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Chapter 4. What's New in Animation > Parameter Collector

Parameter Collector

The Parameter Collector allows you to display parameters from several objects or areas of a scene in an organized and consolidated area. Collecting important parameters in one area saves you time you'd otherwise waste in hunting through the program for each parameter when you need it for animation (Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6. Morph targets from the Deviled Egg character are collected and can be animated from the Parameter Collector.


If the Parameter Collector closes, it can be opened from the Animation menu or by pressing Alt-2 on the keyboard.

Be aware that if an object that has had its parameters collected is deleted in the scene, the parameters themselves are not automatically deleted. To remove those parameters, highlight them and click the Delete Selected button.

Taking Notes

Another helpful workflow enhancement available from the Parameter Collector is the ability to record Notes on each parameter. One obvious use is to pass important tips along a production pipeline—for example, from character rigger to animator.

The Notes dialog is available from the Parameter Collector's Edit menu. Highlighting the parameter's yellow button lets you add a note. Within the Notes dialog, you can give important information about that parameter. A single note can be attached to several parameters.

Here's how to collect a parameter in the Parameter Collector:

Create a Box primitive.

Open the Mini Curve Editor and highlight the Box Height Parameter.

Right-click to choose Collect Parameters (Figure 4.7).

Figure 4.7. Collecting the box's Height with the Parameter Collector.

Parameters appear in the Parameter Collector. Use the Multiple Edits button to drag one spinner to change several of them at the same time. This is useful if you have two similar parameters, such as right and left eyes winking, and you want the character to do both actions (blink with both eyes) simultaneously.

The Absolute/Relative toggle works the same as in the standard interface. Enter Absolute values to change the original parameter to those values. Enter Relative values to offset the values by the amount typed in. If, for example, you want to change the relative radius of a teapot from 10.03 to 25.0, enter 14.97 as a Relative value (10.03 + 14.97 = 25.0). But, and this is somewhat counterintuitive, if you had offset a value by 5 units and now you want to offset by another 5 units, you need to first reset the Relative value to 0.0 and then enter 5 units again.

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