2024-05-14 Animation & Rigging module meeting

The meeting will be on 2024-05-14T10:00:00Z. It is open for everybody interested to join the video call (link below).

Present: Christoph Lendenfeld, Hjalti Hjálmarsson, Ivan Cappiello, MohammadHossein Jamshidi, Nacho de Andrés, Nathan Vegdahl, Pablo Fournier, Rik Schutte, Sybren Stüvel

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

Links

Since the Last Meeting / Announcements

  • Discussion about internationalisation & translation of plurals. TL;DR: just write "%d F-Curve(s)" or "%d vertex(-ices)" and avoid having multiple branches for singular & plural. The most important reason is that “singular vs. plural” is only valid in specific languages, and others handle this differently, making things cumbersome to translate / localise.
  • #90184: Add Asset Browser to Animation Workspace? concluded with “no”.

Landed

Names are from the Git log. This list is limited to functional improvements & bugfixes.

Blender

Ongoing Work

UX Quirk(s) in the Pose Library Shelf

  • Hjalti: mirroring poses requires first clicking-and-holding and then press ctrl. Pressing and holding ctrl first doesn’t work, which is weird.
    • Nacho: I think the ctrl thing is just a bug, because it worked to hold ctrl first in previous versions.
  • Hjalti: also, right-click menu is missing “blend pose flipped”.
    • Nacho: the blend pose operator already has a parameter for applying flipped, so we can just expose that.
    • Christoph: we should be able to add “Blend Pose Flipped” to the right-click menu pretty easily. Maybe even for 4.2.
  • Hjalti: Is holding ctrl the right interaction model for flipped posing? What is the “Blender” way?
    • Christoph: in sculpt mode ctrl is used to invert the behavior of brushes, so there’s precedence.
    • Hjalti: the pose library used to have a “flip poses” check box, and I’d like that back. It also flipped the images, which made it easy to see what you were going to do. Moreover, the checkbox isn’t mutually exclusive with the ctrl modifier: we can have both.
    • Rik: would also like the check box back. When animating I want a workbench that works for me, rather than a “slick” UI that looks good.
  • Sybren: I would love to spend some time, after Baklava Phase 1 is done, to polish the pose library.
  • Sybren: The way Jason Schleifer works with the pose library is to have every pose asset be for both sides at the same time. So all hand poses are for both hands. Then he just uses bone selection to determine which hand gets posed. No flipping necessary.
    • Hjalti: that makes a lot of sense for certain cases (hands) but not others (flipping asymmetric poses). It also requires building the whole pose library that way, so if the user doesn’t control the pose library they’re at the mercy of the way the pose library was constructed.
    • Christoph: these are basically two different use cases, right? Apply a one-sided pose to other side (e.g. a hand pose) vs apply an asymmetric pose flipped (e.g. a facial expression). What if for the first case we just identify that it’s only set for one side or the other automatically, and apply it based on selection?
    • Nacho: sometimes I want to select both hands and go back-and-forth between adjusting the pose of one or the other via flipping. Neither Jason Schleifer’s workflow nor auto-flipping based on selection work for that.
  • Sybren: related but orthogonal topic: currently the code for creating and updating poses is a default-enabled Blender add-on. It’s an add-on so that TDs can disable it and replace it with custom behavior. I don’t think this is used much though, so here’s an idea:
    • Move the pose library from an add-on to Blender itself, and add hooks in there so add-ons can alter its behaviour. That should keep the customisability while also improving integration with Blender.
  • Sybren: what I think the pose library needs:
    • This move to Blender itself
    • Flipping UI/UX improvement
    • Pose Creation & Pose Update improvements (writing to other blend files)
    • and later animation snippet support.
  • Nathan: maybe make a design task for pose flipping UX and pose creation/updating. There may be some interaction between the two in terms of fitting well together, so that should be part of the task.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Thursday 2024-05-23T16:00:00Z. Again it will be open for everybody who’s interested. The provisionary meeting agenda will be updated before the meeting.

5 Likes

Good afternoon! I hope I understood correctly that the information I quoted from your message will help us to work more efficiently with other programs such as Maya and UE. If I have misunderstood anything, please let me know.

@hrmnbrck I’m not sure how much it would necessarily help with interop. Blender’s bones already use Y as the length-wise axis, which I think is what Maya also uses already? Not sure. I heard somewhere that 3DS Max uses X for the length-wise axis, though, so if true this might help interop there.

But one of the main motivations for this is just to allow Blender to be more consistent with itself. Pretty much everywhere else in Blender, Z is the “special” axis of 3D coordinates. For example, Blender is Z-up, cameras in Blender point down their local Z axis, etc.

So being able to configure bones to use Z as their special (length-wise) axis would help resolve some annoying inconsistencies within Blender. For example, the annoying and unnecessary trade off illustrated by the discussion in #113138: Anim: Align new bones with the world axes.

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That would be nice. There are some known problems with exporting armatures with certain game engines, although I’m not sure this is as much a Blender issue as it is an FBX shortcoming. Regardless, some more consistency would be good, diminishing the mental burden of rigging ever so slightly.

Also nice to see some of the old, rather nonsensical defaults being questioned.

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