NLA Strip Animation

I would like to share with you guys and ask for some CC.

I´m using all NLA strip animations, because I have to make fast animations and reuse a lot of them for this project.

I´ll have a total of 6 mais characters to animate.

Ps: I like how easy is to animate with strips.

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Woaaahh, thanks for all the comments!

It help me out a lot!

Sorry. I wasn’t online all day yesterday. =(

Hmm. Well, I’m not an expert at character animation, by any means, but it looks fairly good to me. The guy has a lot of character to him, and I found it believable for the most part. Only thing that struck me was that the animation seems jerky in some spots. When tying NLA strips together, you might try blending them together a little more. And smooth out some of those animated curves, as some of the character’s movements’ jerkiness can be smoothed (not too much!) out to convey more weight and substance to the character.

Other than that, the character animation is quite nice. =)


Thank you Dan, I´m gonna try to polish the movements, thank you for your point of view, it´s quite important for me when the issue is animation. I know that without sound it make things even worst.

Up on the video, I was thinking, how can I make better nla strip animations, the lipsync I would animate in the end, when I have the audio on my hands.

I´m have to remake the proportions in one of the main characters because my director did not like the old one.

But it seems that the knee is not turning in the rig, is that an constraint that I might forget to apply to the knee bone?

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I’m no expert on character animation, but I think it’s looking good, pretty much what JDaniels said. By just using NLA strips, your limiting yourself in creativity, unless you make a ton of strips, then you’d be at the same point as if you just animated the whole thing by hand. For example, you have one action of the character answering the phone, or NLA strip. Everytime the phone is answered, it’ll be the same action, sure you can vary the speed by a few frames, but it’ll still be the same action.

As to the knee problem, the only thing I can think of is the locked track constraint isn’t working. Check it out by turning it’s influence to 0. Don’t use it for this purpose. You see, IK constraint seems to over ride anyother constraints, and it’s also 2nd in the constraint stack. Constraints are evaluated top-down, so the IK constraint is evaluated first, then the locked track, but I just wouldn’t expect it to have any effect. Instead, use the IK constraint’s pole target, that’s what it’s there for, knee & elbow targets. After filling in the fields for it, there should be a roll angle that you may have to adjust, depending upon how your bones are oriented, usually values of 90, 180, or 270 should adjust the leg so it’s pointing the right direction. If this doesn’t fix it up, I’d need to see the .blend file (just the rig) to see what’s wrong.

And yes, not many people view this part of the forum, I’ve been updating my WIP in this section a few times, and only the same person keeps commenting on my work… Not many users into animation…


Randy is right about the NLA strips. They’re usually used for tricky animated bits that you don’t want to have animate over and over again yet are used frequently, such as walk/run cycles and certain gestures or character movements. Over all, though, if you have a lengthy bit of animation, some in the audience may start picking up on the repetitious nature of the same NLA strips being called up over and over again.

Like the original Star Trek series. They had a very limited soundtrack, usually pre-recorded strips of music which they called up for different parts of each episode. The result was that the music kept being used over and over again in different episodes and started seeming slightly cheesy, at least to some.

Then again, you might get away with it. In your animation, it was varied enough that I didn’t really notice a problem. :slight_smile:


Thank you for the point of views you guys, I´m going to start to mix strip actions with keyframes, if that´s possible off course.

I’m still learning the NLA, too, but your animation is looking really good so far!

Thank you Noanoa,(could you share some images of your lipsync animations?) I´m improving the motion, stay tune to the video update. Share your points, let´s learn together!

I think that animate thru NLA is a great tool, I think that is still under development, but for this project It´s doing great.

I have 6 other´s scenes that I can use the actions between them easily and when I update one action it get´s update in the others scene together.

I just feel sorry that I do not use rigify for the rig, maybe if I have used rigify I could link other users actions, it will save me a lot of time. Because animation is´t hard!

Some might say, yeah but your animation is choppy and etc, but working alone in a project with lots of scenes and 5 character´s from concept to animation it´s no an easy task.

Another challenge.

I must create a cross talking scene, so I have my first scene with the audio and all the animation. And a plane where I place the other scene as a video texture. Somebody knows another way to achieve this or maybe to use another camera as a texture inside the same scene, so I can edit the animations faster?
This way I have to render the animation and place inside manually so became kind of hard to make all those steps again and again and again.

Hey mate,I’m not particularly good at animation but I like your work. My only comment is that he does an irritating side to side rocking motion when he is on the phone.

Nice animation and character design. Keep up the good work!

Thank you guys.

Anyone have any particular idea on my question regarding the cross talking scene?

:smiley: Old solution.

Since nobody answer I have to render the whole other scene and place it as a video texture. Lot of work! There must be another way.

Update the animation…