Blender animation tip – space switching

– [Pierrick] Hi everyone, this is Pierrick from P2Design. I’m super happy to release this new video which is a bit special to me. Based on this character animation, I will add an helmet onto it, making it jumping into the air and falling back
onto his head flawlessly. Achieving this in less than five minutes, using space switching. To do so, I will use a trick, I’ve learned following
Richard Lico’s latest course on Animation Sherpa. A little disclaimer here, I’m not paid nor
announcing Animation Sherpa or Richard Lico work. His animation course is just mind blowing. The tips he shows are just amazing. I haven’t yet finished the lecture but so far everything is
applicable in blender. Richard is an Annie award nominee and he’s head of animation
at Polyarc working on Moss. He also used to work
for Bungie on Destiny 2 (and 1) and his animation skills are just amazing. The video editing in
this course is perfect, these are short videos, very explanatory. Each video is covering a
specific topic or mechanism. This is not a cheap course
but the value you will get from this is incredible. Beware, this is not
a course for beginner but if you have a bit of
experience in animation or even if you are an expert and you want to level up and learn new tips, I can just truly recommend this course. So far it has been a game changer for me. If you’re watching this video, you’re probably a blender user and you might be worrying
because this course is in Maya, but trust me we can achieve
the same thing in Blender without any problem and this is
what I will show you now, and there will also be
a little announcement at the end of this video. This is the very first trick
he shows into his course and this is already mine blowing. Let’s get started. (music) So as I explained before, I have this character I animated for NOARA and one of the variation of
the model has an helmet. Since they will be sharing the same rig and same animation, I will need the helmet to
match this current animation, but that will be way cooler if I add some physical animation to this helmet, making it leaving the head and falling back down onto it. Okay, no problem. This is my job so I will do it, I will play with the location curve of the helmet and I will try
to make it leave the head and move into space before
getting back onto his head. The problem is that I get
weird behavior from the helmet when moving in space while
I’m tweaking its Z curve, it get ups but a bit backward on the next frame it’s going forward, and I’m now fighting with
the animation, Counter animating it instead of
playing with the animation, while I like fighting sports, I hate fighting with my curves, and this is because
the helmet is parented to the head of the character
which does make sense. It will follow the movement of the head, but it means as a child
that his local axis will be modified in
worldspace meaning that, his Z axis won’t be
aligned with world space and whenever the head will rotate, this axis will rotate too, or actually all axis will rotate and they will rotate on each frame since the head of the monkey is moving, so I will have to counter
animate on every frame, and this can make both my animation hard to achieve and the result not that good. So the cool thing would be
to be able to get rid of this parent relationship without
modifying the current rig. To do so as a rigger, I would create more advanced
mechanism with Sliders and then I would have
to animate the Sliders making sure that they match
the current animation. Or if I was as clever as Richard, I would create an empty, then we will constraint this empty to follow the transformation
of the helmet. So let’s add a copy transform constraint, source the armature, the name of the bone is control helmet, so I will search for it and now my empty is stuck onto the helmet, but it’s not parented, it is constrained by the bone, meaning that his local space is aligned with the world space and
it’s getting transformed by the constraint. Typically the kind of thing you will learn in my new rigging course. What I want to do now, is convert the movement
of the constrained empty, as if it was not constrained, meaning that I will bake
the current movement he has. The benefit is that I will be able to edit the animation while I can’t
really edit constraints. For the sake of demonstration, we will just focus on location. I will first clean the helmet animation I’ve tried to do before,
by removing every key frame but the first and the last
on the location channel. I will then get out of pose mode, select the empty and bake
its current animation. So I will press F3 to
open the search tool, type “bake” and use bake action, I will check visual keying and press OK. The animation has been baked, meaning that blender has
created the key frame for each frame recording every transform channel of the empty, it means that the empty
has now the same behavior in space as if it was constrained but I can get rid of the constraint. And the cool thing is since this behavior has been converted as an action or an animation, I can modify it. So now if I constrain the
helmet with this animated empty, the helmet will follow the animated empty. selecting the helmet controller, getting back into pose mode, I will add a copy location and source the empty. Now the helmet is following the empty, and since it’s aligned with world space, when I will work on the
Z curve for example, the motion will be up and down, it won’t go forward or whatever. So what I will do now is to spot the frame where I think the helmet
should leave the head and the frame where the helmet is supposed to get back onto the head, and I will limit the animation there because this is where I will be working. I will isolate the location curve because we are not working on the rotation of the helmet here and I will work only on the Z and Y axis. I kept the side view for the
purpose of demonstration. Obviously I will need to also rework the movement on the X axis. So I will get rid of the key
frame in this time frame, I will convert both to vector, and then I will just add a
new key frame on the Z axis, where I think the helmet
should hold a bit into the air. I will have a quick look, see if I’m pleased with the result, I feel like it should
start a little sooner, so I will move onto frame
15 and repeat the process, and then I can play with
the curve of the Z axis to make the helmet stay
a bit longer into the air to stylize a bit the animation and I will be done. I don’t need to edit the Y axis, I just need to set it
to a linear interpolation since the helmet will be moving forward at a constant speed. The last step is to
transfer this animation onto the helmet. So I will just bake the visual action. The thing is that, since
the helmet is constrained, whether it’s parented or not
to something like the head, doesn’t matter, the
baking will deal with the counter animation because
it’s using visual keying so it will just bake the
motion of the helmet, From what we are seeing on the screen, plus blender is creating a
new action for the helmet, so we won’t be messing
with our current animation. You just need to copy the location curve of the baked animation of the helmet, get back into our current whole animation and past the curves and we are done. The whole process real time, took me maybe less than five minutes. While if I wanted to do it, let’s say, the traditional way, this will take me maybe 20 to 30 minute and the result won’t be as good. It will look very, very bad
compared to this result. Just compare the motion path of the helmet on both animation. On the right, the curve
looks like the perfect exercise of the bouncing ball, while on the left I don’t really
understand what’s happening but it’s not physically correct, nor visually appealing. So again, a big thanks to Richard Lico for sharing this kind of tip and this is the most
basic tip he’sshowing, his course is a gold mine and at the beginning of the video, I was telling you that there might be a little announcement
at the end of the video, and the time is now, I’ve got in touch with Richard and I have just finished
the blender version of the rig for his course. It will be soon available
for free on his website, along side with some add
on from my buddy Fin. Richard is super excited about blender and I’m super excited about that. We will announce the
release of this free rig in a few days. This is the end of this video, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and I will see you very, very soon.

