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#1 08/12/19 13:08

From: Poland
Registered: 12/29/10

Softimage (XSI) Mod Tools - Ghosting and Rotoscoping

XSI has two very important features, that recently have helped me immensely with making new animations, and which will definitely help you, should you try making new anims.


Let's start with the easier one.
Given that frame X is the currently displayed frame of your animation, Ghosting allows you to display a certain amount of frames that happen before frame X, and a certain amount of of frames that happen after X, like this:


It's an extremely handy feature if you need a limb/bone to stay in one place, e.g. if you want your character to stand on one leg during a roundhouse kick. Otherwise, if you attempt to adjust the bone that's supposed to be in one place, "by hand", then you'll probably end up with some oddly looking "twitching" in your animation. Ghosting allows you to prevent that, as you can adjust the bone to stay in the right place, based on the previous and next frames that you can see in your viewport.


1) Import your animation into XSI,
2) First, you need to enable ghosting in the scene. Select the KP/L tab, located in the lower right corner of the XSI window, between MCP and MAT tabs,
2) Select the Scene tab,
3) You'll see a row called "Layer_Default" with 4 boxes, the last one called "Ghost". Enable/Tick the Ghost box.
4) In the viewport you want the ghosting to be enabled, go to <name of selected display mode>/Display Options...
5) Select the "Ghosting" tab.
6) In the "Animation Ghosting" part, tick the "Enable Animation Ghosting" box.
7) Adjust the options: if you want to see just the next/previous frames, then in the "Frame Options" part, adjust the amount of Frames Before, Frames After and the Frame Step. If you want to see the next/previous keyed frames, then in the "Keyframe Options" part, adjust the amount of Keys Before, Keys After and Key Step.

Be aware that ghosting in XSI may be a little bugged, I once tried to display just a single next frame, and XSI displayed the frame after the one I wanted.


Big thanks to Geyser, for showing me how to do this in XSI.
Rotoscoping is a process of animating by tracing over a motion picture, frame by frame. In simpler words, and in this context, rotoscoping allows you to put a video inside an XSI viewport, so you can adjust every frame of your animation, based on the frames of that video file. You could trace, for example, footages from Karate Championships in Kata, movies, Youtube videos, go outside with friends and make your own references like some game devs did back in the 80s/90s, or you could even record animations from fighting games (like Tekken) and shamelessly rip them off like I did:


Since we don't know how to do motion capture (yet), rotoscoping is absolutely mandatory, if you want to make good-looking animations.


1) Get or create your video reference that you want to trace.
2) Clip it to the frames you want to trace. You'll need some video editing software for that purpose - personally, when I can, I use VirtualDub, which is free, and if it fails, I use Sony Vegas. You can probably use ffmpeg for that purpose too, but it might be hard to use, since it's a command line tool.
3) In the viewport you want the rotoscoping to be enabled, go to <name of selected display mode>/Rotoscope
4) In the "Image" part, select "New/New from file...",
5) Select your video reference,
6) In "Image Placement" part, select "Fixed", and adjust the size of your video through Width and Height, and its position through X, Y and Z, to your liking. Personally, I try to set my references, so that the characters I trace, are as big as the model in my animation. I also set the character right next to my model, instead of setting it over it. You could try setting it over it, but I don't know how to display models transparently in XSI.

That's it, you can now adjust the bone rotations and positions accordingly to the frames in your video reference.

Last edited by Delano762 (08/12/19 13:08)

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