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yaoiloverel
Starting Member



USA
30 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2013 :  2:22:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone this is my first post on the forum, I hope it can be of some help to you. I was watching Mike Kelley's video on Youtube "Understanding and avoiding shape stacking". Great video. You should go see it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRfoDTk0vd0 In it he showed a way of tracing a image that took up 2 layers. I'm not knocking how he does it. But I just thought I would post how I do it. As just another tip on tracing images in AS.
OK here is what you do. You have to click View, then in the drop down menu click "select tracing image". This will let#65279; you import any image you have into AS, and AS will auto fade it. The image does not take up any space in your layers window. The image also does not show up when you preview your work. When you finish tracing your image just go back to View and uncheck "show tracing image" to remove the tracing picture. Of course you can turn the tracing image back on anytime by clicking "show tracing image" again. The only draw back I have found is that you can not resize or move the tracing image around. That is the way I trace images in AS pro 9
I hope this tip can be of help to you guys.

Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6373 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2013 :  3:56:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I probably should have mentioned the built-in tracing image feature, but mostly to suggest why I don't use it. As you mention, you can't reside or move the tracing image around, but that's not the only reason I don't recommend it (although it's a huge one). Often when I am working on a character or object I use more than one image, either because I need two views, or because both are necessary. And, of course, the only way you can do this with the built-in trace image is to first process it in a separate program like Photoshop.

However, if you had seen the first video (of which this second one was a response to fix an error I made) you'd have known that it's vitally important to just move and resize your tracing image in order to get the character the proper size for construction (which is why I bring in the height chart as well). So for that reason alone I'd never use the tracing feature. But I do appreciate you're reminding me of it, because I'm sure there are many who wonder why not use it as well.
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Wena
Gold Member



United Kingdom
1050 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  06:34:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I trace an image, say to make a character of it i normally cut it down to small segments, such as the head and have it on your screen so that it will fill it. That way you get all the details to work from.

As for the head I make it in a group layer then when you have made the other groups such as the torso an limbs copy them and assemble. I suggest copy them first so that you might one day want to put Charls head on grandpa, to make a completely different character.

As for getting a different view of him/her I have once or twice chosen a peace of film and use individual frames from that to trace.

Wena D. Parry,
South Wales, U.K.
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hayasidist
Gold Member



United Kingdom
1246 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  08:30:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yeah - you can't resize the tracing image, but you can resize the work area ..
if you're using the "ruler" (http://www.kelleytown.com/forum/animators/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1986) then put that over the image and play with camera zoom / z until you get the right size... or if not by way of example: if you find you have have a tiny image, zoom to a big number (up to 160) and/or move the camera to a big z (say 30 or more), position your working window and trace; then reset the camera and you'll have a screen-filling traced image.
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6373 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  08:52:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, that's a huge amount of work for no real payoff (playing with zoom and z values is a very fussy way when you can just resize and move an image around). And it still doesn't address multiple and composite images.

All in all I would never recommend using the tracing feature as it's just too limiting for no good purpose (IOW, there aren't ANY advantages to using it and lots of disadvantages).
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6373 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  09:01:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, forgot to mention one more (big) disadvantage with the tracing feature -- you can't then ever see the image NOT faded out.

There are lots of times I like to check details or otherwise adjust the opaqueness of the image I'm using and pretty obviously this is right out with the "feature" (but easy to do with my recommended approach, where you can just temporarily hide the opaque layer). And I haven't even shown you some advanced techniques (where I use a certain color for the opaque layer so that other colors come out, kind of like a chromakey feature).

So, folks, trust me -- sooner or later you'll regret going down this road. Just do the tracing like God (Mike Clifton) intended, and as I demonstrate.
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schemer
Junior Member



129 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  09:31:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am sure glad I read this as I was thinking the auto trace was a big plus in the software. It is always better to listen to the pros when they tell you something they have learned. I watched that video that Kellytoons has on YouTube and I believe it was all about this topic. Of course he made it look easy.
schemer
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schemer
Junior Member



129 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  09:34:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wena

When I trace an image, say to make a character of it i normally cut it down to small segments, such as the head and have it on your screen so that it will fill it. That way you get all the details to work from.

As for the head I make it in a group layer then when you have made the other groups such as the torso an limbs copy them and assemble. I suggest copy them first so that you might one day want to put Charls head on grandpa, to make a completely different character.

As for getting a different view of him/her I have once or twice chosen a peace of film and use individual frames from that to trace.

Wena D. Parry,
South Wales, U.K.



Sounds like the right way to me. Making copies and backups all the time will save you over and over. I do it all the time with all my image type work, even when resizing to make sure I don't overwrite the original. Plus all my stuff is backed up to other pc's nightly on automatic with SyncBack Pro.
schemer
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6373 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  09:53:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by schemer

I am sure glad I read this as I was thinking the auto trace was a big plus in the software. It is always better to listen to the pros when they tell you something they have learned. I watched that video that Kellytoons has on YouTube and I believe it was all about this topic. Of course he made it look easy.
schemer



I think there are many built-in features in AS that facilitate the learning process. The tracing feature is a good example -- nothing particularly wrong with it, but nothing right either. For someone starting off it's fine if they want to use it, but the real issue is that using it might prevent you from learning more advanced ways of doing things.

The more you learn about the capabilities of any program the better off you are. My approach is always "if this does that, how can I make it do this?" For me the tracing feature was quickly discarded when I realized it couldn't accommodate all the things I wanted out of a trace. (And thus I had completely forgotten about it until it was mentioned here again). I *suppose* I should be lobbying the powers that be to improve the feature so it *can* do more, but when it's easy enough to do what I want I'm not sure I see any advantage in it (someone said it would keep things from getting cluttered up but since you can just create a tracing group I don't even see that as an advantage).

