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AnimPicker // how to use?

Hi guys, so I am mostly an animator (lead/sup) who happens to be pretty technical and I was really interested in the AnimPicker which I would love to use to replace the mighty Animschool picker but I am running into several issues.

Would there be a tutorial somewhere to show me how to use it without running into the namespaces issues and all?

I did quite a bit of research on the http://www.mgear-framework.com/mgear_dist/index.html and on the Youtube channel but couldn’t find anything to solve those issues.

I am the person running the following blog by the way

http://www.olivier-ladeuix.com/blog/2020/01/19/danimpicker-part-2/

Thanks

I am kind of getting used to it now.

Can I keep using this thread to ask for additional questions? This could be used as new user coming from the Animschool picker to mGear AnimPicker wiki.

(The Animschool picker is the most used in the animation industry)

  1. How can we zoom out in the picker with a Wacom pen since the right mouse button is hijacked by the contextual menu?

Roughly 50% of animators exclusively use wacom tablets instead of mice in Maya,

  1. How can we cleanly resize a button? is this what the Scale factor is for? If it is, it doesn’t change the size in the picker in Maya 2020v0.

I can use the handles but I don’t seem to be able to select two handles at the same time and there is not grid snapping so the buttons look very sloppy.

image

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That’s a good point about zooming. I’m using a wacom for rigging too. I’ll see if a modifier key can be used. Or failing that, a zoom slider, or hotkey, or something. Otherwise, as of now, you could set up one of the wacom keys as scroll.

(Yeah keep using this thread, definitely.)

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Awesome, yeah if we could keep alt + MMB for zooming that would be much more user friendly and consistent with Maya’s interaction method.

After tinkering with the animPicker for several hours, here is my first picker!

I made the most of the lack of grid snapping to make a more funky picker than what people are used to.

Having the editor and the picker being two separate entities is a pain I must admit but the animPicker is really promising! I especially love the fact that we can overlap buttons even if I only used it in few places.

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Hey @Moustache_Animation & @chrislesage
I am happy to see the progress you have made so far. I looked over your comments for zooming and you are correct. Many artists do use tablets. Hopefully, this initial implementation would work well for everyone.

Mimicking Maya’s zoom ALT + Right Click

anim_picker

Let me know what you think.
Cheers!

edit:
With the scaling, does this not work for you?

I have Maya 2020.3 in the gif’s

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  1. Oh this is exciting Rafael! Thanks for looking into the zooming feature!
    I am not 100% familiar with Github so I will have a look in a bit.

  2. Yeah I can’t scale the way you do it in Maya 2020 v0. I can’t update at the moment so I will try in Maya 2019 in the meantime and yes the scaling feature looks great!

  3. Can I mention something else? As you might have seen in the video I posted. Ah I didn’t post it here :wink: It will follow below.

As you might see in the video, everytime I grab the side of the animPicker window, a “reset view” seems to be triggered which is a bit annoying as usually we do this to better frame the content of the picker so this forces us to do several more manipulations.

Amazing work Rafael!

Cheers

Ah and an other thing that would be great is to be able to toggle or disable the color change when mirroring a button.

The colouring is a great idea but I already use a complicated colour scheme in a default picker so adding more colours would make things more complicated to read or explain to a remote junior artist.

At the end of the day, with a picker we see immediately if we are selecting the left or the right side of the character.

If you are interested, here is how I normally separate the various controls, (I didn’t finish it in my prototype).

  • IK controls (yellow)
  • FK controls (orange)
  • bend bows/deformers (purple)

For the face I like to differentiate the Primary, secondary and tertiary controls.

~Ah and following is a screenshot of the Disney feature picker

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Hey @Moustache_Animation

Check out this initial implementation of the idea to help with that auto “reset view” issue.

I am going to look over some ideas for mirror coloring.

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Yes ! That looks perfect Rafael!!

Alright, so I am very new to GitHub and software development so sorry if the questions appear pretty lame but the AnimPicker is so close to be production ready that it would be silly to pass on it if I missed out on something.

Rafael fixed two big issues with the Wacom zooming and the automatic content resize.

Now does this mean we can just download mGear and we will get the fix or we have to do something different?

To test that I reinstalled mGear 3.6 using this release:

This didn’t give me the fixes so I downloaded some new animPicker code (fork?) from this url:

then overwrote the content from my 3.6 install.

Now I am getting an error message saying

Should I be following a different procedure or should I just go back to animation instead of software development :wink:

While I am on the forum this morning.

Now that the main issues are about to be fixed with the picker (wacom zoom and view reset), well I still have to test it in production but other than that, here are two suggestions. After that animPicker will easily replace the Animschool one for every animator on the planet :wink:

Pickers are notorious for taking way too much screen space and animators like to be able to work on the screen’s entirety so:

- Toggle picker. Is there a way to toggle the picker on and off? Ideally if we could hit a hotkey to make the picker pop out then we would hit the same hotkey to make it go away. This would be useful in situation where we are doing close up work and just want to select that tiny viewport control that can only be accessed through the picker. Ideally we would go back to the same window settings and zoom level where we left it.

- Toggle top bar. We can probably do without it but the top section of the picker is pretty massive and makes the picker a bit too obtrusive. Would there be a way to toggle the visibility of the section marked on the following screenshot?

Thanks guys!

@Moustache_Animation
You also want to update the mgear_core when updating the anim_picker.

There was some code specific to DPI scaling in the anim_picker that I relocated to the core so we could use that solution in other tools as well.

What timezone are you in btw? In case we ever needed to video chat.

After we get your install up and running then I will take a look into the toggle suggestions you made. I am still looking into the color mirroring you last spoke about.

Also, have you tried the auto opacity at all? if that gives you any additional screen real estate.

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Ah ah! Thanks for the help and yes this is amazing!

Yes the zoom works with my Wacom tablet now after updating the core folder, so does the “autoframe view”!

  • If you had time/inclination for a tweak, it would be great if it zoomed from the location of the pointer rather than the center of the UI but this is nitpicking.

  • To me the “Autoframe view” should also be off by default but we could see what other people think.

Yes I have tried the opacity but it means the animator has to be very careful with the zone of the viewport they interact with or the picker will pop up immediately and block the view. Here are two situations for example, that are specific to animation and where the mouse might hover over the viewport:

  1. When using the ctrl +MMB on a channel
  2. Using the Time Dragger tool (hotkey k+MMB). This is a feature that allows the animator to scrub the timeline from the viewport.

Other than that I am in France so Central European standard time.

Thanks Rafael this is awesome!!!

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Hey @Moustache_Animation

I think I can have the Autoframe View disabled by default. It will get tricky when people start to switch between multiple picker nodes.

In regards to the zooming onto the pointer. Everyone has so many different preferences that when in doubt, I just mimic Maya whatever is implemented is at least familiar.

Color mirroring: The aim_picker is, somewhat, arbitrarily reversing the RGB values on the mirrored picker. Currently. Are you familiar with copy and pasting [options]? You could mirror pickers and solely paste the color across all selected pickers. Maybe that could help?
Otherwise, we would need to implement some sort of setting or config system to allow for overrides and preferences. I think we are probably heading that way anyhow.

Cheers!

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Sorry Rafael, I have been a bit busy lately and haven’t had much time to test the picker more. Hopefully I will be back next week.

The paste options works well for me. I manually coloured in all my nodes before I read that tip. ha!

Ideally it would be great if eventually you could bulk edit multiple items at once. But paste options are a great workaround for now.

@Moustache_Animation no worries! I am getting pulled around every which way at work, currently.

Take your time.