Magical Girl Transformation Project

I am attempting to make an animation that is a “magical girl transformation” and them firing their “marble screw.” Anyone that is familiar with the series “Pretty Cure” would see my inspiration.

Anyway, I got the animations for the transformations working pretty well, though they are not quite as “fancy” as the transformations you might see in something like Sailor Moon or Pretty cure.

For my 3rd scene, the 2 girls are firing their “marble screw”. I decided to clean up my directories in the following manner:

  1. I made directories for each part of the animation, each of the transformations and other individual scenes, and the complete project. The directories contain the sifz file, the png’s produced, and the ogg made from them. I also made a directory for the completed project.

  2. I also made a directory and subdirectories for the stuff I draw such as the frilly magical girl dresses, the school uniforms, etc.

  3. For the scene that has 2 people in it, what I did is copied one of my transformation sequences, renamed it as “basic character.sifz.”

Then I removed the clothing and hair and the keyframes so that only the “articulated body” and the skeleton controlling it is the only thing left, so I have a basic character template.

Then to make a scene that has more than one character in it, I first open the character template, then I open a new file that will be my 2 character animation.

I select all the layers in the basic character file, copy them, then paste them into the new animation, and then do this again so I have 2 characters in the animation I am making.

Then I close the character template and proceed to add the clothes that I have in the previously described directory for drawings and animate the scene.

Seems like a reasonable course of action to me, but I am having the following problems:

  1. There seem to be “phanton bones” in the copy that were not in my original. This would be no big deal except that sometimes when I accidentally click on one of the “phantom bones” handles and try to move it, synfig studio crashes, and when I try to load the disaster recovery file it gives a bunch of error messages, and I have to start entirely from scratch.

  2. When it does not crash, and I successfully make the 2 characters, after I put in all their clothes and so forth, and actually start animating, I get a message that says something like the following: “This parameter is in a file that appears to be closed, please open it and try again”

  3. When I do reopen the character template, the stuff that I have connected to the skeleton such as arms, etc. can be moved, resized, whatever, but the character file also gets moved, resized, whatever in the same way.

The 2 characters that I put in the animation I am working on also move in the same manner, for example, if I move the right arm on one of the characters, the right arm of the other character moves in the same way. This might be useful for animating something like a dance, but for what I am trying to do, it is not.

Errors 2 and 3 indicate to me that what is being stored is not an actual copy of the character, but a link to my “basic character” file.

Is the only way to solve this to make each character “from scratch?” Would using rotation layers rather that a skeleton help any with this problem.

I have seen some other questions with isues similar to this in this forum so that is why I chose it, though I am not certain if it is the correct forum.

Brian Christiansen