OpenUtilities Substation Help

Animation Producer Dialog

Used to set animation settings and create animations.

You can access this dialog from the following:
  • Ribbon: Visualization > Animate > Script > Animation Producer
  • Toolbox: Animation Settings

The Animation Producer dialog View menu offers three options for the display in the detail section. Using the Timeline and Velocity Graph views, you can quickly access the settings and script entries of your animation, and modify them, via a graphical interface. When the Timeline view is displayed, script entries are displayed graphically. You can edit the graphs directly, by dragging the entries along the time line. When the Velocity Graph view is displayed, you can quickly edit velocity curves via a graphical interface. With both utilities, any alterations are reflected in the script entries. Similarly, any changes made to the script entries are reflected in the Timeline and Velocity Graph views.

Animation Tree View Acts as a filter to the Storyboard Panel. When the top entry (root) is selected, then all items in the Storyboard Panel are displayed. When entries below this (child nodes) are selected then the Storyboard Panel is filtered to show only the script entries related to that node.

The Animation list consists of the following items:

  • First (root) item — name of current animation model.
  • View — list of individual cameras and saved views.
  • Actors — list of all actors, scripted or not. You can drag the actors to create, or disassemble, hierarchies.
  • KeyFrames — list of all key frames, scripted or not.
  • Lights — contains entries for Global and Source Lighting which, in turn, contain child nodes for each light source and their animated settings.
  • Materials— lists all materials that are used in the design, with the settings as child nodes.
  • Settings — general animated settings.
Storyboard Panel List Box This expandable/collapsible section displays items filtered by the Animation list box selection and the filter row. The show/hide icon at the left of the Storyboard Panel title expands/collapses the list box. Columns in the list box may be resized and displayed or hidden as required. To display/hide a column, right-click in the column heading row and check/uncheck the required column.

Columns that can be displayed are:

  • Type — type of scripted entry (path, keyframe, or direction), which you can edit by double-clicking on the entry.
  • Name — name of entry, which you can click to edit. Additionally, a right-click menu lets you cut/copy/paste/delete/clear selections.
  • Time — single time for keyframe, or start and end times for paths. Click entry to edit.
  • Value — option menu that lets you modify various settings that are scripted, such as a Target to be Active/Inactive, or to vary the settings for a source lighting cell.
  • Enabled — check box to enable/disable the selected entry.
  • Description — optional description that can be given for each entry by clicking on the field.
File > New Script Opens the New Script dialog, which is used to create a new animation script in the active DGN file.
File > Open Script Opens the Open Script dialog, which is used to open an animation script that is in the active DGN file.
File > Scale Script Opens the Scale Script dialog, which lets you scale the script. This is useful for increasing or decreasing the length of an animation, without the need to edit each script entry.
File > Copy Script Opens the Copy Script dialog, which lets you enter a name and description for the copied script. When you click OK, the newly copied script is opened.
File > Include Script Opens the Include Script dialog, which is used to include another script that is in the active DGN file, or a referenced file.
File > Import .MSA file Used to import animation script files from previous versions of OpenUtilities Substation . This creates an animation script with the name of the file.
File > Clear Script Clears all entries from the current script. An Alert box warns you prior to the entries being deleted.
File > Delete Script Opens the Delete Script dialog, which is used to delete a script from the active DGN file.
File > Record Script Opens the Record Script dialog, which is used to adjust settings such as the Shading mode and the file format, and then to record the active script.
File > Continue Recorded Sequence Opens the Select File dialog, which is used to select an Animator Settings File (.asf) to continue a recording that was previously aborted, or to use multiple computers to render the animation sequence.

When continuing an aborted sequence, only frames that do not already exist are recorded.

In order to use more than one system to render an animation, all of the systems need to have access to a common (network) drive where the animation frames are stored as they are created. By starting the animation on more than one system and turning on Continue Existing Sequence, the time to render is greatly reduced.

File > Tone Map BIMG Files Opens the Tone Map Animation Frames dialog, which is used to apply tone mapping and create animation frames of desired output format.

To prevent the animation from flickering due to differences in tone mapping from frame to frame, once the animation is complete, a determination is made on the best values to use based on the average brightness for the entire sequence. Once the averaging is complete, the 24 bit color sequential frame images from these BIMG files is created. If you want to adjust your original settings, the information is stored in the animation settings file (.ASF) file and created in the folder where the frames are rendered.

File > Exit Closes the Animation Producer dialog.
Settings > General Opens the Animation Settings dialog which is used to adjust animation settings, including those for previewing the animation sequence.
Tools > Preview Starts the Animator Preview tool, which contains controls for previewing animation sequences and creating/scripting keyframes.
Tools > Named KeyFrames Opens the Animation Keyframes dialog, which is used to create, script, or delete keyframes, as well as to freeze the geometry at its location for a selected keyframe.
Tools > Parameters Opens the Animation Parameters dialog, which is used to create, edit and delete animation parameters.
Tools > Saved Views Opens the Script Saved View dialog, which is used to script a saved view.
View > Timeline Displays the Timeline graph in the detail section of the Animation Producer dialog.
View > Velocity Graph Displays the Velocity Graph in the detail section of the Animation Producer dialog.
New Script Icon

Performs the same function as File > New Script.
Open Script Icon

Performs the same function as File > Open Script.
Delete Icon

Deletes the highlighted item.
Highlight Icon

If enabled, the selected actor is highlighted in the views in which it is visible.
Zoom Icon

If enabled, zooms in on the selected actor in the active view.
Isolate Icon

If on, only the selected actor is displayed in the active view.
Right-Click Menu When you right-click on an item in the tree view, a context sensitive menu displays the available options for the selected item. These can include the following:
  • Rename — Lets you rename the entry.
  • Delete — Deletes the entry.
  • Script — Opens the relevant scripting dialog. By default, the current time is entered as the start time. This entry may be edited.