2023-01-12 Animation & Rigging module meeting

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

Present: Christoph Lendenfeld, Duncan Rudd, Fani-Eleni Pandi, Luciano Muñoz, Marc, Marion Stalke, Nathan Vegdahl, Paul Thuriot, Sybren Stüvel, Uhuaha Yealolcool

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


Since the Last Meeting / Announcements

  • New face: Uhuaha. Blender fan & self-professed noob. Here because he’s super curious about GPU-armatures.
  • Phabricator to Gitea migration started this week. Task force, which Sybren is member of, is working overtime this & next few weeks to finish the job.
  • Animation 2025 needs a Product Manager.
    • Nathan volunteers.
    • This will be discussed further in a later meeting, when some of the more senior module members are here as well.

Short-term goals

Patch Review & Decision Time

Animation 2025 planning

Sybren suggests: Biggest Risk First. Risks can be “unknowns”, but also technical debt.
- Everybody agrees this is a good idea.
- It’s decided to look at the structure of animation data and armatures first.
- Workshop will be planned for this. First in a regular meeting, and if that’s not enough we can plan more time.

Speeding up animation workflow

Marion: Blender feels slow compared to what Maya animators are used to.

  • Christoph: remapped keys from R/G/S to activate the gizmo, doesn’t want to think of which axis is what

    • Luciano points to Prefs > Keymap > Tool Keys > Active Tool.
  • Paul: needs to switch to Local Mode every time, to get a grip on what is on which axis.

  • Nathan: favourite is Softimage XSI, because their hotkeys allow holding hotkey, use the widget, and release to make the widget goes away again.

  • Luciano: maps number 1-9 keys to the Nth tool in the toolbar.

    • Allows for quickly r/g/s to grab + switch which widget is shown with 1-9
    • Sybren: 1-9 are horrible in object mode, as they are a remnant of the old numerical scene layer system. They usually mess up his scene.
  • Christoph: proposal: bring other objects into pose mode as well. Activation of a specialised “keymap for animation” could then be linked to pose mode, and thus to other objects as well.

    • Luciano: would be like what we discussed before, like having a “global animation mode” of Blender.
  • Marion: graph editor management can be improved as well

    • Nathan: it’s like death by 1000 papercuts
    • Sybren: let’s do a Graph Editor Improvement sprint at some point.
    • Christoph will make a compilation of graph editor papercuts, as he can work on those on the short term.
    • Luciano has been working on such a list of graph editor issues as well, will work with Christoph on this.
  • Duncan: good chunk of the slowdown is viewport performance.

    • For for reviewing his animation, he needs to do playblast renders or hiding other things too much.
  • Duncan: maybe allow animation data to exist on other things than just Actions? Maybe the Scene could be the source of animation, and Actions be the thing you use when you need that kind of grouping / organisation.

    • Marion: Actions are wonderful, as it has animations as an “object” that you can transfer to another scene, or another object/character. BUT: loves the idea to have Actions more “editable”, to contain only specific types of data, be more malleable.
    • Sybren: it would be great if the graph editor could show more than just the data in the Action, but also evaluated info (like world-space locations, CoM trajectories) that can still be edited.
    • Luciano: it’s also quite limiting when Actions don’t have all the info (like with contstraints to other objects that are animated too).

Next Meeting

Sybren (together with others) is working overtime to get the Phabricator-to-Gitea transition done as soon as possible, for the next few weeks. Because of this, next meeting scheduled will be skipped.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 26 January, 18:00-19 CET (Your local time: 2023-01-26T17:00:00Z). 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.