Vertex Animation Problem

I know I’m probably doing something extremely stupid, but I just can’t seem to figure it out, and I’m not seeing much in the knowledge base when it comes to this…
For some reason, if I start a vertex animation a bunch of frames into a movie, it doesn’t seem to work. Here’s the example/problem:

I have a face that is going to be moving up to frame 230. Then the mesh begins animating. I go to frame 230, and create a base Absolute Vertex mesh keyframe. So, from 0-230, the mesh remains unchanged. From 230-245, the mouth needs to open. So, I go to frame 245, move the mouth where I want it to be, create a mesh keyframe. But nothing happens when I animate it. I know its not just my model or anything, because I’ve tried this same thing with a plain old cube to test it out.

Maybe there’s a better way to animate moving vertexes? I mean, it’s pretty good on interpolating between points, but I’ve noticed that if you have multiple keyframes in a row, it almost starts to adjust for the other points a few frames early which sometimes isn’t good if you are trying to have exact control over your animation.

Try setting a keyframe at frame 230. also, try converting your vertex keys to relative vertex keys if they are not already ( hit the button that says ‘relative’ in edit buttons), then going into the action editor, where you can more accurately key their values with the RVK sliders.
<edit. I will just go through the whole thing, for my own benefit more than anything, and for anyone who is having trouble hereabouts,…

  1. In object select mode, set base keyframe for ‘mesh’>‘absolute’
  2. go ahead a few frames, go into edit mode, and make adjustments, make a keyframe, leave edit mode,…
  3. grab the key ( the second one ) you just made, and move it up, and out of the influence of the IPO ( for speed )
  4. again, on frame 5 or whatever, you will be back at your starting position mesh wise, seeing as you moved the vertex key out of the way for the time being. so go ahead and make another key. now move it out of the way.
  5. As you go, you can check your keys by right clicking on them ( use A key to select and deselect between the speed ipo and the keys ) and you will see your deformations,…so you will have something to go by,…anyway,…
  6. Now that you have a few standard mouth positions, or whatever,…go into edit buttons, and click on the button that says ‘relative’.
  7. Go at this time to the action window where you can find the precious sliders. Start by moving all of the sliders a bit forward, and then back to the original positions, both to test them, and to set a keyframe for each of them, at frame1, or whereever, in neutral position.
  8. Then, if you want to wait 30 frames, and then go into a W sound, set the key for W at neutral position, just before frame 30. Then when he goes into the W, he’ll be moving from neutral position to W position within a couple of frames, instead of slowly shifting from frame 1 to w position over 30 frames. Also, RVK can make a machine sluggish, so what you see in the 3D window is usually alot slower than what your anim will look like playing at regular speed.

I hope I answered your question somewhere along the way there. Good luck with your anim.

Allright, thanks… that relative key thing works a lot better than doing it via absolute. I actually wasn’t quite sure how to use that one, so that post helped a lot :slight_smile:

Never used absolute keys, so I can’t help you there.

I’d suggest switching to relative vertex keys.

Open two windows, one with the 3-d view, the other an IPO set to vertex.

Set your face to it’s rest position, and then make a “Mesh” keyframe. A little box will pop up. In that box, click “Relative keys”

Once that is done, you’ll see an orange line appear in the IPO window.

Make ANOTHER Mesh keyframe out of the rest mesh. You’ll see a blue line appear in the IPO window. Drag this above the orange line.

Make your appropriate edits to the mesh, smilling or whatever, and then in the IPO window, to the right of the graph, make a new frame curve by selecting Key one.

Set a keyframe at frame 220, with the y value of 0. Then Set another keyframe at 230 with a y value of 1.

Baddabing, smile.

Well, looking pretty good so far… but does Blender have a limit with keys? It seems to get unstable and crash randomly after working with 30 keys or so. If that seems like an awful lot, then I’m probably working with it wrong. In that case, I could send someone the .blend if they wish to grasp what exactly I’m doing.

I’ve never had that many, but the thing about the sliders, is, you can combine the influences of multiple keys to create new deformations, so, you shouldn’t need quite that many if you are just doing a simple face animation.

Haha, yeah I’m getting this now. I could’ve done this all with about 4 keyframes, hehe. Thanks guys, you’ve been a great help. Almost done with it now… woot! :slight_smile: