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Temp Controls are special Anim Controls that help animating faster, more intuitively and with more precision. It creates powerful featured and non-destructive Anim Controls, that drive original rig controls through parent constraints. User can either keep the setup in the scene or bake it down after using it. This unleashes the power of:
- Create different rig setups to any rig control.
- Switch anim controls to any space as well as rig setups itself.
- Edit anim controls pivots, without losing the poses.
- Grab and release objects.
- Add extra controls for extra layers of animation.
If you didn't understand what that means, don't worry, it will make sense when looking at some examples below. Be creative, though, find how this tool fits into your own workflow! Just keep in mind that:
- It will give powerful features to any rig.
- It works in a non destructive manner. It keeps your poses put and can be baked back to rig controls at anytime.
- It will reduce/remove the need of counter animating stuff.
What Temp Controls don't do
They don't deform meshes, directly. They only drive existent rig controls, that then deform meshes. This makes it compatible with pretty much any pipeline, as the only thing that it needs to support is conventional parent constraint, which any decent pipeline already does. Even in worst case scenarios, if the pipeline is 100 years old and doesn't support constraints, you can bake Temp Controls before publishing your shot and downstream departments won't even notice they were used.
Currently there's three systems available, but many others are planned for the near future:
A simple Anim Control. Although simple, it's probably the most powerful and versatile. Because it's powered by Temp Controls features, the possibilities are endless.
Examples of use:
Create a Simple Control in World Space to fix unwanted noises, such as knee jitters and pops.
Create Simple Controls in World Space for IKs and COG to convert a treadmill walk cycle.
Create a Simple Control in World Space for static controls and use Time Offsetter Stagger to build a quick overlap action.
Create a Simple Control for a chair, add a couple child Anim Controls, edit their pivots. Now you can animate it pivoting from the edges.
Block your poses by moving the master control around, then create a Simple Control in World Space for IKs and COG to bake it down.
Create a Simple Control in Object Space for head and FK arms, while its orientation in World Space.
Create a Simple Control for the hand IK in Relative Space. Change the relative object at anytime without losing your poses.
Create a Simple Control in Relative Space, instead of using native parent constraint. It's quicker, gives much more flexibility and doesn't destroy your poses.
Create a Simple Control relative to multiple objects.
Create a Simple Control in Relative Space for a camera group. This helps animating travelling objects, like a moving vehicle.
Create a Simple Control in Camera Space to finesse animation curves in camera space.
Create a Simple Control in Camera Space, for the rig master control. You can reposition the whole set around the character.
Create a Simple Control in Child Space for a rig control. It is the same as creating a locator parented to that rig control, but faster and fancier.
Create Simple Controls in Grab Release Space to hold and release objects.
A master Anim Control that drives many others. It's a great setup to move and reorient several objects together. This is different than using animation layers, Temp Pivot or Global Offset, because it is applied at parent level.
Examples of use:
Create a Group Control in World Space for COG and IKs to truly reorient and reposition the entire animation.
Create a Group Control in World Space. Spread the objects apart by scaling it.
Create a Group Control to rig simple props.
Create a Group Control in World Space for the character feet and you can scale the stride length.
Create a Group Control in Camera Space for the character master control. By scaling it, you can bring the character closer or farther away from the camera.
Create a Group Control in World Space for the camera and the character master control, then reposition the entire animation to another location on the set.
An Anim Control with its orientation controlled by an aim target and a pole vector. Great for animating position without counter animating rotations.
Examples of use:
Create an Aim Control to help polishing weapon swinging arcs.
Create an Aim Control to animate writing more precisely.
Create an Aim Control in World Space to easily stabilize rotations.
Create an Aim Control in Object Space to improve weight shifts on a walk cycle, without counter animating rotations.
Temp Controls can be used temporarily, but also be left enabled in the scene, if desired. There's two different baking modes:
Anytime a Temp Control is baked or toggled, it will create keys only at frames where there is keys. This is good to keep animation clean while working, however keep in mind that the animation can change at frames with no keys, due to the space switching.
TIP: If you only need a section baked at every frame, you can create keys on that section before baking/toggling the Temp Control.
Anytime a Temp Control is baked or toggled, it will create keys at every frame. This is good to maintain the animation without changes due to the space switching.
TIP: Whenever you need to 'unbake', you can delete the green keys.
* Make sure you have Smart Tint Keys enabled, as otherwise baked keys will not be tinted green.
