MySkit - Chapter 4 - Motion Editing

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Table of Contents:
    1.0 Introduction
    2.0 Install MySkit
    3.0 Workbook Files
    4.0 Motion Editing
         4.1 Motion Files & Keyframes
         4.2 Navigating Motion Files
         4.3 Creating Keyframes
         4.4 Moving Keyframes
         4.5 Editing Servo Position
         4.6 Standard Poses
         4.7 Servo Speed Limits
         4.8 Smooth Motion Servos
         4.9 Mirror Motion Left/Right
         4.10 Reverse Motion (play in reverse)
         4.11 Scale Motion (change how long it takes finish)
         4.12 Mouth Wizard
         4.13 Tailwag Wizard
         4.14 Customize First/Last Keyframes
         4.15 Undo/Redo Changes to Motion
         4.16 The Splitter Bar
    5.0 Wave Sound Editing
    6.0 The Reference Library
    7.0 The PLEO Window
    8.0 Upload Actions to PLEO
    9.0 Specify Preferences

4.0 Motion Editing

Motion files tell PLEO how to control its servos -- where to put them, and when.  MySkit shows the "where & when" for each servo as a black horizontal line.   The small blue tabs (called keyframes), indicate points where the positions change.

Motion Editor

4.1  Motion Files & Keyframes

PLEO tracks movement using keyframes.   A keyframe is a snapshot of PLEO's servo positions (ie: head, shoulder, knees, etc...).   Keyframes tell PLEO where all its servos should be, and when.   PLEO smoothly moves servos from one keyframe to the next, as it performs a motion.

A motion file always has at least two keyframes -- the first & last.  There can never be zero or one keyframes.   The start/stop keyframes are special, since PLEO expects them to contain a standard pose (sleep, sit, stand, etc...).   Therefore, they cannot be edited directly.

Note keyframes are always marked with a blue pointed tab in the ruler bar.
Tile Marker

4.2  Navigating Motion Files

An orange marker bar shows the current time position.   Left-clicking in the ruler or data pane, moves the marker.
Current Position Marker

Click-n-drag in the ruler bar (above the data pane), and a green selection marker appears at the starting point.  MySkit highlights between the markers.   Selected keyframe tabs turn green.   All servos are selected.
Range Selection

Click-n-drag in the data pane (below the ruler bar), to select a range of servo data between the two markers.   Special effects only affect selected servos.
Servo Range Selection

In the upper-left corner of motion editor, is the 3D preview of PLEO.   It shows PLEO's posture at the current time position (the orange marker). Motion Preview

4.3 Creating Keyframes

There are several ways to make keyframes.   First, position the orange marker bar where you want a keyframe.  Next, choose one of the following:

  • Press Ctrl+K, or...
  • Double click in the ruler bar, or...
  • Select the "Edit->Create Keyframe" menu option

MySkit calculates the servo positions under the orange marker, and creates the keyframe.

4.4 Moving & Deleting Keyframes

Moving keyframes is easy.  Select a keyframe tab in the ruler bar (so it turns green), then click-n-drag the tab marker to adjust the spacing between keyframes.  Note:  It does not create new keyframes.

Alternatively, you can move a keyframes by inserting/deleting time before it.    Position the orange marker bar before a keyframe, and use the [INSERT] or [DELETE] keys.

Tile Dragging

Note:  If you hit [DELETE]with the marker on a keyframe (tab marker highlighted green), that keyframe is deleted.

4.5 Edit Servo Positions

MySkit offers a variety of ways to edit servo positions.   First, click on a servo line at the location you want to change.  An edit diamond appears under the mouse. 

Pick one of the following methods to alter the servo position:
  • Use the Up/Down arrow keys   -or-
  • Move the edit diamond with the mouse   -or-
  • Press [ENTER] and type a number using the keyboard.
  • Using the Pleo Window in edit mode.
Edit Diamond

Keyboard Edit4.5.1  Editing From Keyboard

The edit diamond turns black during keyboard editing (for clarity).   The value is edited in the current value box, found after the servo name.

4.5.2  Create Keyframe from Editing

If you select a location between existing keyframes, editing (with any of the techniques mentioned above) creates a new keyframe.

4.6 Standard Poses

You can use a standard pose anywhere you like, including the first & last keyframes.   From the Motion menu, select "Set Pose".   The following options are available.
  • Sleep Position
  • Sit Position
  • Stand Position
(normal sleep position)
(normal sit position)
(normal stand position)

Once a pose is copied into a keyframe, you can customize it further (except for the first/last keyframes).

4.7 Servo Speed Limits

PLEO can wear out prematurely, overheat, or even damage servos that move too fast.

