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Thread: Splitting animated shapes onto separate layers

  1. #1
    Master of Mayhem
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Splitting animated shapes onto separate layers


    I hope this is possible, as it would save me an enourmous deal of most precious time.

    Here's what I'm trying to do:

    I'm doing some animated characters (I'm on CS5), and I'm trying to optimize the animation/rigging process to save time and manpower (there is very little of both).

    The characters all have multiple animations, which are stored each in their own movieclip, which in turn is placed on a main movieclip where each animation verb (states) is stored on a frame, so we can switch between animations (the usual game character setup)

    Each state movieclip has the entire animation on it's timeline. they have about 20 layers, each with as few objects as possible in them... The idea was that later, these layers could be moved onto movieclips of their own, to allow for character customization (changing colors and whatnot)... This seems like a pretty straightforward setup, but there is a snag.

    Some objects that need to be moved onto movieclips are sharing layers with other objects that don't, despite my best efforts to plan ahead and prevent that (hence the 20 layers, which obviously weren't enough).

    So my question is:

    Is it at all possible to select shapes across all frames of a layer?
    I know you can edit multiple frames, but I haven't found a way to select a specific shape across all frames.

    For a better unerstanding of the situation, imagine that a layer might contain the shaped for an arm. They're all at shape level, and the only separation between the different arm sections are the different colors each has, which makes it possible to select a single shape on a single frame just by clicking it (which will 'flood fill' the selection).

    Now, with edit multiple frames on, clicking a shape will only select it on a single frame, and drag selecting will select a rectangular area across all frames.

    What I'm looking for is a way to 'flood select' a shape across all frames, so I can select, say, the upper part of the arm across all frames, and then delete it, leaving me with a layer that only has the lower part (and a previously coped layer that can have the lower part removed, effectively separating them).

    Shift/Alt/Ctrl/Right clicking won't work here... there doesn't seem to be one of Adobe's obscure shortcuts for this... but maybe there is a way?

    Any help is appreciated. I hope this was clear enough

    Thanks in advance,



  2. #2
    Master of Mayhem
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Well, just to follow up:

    Solved my issue by another route.

    The shapes I wanted to split were under an IK armature, so my initial guess was that to edit them, I'd first have to convert the sequence to frame-by-frame, then go deleting the unwanted shaped one by one...

    I did manage however, to edit the shape while it still had the armature, and was able to delete the vertices that made up the portions I wanted gone... Wasn't really easy, as for some reason a few vertices decided they didn't want to die, and resisted being deleted... I managed to isolate them and now they don't appear anymore... I assume that after conversion to frame-by-frame those microscopic single-vertex shapes get smoothed out, so it wasn't a problem.

    Anyways, the issue is kinda moot right now, but I'd still like to see if anyone knows how to do this... so feel free to reply with ideas/kludges


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