12 thoughts on “Blender animation tip – space switching

  • Salut !
    Je suis encore un tout débutant sur Blender, même si j'ai un base en 3D.
    Et ça me fait super plaisir de voir tes vidéos sur ce soft.
    J'avais hésite avec Maya, mais Blender m'a plutot attiré et voir que c'est possible de réaliser des animations d'aussi bonne qualité dessus donne encore plus envie !

    Merci à toi 🙂

  • Hi Pierrick, I see that you are making a course, can you share what engine you are using? Unity or UE4? I'm currently researching between the 2 and don't know where to start, currently I'm in the path of learning ro create and rig the character with your courses, but I don`t know the next step, are you planning to make a course on moving the character like crimsom ronin to a game, with level design and so on?

  • hello … I am interested in your material, is this available in Indonesian traslite .. I am constrained to understand in English .. maybe I can learn it by just following the screen instructions without explanation.?

  • Thank you sir. I been asking and waiting for something like this. You always deliver. His course combined with yours is a powerhouse collaboration. Much love and support from me 🙌🏽

  • holy crap man, i wanted to do a tutorial about this which ive been using for a long time but you just did it 100 times better than i could ever do ! well done!

  • Do we need to buy Richard's course to see the Blender version rigging,

    Or we can watch it for free directly on his website?

  • bonjour,
    d'abord désolé de parler en français j'ai la flemme de traduire….
    j'ai déjà fait des animations avec des parenting (vraiment s*) mais j'ai plutot utilisé le "child of", qui lorsqu'on arrive à l'utiliser correctement, offre une grande liberté.
    Je dois avouer que je n'ai regardé votre vidéo qu'une seule (je sais, un peu court), mais n'aurait-il pas été plus simple d'utiliser un "child of" justement ?

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