MySkit monitors for such situations, and highlights them.  A transition turns yellow when above the speed limit, and red if excessively fast (more than 10% over).   MySkit prompts when saving/testing files with excessive speed violations.

It is HIGHLY recommended you fix violations yourself manually, or let MySkit do it automatically (usually there isn't a noticeable change).
Speed Violation

4.8 Smooth Motion Servos

Smoothing makes a servo move in a straight line, between the start & stop times.   Keyframes are updated to match the changes.

In the example below, the highlighted servo is smoothed.   Between times 20 and 70, four keyframes are changed.  The result is a clean transition from the start time to the stop time.

Before Smoothing
After Smoothing


4.9 Mirror Motion Left/Right

Mirroring a motion file left/right (or part of one) is an easy way to increase variety in your PLEO personalities.  Movement on the left & right sides of PLEO are swapped.

4.10 Reverse Motion (play in reverse)

Reversing a motion (or part of one) is helpful when working up complicated action files.  You can have PLEO "unwind" some sequence of steps required to get it into a position.

4.11 Scale Motion (change how long it takes finish)

Scaling makes motions play faster or slower.   It's easier to watch all the small details on slow motions.  Once finished, you can scale it up to speed.

One particular application is keeping sync with sound files.   PLEO sometimes isn't accurate at keeping time with sound.  

Sometimes there is drift from what MySkit estimates, and the sound PLEO actually produces.   The variations aren't easy to predict.  To compensate, scale motion files into keeping sync with the music.
Scale Motion Dialog

4.12 Mouth Wizard

The mouth wizard generates automatic mouth movement from sound files.  Mouth movement should be added after other leg & head movements are complete.   The wizard typically creates -many- additional keyframes and complicates editing thereafter.

The wizard supports a variety of common settings, for horizontal & vertical tail wagging.  

The "mouth speed" setting controls how quickly the mouth is opened/closed.   The "sound level" specifies the threshold at when the mouth should open or close.   The wizard updates the motion in real-time for previewing, since selecting the sound level is very dependent on the sound file.

Before starting the wizard, select a time range to receive mouth movement (otherwise the entire motion will be affected).   

From the Motion Menu, select "Mouth Wizard".   Select your preferences, and sit back while MySkit does the work.
Mouth Wizard

4.13 Tailwag Wizard

The tail wagging wizard (as the name implies) takes all the pain out of wagging PLEO's tail.   Tail wagging should be the very last thing you add to a motion.   The wizard typically creates -many- additional keyframes and complicates editing thereafter.

The wizard supports a variety of common settings, for horizontal & vertical tail wagging.  

The intensity setting controls how far the tail moves.  The speed range supports from nothing, to the maximum possible speed for the tail servos.   The image next the speed slider previews the results.

Before starting the wizard, select a time range to receive tail wagging (otherwise the entire motion will be affected).

From the Motion Menu, select "Tailwag Wizard".   Select your preferences, and sit back while MySkit does the work.
Tailwag Wizard

4.14 Customize First/Last Keyframes

Customizing the first/last keyframes is an advanced override.  Only use once SURE you understand everything below.   Please read this section fully and exercise caution.

First & Last Pose Override Confirmation

4.14.1 Custom Poses Overview - Please Read

Custom start/stop poses are very useful, and safe when used properly.  Essentially, we take over responsibility for managing transitions.   You should provide two special skits.  One transitioning INTO the custom pose (from a standard pose), and one transitioning FROM the custom pose (back to a standard pose)

4.15 Undo/Redo Changes to Motion

If you make a change that doesn't work out, simply undo it (Edit Menu->Undo).   MySkit supports unlimited undo (ie: all edits since the motion file was loaded, or last platform conversion.).  If you undo too much, you can reapply changes (Edit Menu->Redo).

Warning!  Changing PLEO platforms currently cannot be undone.

Keyboard shortcuts of Ctrl+Z (Undo) and Ctrl+Y (Redo) are available.

4.16 The Splitter Bar

The vertical splitter bar allows two views of the motion data at once.   To adjust the position of the splitter bar, select:
   "Window Menu -> Split Window". 

You can move the splitter at any time.   To dock the splitter bar (hide it), simply drag the splitter to its left-most position. 

Splitter Bar

Legalese: These programs are provided AS IS without any warranty, expressed or implied.  This includes without limitation the fitfulness for a particular purpose or application.    People using the software bear all risk as to its quality and performance.   The user of the software is responsible for any damages whether direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential arising from a failure of these programs to operate in any manner desired.   Etc, etc...

"PLEO" is a trademark UGOBE, Inc.