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Summary

In this chapter, you learned the basic form of expressions. You learned how to reference channels in an expression, use math operators with them, and use functions on them. You learned how to use Time, Frame, and Value. And you learned some of the building-block expressions, pieces that you will use to build expressions in the future. You learned how to normalize a value that has an arbitrary range and how to use the random function to get a little wacky.

At the end of the day, there’s no way to predict what you might need expressions for, because the truth is that they can be used for almost anything. From tank treads to bee wings, from apples falling to zebras running, the possibilities are truly endless, and limited only by your imagination and skills. What’s important is that you learn to recognize when and where expressions are appropriate, and the basic forms you can start with to get you going. A huge percentage of research and development time consists of the animator staring blankly at the monitor, thinking “How am I going to do this?” If the knowledge you’ve gained in this chapter can shave some time off of that think time, then it has done its job.


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