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Introducing Actions In Mid-Walk

For use with Poser 6, Poser 5, Poser Artist/4, and Poser Pro Pack

This tutorial will show you how to introduce an event (in this case a wave) into the middle of a walk that has already been defined. This tutorial will show you how to introduce an event (in this case a wave) into the middle of a walk that has already been defined. The original walk could come from the Walk Designer, an imported BVH file, or any other source; the procedure is the same. In this example, we will create a generic walk; delete the keyframes for the appropriate body parts from the start to the end of where we want to insert the head turn and arm wave, and inset new keyframes to perform those tasks.

1. Load a human character, or start with the default character.

2. Create a walk path by selecting Figure > Create Walk Path and defining your desired walk path.

3. Rotate and zoom the camera so that you are viewing the character from the side and can see the entire walk path with the figure standing on the left, ready to walk across the screen.

4. Open the Walk Designer by selecting Window > Walk Designer. Feel free to change the walk, although you can leave it at the default.

5. Apply the walk with the default settings: Frame 1 to 120, all settings deselected. (Settings won't affect the tutorial.)

6. Return to the main Poser environment and preview your walk. Your character should walk from left to right following the walk path.

7. We want to introduce a head turn and a wave to the walk such that the character looks towards the camera, raises his arm and waves, and then returns to the previous walk.

8. Figure out where you want to insert the wave, and advance the animation to that point. For this example, beginning at Frame 30 and ending at Frame 75 is appropriate. Open the Animation Palette by either clicking the Key icon or selecting Window > Animation Palette. You may want to resize this window so you can see both the Animation palette and the main working window simultaneously or drag a window to your second display if you have dual monitors.

9. Plan ahead here. We want the character to look at the camera and wave, meaning his body will need to twist along with his head to look natural, and his right arm will raise and wave. Delete all key frames between Frames 30 and 75 that have to do with the affected body parts: Chest, Head, Right Collar, Right Shoulder, Right Forearm and Right Hand.

* Hint: To select all components of a body part (XYZ Scale, Rotate, Translate, etc.) click and drag the frames to the right of the desired body part. All components will be selected when you release the mouse.

* Hint: As with any application, be sure to save your work often. Remember that you may not be able to undo actions like deleting body parts, etc. after you have previewed the change. Save copies of your work so you can revert to a previous state if needed!

10. Once the keyframes are deleted, preview the new animation. Your character will walk a little funny from Frame 30 to Frame 75. Don't worry; the next step is to fill in the empty frames.

11. The easiest way to introduce new animation is to add as few new key frames as possible and let Poser automatically fill in the gaps. Save your work often! Advance to Frame 45 and zoom in to see more detail. Be sure to use the Posing Camera and not the Main Camera to avoid adding camera motions to your animation when viewing it through the Main Camera. The shoulder may seem a bit deformed, but don't worry about it. If you are having trouble getting it to look right, select Edit > Restore > Element then pose it from there. Rotate the character's upper body to face the camera and raise the arm in a friendly wave. Don't forget to rotate the Shoulder so you can raise the Forearm without distorting it. You may find it helpful to turn on Figure > Use Limits.

Once you have rotated the body, raised the arm, and rotated the head, play your animation from the beginning. You can add more motions, such as multiple waves, facial expressions, etc. at will using this method.