Animate from Scratch in VoxEdit and animation bug solving
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Oct 31, 2023
This document provides information on how to animate from scratch by using the free software VoxEdit in addition on how to solve some common problems
The main purpose of this report is to document in a clear way a simple process of animation, step by step. Starting on how to import the model we want to animate to Voxedit, editing the principal hierarchy, going trough the main types of curves allowed by the program and their correct use. Furthermore in this paper you are going to find some useful tips which will help you to evercome in an easier way some of the most common animation processes.
Moreover it will be shown some of the main common “bugs” which take place using the program and once the models have been uploaded to The Sandbox Marketplace and how to correct them.
When some problem might happen there will be a note in purple like the one you are now reading and some brief explanation on how to proceed.
The main Software used in this report is VoxEdit which you can find linked here
Opening the model in VoxEdit
Once you open VoxEdit you will be looking at the “News Menu”, change to the “Animator Menu" as you can see in the image below. Then click on “Open File" and select the .vox file you want to work with.
Remember to locate all your files in the same folder as you will need it in order to upload it to The Sandbox Marketplace.
Interface and Hierarchy
The moment you open the file selected the Interface shown will be the same you can see in the underneath image.
The following numbers correspond to the different parts of it:
Skeleton | Hierarchy Menu
As you can see if no Hierarchy was made it will not appear in order or whatsoever so the next step will be creating a logic structure that links all the different parts of the model we want to animate.
As you can see in the image attached to the right you can set appart the diferent modules and their order. It works in a decreasing order, so if you move the Main Center everything below it will move as well, however if you move the Rotation layer it will not affect the main center one. Thus the guineapig eyes will move if you move the guineapig not it will not work the other way around.
Naming is very Important, please make sure nothing has been named the same way, otherwise problems will occur in the Marketplace animation.
Common problem: once you have completed the new hierarchy the objects could have been displaced in the space, just arrangle them properly and continue the process.
ll find what you are working on and you will be able to move rotate and edit the different parts.
Library | Inspector
The different parts are here displayed. In the “Inspector” window you can change the values of the position and rotation in order to animate. Yo can find as well the Inverse Kinematics and constraints. Make sure you delete the unattached assets so the document is lighter. Yo can find this option in the hambuerger menu next to the “Library Menu”.
Here is where the magic starts, you will notice it has a max time of 20 seconds, from then it will automaticaly loop. However if you stop your animation before the 20 secs it will loop from the moment the last frame stops.
For starters animation in VoxEdit is slightly limited as the curves cannot be modified and there is a minimum lenght of 0.5 seconds of animation if you dont want to take any risks.
In the image on the right you can find the 8 different animation curves, which you can only expand or shorten in the timeline.
All these curves work as expected except the one selected in blue (the stepped one).
This one in particular makes the animation go from a to b without interpolation, still it changes in the middle of the “interpolation” not at the beggining not at the end. If you animate and use this curve from the second 1 to 3 it will make the change in the second 2.
This curve is used in particular case to make the guineapig blink.
As soon as you have started your animation you should change its name from Idle to Idle01. This will save you from some problems in The Sandbox review.
It is highly recommended to make different layers depending on the animation required. In this case one is needed to rotate and another one to hover in order to make future changes as easy as possible.
When your animation requires a long rotation you must check the “Long Way Rotation” box which appears when you right-click over the framerate you want.
If this does not work correctly once you have uploaded it to the Sandbox Marketplace just click over the gizmo to make keyframes over the existing and automatic animation so it becomes a hand made one as propsed in this example.
Once the animation is already finished go to File > Export >Export to Marketplace. This will lead you to a “Choose your Thumbnail” window in which you will have to select the picture for your asset.
Remember that the thumbnail will change depending on the animation you are selecting in VoxEdit and the position on the timeline.
Press “Export” and fill the data on The Sandbox page is going to be opened in the next few seconds and congratulations! You have completed your first VoxEdit animation.
To conclude this is an easy way to create some basic animations and most importantly know about the most common issues that may occur during the use of VoxEdit and how to solve them.