Saturday, November 17, 2007

Day 419: Creating Poses Part 3 (Animation Priority)

In Creating Poses Part 1 and Part 2, we used QAvimator to create pose animations and placed the animation into an object (a purse).

In this Part 3 of the tutorial series, we are going to use multiple animations on our avatar at the same time. So you can burn your tongue on a hot cup of tea while wearing your purse :P This is made possible thru the use of Animation Priority.

Animation Priority Overview

Every animation in SL has an Animation Priority, from 0 to 4. An newly "Played" animation will override a running animation of equal or lower priority on a given body part.

For example, a animation with priority of 3 will override an animation with priority of 1 on the Right Forearm. A new animation with priority of 2 will override an existing animation with priority of 2 on the Left Forearm.

When your avatar is not Wearing any attachments that play animations, your avatar will use a set of SL "built-in" animations. You have probably seen your avatar go through his/her "built-in" stand poses many times.

Here is a list of all the SL "built-in" animations and their Animation Priorities from the LSL Wiki.

Note that most of the "built-in" animations have a priority of 2. While most of the standing, walking, or moving animations have a priority of 0.

So if you want your custom animation to always Play and override everything else, just set the Animation Priority to 4.

But if you want some "built-in" animations to work with your custom animation, then you have to pay more attention to the Animation Priority. For example, this is useful if you want the built-in "Typing" animation to work.

Testing Animation Priority

In Part 2 of this tutorial series, we created the "Hold Purse" pose animation and uploaded to Second Life.

When we uploaded the "Hold Purse" animation to SL, we selected an Animation Priority of 2.

Go ahead and Wear the purse containing the "Hold Purse" animation and the "Hold Purse Script". We are going to do a few things while we are Wearing the purse and see what happens :)

Also, be sure you take of any attachment or HUDs with animations. This includes shoes with Sexy Walk or avatar-based animations (for furries or mermaids :D). Just be a "normal" boring avatar Wearing a purse for a few minutes ;P

Typing (Priority 2)

If you open the Chat window and start typing something, your avatar should perform the normal "Typing" animation. Thats because "Typing" also has an Animation Priority of 2. So the newly played "Typing" animation would override the existing "Hold Purse" animation.

Walking (Priority 0)

Try walking while wearing your purse.

With the "normal" SL walk, your arm should be holding the purse while you walk. Thats because the normal "Walking" animation has an Animation Priority of 0. So the "Walking" animation does NOT override the "Hold Purse" animation that's running on your avatar's arm.

Sexy Walk (Priority 3/4)

Do you have an Animation Override gadget or a pair of shoes with Sexy Walk? Wear it and turn on only the Sexy Walk (but disable the "Stand" poses).

Now try walking while wearing your purse and the Sexy Walk.

You should see your arms drop down and do the Sexy Walk. When you resume your stand pose, your arms should go back to the "Hold Purse" animation. Most Sexy Walk animations have an Animation Priority of 3 or 4. So the Sexy Walk will override the "Hold Purse" animation.

Facial Animations

Did you know your avatar has teeth? You do brush your teeth, dont you? ;P

Second Life has a number of "built-in" facial expressions/animations. They are in the Animation Priorities list with names starting with "express_" (like "express_smile").

We cannot create/upload custom facial animations. The only ones available are the ones built-into SL. Fortunately, theres quite a list to choose from!

The easiest way to play facial expressions is use Yadni's EmoterHUD.

You can pick up the EmoterHUD for free from Yadni's Junkyard (Search/Places for "yadni"). The "YadNi s EMOTERHUD v3.1" is in the "Freebie of the Month" area. Its been in the "Freebie of the Month" area since I joined SL over a year ago ;P

To use the EmoterHUD, open your Inventory window, look for the "EmoterHUD v3.1", and Wear it.

Now, just click on one of the blue faces to play an animation. You can even play multiple facial expressions at the same time (it gets pretty weird ;P)

Combining Animations

As you can see, your avatar can perform a number of different animations at the same time. The Animation Priority determines which animation would be used for each Body Part on your avatar!

So it's possible for your avatar to play a facial expression, hold something, and do a Sexy Walk.

Note that Animation Override (AO) and multiple animations will cause lag. So dont try this in a busy sim!

But when you have a moment, give it a try. Understanding Animation Priority is important if you want to design poses and animations!

Besides, you would be amazed at all the things your avatar can do at the same time :)

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Ollie Shelford said...

This tutorial is great :D I made a facial expression hud for the TG using ur HUD tut, I wasnt sure if there was one :P.

SLNatalia said...

Ollie, you made your own EmoterHUD! Thats so cool :) Hopefully you have a prettier face than the one Yadni used ;P

lynn said...

