Present: Hjalti Hjálmarsson, Julian Eisel, Pablo Fournier, Pablo Vazquez
Note: This turned more into an initial design doc, with emphasis on the points raised in the meeting. Hence the length
Status & Meeting Goals
- Pose Libraries are a high priority use-case for the Asset Browser.
- There should at least be an overall design (evaluated with prototypes) to help us understand the implications on the Asset Browser design.
- This design is one of the current main goals for the Asset Browser project.
- Not certain yet if pose libraries will be part of the 1st Asset Browser milestone. They may also be an own milestone.
- Meeting goal was to get more context and shared understanding about pose library usage.
- Also, understand scope of the project: Just improving the current system, or a completely new solution? (See conclusions at the end.)
- Focus right now is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
- See last Asset Browser meeting notes.
- Plan is to build an Asset Browser, not an Asset Manager. I.e. a view into an asset data-base which may be managed through a separate asset management system (e.g. Kitsu with a Blender bridge).
- .blend files (possibly directories) to browse in will be selected in the Preferences.
- Later, a Blender Project concept may be introduced to help project dependent asset management.
- Thus, things like streamlined pose storage, access rights, committing, publishing, etc. will not be handled by Blender itself.
- Production poses on three levels:
- Approved poses (e.g. main poses of a character defined by the animation team).
- A single animators own pose libraries for various characters.
- Poses to be shared with another animator (e.g. ending pose of one shot as starting pose for another).
- The main usage tasks for assets are: Create, Edit, Use & Share. This maps well to pose libraries.
The current system is the builtin Pose Library functionality with the Pose Thumbnails Add-on.
- Much is based on naming conventions. Feels weak and breaks easily.
- Thumbnails are external images, mapped to poses via the file name. Breaks if the order of poses changes.
- Storing a pose-library as single action data-block with each frame being a pose has limitations. E.g. sharing a single pose is difficult.
- Generally the workflow feels clumsy.
Create & Edit
- Creating a pose would create an asset in the current .blend file.
- A pose could be a single frame action data-block with an “is pose” token.
- Editing a pose could just be done by duplicating and deleting an existing one for now.
- Previews (thumbnails):
- Probably not worth trying to get a good auto-preview system to work. Precision and consistency over multiple previews is important.
- Better avoid relying on external images files, rather store it in the asset itself.
- The Asset Browser would show poses and allow applying them.
- There may have to be a secondary level of grouping (a pose library being the primary). E.g. folders.
- The animators wouldn’t mind if it takes a few clicks to get to a specific pose library or a subset of one. At least for now.
- Automatically letting the Asset Browser follow the active object would be nice, but not necessary for the MVP either.
- If each pose requires a separate action data-block, the action data-block selector menu may become way too filled. The current Asset Browser design already addresses this.
- The full Asset Browser would take too much screen space. A way to quickly hide and show it is needed. Not necessary for the first iterations. Note that a popup may overlap the character.
- Sharing poses is important for productions.
- Mostly happens through the asset data-base, which is responsibility of the asset management system.
- Pose libraries and pose assets should be isolated units.
Features we’d like to have but that are not part of a Minimum Viable Product:
- Animated poses (poses with more than one frame).
- Animated previews (pose previews with multiple frames).
- Pose-blending (adding a pose on top of another with a blending factor).
- Automatically show the poses applicable for the active object.
- The Asset Browser design already covers many of the user stories.
- For a production environment, the asset management system is still needed to cover important aspects.
- Asset Browser work would be the foundation of a new pose library system, not just improve the existing solution.
- Overall this confirms what Julian had in mind and that the Asset Browser design is on a fine track.
- Next steps:
- Initial user story map.
- Short design proposal with wireframes to show UI and workflow.