Houdini 16.5 Character

Animation Layer Mixer

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The Animation Layer pane is used when you already have animation, and want to make changes to it. You can create a base layer of the primary animation, and then create additional layers to make changes to the existing animation. The base layer is a layer of all of the scoped channels of the character. Each additional layer is a copy of the base layer animation, with zero values.

For example, say you want to animate a character running through the forest and ducking under a fallen log. You can have animation of the character running as the base layer, then create an additional layer animating the character bending over. Once you have these two layers, you can adjust the Weight of each layer during the animation to determine when the character should duck.

You can also use this tool as a way to fix animation. For example, if you have an animation of a character running on the ground, but at certain points his feet go through the ground geometry. You can create a layer to raise the feet up without having to redo all of the running animation.

How it works

When you create a base layer in the Animation Layer pane, a CHOP network with two CHOPS are also created. The first is the layer_mixer_base (Channel CHOP) and the second is the layer_mixer(Layer CHOP), which will compute the blending of the layers. The base layer will hold the default pose or default animation.

Creating additional layers will create copies of the base layer, with the same scoped parameters. Any changes you make are stored on the active layer, which is the highlighted layer in the Animation Layer pane.

Note

You must use the Animation Layer pane to add new layers. Do not try to add new layers using CHOPs because it won’t be reflected properly in the layers.

The Export Flag will override what is on the object.

Animation Layer Buttons

Pin

Turning on the pin will keep the layer visible when you click away from it. This is useful for adding other objects to an existing layer mixer

Solo

Enabling this option will only show the animation for this specific layer. It will make the layer contribution for all other layers 0.

Mute

Enabling this option will turn off the animation for this specific layer. It will make the layer contribution for this layer 0.

To...Do this

Display Animation Layer Mixer

In the Animation Editor click gear menu > View > Show Layers.

Create base layer

Once you have animated your objects, click the gear menu and select Create Layer Mixer from Scoped Channels.

Add a new layer

Click the gear menu and select Add Layer to Layer Mixer.

Note

Do not try to add new layers using CHOPs because it won’t be reflected properly in the layers.

Switch the active layer

Select the layer you want to become the active layer in the Animation Layer pane. Once it is highlighted, it becomes the active layer.

Rename or delete a layer

Click on the layer and select Rename Layer or Delete Layer.

Note

Do not try to delete layers using CHOPs because it won’t be reflected properly in the layers.

Change the weight of the layer

Change the value in the Animation Layer Mixer, or drag the Weight slider on the layer_mixer CHOP.

Merge layers

Click the layer you want to merge, and select Merge Down Layer. This will merge the layer with the one below it. This is useful to do when you are satisfied with your animation corrections and want to merge it into the base layer.

Tip

You can change the order of the layers by clicking and selecting either Move Layer Up or Move Layer Down.

See all channels in one graph

Use the Motion FX View.

Note

You must turn on Use Full Animation Range on the Channel CHOP to display all channels at once.

Use motion blur

You can increase or decrease the Sample Rate parameter on the Channel CHOP. A higher value will create smooth motion blur, whereas a lower value will create more blocky animation.

Notes

  • Do not make changes to the hierarchy of the CHOP nodes.

  • You must use the Animation Layer pane to add and delete layers. Do not try to add or delete layers using CHOPs because it won’t be reflected properly in the layers.

Character

Rigging

Animation

Panes