PA's Pivot tips


  • Rank Team

    Almost any of us must have had enough experience from projects to be able to come out with useful tips and tricks that help facilitate the animating process. Some of them we may have already been aware of, some others we may have not. Even if we are familiarized with some tricks, I'm almost certain that the newly joined beginners are absolutely clueless in terms of effectively using pivot. This is where this thread comes:

    Whatever useful tip or trick you've got-or even a piece of advice, don't hesitate to post it here. Ultimately, when we gather enough, I will compile them all into one big thread. So, share awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy~
    It is worth mentioning that, in the compiled thread, your name will show next to your tip.


    Allow me to start:

    What I had learned from my DDC12:

    1. Never be afraid to ruin frames:
      Not only it helps building your confidence, but also develops the ability to fix whatever flaw or error you've got without being afraid to ruin your animation- initially, you will, but you've got to look at the bigger picture.
    2. Poses>>>>>spacing:
      I think that, one of the biggest mistakes that I'd made in DDC12 is that I'd prioritized spacing over poses which resulted in the most boring entry ever. Poses should come before everything, then spacing comes in for polishing. Animate the initial movements, then comeback to the first frame and start fixing your arcs.
    3. Spriting BGs(Backgrounds)
      NO. NOOOOO nononononono... Now unless you've got a tower PC with a powerful enough CPU and RAm that allows you to do some heavy load sprite work in Pivot and your animation is meant to be in plain 2D, please don't sprite your backgrounds, or at least most of its objects-the ones that need gradients do need o be sprited, just use the feature at your own risk. Scale up sprites to at least 101% and export at supersample4 and see what happens.
    4. Stickbuilding:
      In addition to BGs, an inadequate stick structure would limit you a lot in terms of foreshortening.
    5. Black in black:
      In case you were animating a dark figure in a dark environement, for whatever reason, go back at least one frame-frame10, for example- color the figure in frame 10, the go back to frame 11 and you'll see your onionskin colored to allow you space out your movements precisely


      Make sure the color you choose to color your onionskin is vry high in contrast so you could easily see it
    6. Moving .gifs in Pivot's file explorer [BUG]

      You have been warned.

      I will come up with more later on as I get to remember.
      Your turn :D


  • Damn, these are some sweet tips! I'd love to see something more generic than all the other pivot tutorials out there which focus on the very basic aspects.


    I'll add on my very noobish knowledge:

    Spacing/Poses - Spacing is one of the key concepts which can determine how exactly your animations will turn out. It's very broad because everyone uses their own FPS, so you'll have to experiment a bit. Too much spacing will lead to gaps and lack of easing, and too little will make the animation seem as if everything is super slow.

    Ifyouarereadingthisclearlyyouhaveagiftbecausemostpeoplecan’tdoitandwhyareyouevenreadingthis?It’sboringandawasteoftimebutihavecharacterstousesogoaheadandreadtherstofthismessage:I’mafatconstipatedkidwhoinsultsllamas.Jk.That’sacutallyjuke. ;D

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  • Rank Team

    7. moving handles with arrow keys vs scroll wheel

    Scroll wheel would move a handle half the amount of pixels that the arrow keys would. It's best used for idles, slow-mo or any type of subtle movement. You can't click on any other handle but the one your scrollwheel moves until you press any key on your keyboard-don't ask me why because I don't know myself.



  • @Sifter said:

    7. moving handles with arrow keys vs scroll wheel

    Scroll wheel would move a handle half the amount of pixels that the arrow keys would. It's best used for idles, slow-mo or any type of subtle movement. You can't click on any other handle but the one your scrollwheel moves until you press any key on your keyboard-don't ask me why because I don't know myself.


    Well, you can always "grab" the handle with leftclick and move the cursor away from the dot. Works the same way p much


  • Rank Team

    scroll wheel requires less effort



  • that's like your opinion, man.


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