Help with head turns and morphing

Okay, so I’ve had Synfig for not even a week…but I really like it! My problem is I am unsure how to animate a head turn. Mind you though I can draw the head in various forms(ie front facing, profile and 3/4). My plan is to draw a single character piece by piece(in GIMP), then I can add eack piece as I need it to perform the animation I seek. So far this is what I have come up with in my week of Synfig.

Now mind that some of the missing details I can fix. I also plan on fixing the joints into invisible circles to bend the limbs. Also I’ll add a scarf(but that’s just detailing when it come to the drawing aspect).

Now mind that each piece of my character is separated. I want to make his forward facing head turn into my 3/4 head, then finally my profile head, then back again.

Problem is, there’s nothing in the tutorial that really teaches how to do this. The walk animation provides you a full list, but it doesn’t teach you how to take your own cut outs and do something similar, it only has you import the entire list of motions.

If someone can give me a somewhat detailed explanation I know I could do it. Mind you even though the animation above isn’t the greatest, it proves I’m a quick learner.

Once I learn how to do these head turns…I’ll simply do the same thing with all the body parts to make my character really pose-able.

Please take a look tho this video:
And to this video too:


The problem with those videos is they teach you nothing. They more or less only show off the talents without any explanation. They’re not really helpful in terms of knowing even a couple basic details.

I understand about using the Blines to create a relative copy of the pictures they imported. What I don’t get is how they even put those pictures into separate frames of time.

I don’t get how using the time slider changes the picture from forward facing to profile. As far as the Bline manipulation, I could figure that out myself once I understand the above.

The videos have no dialogue, and move so fast I can’t even see where the pointer is clicking.

Edited: Oh wait…I see it! The Amount is set to 0 in the param bar for each picture that is not shown, then keyframed!..Yay!..thanks a bunch. LoL I had to pause it multiple times and play it at key points to discover that…lol.

Head turns are kinda tricky.
The most common mistake is to try to make the head turn slow and in one plane. There is not any headed character that do that unless it is a robot.
The most rich part of the head turn are the anticipation and the counter action frames. Also, head turn are not done in a plane so the head tilts up or down a bit when turning.
So basically, to make a great head turn you need to stage the animation in three poses (anticipate, turn, relax) and combine it with the proper counter actions:
anticipate->head turn->relax
<—counter actions------->

When head turn needs to be slow for some reason and/or you need to maintain the vector objects from the anticipate stage to the relax stage, then the technique used in the video (draw one pose and match the other pose) is needed. In that case, use the minimum number of points needed on both poses is important to achieve. Also when the head turn is more than 1/4 the hidden shapes has to be taken account.

See this example as proof of concept of non slow head turn, opposite to the classic one:

Notice that I just flip the face of the dog and use some anticipation and counter action to hide the abrupt flip.

You can combine those ideas with the classic frame to frame morphing and the result is even better.

BTW, there is not need to separate the left pose from the front pose by a faded transition. You just can place one image in one frame and other image in the next frame and do the pose matching. Later you can separate the keyframes and add intermediate keyframes or waypoints to fit your taste from the computer interpolation.

Alright, I got part of the head turn done. It’s a 3/4 turn so far. My problem is now turning it back. Is there a way to take old(and finished) Key frames, and place them further up the time scale. In other words:

0f = Forward facing
2f = half 3/4
4f = 3/4 turn
6f and on = 3/4 turn

but what I want is:

0f = Forward facing
2f = half 3/4 turn
4f = 3/4 turn
6f = same as 2f = half 3/4 turn
8f = same as 0f = Forward facing

I tried duplicating the frames, but it messes up all the lines I fixed to initially create the turn.