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While there are religious differences on the subject of which type of Spline is best, I feel the X-Spline is best suited for mechanical objects with simple shapes like this laptop. For complex shapes like people and animals I prefer the B-Spline. So to take a look at that let's go get another clip. So we can click on the New Project folder. Be sure to click on Save so that this project will be saved for next time and now we can browse to our new location, go to our Exercise Files>Lesson_01_Media, and select Lantern Boy, and again just click on the first frame and then click Open.
Just click on OK on the New Project and we have our clip and we can play the clip and we have this little walk cycle. This is actually cropped from a 2k film scan and, as you can see, because the boy is walking, he's got a lot of motion blur. So make sure that your playhead is on frame one and we'll start doing a B-Spline around his arm. So using the Z key let's zoom-in real tight. Use the X key to pan over, click on the B-Spline tool, click-and-drag, click-and-drag, click-and-drag, click-and- drag. This is like the Photoshop Pen tool.
Same concept: click-and-drag, click- and-drag, point, another point, point, point, point, point, point, point, and right-mouse to close. Now you can draw a rectangle to select all the control points in your spline and then with the cursor on the control point you see how the cursor changes shape to let you know you're on the control point, right-mouse pop-up and look at the Point menu. We can turn them all into a Corner. So what you get is a sharp straight lines with no control points.
Select them again, turn them into Linear which is straight line segments between all the control points, but you now have handles. So if you want to adjust them, you can. Or, select all the points, right-mouse pop-up to Smooth. Smooth sets all of the slopes; you get a nice continuous smooth outline, which is usually a good place to start. Now we'll go in and refine them. When you have points selected like this if you just click off to the side they'll deselect.
Right now the Spline is selected. So if I click off to the side again, the Spline is deselected. There's two ways I can reselect it. I can click somewhere on this Spline line itself or click over here to deselect. Come over here to the Layer Controls and just click on the name of the Spline. Now if you accidentally deselect something you'll know how to put it back. So let's take a look at adjusting the points, their slopes, and their tensions. First of all, let's zoom-in here. I need a nice sharp break right here on this corner.
So hold down the Command key and that will give you a corner break. You can adjust the slope. Over here another corner. So hold down the Command key, adjust that, or Ctrl again if you're on a Windows machine. Let's pan over here. We can adjust the tension on any one of the control points. Adjust the control point itself, adjust the tension, come around here, and adjust these guys up, as well, of course, as the slope. So let's say we like that, and again we have a lot of motion blur.
So I'm drawing my Spline on the inside, the hard part of the shape, but again we'll be looking at these issues when we do our Advanced Rotoscoping class. Now there is visibility controls for the control points, the handles, and the spline. Up here, if you click on this, you can turn off all the control handles. Now you can adjust the spline without the control handles being in your face. This is sometimes a very nice way to set things up and kind of tweak things in. That's a nice presentation.
You can turn them back on by selecting that again. You can also turn off the entire spline with this right here. Now the whole spline is gone. So we'll put that back. Now, over here in the Layer Control for each spline, this is your Visibility button. It turns the visibility of the spline on or off. This doesn't enable and disable the spline over the length of the timeline. This is just a visibility thing in case you want to get it out of your way to work on another shape. We'll come back to this cog a little later.
This column is the Lock and Unlock. Notice when I lock it all the control points have disappeared. That's your clue that a spline is locked. We'll go over here and unlock that. And, of course, we can change the name by double- clicking on the current name and rename it arm. Now I'm going to home the viewer with the Asterisk (*) and deselect the spline. Next up is to see how to add keyframes to our splines to animate them so they'll stay on a moving target.
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