Animating in Flame – P3 – Interpolation & Tangents – Flame 2020.1


Hi everyone, Grant for the Flame Learning Channel. In the previous video… you learnt how to create keyframe animations in the Animation Editor. We covered curve and keyframe selection… As well as automatic and manually keyframing… within the context of the editor. In this video, you’ll learn about shaping an animation… By adjusting curve interpolation and keyframe tangents. I am picking up from the previous video… But if you’d like to follow along… Just use a simple graphic to create a few animation curves like mine… And you’re good to go. So picking up from where we left off… There is a horizontal animation… As well as a rotation animation on this graphic. The keyframes were set over time… And Flame is working out the animation between the keyframes. The calculation between the keyframes… is what we call “Interpolation”. Now the default interpolation that Flame is using… is called “Bezier”. This means the animation starts off slowly… Speeds up to a regular speed… And then slows down as it approaches the next keyframe. If you wanted the curve to have a consistent straight line between the keyframes… You go to the “Interpolation” pull-down menu… And change the setting to “Linear”. So the calculations between keyframes will be consistent. If you wanted the “linear” interpolation to be your default setting… You would open up the Flame preferences… Go to the General tab… And change the setting under the “Animation” header. So you can create animation with the default interpolation… Or if you had already created a keyframe animation like this… You can change the interpolation between keyframes at any time. Looking at the pull-down menu… There are a few other interpolation methods you can choose from. We’ve already discussed “Linear”… Which calculates a consistent adjustment between keyframes… And we’ve also discussed “Bezier”… which creates a curved animation between keyframes. You can also tell the channel… to hold its current value… until it gets to a new keyframe. So by selecting “Constant”… Each keyframe locks its current value… And you get a step-like animation. Finally, the last two types of interpolation are “Hermite” and “Natural”. These also calculate smooth curve animations similar to “Bezier”… However, the difference between them… is the mathematical calculation in creating the curves. Just choose the interpolation… that works best for your animation. Now you might have noticed… That every time you changed the interpolation… It affected the whole curve. If you just wanted to affect specific keyframes… You hold CONTROL and draw a box selection over the keyframe. You can also use SHIFT+CONTROL… to add additional keyframes to the selection. When you change the interpolation… Only selected keyframes are affected. So there is no limitation… with mixing interpolations between keyframes… on the same animation channels. It’s all controlled through selection. If you reselect the channel… The Interpolation settings are currently “Mixed”… But you can switch the entire curve to something else if you want. Now the next subject I’d like us to focus on… Is the keyframe “tangents”. I am referring to these little handles… that appear on keyframes… When using any of the smoothing interpolations… Such as “Bezier”, “Natural” and “Hermite”. The interpolation will calculate the smoothness of the curve… But you can use the tangents to change the shape of the curve… to further refine your animation. So you could slow things down even more… Or speed things up between keyframes. Now the tangents are currently locked together. This means that as you adjust one handle… It has an equal effect on the opposite. This normally ensures a smooth transition between keyframes on the curve. However, there are times… where you may want to break the tangents for certain animations. To do this, click the Tools pull-down menu… And choose BREAK TANGENTS. Next, click on the keyframe… And the tangent handles go from a solid… To a dotted line. When you switch back to SELECT using the Tools pull-down menu… You can now grab each handle individually… And adjust the curve to your liking. If at any point you wish to reconnect the tangent handles… Just switch back to BREAK TANGENT… And click on the keyframe. The handles go back to a solid line. Switching back to SELECT… the next time you grab the tangent… Both handles will adjust together again. As a tip, if you have adjusted the tangents… And you wish to reset them back to the default horizontal position… You can do this in one of two ways. The first way is to go to the Tools pull-down menu… And choose AUTO-TANGENT. Now go ahead and click on a tangent handle. This allows to you reset individual handles… If you want to keep one side but not the other. So using this tool… You need to click each handle to reset the whole tangent. However, if you just want to reset the both tangent handles at once… Just click the TANGENTS pull-down menu… And choose AUTO. The tangents return to their initial horizontal position… But this will not change whether the tangents are broken or combined. To combine or break the tangents… You use the BREAK TANGENT tool… as shown earlier. In the next video on animation… You’ll go through some of the additional tools in the Tools pull-down menu… To give you extra control… when adjusting keyframes in the animation editor. Comments, feedback and suggestions are always welcome and appreciated. Please subscribe to the Flame Learning Channel… And click the bell to be notified for future videos. Thanks for watching… and hope to see you soon.

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