Toggle will bake the Temp Control animation back to the rig control, but will keep the setup in the scene for later use.
|The simplest way is to Alt+Click the button:||It can also be accessed in the right click menu:||Finally, in the Temp Controls Panel:|
Clear and Bake
This will bake the Temp Control animation back to the rig control and remove the setup in the scene.
|You can Alt+Shift+Ctrl the button, or use the right click menu:||And also in the Temp Controls Panel:|
Pro baker tip: run this command without any selection and it will bake all Temp Controls in the scene!
A key thing to keep in mind!
It's important to understand that whenever you create, toggle or bake Temp Controls, the animation will be transferred in xform state, meaning that all translations and rotations will be keyed in order to keep the pose in place during the space switch translation.
Switching spaces is probably the most powerful feature of this tool. There's a few different places where you can set it up.
|When creating a Temp Control:||In the right click menu:||In the Temp Controls Panel:|
Some spaces can also be accessed through ALT, SHIFT, CONTROL shortcuts. For example, Shift+Ctrl+Click on the main Temp Controls button, will set the selected Temp Control to Camera Space:
The Temp Control will not follow any object. Great for working with animation curves that represent the complete motion, that are not dependant on the control hierarchy animation.
The Temp Control will follow the same parent as its original rig control. This is good when creating an extra control, without changing the main control space.
The Temp Control will follow any object of your choice. Great for placing a control in another's space.
The Temp Control will follow the camera. Great for working with clean animation curves, that represent the complete motion in relation to the camera.
The Temp Control will follow the original rig control. This is similar to create a locator and parent constrain it to the rig control, however it's faster and you will get a fully featured Temp Control setup.
The Temp Control will follow any object of your choice at any range of your choice. Great for animating grab and release in a non-destructible way. Different than Xform Relationship, this will keep the constraint setup, which makes easier for further editing.
You also have the ability to set a space for position and a different one for orientation, by clicking on the lock button in the Temp Controls Panel.
Grab Release Space
This is a very special space, as it allows the Temp Control to be in different spaces at different frames in time, which will be displayed in the timeline:
We can tweak it properties in the Temp Controls Panel:
|And in the right click menu:|
It's important to note that you can grab anything you want at any time you want (no judgement!), changing the drivers at will, and the poses will stay put wherever there is a key.
TIP: If you nudge keys with animBot's nudge tools, the grab frames will go along with it!
Adds the selected object as a driver from the current frame onwards.
|TIP: Use Nudge Tools to edit grab frames.|
Releases the Temp Control, so no objects will drive it from the current frame onwards.
There's a side effect that happens if we change the pose of an object that's driving the Temp Control at the frame where it starts driving it (the grab frame). This will create a pop, because the transition between the previous driver to this new pose needs to be recalculated at the new position. Normalize Transitions will fix those pops. Feel free to smash this button as much as you like, Grab Release will always keep your pose in place where there is a key.
|We can access it by Shift + Ctrl + Clicking the Grab Release button on the toolbar:||And also in the Temp Controls Panel:|
* We can also assign this to a hotkey (pretty much any other animBot command, for that matter).
Normalize Y Up
Whenever an object is following another, either when being its child or by a parent constraint, its local axis will reorient through time, according to how the parent rotates. The problem though, is that we usually want the Y axis to be pointed up at release moments, so that we end up with clean animation curves as opposed to a mix diagonal.
This command will align the Temp Control axis to world at current frame. By default, animBot will normalize the Y up for the first release, automatically. Running this function becomes useful when the Grab Release setup has 2 or more releases.
|We can access it in the Grab button:||And also in the Temp Controls Panel:|
They have a few special properties.
We can control a few appearance properties of an Anim Control, such as size, orientation and shape.
|They can be edited in the Temp Controls Panel:||Through the toolbar button:|
We can add extra child or parent controls, to allow us to have an extra layer of animation.
|Child control:||Parent control:|
|They can be created or removed in the Temp Controls Panel as well:||And also in the right click menu:|
This is a very powerful feature, as it allow us to change the pivot position without destroying the poses. After changing the pivot, the poses will stay put at wherever there is a keyframe. The interpolation between those keyframes will change, obeying the new pivot position.
This is different than the Temp Pivot tool, which will only change the pivot for the pose adjustment, without changing the interpolation at all.
|We can edit an Anim Control pivot in the Temp Controls Panel:||And also in the right click menu:|
If you are into scripting, try using animBot API for the Temp Controls to automate repetitive tasks. Visit this link for more info and examples: createTempControl
Remember: we can set hotkeys to any command available in buttons and right click menus. Once you find something you use a lot, set a hotkey for it to speed up your workflow even more!