Tutorial for embedding paths in paseq, chapter 7 in general

I'd be very interested in seeing tutorials on embedding paths in paseqs, as well as generating bez keyframes automatically. In other words, all of chapter 7 in the manual. Does something like this exist anywhere?

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I agree with you that we need to get some more documentation on this particular feature made available for users. There are some tutorials near the end of tutorial disc #2 that talk about working with bezier keyframes and detail an older approach to this kind of thing using layer commands.

But in 3.5 there are a whole set of additional PASeq commands available for this kind of thing under action :paseq commands menu. You can reorder and normalize the bezier curves in embedded bezier frames in a PASeq for example. These commands work the same as the ones for bezier curves in layers discussed in the tutorials on disc#2 except that they work with bezier curves embedded in paseq action steps as opposed to directly on the keyframes in the bezier timeline in the layers window.

There is a tutorial blog entry available here that talks a little about embedding paths and sequential keyframing.

I have this topic on my list of things to explain better so i'll try to put together some additional info for people, since i think this feature set is particularly powerful and has not been exploited very much by users.
Thanks, John. That blog entry actually really helped out (although the text didn't show up in my Firefox browser for some reason--had to go to Safari), and I've got it working.

Here's a further question. Is there a way to automate the process of having SA generate bez keyframes from autopainting (or by extracting source edges), but only every "n" frames?

That blog was put together in Apple's iWeb, which has a Firefox bug. If you set the default text color to something other than black in Firefox preferences then you can read it in Firefox.

If you look at the options for generating bezier keyframes from a PASeq in the Canvas : Layer Timeline Commands sub menu, there are 3 different options, every N frames, or at content or source keyframes.
Ok, so how would I use that command to:
1) extract source edges every 15 frames, and,
2) keyframe the bez paths created in the previous step

Make a PASeq that has 2 steps, delete Bezier Layer, and Source Edge to Path. Set the total # of frames in the timeline in the timeline animation operation panel (cmnd 6 to switch back and forth). Then run the Canvas : Layer Timeline Commands : Generate BEzier Keyframes from PASeq Animation - every Nth frame menu command. Enter 15 into the Insert N Frames dialog box. After this finished running you will have a bezier keyframe in the layers window every 15 frames.

So then if you wanted to encapsulate the complete set of bezier frames into a single auto paint step, erase the paseq. then turn on paseq recording and run the Path : Convert to Paint Synthesizer : All Bezier Keyframes to autodraw PASeq Step. you now have a single autopaint step that encapsulates all the bezier keyframes into the associated paseq keyframes for the auto paint step.
great, thanks!!
So Studio Artist does the keyframe interpolation of the individual bezier paths by index number, so the first bezier path in keyframe 1 will interpolate to the first bezier path in keyframe 2, the second to the second, etc. When you did the above step, you probably generated a different number of paths in each bezier keyframe. So the bezier path correspondence will flow from the top to the bottom, but since there is a different number of bezier paths in each keyframe in the animation some paths will jump in or out at certain keyframes because you don't have a consistent number of bezier paths in each keyframe.

You can use the normalize bezier curve count commands to process the keyframes to get the same number of paths in each keyframe. Split means that the long paths are chopped up into smaller paths that generate the overall stroke to get a consistent number of paths in each keyframe. Recycle means that paths are doubled up on top of each other to generate a consistent path count.

You can run normalize and reorder commands on the bezier keyframes in the layers window or the internal bezier frames in autopaint paseq steps. You use either the Layer Timeline Command menus or the PASeq command menus to respectively target the 2 different cases. Keep in mind that distance normalization can take a long time to run if you have a lot of keyframes and/or a lot of paths in your keyframes.
A few things to watch out for.

Don't have texture or luminance range path start inhibition turned on in your paint preset, it will screw up the embedded bezier path playback.

Also, if your original paint path has path randomization turned on, then you will get it applied 2 times. the first time will be in the original paths recorded in the bezier keyframes. the second will be when those randomized paths play back in the paint step that contains those bezier paths. one approach to this is to turn it off for the initial bezier keyframe recording and then turn it back on for the convert to paint synthesizer step. or vice versa.

i might redo the code so it automatically turns it off for you when you do the convert to paint synthesizer step to avoid confusion. 3.5.3 will also be smart about turning off the path start inhibit stuff mentioned.
I should point out that in addition to being a really cool and efficient way to build up animation, you can also use this approach to get rid of flicker for processing movie files with paint preset(s). Basically, you generate bezier keyframes every N frames with an auto paint paseq step, then convert those bezier keyframes back to an embedded bezier auto paint step, then you Split Normalize the PASeq keyframes, then you distance sort the PASeq keyframes, then you run that modified paseq to create the smooth paint animation.

You can do multiple paseq steps this way, although it is a little tedious. You can drag the individual embedded paseq steps you create into the history list while you're doing the work for each original paseq step to build up a multi step embedded paseq.

I'm playing around with this now so i'll try to post an example or 2 at some point.
So, this experiment: http://imig.colorado.edu/~theodore/exper.mov show paths suddenly appearing at keyframes. I'm pretty sure I used recycle when I normalized the path numbers. Is this the reason for the discontinuities? I've going to try again using split (especially now that I know the difference!).
It would be cool if you could modulate the "n" in "every n frames." For instance, a random # within some kind of user settable range. The idea behind this is a desire to vary the visual rhythm without having to manually keyframe...
Here's the same experiment, this time using split: http://imig.colorado.edu/~theodore/split.mov

The transitions at the keyframes are much closer to what I was looking for..


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