeline symbol you want to remove (the corresponding bone on the mannequin will turn red so you know what you are looking at) then push the button to remove the positioning that you did to that joint. Unfortunately, you cannot clear an entire frame at once.

    If you are only doing a single frame pose, reduce your timeline to 2 frames to make the file smaller.  You can change the length of the timeline by changing the number of frames in the box at the bottom right. This also leaves the pose timeline cleaner to work with if you reopen it at a later time to do more work.  You may wish to leave the timeline at 3 frames while you are working so you can see the markers, then put it back to 2 when you are finished.

    BEFORE extending the timeline to add motion to your pose, upload the 2 frame static pose to check your work. When you are in the position you really want to be in, save it, then give the file a new name before expanding your work. This makes it easy to get back to your starting place when things go wrong (and they will), or build other aniamtions that start in the same position.

    Don’t fret about “tweening.”  It’s not like we have to draw every frame by hand anymore, this is the digital age!

    Expand the timeline and go out about 15 frames. Move the arm. Use the slider on the timeline or play the animation and decide if that is a natural motion. Slide the timeline marker further out if it looks too jerky. Keep moving things until you like it.

    To finish an animation that is going to play continuously, copy frame 2 (cntrl-c, cntrl-v, or use drop down menus) into your last frame to make it loop seamlessly. It is best to finish your work in one go, as the timeline is messy when you open it up to work on at a later date.

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