I am fascinated by others' workflow and I am always trying to improve my own. I like to share mine both so that it might help other folks starting down the road (and not having to reinvent the wheel) but also to understand where I might improve. So while it might not seem like it here, I DO want to hear about the approach other people take just in case it is better than what I am doing (and ultimately it's all about what YOU want to do -- so if what Paul and the OP are saying makes sense to you, don't do what I suggest but do what they are saying. It's all about your own personal workflow and just because *I* think it should be done a certain way doesn't mean it's the only way, or even the best. In this particular case I really think you should try it both ways and then decide what you want to use).
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schemer
Junior Member



129 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  1:20:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know a little about workflow as when I was coding in VB6 I would be in front of the pc from morning till bedtime to get problems and solutions worked out. When you were "in the zone" it was a great feeling as productivity went way up. When you weren't it was what your dreams were made of, working on a solution while you were sleeping. And sometimes it really seemed like you found an answer or workaround. My neighbor thinks he is Norm Abram most of the year and his favorite tool is a hammer, so I get annoyed much more when I am stuck on a problem I can't figure out. It sounds like he built an apartment complex but when I look out the window he has a bird house. Of course I will be trying the auto trace to see what it can do so I can compare it to what it can't. All great info.
Thanks,
schemer
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6373 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  1:37:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As a retired programmer (and former IT chief) I have tried to step away from getting too involved in the nuts and bolts of coding, particularly because I have an OCD personality when it comes to this sort of thing. But what you said really struck a never (probably because of that OCD) in that I do work on solutions throughout the night (although not when ACTUALLY sleeping, but as I awake fitfully and think "Aha! That's what I should do!").

But the feel of a smooth workflow, like running your hands along a finely sanded piece of mahogany, is so exhilarating I can't help myself. So I keep at it, and I share my own with others even though there is quite the risk of either looking foolish or at least ignorant (I had completely forgotten about the built in tracing feature, and for one horrified moment I thought that maybe it was a far better solution. Then I tried it again and remembered why it wasn't, but this points out how very vulnerable you make yourself when you show off how you work and then someone else comes along and says, "yeah, but...". I'm so old now that I'm not TOO sensitive anymore, but there was a time in my younger days I would have been WAY too shy to even try).
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schemer
Junior Member



129 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2013 :  3:57:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelleytoons

As a retired programmer (and former IT chief) I have tried to step away from getting too involved in the nuts and bolts of coding, particularly because I have an OCD personality when it comes to this sort of thing. But what you said really struck a never (probably because of that OCD) in that I do work on solutions throughout the night (although not when ACTUALLY sleeping, but as I awake fitfully and think "Aha! That's what I should do!").

But the feel of a smooth workflow, like running your hands along a finely sanded piece of mahogany, is so exhilarating I can't help myself. So I keep at it, and I share my own with others even though there is quite the risk of either looking foolish or at least ignorant (I had completely forgotten about the built in tracing feature, and for one horrified moment I thought that maybe it was a far better solution. Then I tried it again and remembered why it wasn't, but this points out how very vulnerable you make yourself when you show off how you work and then someone else comes along and says, "yeah, but...". I'm so old now that I'm not TOO sensitive anymore, but there was a time in my younger days I would have been WAY too shy to even try).



Cool, a former IT guy. Reminds me of "Your company's computer guy" skits on SNL. MOVE! I do a lot of computer stuff myself and fix all the family and friends stuff. When I stand behind them and tell them what to do I can feel my nerves and blood pressure it seems. Then I say "MOVE" and just fix it. For some reason I always hated .NET so I tried to learn other stuff instead but am still a VB6 Classic user. I know the feeling as I am getting older...I am more outspoken (not cocky) than I used to be. I notice older people as a rule tend to get this way. It is as though the shyness goes away cause you see the years fly by much quicker and you have a lot to yet accomplish. I learn from whoever wants to teach me. If I already know something I will let them know, but if I don't, I will be the best student and do my homework.
Thanks,
schemer
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oldnovice
Starting Member

43 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  5:11:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit oldnovice's Homepage  Reply with Quote
(First post) The video was fascinating, something doesn't work right when I try to use the idea with Version 9.5. With the image imported, I draw a rectangle, make it partly transparent, so far, so good. As soon as I create another vector layer, it covers the image and the semi-transparent layer with the solid color (even with automatic welding and fill turned off). I can't find the setting to stop it doing this. The weird thing is that if I turn this solid vector layer off and click on the image layer, it is also covered. Only clicking on the semi-transparent layer makes the image appear behind it. I'd appreciate help on this, it's probably something simple. Thanks, Steve
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6373 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  5:14:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve,

Actually, if you have 9.5 this technique is kind of obsolete. Just turn on (in Display Quality or in the menu) Fade Unselected Items and then when you select your vector layer (on top of your image) the image will "fade" and go b/w and you'll be tracing much easier.

I'm not sure if that behavior supercedes this old technique or not, since I've been using the new one ever since. I'll give it a try to see, but in the meantime just use the new one and you'll be good to go.


"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
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Kelleytoons
Forum Admin



6373 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  5:17:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, no I just tried it and the old technique still works (it really ought to). Perhaps you could post a file with the issue (you'll have to include as a ZIP the vector file as well so you should make it small). Otherwise I'm sure it's something in your Display settings (so you could just post all that you have checkmarked there).

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"


-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
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SynthSin75
Administrator



USA
4464 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  6:50:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit SynthSin75's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you need to enable transparency in the display settings.

-Wes
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