Point Animation

What is Point Animation?
Point animation
 allows you to directly animate your vertices in using various sculpting and selection tools, right on top of your regular rig. Cool huh? (hint: hyeall yeah)

 

When would I want to use Point Animation?
-You want Point Animation whenever you want to go in and just do that little tweak on your mesh on a few frames where the rig isn't holding up properly. 
-You want Point Animation when you want to add variation to your facial animation.
-You want Point Animation when you want to improve the shilouettes and poses of your characters.
-You want Point Animation when you're using Cage Deformer or Lattice to easily control them.
-You want Point Animation all the time, these were really just suggestions. It's that cool.

How do I apply Point Animation?
       1.  Select the object that you want to use Point Animation on.

      2   Go to the Setup tab and select  Point Animation from the effects pulldown list, then click on the [+] button

      3.  In the Animate tab, click the Point Animation effect in the list and press Edit Mode.Make sure that you are in Perspective view mode.

      4. Make sure that you are in Perspective view mode one more time.

      5.  Use the various sculpting, moving and selection tools to animate to your hearts delight. To see selections, make sure your object is set to draw in any of the modes that say 'edges' or 'and wires',

      6.  When you're done, hit Edit Mode again to stop point animation.

What are the restrictions of Point Animation?
Thou shall not:
-have isolated vertices in your model
-have zero area polygons in your model
-have "2 point polygons" in your model
-delete keyframe(s) and undo that
-push create key button under the graph and push "Zero Key" without updating frame
-expect PA to work when point order changes

Additional Information: 
About interpolation:
In PA every keyframe represents one displacement/morph. Keyframes channel value is used to keep track of key orders, so dragging a value in graph is not a good idea. Channel value between keyframes is used to interpolate between different displacements. For example if channel value is 2.5, that is exactly between keyframes 3 and 4 (key index starts at 0 and therefore first key is 0, second 1 etc). So you can use TCB values or bezier handles to control the spacing/eases/acceleration/whatevertermgetsyouaroused between keys. Because this way of handling keys using PA with sliders is not recommended (though you could do it in very limited way). Point animation handles interpolation as a hermite spline instead of directly linear. Thus you get a smooth motion for a vertice through keyframe 2 if you have keyframes 1 2 and 3 different for that vertice. It also has 'smart holds' so it won't overshoot if you have two keys with the same value for that vertice in two consecutive keyframes. 

For some reason PA channel value gets b0rked if you have negative frames. Result is that interpolation doesn't work in negative frames, but you can store displacements in there. Make your displacements in positive frame range before dragging them to negative range, so you don't have to work blindfolded. You can use messiahs regular pose system to paste channel values or setup Suricates excellent AP_CopyPose.

"Through" bool tick picks elements under mouse using screen coordinates instead of shooting a ray at model. It is useful if you have points inside model that you can't access other way. It's not perfect but it's something. "Connect" bool tick uses geometry connectivity to calculate influence when sculpting instead of just simple volume.

While in "Select" mode, left mouse button selects and right mouse button de-selects. In "Sculpt" mode LMB is main function and RMB does the opposite. MMB drag scales the brush size.

"Zero Key" button either creates keyframe with no displacement on frame you are OR if you have keyframe already in that frame, it zeroes out the displacement.

Here's a point about animating: -It's fun.

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