Linear Interpolation (lerp) Mapper for Animation

This has to be a FR somewhere, part of many discussions, but I couldn’t find the focused idea, so here. I did see the keyframe FR, but this one is more basic, also purposely less complex than the QC timeline with multiple timelines and all that. Most basic graph module that allows a user to add points to it, normalized/mapped to [0,1] along x and y axes. Personally, I’d be fine with linear interpolation and no spline handles. And leave the graph exposed in the editor. The only “extra power” feature that might be cool to consider is ability to group multiple into a subcomp/single GUI. Or not – something, anything!

Side note: I live in the SF Bay Area. I know a coder who worked at Pixar, talking about a huge breakthrough for animation at the time – it was this idea – a simple spline graph animators could use to quickly animate/articulate characters.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 12.49.02 PM.png

To clarify, are you wanting a spline (curvy path) or linear interpolation (straight-lines path, like in your mockup)?

In either case, how about a node that’s similar to Curve, but instead of selecting an easing curve, you draw control points for your own curve? The node could have an input port called Keyframes with an input editor that looks basically like the image you posted. You double-click on the Keyframes port, it pops up this input editor where you can add and remove dots and drag them to reshape the curve. Like Curve, the node would have inputs for time and duration. The node’s output would be a number: the position on the curve based on the time and duration.

If that meets your approval, we’ll open this feature request for voting.

One option until this is implemented, or for more complex timelines, would be to send timeline data to Vuo using Vezér.

Cool, @jstrecker. With the lerp graph I was suggesting the most pared down approach. Of course splines with handles are nice, but for 99.9% of actual use cases, “close enough” curves are fine, just add more points.

And yep – adding/deleting/moving control points in a graph view is the heart of the matter. (Probably single mouse click on the current line to add, double click a point to delete, click/drag a point to move. Adjacent points create boundaries on the x-axis – drag a point up to the prev/next on the x-axis, dragged point stops. If a lerp graph, a precision feature to (key cmd +) click on a point to input numerical x/y position might be good (for future release)).

If keeping it in the current Vuo style is important to Team Vuo then sure, adapt Curve parameters. But those things could also be controlled through the time port using existing tools. I’m suggesting a “lite” approach – time port and a (0,1) x (0,1) lerp graph. Then calculate range, offset, etc. after the graph. If the graph view could be included in a subcomp then forget all extra features cuz we could make our own. All this “simplicity” of course does not consider conserving computer resources, that is on Team Vuo. :)

Vezér is indeed this concept on steroids. This FR is more about maximizing productivity + creative possibilities within one environment with no bells and whistles. I’m sure Vezér works great, but I see this tool more as a primary building block.  

fwiw, typical DAW and console automation software would work like selecting a value for a timestamp and then just having linear interpolation between values…with easy ability to click again between any two points to add a new value.

True. Though keyframe interpolation is more evident with visuals, thus all the options in After Effects/Apple Motion, etc. Do have to work a little harder with linear interpolation, but that’s ok!

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Hmm, that strikes me as a very good point about focusing on the different needs of visuals. I don’t mean for my mention of DAW automation implementations to distract from the original post either, it was a thought that came from reading subsection posts.

And I think your initial intuition about spline/curve type functionality is well needed for many visual animation contexts.

I think mentioning DAW automation is on the money.

Well, my intuition says that Vuo is missing some basic tools, so I’d vote for the simplest, most direct approach, then a more developed tool later – after Team Vuo sees how immediately useful and popular it is. :-)

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Sounds good. I’ve adjusted the title and opened the feature request for voting.

I posted a comment in the FR for a keyframe editor suggesting combining into on FR (and combining votes), then I also saw the FR for a keyframe editor built in to Vuo.

From my perspective these could be combined into one – choose whatever direction you think is best, Team Vuo – the point being the functionality. This lerp mapper FR was an attempt at a jumpstart, thinking something bare bones might be more within reach.  

You can also get a very bare-bones approach here right now:

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Thanks, @MartinusMagneson. Yeah, that’s on my radar but Vuo’s history with 3rd party stuff not working makes me wary (e.g., parabox). Some things I work on over an embarrassingly long time… That said, if there’s anyone I’d trust to keep their own nodes going for a while, it’s you!  

This lerp mapper FR was an attempt at a jumpstart, thinking something bare bones might be more within reach.

Makes sense. See my comment on the other feature request.