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JPatch 0.4 animator reference manual


The animator can animate JPatch models, cameras and lightsources. It sets up the following motion curves for each object:

  • Position
  • Orientation
  • Focal length
Light source
  • Position
  • Orientation
  • Size
  • Intensity
  • Color
  • Position
  • Orientation
  • Scale
  • One curve for each morph

You can change the values for morphs using the pose sliders, all other parameters can either be changed with the mouse (using the camera or object manipulator buttons in the viewports) or by numerical input using the edit button. NOTE: All changes affect the current frame. If the camera was on position 0/0/0 at frame 0 and you set it to position 100/0/0 at frame 24, the camera will move in the animation. If you want, for example, to change the intensity of a lightsource globally (for the entire animation), be sure to change it at frame 0, otherwise the intensity of the lightsource will be animated. The only exception is the on/off switch of a lightsource.

The main window

The main menu


  • New: Removes everything and starts a new project
  • Open: Opens an existing animation
  • Save: Saves the current animation to a file
  • Load JLipsync timesheer: Loads a timesheet in Magpie format and applies it to the currently active model. The model must have phoneme ↔ morph mappings defined for this to work.
  • Load audio-clip: Loads and audio clip to be played back with the animation previe. (buggy)
  • Render current frame: Renders the current frame. (See Renderer Options)
  • Render animation: Renders the animation. (See Renderer Options)
  • Properties: Opens the properties dialog. (see Sequence properties)
Sequence properties

Here you can enter start- and end-frame, frame-rate (in frames per second) and file-prefix and add POV-Ray or RenderMan specific code.

The prefix will be prepended to geometry or image files. If, for example, the prefix is frame_, and you render frame #100 using POV-Ray, JPatch will generate a POV-Ray scene file called frame_000100.pov in the working directory and will start POV-Ray to render the image into the working directory as frame_000100.png.

The renderer specific options are added at the beginning of the POV-Ray [.pov] or RenderMan [.rib] files. Here you can specify e.g. POV-Ray global options (ambient light, radiosity) or include other files (e.g. texture libraries) using the POV-Ray’s #include or RenderMan’s readArchive directive.



Here you can set some global preferences. The only one so far is the model directory. It’s the directory in which JPatch will look for [.jpt] JPatch model files. All models that are referenced in your animation file must be in that directory, otherwise the animator can’t load them.

Renderer options

In the upper half of the dialog you can specify common options:

  • Image resolution
  • Image aspect ratio
  • Background color
  • Preferred Renderer (POV-Ray, RenderMan or Inyo)
  • Working Directory
  • Delete per-frame files after rendering

The working directory is the directory JPatch will cd to before invoking the renderer. JPatch will write its per-frame geometry data (.pov or .rib files) into this directory, and the renderer will write the rendered images into it. This directory should also contain all POV-Ray include file or .rib archives that specified in the renderer specific options of the Sequence properties. Geometry files can be huge (about 100 MB), so be sure to check the Delete per-frame files after rendering option.

The lower hald contains renderer specific settings. I’ve tested JPatch with POV-Ray 3.6 MegaPOV 1.1, Aqsis 1.0, 3Delight 4.0 and BMRT 3.5. If you use the Windows GUI version of POV-Ray, check “Windows” under POV-Ray version, if you use a linux, cygwin or the Windows console version of MegaPov, check “unix/cygwin”. You can also specify the output mode (e.g. Triangles, Quadliraterals, Subdivision surfaces or Bicubic patches) and the mesh density. NOTE: All but the Bicubic patches output require that the patches are aligned (see the JPatch modeler documentation). If the patches are not alignes, the other output modes will produce creases in the surface, or in the case of Aqsis and subdivision surfaces generate an error. The rest of the settings are renderer dependent, consult the documentation of the renderer for more details.


Add model...

Opens a file chooser to load a JPatch model [.jpt] file. Be sure to only load models from the model directory specified in the Sequence properties.

Add lightsource...

Adds a new lightsource. NOTE: POV-Ray and RenderMan lightsources are (per default) created as distant (parallel) lights. You can the lightsource type (e.g. to a point- or spotlight) be selecting the lightsource, clicking on the edit button and edit the POV-Ray or RIB code.

The viewport

The viewports shows a wireframe rendering of the view from the active camera (currently only a single camera is supported). The currently active object is rendered in yellow, all other objects are rendered in white (note that the animator uses the color preferences from the modeler). If the camera is the active object, the large rectangle that outlines the size of the area that will be rendered is painted in yellow. In the top left corner some information about the camera is shown, if an object is selected, some information about it is shown in the lower left corner. The yellow buttons in the top right corned can be used to pan, dolly, crane, zoom or roll the camera. The white buttons in the lower right corner can be used move, rotate or scale the active object.

The object chooser

Use the object chooser to select the active object (JPatch model, camera or lightsource).

Edit/remove objects

Press the edit button in the lower right corner of the window to open the edit object dialog. Depending on whether a camera, lightsource or model was selected, the dialog shows different options. You can enter position and orientation, and object specific settings like focal length for cameras or intensity and color for lightsources. For models and lightsources you can also enter renderer specific code (POV-Ray or RenderMan).

For JPatch models, you can set the subdivision offset - this can (and should) be used to get a high level of subdivision for objects in the foreground but a low level of subdivision for objects in the background.

The lightsource number tells the number of the lightsource when exported to a RenderMan .rib file.

The remove button will remove the selected object.

The playback controls

The playback controls work just like the buttons on a VCR. When a playback is running, be sure to press the stop button before doing anything else!

The timecode and frame display

The timecode shows the current position as hour:minute:second.frame (starting with 0:00:00.00), the frame number is the frame number starting with frame 1. Click on the frame number to jump to a certain frame.

The key/frame controls

From left to right: previous keyframe, previous frame, next frame, next keyframe, add key, delete key. Previous or next keyframe are dependent on the selected motion-curve.

The motion curve editor

This windows shows all motion curves of the active objects. You can jump to a frame and select motion-curves or individual keys. Right-click on a curve to toggle between linear and cubic interpolation.

The pose sliders

If a JPatch model with morphs is the active object, a slider for each morph is shown. You can use the sliders to pose the model.

Related topics

  docs/animator.txt · Last modified: 2005/11/22 10:45