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Transform Button for Merging Props to create animated props

Posted By rfbindl Last Year
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Transform Button for Merging Props to create animated props

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rfbindl
rfbindl
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Is there a new way to merge multiple props? The instructions below show using a "Transform Button" to merge props, but I can't find the button or menu anywhere. Instructions appear to be old, so I'm wondering if method changed? I have CTA3 Pipeline and CTA2 Pro - can't find in either one.

https://www.reallusion.com/crazytalk/animator/help/animator/pro/05_Scene/Merging_Props_with_Animations.htm

My intent is to create my own animated prop with Actions. I know how to replace objects in existing props, but wanted to create my own actions for the props.

At this point I'm just saving the objects and single animated props and linking, but with that method the action is in wrong place and hard to move around keypoints.
rfbindl
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I've come to that there is no "Transform Button" in CTA3, but did find way to combine/merge props into 1 prop with animation/motion actions. These were steps and video demonstrates it... Perhaps button went away and now pipeline is method. Not sure I like this method as it required Adobe Photoshop (annual fee), and starts directing me toward Adobe product that competes with CTA3.

Merge/Combine Props to create animated props

1: Add props to Stage
2: Position and adjust props (x, y, z (on same plane), w, h)
3: Make sure all props fit inside Stage outline
4: Render to PSD
5: Open PSD as prop in CTA3
6: Add motion/s
7: Use Collect Clip to highlight motion and Create Actions for Action Menu
8: Add animated prop to content manager.


garylearntech
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Hi Roger

You aroused my curiosity with this and I've spent a while tinkering with it.  I think I have identified your new version of the 'merging', but first, a couple of observations.

1) The manual page you were originally looking at is from CrazyTalk Animator v1.2.  It's not surprising things have changed a bit in the past seven years! Smile

2) Your example cited the need for Adobe Photoshop (to be able to work with the PSD file), but there are other non-subscription based apps which can also fill this role.  Affinity Photo is the example I have, but there are others: there's a list of compatible tools towards the bottom of this page.

~~~

It looks as if what you now want to do is to create a Composite Prop.  If I understand this right, here's the explanation…  Ordinary props contain a single sprite, but each sprite can contain multiple versions (and these allow you to do simple sprite-switching animation - you only ever see a single version at any one time on the stage).

However, composite props contain multiple sprites (each of which can contain multiple versions, as above).  In your video, the first sprite would be your wall and the second sprite would be your door - both on display at the same time.

To create a composite prop (the old merging), each graphic element has to be saved as its own prop in the content manager to begin with - I don't think this can be done on the fly by dragging PNG files (or whatever) straight off the desktop.  Place a single prop on your stage.  Select it and open it in Composer mode.  Click in the background to deselect your first prop.  Now, from the Content Manager, drag in your second prop.  Arrange it beside/under/over/etc the first prop.  Repeat for any other elements you want to add to the composite prop.  Return to the stage and you have now got your composite prop.

These steps replace steps 1 to 5 in your list.  Now you can begin your animation, as you've already worked out and illustrated in your video.

Hope this helps?

---
CrazyTalk Animator 3 Pipeline (always the current production version, unless otherwise stated)
macOS High Sierra (10.13.6)
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rfbindl
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Yes, thanks garylearntech... your suggestion made this process much easier.

Yet a part of me wonders about the consistency with design and instructions for CTA. 
  • In the beginning it was transform and merge
  • and then it was combine (as some tutorials hinted at)
  • but today it is "composite". Ironically I've watched that tutorial on composite, but would have never thought to use tutorial for merging props for animation - with a focus on animation and menu actions.
  • It's still not a clear cut instruction for merge/combine/composite props for animated props. And they're a blast to CYO.
I do actually have Affinity Photo and the former DrawPlus8, but there are occasions where they don't quite work with the exported PSD or SWF files. In this case the exported Affinity PSD didn't have the groups. I didn't think to create groups and move layers into groups - that may have worked?

I love using CTA3, but I do think the instructions aren't very good - they seem vague to me. This is a good example of why I think that... it's a new technique with new name and doesn't address the prop animation part.

But I will plan to update my instruction video and re-direct the current one so people see the better way. I need practice with using Camtasia and working on instructional things, so it's a good project to follow on with. Oh, and since I forget how-to-do-things, I'll have it for future reference. Smile

Thanks again... 

RB



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