May 12, 2012
Post id: 310038 Report Item

HI there all,
I am trying to accomplish something that is a default feature in Blender, which is being able to set an offset frame when using the dupliframe snapshot feature. Ex: snapshot Frames 0, 1, 2 skip frame 3, then snapshot frames 4, 5, 6, and skip frame 7 and so on. "Now even if this is a feature in Maya, and I cannot seem to find it, I will need it in my python script that I am currently developing. This python script is for capabilities of creaing procedurarl picket fences. Since I cannot seem to find this frame skipping feature in Maya, I came up with an idea of just duplicating the picket board when the correct frame happens. My method had worked except for the distances between each picket board was not consistent. To find out if it was just my imagination or not, I did a simple 1 frame at a time duplication 32 frams long. I made the path 32 units long, and told it to do its' snapshot 1 frame at a time, and sure enough frame 0-1 did not move the object 1 unit, it moved it 0.092 units forward, and from frame 1-2 the second duplicate was not 2 unit away from the first object, but instead 0.359. So I am wongering what gives? is this a glitch or is this how frames work?

May 13, 2012
Post id: 310040 Report Item

>> Since I cannot seem to find this frame skipping feature in Maya,

Well its easy to get the snapshot node to understand this, all it needs is a custom time node connected in that steps over those frames.

>> is this a glitch or is this how frames work?

no probably a flaw in keyframing or how you querry time. Look at your end

May 14, 2012
Post id: 310055 Report Item

Well its easy to get the snapshot node to understand this, all it needs is a custom time node connected in that steps over those frames.

This would be great if it is possible. However, I do not even know what a node is not alone even knowing how to connect a time node and what would be the settings that cause the animation to skip frames. I am sorry for being such a dunce, but I tried looking in the Maya Documentation, which BTW sucks and has no tutorials or examples of anything unlike Maya 6.0 did. I even tried googling time nodes in Maya and did not get very far with that either. Would it be possible if you could explain this more in detail or point me in the right direction?

As for the frame timing glitch, I think after doing some research, it has to do with how fast you set the frames per second, that is if I understand it correctly.

May 15, 2012
Post id: 310058 Report Item

User Guide > Basics > Nodes and attributes > Nodes and attributes overview

Anyway, this is one of those things where a tutorial does you quite little good, whereas understanding how it works get you going. Now the real problem is that users dont actually read the right section of the manual., the real manual is:

the Node Reference

All persons doing rigging, shading, scripting, or API programming (sic) or other development except the day to day animation should almost daily read this reference, because without this you redo 90% of the thing you pay for. The auxiliary to this is that the real maya editor is the hypergraph or the new Node Editor, because that what is doing all the work in maya.

As to understanding how to operate nodes is  another thing altogether, it can not be taught in one tutorial. Its founded on your entire education, you would need pretty well rooted academic base education to understand what the potential is. Its a bit like maths you need a lot of foundation to do anything interesting with it.

But basically its just making a new time node (createNode time) and animate its time, and connect it to the time attribute slot of your animcurves. Thats it they now no longer work on global time but with local time thats somehow disconnected form global one, and thus can skip frames at will.

PS: Blaming documentation or software does you no good, the reason theres not just one set of mater documentation for everything and only one software for everything is just that they can not be one piece of thing. Otherwise there would be one and just one of anything. So as a result you should never look at one piece of something as a exact raplecement fo something else, but rather it has some good things and bad things that are different.

May 17, 2012
Post id: 310071 Report Item

Thanks for your tips JooJaa. One thing however, I finally got a somewhat working time node connection to my motion path, however, the snapshot tool still duplicates the object even though time node stops the animation. So in other words, following this pattern....
play frames 1-3, 6-8, 11-13
1    2    3  skip 4   5   play 6    7    8  skip 9 10   play 11    12    13

snapshot time line:
1    2    3    3    3    6    7    8    8    8    11    12    13

May 18, 2012
Post id: 310076 Report Item

You cannot keyframe an attribute if theres not time, so an custom time node with its animated "outTime" will only be a node with driven attribute, the driver is time. This second time node does not affect mayas internal time. Thats why the snapshots number of input curves corresponds exactly with the time range it operates on. What you could do is to convert the time distance into a spatial distance, means instead of skipping frames you skip the distance the motion path moves between that frames so that the snapshots time range will be reduced by the skipped frames.

May 18, 2012
Post id: 310078 Report Item

Well OP is close he just made the conjugate time curve. Obviously he should not plateu time but jump to next time so not a horizontal curve but a vertical one. Then correspondingly the snapshots range should be as many frames shorter as it should skip.

SO i think he really got the point quite well, for a first ever try.