Object Animation Test

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  • After seeing a recent thread I finally did a test using the excellent Keyframe Animation extension. Works pretty well and it's easy to use. I'd actually tried this a few Enscape versions back, but could never get it to work!

    Watch Video

    243 frames of animation, at 30 frames per second. 8 seconds of animation.

    Rendertime with my RTX8000 was about 25 seconds per frame - much longer than simply rendering a single frame without animation - but still pretty quick. Total time to render the sequence was around 101 minutes.

    I should mention that this is a pretty large scene. Tons of polygons, lots of textures, and loads of Enscape proxies. The film only shows a fraction of what's there, so this was a pretty good test in terms of a big pull on the GPU.

    The best workflow I've found so far is to first create your Scenes within the Enscape View Manager. My test had 9 initial scenes, and for each one I'd move the camera forward just a bit, then make a new scene. Move forward, make a new scene. Best to have the Sync View on in the Enscape menu. (watch the Keyframe Animation tutorials for a better understanding of what 'initial Scenes' are...)

    Once I had my 9 initial scenes, I opened each scene one at a time in SketchUp, moved an object, then recorded that movement in Keyframe Animation.

    There's some important things to keep in mind, and they took me a bit to figure out:

    Every scene, regardless of whether your camera is moving or stationary, will need the Camera Location box checked in SketchUp. If you have a scene in which that cam data isn't captured, the rendered output will be ALL BLACK.

    Also, just as important: every SketchUp scene that you initially create (before the Tween Scene creation step) MUST have an object moving and that movement needs to be recorded by Keyframe Animation. I had two Scenes where the cam continues to move forward but I didn't want any animation. When you go to create all your Tween Scenes, they won't be generated for any sequence that doesn't have an object moving because - technically - nothing is happening. I got around this by animated a simple box out of the camera view for those two Scenes.

    I did this very quickly just as a proof of concept, so it's a bit rough. I'd like to get a softer landing (easy ease) for each chair, so I'll try going into my original file (again, 9 scenes) and add an additional scene for each object just before it touches the ground (12 inches or so). You can then set the duration of the animated movement for that scene, and start to get a sense of ease in/ease out. For instance, if each chair takes about 1 second to drop, the last 12 inches could be set to take 2 seconds or so. Nothing crazy, because real ease in/ease out isn't possible. The timing settings in the Extension look to be pretty great.

    There's real potential for this extension, but it will take a bit of patience and practice.

    Link to extension:


    There's some must-watch tutorials on the site, and a nice user guide as well. I definitely plan on buying the license.