Animators and others: What eats up your time?

I did some experimenting with Blender in bigger projects last year and am currently (slowly) gearing up to doing something a bit more… crazy?.. in a few months. One task was to pinpoint things that A/ took a lot of time to do, B/ had to be one again and again, often very similarly to before, and C/ showed potential for automation via scripting. I found a good few things, most surrounding file management and IK. But I would really love to know if others out there experience time drains that they’d wish could be automated, in whole or in part? Something you keep having to do when animating or anything else working with Blender? Feel free to add as many as you’d like, I am sure some are things I will run into eventually. Who knows, you may even inspire some crafty pythoneer out there to solve your problem :smiley:

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I wish Blender had something like Animbot, I have used atools before and the trail version of Animbot and it’s a fantastic tool that speeds up your workflow, it’s a shame that’s only avaliable for Maya.

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  • My greatest nightmare on animation is that I don’t know which rig I need. All rigs are important according the scenario. Sometimes I need a straight and fast FK rig, other times I need IK. At some point I ended up using a double rig. Which was originally FK but at some point it would be controlled by a master IK.

  • Also working in FK most of the times is really handy since Blender’s auto-IK does the job pretty well. However the result is only controlled by user input. It would better to be controlled also from some empty object that would make really good for fast and temporary usage.

  • Also another thing I consider really important, is to have modular rigs. Such as for example now I consider it a golden rule to keep the face rig separated from the body rig. Or separating other additional extras (eg: hair / belt straps / equipment). Many people I talked about dislike this idea but for me is much better because not everything will have to be processed at once. As for example if I do the master animation using the body, I need all of the hair and dress RIGS out of the way, it makes cooperation easier also, someone might not mess at all with my data, so another person can work on their own tasks in separate rigs.

  • Another thing I might try to solve later is to find a way to experiment with animation retargeting. I learned for good now that attaching keyframes to bones is a very bad idea. At times I might learn later on that something in the rig needs correction or improvement but since the bone has hundreds of keyframes stuck into it I just do not bother changing it.

  • Another problem is scene organization. Simply in order to track all of these assets I just create a master universal file and I link everything to it. I use it as a mind map. So for example I might drop all assets in groups as in military parade and then jump from file to file right from this master file. You can think of it as a master outliner that connects everything but is in the 3D scene. However the order of organization is top-bottom. Which means I can only go only from the top node to the lower ones. Once I am in a lower one. I will have to close Blender and then start again from the top. What I would do here would be to have some sort of universal SQLITE database with object ids. And then it would be responsible for dealing with connections.

Trying to convince myself to sit down an animate.

somebody started something similar for Blender, but obviously it’s not as polished as animbot