On a day-to-day of an animator we usually loose a lot of time with repetitive and heavy tasks which increase the factor of human error but we often forgot an important fact: We work with computers that can do those kind of tasks for us!
For example, I remember I used to work the spacing, creating a breakdown and moving it on the timeline to favor one of the keyposes, trying to keep my blocking organized…until I discovered the tweenmachine. You can imagine the revolution it has been for me, to go form several manipulations to a simple slider!
That's why, sometimes, it is convenient to stop and “sharp your axe“: which means to take the time to analyze the operations performed daily and see if there is a script or tool that allowed you earning hours.
Here I share with you my database I have sorted in these categories:
Creates a floating viewport to watch the animations.
: Select different ranges in the timeline.
Zoom Camera (Maya)
: Allows making a quick zoom in the camera view you are working.
Ze Ref Camera 1.0.0 (Maya)
: Allows you to import the same reference in different viewports and work faster.
Graphical User Interface & SELECTION
Allows saving poses and selections to the shelf.
Creates a GUI (created by my teammate Luca Fiorentini).
prSelectionUi 0.9.8 (Maya):
Creates and edits selections and poses for animation.
CGUI Edit v3 (Max):
Allows the creation of a GUI without knowing maxscript.
Pose Lib (Maya)
: Saves poses of your characters.
Saves poses of any object.
Import and export animation channels.
Stores poses and animations for later.
Shed Pose Library (XSI):
Manages poses and shares them between animators and projects.
Creates breakdowns based on nearby poses.
BoSmear 2.0 (Maya):
Allows deforming the character in a 2D way.
Silhouette Tool (Max):
Displays a white mask to better see the silhouette of the character.
Creates a breakdown based on a percentage between the previous and the next key.
Monkey Jam (Maya):
Exports all the keys fom maya to an exposure sheet to work the timing.
JB Key Coloring (Maya)
: Changes easily and quickly the color of the keyframes.
Color Key (Maya):
Colors the keyframe on the timeline.
Draw Animation (Maya):
Creates an animation of an object based on the mouse's mocap.
TANGENT & GRAPH EDITOR
Adjusts the tangents as smooth as possible avoiding overshoots.
Filters channels in the Graph Editor, Timeline, etc.
ZV Parent Master (Maya):
Helps to animate interactions and contacts between objects.
TRAJECTORY & GHOSTING
Creates a ghosting and onion-skinning in 3d.
Creates trajectories and motion-trails.
Blue Pencil (Maya)
Allows drawing to create thumbnails, trajectories and notes.
Collection of tools to help the animator.
Accelerates the performance of an animated mesh.
Contains a list of tools for Max and biped.
A player that allows a complete study of the video reference.
: Makesthe foreground window transparent on Windows 7, Vista and XP.
As you can see, for any problems that you have had, there is probably a script to solve it.
I hope that has been usefull and invite you to help me complete this database…and why not, if you dream about a perfect tool, ask the TDs and riggers who are reading this blog to develop it.