Pruning, Smoothing, & Master Control

Brian Genna -

Pruning

The job of the pruning function is to remove keys from the animation curve whilst maintaining the fidelity of the animation. The intention is to create animation curves that are easy for an animator to work on by hand. The software does this by analysing the f-curves and intelligently removing the keys that have the least impact on the shape of the curve.

Pruning_01.jpg

To Set The Pruning Value:

  1. Within the 'Pose Groups' region of the Retargeter window locate the 'Pruning' column.
  2. Double click in the cell that corresponds to the Pose Group you wish to edit and enter the desired pruning value.

Prune Spacing

The Prune Spacing value determines the size of the gap between keyframes. A value of 2 will result in all keys being separated by at least 2 frames.

To Set The Prune Spacing Value:

  1. Within the 'Pose Groups' region of the Retargeter window locate the 'Prune Spacing' column.
  2. Double click in the cell that corresponds to the Pose Group you wish to edit and enter the desired prune spacing value.

*Note - The eyes naturally have quick movements with blinks and eye darts that might take place within a couple of frames. To avoid losing these keep prune spacing at zero unless you feel it is necessary to raise the value. Leaving the value at zero produces the best animation results.

Smoothing

Smoothing is used to reduce sharp peaks or noise from the animation curves. The smoothing algorithm works by analyzing every key and averaging out its value based on the values of the keys around it. Unlike Pruning, Smoothing does not remove any keys from your curve.

Smoothing_01.jpg

To Set The Smoothing Value:

  1. Within the 'Pose Groups' region of the Retargeter window locate the 'Smoothing' column.
  2. Double click in the cell that corresponds to the Pose Group you wish to edit and enter the desired smoothing value.

*Note - This is set as a value between 0 (no smoothing) to 100 (maximum smoothing).

*Note - Generally, overuse of smoothing can result in floaty or un-dynamic results so this feature should be used conservatively. It is often most effective when used on the brows which naturally have less sharp movements.

Master Control

Turning on Master Control means that the 'Pruning' function will remove keys from the same frames for every control within that 'Pose Group'. The result is that all the keys for all of the controls within that Pose Group will be synchronized in time, making them easier for an animator to manage.

The Master Control function is particularly useful where a character or pose group has a large number of controls that could make them difficult for an animator to work on by hand.

To Set The Master Control:

  1. Within the 'Pose Groups' region of the Retargeter window locate the 'Master Control' column.
  2. Double click in the cell that corresponds to the Pose Group you wish to edit to reveal a drop down menu.
  3. From the menu select either 'auto' or one of the controls listed.
Mastercontrol_01.jpg

*Note - Selecting 'auto' means that the software will analyse all of the controls, giving equal weighing to each when it chooses the frames on which to synchronize the keys.

*Note - Selecting one of the controls designates this control as the master. All other controls will then have their keys synchronized to this control.

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