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Keyframing on twos or some other regular value is often referred to as Straight Ahead keyframing, although you certainly could keyframe backwards using the same scheme. I'm using the Lantern Boy from our Lesson_01 _Media in case you want to play along too. He is a good candidate for a Straight Ahead keyframing because his head moves fairly regularly and the shape changes are not really abrupt. You'll find the straight ahead. mocha file in the Project Media folder. So I'll jump at the first frame. I've already drawn a shape. We'll light it up and let's zoom in and take a look at how to do some keyframing on twos.
I'll select all of my control points, so you can see the keyframe here on frame 1 and then I'll move the playhead two frames, one, two and then reposition my spline on top of the head and it looks like that's a good fit right there. Deselect, check to see that the spline fits like it did on the first frame, here we are, here we are, okay I need to pull it back a little bit, so I am going to come back just a scotch there, okay. All right! Next, enable all the keyframes, go forward two frames, translate it over.
Now the head is starting to turn, so I was starting to get a gap between my spline and the side of the face. Also, because the head is turning away from us, we're starting to loose the sharp contours and the surfaces like smoothing out, so let's fix that with this keyframe. We'll zoom in a little closer. I am going to turn off the Spline tangents and adjust my splines like this.
So this edge is starting to get a little simpler as the face turns away from us. I am going to turn my tangents back on and I am going to select them all, and because I've adjusted the position, but not the slopes, I am going to smooth it out with Smooth and watch him twitch, boom! There we go, okay. So now you'll see our edges are getting a little simpler here with this frame. Okay, we'll select that, select our control points, pull out a little bit.
Now, when something is moving fairly regularly, you don't have to keyframe on twos, you could for example keyframe on fours, so let's try that. One, two, three, four and reposition, and again we're going to have finish our control points, because he is turning his head a little more and we are losing even more detail of the face. Okay and we'll go another four.
one, two, three, four. The whole idea is you always move forward in a number of frames that's divisible by two. The reason is and I'll show you shortly this allows you to go halfway or between your keyframes and you'll still have the option for keyframe that's right in the center. Okay, so let's make our shape adjustments here. Okay, I brought him just a little too close, so let me move that a little bit and this needs to come out a little bit.
Okay, let's say we like that. Now let's go back in in-between those frames that we did it on fours. So I'll select the shape, light up the control points so I've a keyframe here, a keyframe there and a keyframe here these are on fours so I'll always have a keyframe that's exactly halfway between the other two and if I am animating on twos, I also have keyframes in-between here. So let's adjust this keyframe. So I am going to tweak that over a little bit. Okay, I need to pull it on a little bit down here. All right! Okay, we'll select it, light up the control points and now I'll come halfway between these two keyframes right here, adjust that.
I will zoom out a little bit and I'll set the out point where this frame is and expand the Timeline, so we can ping pong and watch the action. You want a keyframe on values that are divisible by 2. That way you'll always have a midpoint between any two keyframes. All right, let's take a look at the white matte, so we turn on our Mattes, All mattes, turn on paint box, set it for white and play our animation.
I'll stop that and you can see as the boy moves to the right, the face is turning away and we are losing detail and you can actually see that in the evolution of the shape. Straight Ahead keyframing is best used with targets that don't have abrupt accelerations or changes in direction like this one. It also works very well if the target's outline changes reasonably gradually.
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