Animation layers addon

Thanks for the report. it seemed to happen only during NLA cleanup - when you already had nla tracks, and the addon removed them for a fresh start (with a message and checkbox).
Anyway I did a quick fix and it should be now available in version 1.9.6.5
Let me know if you still run into any issues

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Thanks for the quick reply and having a look at it. Now, the error message is gone, but my initial animation still disappears unfortunately. It seems the base layer with the previous animation doesn’t get created. When opening a file, which already had Animation Layers set up, the 1.9.6.5 version (and propably 1.9.6.4) seem to work though. So, seems to be an issue with a fresh file with some animation on.

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Hi, can you contact me directly via the blendermarket page so that we can check it? Does it open the layers that were previously created in older versions like 1.9.5.5? If you could send a sample file that would be the best

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Yeah, opening / activating the add-on with layers created in previous versions works.
→ moving this to the blender market support page. Thanks

…yep, I did send you the message on the market. Just mentioning it here again, as I am not sure, if the messaging there works as expected as I did not a get a respond there with two other assets in the past. :sweat_smile:


Update:
:tada: The issue has been fixed - thanks! :pray:

Animation Layers V2 is now released and available via the auto updater for anyone who already purchased it.
Here is the list of features added since V1.

UI - Actions can be now selected also directly from the layer ui list using the small arrows next to the layer names. The addon is now also using subpanels for a better organisation

Auto rename Layers- when turned on layers get the name of the action when an action is being selected (useful when working with a lot of actions).

Auto Blend - when turned on the blend type is being applied automatically based on the scale and rotation values. This is to avoid characters and objects exploding or scaling to 0 when selecting the wrong blend type

Shapekey Layers - are now also included and available only on selected Mesh objects. You can select the data type ‘Object’ or ‘Shapekey’ from the top of the addon’s panel.
It is now possible to create, delete, merge, bake and extract shapekey layers as well.

Extract Marked Keyframes - New Feature for Cleaning Mocap!
Use the timeline markers for the character Key poses and important inbetweens, and the operator will create a new layer with only the marked keyframes and evaluate the interpolation of the bezier handles from the mocap layer.

New Bake Method - with new options. The new method can now also bake upwards, and can merge additive layers into a new additive layer. It also has a faster smart bake. The old method (Blender NLA’s bake) is also still available from the options.
SmartBake - got improved and is now estimating the new bezier handles of the new baked curves.

Library Overrides is also working with animation layers.

View and Edit Multiple Layers - keyframes in the timeline and dopesheet. Choose the type of the keyframes visibilty. Exclude layers using lock icon.

Extract selected Bones - to a New layer.

Reset Key Layer - to reset the keyframe to its 0 position in a selected layer.

Apply Cyclic FCurves - to selected bones. If you already have other modifiers applied, then it will still keep the modifiers and add cyclic Fcurves to them.

Also it got lots of fixes. Including issues that came from the NLA itself (especially with the influence property).

Happy Animating.

Cheers,
Tal

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Hi, two things and both may be on my side.
Couldn’t update through the addon-updater: was ver. 1.7.
I have now updated to a 2.0.0.1 and it won’t enable.
How might I fix this? Updated from market.
Thank you for your efforts,
Robert

Hi, which version of Blender are you using?
Did you try to download manually the recent version file from the blendermarket. remove the current installation, and install the new one?
You can also contact me directly via the blendermarket

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2.93, 3.0 in use here. Manually is how I had to do it, yes. As well, removed and reinstalled. Willing to do it again though. Will do so and get back.
Robert

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Hi, I dont recommend using 3.0 with the addon, since it’s not tested enough and I know that it works but has issues. I will probably start to test it just after it’s reaching its beta phase.
Please let me know if you still have issues with installation on 2.93, preferably in pm or through blendermarket contact. would be good also to see what the console window says.

Cheers,
Tal

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added commercial tag to the title.

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@snot_nose
Hey Tal!
Been really enjoying the addon, it’s really robust and nice to work with, really solves one of my main gripes when it comes to animating in blender vs maya.

There’s something which i’m struggling with though, so I guess this is either a feature request or perhaps you can give some advice on it…

I’m working mainly with game animation so I like that blender allows for exporting multiple actions in a single fbx file. With the animation layers it gets a bit more complicated since the set of layers is assigned to the rig.
It would be cool if one could switch between “layered actions” and then bake them out, while keeping the layer setup, so that I can jump back to some earlier made animation with the layers intact so I can make more adjustments.

My current approach is naming the layer actions as “layer_idle_0” “layer_idle_1” etc. and keeping notes on the layer weights, so if I come back to an earlier animation I reconstruct the layers for that, but it’s a pretty tedious process which will only get more tedious as the library of animations grows in our project.

Would be interested to know if you’re up for implementing something like that or perhaps you already have some convenient workflow around this issue you can suggest.

Thanks!

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Hi, sorry for the late reply. I don’t check in here very often. Not sure what kind if feature you would like it to have. I plan to add either group layers in the future, or linking layers to the base layer which is probably what you are looking for. However I don’t know when it will happen because it will need a lot of work. Currently I’m just adding the option for custom frame range for layers.

I personally would just bake the layers into a new layer (without merging), and then have one file with all the final animations for the export. For the work files I would use separate files or separate scenes inside one file.

I hope that helps.
Cheers,
Tal

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Hey. Right back at you with the late reply :slight_smile:

I think layer groups would work pretty well and would be flexible enough to cover a bunch of other use cases as well, so i’d vote for that.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that there’s no way to add a layer from an already existing action without creating a new action. That would be another small nice to have feature :slight_smile:

And something which is prehaps not super easy to do, but would be very handy is to be able to overwrite actions/layers when baking. This would make it easier to push out iterations.

Regards!

Hi, you can duplicate your layer, if you turn on the link (chain) icon and press duplicate, then it will also keep the action and not create a new one

I prefer not to overwrite completely, so that there is always still a backup incase a merge/bake went somehow wrong.
The old actions normally don’t have a user anymore and the next time you open Blender they should anyway be already gone

Cheers,
Tal

Nice, that serves the purpose :slight_smile:

That’s a fair reason. Perhaps an option could be to have a “action name” field in the bake menu, and then an option for, if an action with the name already exists, to rename the old layer with a suffix.
It’s a small thing but when i’m working on game animations i’m frequently re-exporting to check the animations in engine. The way i have my project set up is that I have a list of actions by name which are set to be exported, so every time i rebake, it means renaming 2 actions. It’s a small thing but it adds up.

Still, I imagine my workflow is probably not super common, so no sweat with this one :slight_smile:

Ok, I understand what you mean now. When working for games it makes sense. I’ll try to have a look into adding them a suffix or adding a cleanup option in the merge settings. Shouldn’t be much work