Drafting (Creating Poses)
In Cascadeur, poses are set in the Key Frames (keys for short). To create a key frame:
- Select a frame on the Timeline
- Click the Add or remove key button (F)
Once you have a key, it is time to add a pose to it.
To create a pose, select controllers and adjust their positions using manipulators.
Available manipulators are:
- Translate (W)
- Rotate (E)
The Point Controller Mode is the main mode for working with poses. In this mode, controllers are represented as small black points. By selecting and moving these points you can move the character’s body parts.
Manipulators are applied to every selected point (selected points are colored yellow). The more points you select, the bigger is the region you control. For example, you can select controllers in the character’s hand to move only the hand, or you can select every controller down from the shoulder and move the entire arm.
If you select a group of points and use the Rotate manipulator, the group will rotate across the point that has the highest position in the hierarchy. To rotate the group across a different point, click that point with the Right Mouse Button.
Tip: Rotate manipulator should not be applied to a single point!
Character rig in Cascadeur is based upon a physical skeleton that enables controllers to influence each other. If, for example, you drag a character’s hand, the whole body follows. But you also can turn this influence off by fixing controllers to their positions. This is done by selecting a controller and pressing the R key. Fixed controllers are marked with a red border.
Fixing controllers doesn’t affect animation! On interpolation intervals, fixed points would move according to the type of interpolation.
Fixed controllers can be moved to any position in the scene. This can sometimes cause the character to deform. For example, if you fix controllers in a limb and then move these controllers, the limb will be deformed. When this happens, edges between points change their color. If the points are farther from each other than they should be, the edges are colored red. If the points are too close, the edges are blue.
If you remove fixing from such points, they’ll move to restore default distances between them.
Tip: Character’s center of mass can be fixed just as well! A fixed center of mass can be moved, and the character will move along with it
Box controllers can also be used for editing poses, much like Point Controllers. They adhere to the same rules: by double-clicking a box controller you’ll select it and all of its child controllers. Box controllers can influence each other, and they too can be pinned to their positions with the R hotkey.
However, box controllers allow you to edit smaller elements of your character, such as fingers or clothing elements, which don’t affect the physical behavior of the character.
- To make a character squat, simply select every controller above the knees and move them a bit down
- To raise a character on tiptoes, fix the toes and move up the controllers in the base of the feet. Alternatively, move up the entire upper part of the character
- Hips can be rotated and tilted by moving pelvis controllers
Now you should have an idea of how to create key frames and set poses in them. By creating poses, one after another, you get a draft of your animation
If timing feels wrong, you can always improve it by moving keys across the Timeline.
And once you are satisfied with your draft, it is finally time to turn it into a fully-fledged animation. This is done by adding smooth transitions between key poses.
To learn about this, see the next chapter