2023-01-05 Animation & Rigging module meeting

The meeting will be open for everybody interested to join on Google Meet (link below).

Present: Brad Clark, Christoph Lendenfeld, Duncan Rudd, Jason Schleifer, Jeremy Bot, Nathan Vegdahl, Omar, Paul Thuriot, Shriansh Gupta, Sybren Stüvel

People present are referred to by first name for brevity. Others are referred to by full name.


Since the Last Meeting / Announcements

  • New face: Omar, interested in animation stuff.
  • Blender Animation Workshop 2022 Recap video has been published.
  • Dalai Felinto created a TODO and a bug report in the scope of Brush Assets Workflow.
  • Discussion about the removed “Flip Pose” checkbox:
    • Jason: The best would be to make it just apply to whatever is selected.
      • In his setup, pose asset have both sides. A left-hand pose is automatically mirrored to the right hand, and both are stored in the asset.
      • Paul: left/right could be positive/negative blending, so “sucking out” the pose.
      • Jason: yes, works really well for additive blending.
    • Nathan: my workflow very keyboard/hotkey driven. Could applying pose flipped be a hotkey thing?
      • Sybren: this was the case for the old one. If I recall correctly it also flipped the thumbnails
      • Jason: would love that.
    • Sybren: we can also bring Flipped checkbox back
      • Jason: clearer than left/right drag, especially when thumbs also change.
      • Brad: this should be thought of as an “on-apply option”
      • Sybren: “flipped” hotkey could also be used for blending, then drag left = for “sucking out” the pose.
      • People LAAAAIK the extrapolation.
      • After the meeting Sybren implemented ‘sucking out’ the pose.
  • Previous two meetings (one and two we voted on what opportunities from the Opportunity Solution Tree to prioritise. The result (with some grouping of similar ones):
    • 4x I don’t know why things are slow (with possible solution: Rig Profiler) ← module agrees to go for this. Brad: knowing what you’re doing makes everything better.
    • 3x I want to see and manipulate frames other than the current one (motion trails, mesh ghosting)
    • 2x Rig is not intuitive (with possible solution: Rig Explainer)
    • Bone Picker (with cries from the Blender Animation Studio, Nate Rupsis shared an example of a nice one in the chat)
    • Improving mesh deformation speed (CPU-to-GPU traffic)
    • Bone Axis Orientations are confusing
    • Auto-Keying is confusing and inconsistent
    • Bones and Objects are very similar, but in Blender they are completely separate
    • Geometry Nodes deformers
    • Node based rigging


Short-term goals

RBF Pose Blender

Sybren made a little proof of concept for a pose blender based on radial basis functions (RBF). He’ll give a demo.

This might be a nice, simple prototype to use as a basis for more desirable features, like a bone picker. It needs a few of the same ingredients (drawing things, handling mouse events, drag & drop from other areas of Blender) but has a more limited scope.

  • Paul: add option “Apply Zero” for channels that are not in all of the poses.
  • Jason: other places we can apply this kind of blending interaction?
    • Brad: maybe between NLA tracks?

Patch Review & Decision Time

  • D16100: Pose Library: Store only Keyframed Values option
    • Given the recent changes in the pose library, where would we see this option appearing? And is this an approach we like?
    • Paul: when applying, does it have an option for zeroing out the rest? May get confusing when applying the pose doesn’t apply all transform channels.
    • Discussion about properties shared across multiple bones, to have them available everywhere.
    • Jason: yes, this patch is useful.
    • Sybren: bigger discussion of where to put asset creation & asset usage posage.

Brad: bigger picture perspective shift, like Motion Builder, always key everything, and use filtering to determine what gets applied (instead of what gets keyed).
- Avoids the “oops, forgot to key that” problem. Might bloat the file a bit, though.
- Nathan: idea, when creating a pose, only store what deviated from the rest/default pose.
- Sybren: loses info about what’s part of the pose and what isn’t.
- Brad: selection of what’s in the pose will become more challenging when we have mesh controls as well. Other layers of feedback & selection will have to be built.
- Brad & Jason (but really Brad): like highlighting the affected parts of the bodies when hovering over the poses.

Help Needed

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Thursday 12 January, 18:00-19 CET (Your local time: 2023-01-12T17:00:00Z). Again it will be open for everybody who’s interested. The provisionary meeting agenda will be linked in the #animation-module channel before the meeting.