Hi Nat!
I have a question regarding anims... Do You happen to know how many frames one should at least have for a smooth movement? Or does one just determine where the body parts come to a halt and SL does the movement on its own? SL just ate my dances what kinda p*** me off and now I'm thinking bout creating my own. So I always have a backup i can take without spending fortunes on the same dances...
Thx, Missi
PS: I recomend a shrine be put up for You in SL!!!!^^

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Lynn, with QAvimator you kinda put in the major stop points, and it fills in the rest for you. SL just kinda plays it. Im not an animation expert though (Ive only done poses and played a little with animation). But its like a whole other area of experts! Sounds like fun to try though, so good luck :)

Missi said...

hm... ok, i think i get the picture (a general at least^^). thx for the help :) guess its gonna be a try and error then^^
PS: yeah, its me, although different nick^^

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Missi, lol I know...most of these things are ;P Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Missi/Lynn if you read this and still need to know, I believe that the human eye requires about 13 frames a second for true animation. Any less and it looks like a weak flip book. The more frames the better but i've found that (with Flash anyway) this seems to work for me. plz note that I'm FAR from an expert. Just helping where i can.


Natalia Zelmanov said...

R-mor, thank you so much (thats good to know, cause I think SL uses like 30 or something :) ). Lol so glad QAvimator fills in most of them ;P

China Lubitsch said...

Hi Natalia, your blog is great!

Thanks, thanks, thnaks a lot! ^_^

I have a question for you: I made a pair of female shoes with heels and I wouldn't use the trick of masking the heels and platforms of the basic shoes with invisible prims. Instead, I would like to pose the feet in a suitable way with an animation that I made. I imported this pose with priority 4 and everithing is ok if the av is standing, but all the sexywalk animations that I have should be priority 4, so when the av starts walking the feet is not in the right position.

My question is: how one can see which priority has an animation? It is possible to change it? If not, where can I find sexy walk animations with lower priorities?

Bye, have a nice day :)

Natalia Zelmanov said...

China, I dont think theres an easy way to check the priority of an animation (other than the built-in ones, which you can see in the LSL Wiki). You can kinda check by running a Priority 4 animation and then do the Sexy Walk (if it doesnt override it, then it's less than 4).

But its not a good idea to use an animation for the heel anyway. If you ever play a new Priority 4 animation, it will override the current one you are using for the shoe...

Imaginos said...

Natalia, wouldn't you have to create a priority 4 foot animation for heels that are higher then 100?

Also how would you create such a thing in QV? Would you actually move the hip up and point the toes down or would you leave the hip alone and point the toes down through the floor?

The idea being, of course, that anyone using this stands on the floor and not in it :)

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Imaginos, typically, you use an Invisiprim to hide your foot in a pair of heels. I havent seen a shoe that uses animation to hide the foot (although you probably could...)

china lubitsch said...

Hi Natalia, I (partially) solved the problem putting a Franimation Override in a shoe (following your instructions ^_^), with a home made high heels sexywalk animation for walking override, and a priority 4 ankle and hip animation for standing and turning override. The problems come out only in activities like dancing, where the dancing animation may override the ankle position, but in general it works. I'm going to send you a pair of the shoes, so you'll able to see the result. They are pretty good, I think, with sculpted feet toes.

The reason why I prefere to don't use the invisible prim is that it's not so invisible... when it's before alpha channel textures :p

Thanks for all, see you

Natalia Zelmanov said...

China, wow, congratulations! That sounds really cool (I think thats how they make prim nails too...which I really love, except they get weird once in a while :P) BTW, I have also seen clogs and thick heels that simply cover the exposed part of the feet. Not exactly a spike heel, but those are not in fashion anyway ;P Thank you for the shoes, and good luck!

Norbo said...

what a wonderful site! thank you for all that help Natalia. can you help me with a problem? the animation I want to pload is not the same as I see in Avimator. the spine and head do not move - anything else how it should. I have 400 frames , but created other animations with 400 frames too and dances are much longer, isn't it? are there any limitations I have to take care of? Thank you.

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Norbo, I am not an expert on animation (I just do poses and simple animations). Check out the SL Forums for the serious animators :)

serena said...

Hi Natalia, thank you so much for this wonderful blog-- I can't begin to thank you enough for the information.

I just created my first pose and it works great.. except, (its a hold object pose) and every time I teleport, the object is still attached to the body part (arm) but the animation is no longer playing. how do i fix this, or what did i miss?

thank you again!

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Serena, Im not sure...are you wearing anything else that does animation (like an AO?)

serena said...

No, i removed all other huds, etc and tried again. the item stays attached to my upper arm, but the arm is no longer "holding"/hugging the object. i set the priorty to 4... so its still being held when typing, etc. though. :D

i can send you one to see, if you'd like i'll keep digging through the forums too.

:D thankyou!

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Serena, hmmm...I dont know why (lol Im really not an expert at animation) Perhaps the forums is a better place to ask...

Serena said...

HI again :D I just wanted to share what I have discovered. The only info I could find basically points to a known "bug". Depending on which viewer you use, depends on if the animation appears to break or not. But apparently, to others watching, there is no problem.. so if you saw me teleport, i would appear fine. I just see the break at my end on me. works for me!

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Serena, isnt it weird when other people see you differently ;P Anyway, Im glad you got it to work!

Akiko Khandr said...

Hello Natalia, your blog looks really awesome (creations also)that one about using scripts & animations helped me a lot, but I still have a question, thought you may know the answer, so... I wanted to ask about the couple poses & poseballs, is there any special program in SL for doing this or we just could use Qavimator?

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Akiko, you can create poses with QAvimator or Poser (I dont know how to use Poser though :P). Ive never done couple poses, so I dont know how exactly to line things up...