Super Rig Save Window
The Super Simple Rig includes functionality for saving out your animation. It will only load and save animation from the Super Simple Rig controllers. You can save selected parts of the animation, or you can save animation from all the rigs in your scene.
This has two advantages over a traditional 3ds Max workflow: You can now save out animation clips, which lets you re-use animation in other scenes or on other characters. For example if you've made a great walkcycle, you can now load that walkcycle onto other shots very easily. The other advantage is that of a non-linear workflow. You can continue rigging your character after animation have started, and update the rig without loosing what has already been animated.
Super Simple Rig has its own human-readable ascii-based animation file format (called .clip files), which makes it easy to debug and fix the files manually in a pipeline situation (for example).
Opening the saver window
(Paid version only) If you have Super Simple Rig installed on a toolbar, open the Super Rig Saver window by clicking the icon shown below:
If you do not have this icon, make sure you have followed point 5 and 6 in the quick install guide.
The system saves out all your animation into .clip files. There will be one .clip file for every controller. By default, Super Simple Rig will create a "Clips" folder underneath the folder holding your current 3ds Max scene file. The .clip files will then be put in a sub-folder named after your scene file. To save in a new folder, all you have to do is to create a new scene file.
Above is an example from one of my projects. This folder contains five .max files from the intro of a short film. Two of these .max files have had their animation saved out, and you can see their accompanying clip folder in the subfolder named "Clips".
I recommend you open up a windows Explorer window (press the E button in the Load Animation rollout) and browse through the files and folder after saving out your animation for the first time. It's good to have a proper understanding of how Super Simple Rig saves out its data before starting to transfer animation between rigs and scenes.
Save Animation rollout
The Save Animation rollout contains the controls needed to save out animation from the Super Simple Rigs in your scene. Please remember that the system is made to only save out animation on the Super Simple Rig controller objects, or similarly setup controllers you might have made yourself.
Saves out animation on all the controllers on all the Super Simple Rigs in the scene.
Saves out animation on the selected character. Select one of the controllers on the character you want to save out.
Saves out animation on only the currently selected controllers.
Clear existing files from clip folder checkbox
Will clear the animation clips belonging to the current scene file before saving.
Comment text field
Here you can type some text to follow the saved animation. The text will be shown as you browse through the .clip files in the Load Animation rollout. I use this field to specify whether the animation was saved for rig updating or specific animation transfers.
Frame Range radio buttons
Here you can choose if you want to save all the keys, or just the keys in a specific frame range. Choosing "All" will save out every single key on the controllers. Choosing "Range" will save the keys within the current time slider range. Choosing "Start..End" lets your specify your own range.
Load Animation rollout
The Load Animation rollout contains the controls needed to load your saved animation back onto the Super Simple Rigs in your scene. It will try and match the names of the controllers, and only load files that have matching Super Simple Rig controller names in the scene.
The path to look for .clip/animation files. You can type a path directly.
Click to browse for a new path to load your animation.
Click to refresh the contents of the file list.
Click to open the selected path in a Windows Explorer window. I use this frequently to check the contents of the clip directories, or to clean up the files.
File list and comments field
This lists all the files in the clip directory. You select a file to load by clicking it. The saved comment (if one exists) will also be shown below.
Loads all animation data from the selected file, loading it to controllers in the scene with matching names.
Loads animation data from the selected file that matches the selected character (you need to select one controller of the character).
Loads animation data that matches the selected controllers.
Force load animation file to single controller button
Will try and force the loaded animation onto the selected controller, ignoring controller name but matching parameter names.
Clear existing range checkbox
Will delete keyframes inside the selected frame range before loading new keys. Turned on by default to avoid conflicting keys.
Frame offset spinner
Will offset the keyframes by the spinner amount of frames.
Frame Range radio buttons
Here you can choose if you want to load all the keys, or just the keys in a specific frame range. Choosing "All" will load in every single key that have been saved on the controllers. Choosing "Range" will load the keys within the current time slider range. Choosing "Start..End" lets your specify your own range.
Replace Assets rollout
This rollout automates the replacement of a Super Simple Rig character rig. I use this to upgrade an existing character after animation is in progress. It can be used to update any asset with a Super Simple Rig, so it is not limited to characters.
You start by selecting the asset you want to replace in the drop-down menu. After that you will have to pick the file you want to load. The script will then take care of the rest:
- The old asset will be deleted from the scene
- The selected file will be merged into the scene
- The last saved animation will be loaded to the asset
Asset Path field
The path to start searching for updated assets. (Not used right now)
Click to browse for a new path. This drop down lists all the Super Simple Rigs in the scene. Select the one you would like to update. Click to refresh the drop down list. Click to select a new 3ds Max rig file. The update process will start automatically once you have picked a file. It will first delete all layers and objects prefixed with the character name. It will then merge the selected file with the currently open one, and load the last saved .clip animation. Remember to save your animation first.
Asset drop down list
Pick file button
Click to browse for a new path.
This drop down lists all the Super Simple Rigs in the scene. Select the one you would like to update.
Click to refresh the drop down list.
Click to select a new 3ds Max rig file. The update process will start automatically once you have picked a file. It will first delete all layers and objects prefixed with the character name. It will then merge the selected file with the currently open one, and load the last saved .clip animation. Remember to save your animation first.