The Character Tool can be opened with menu View -> Open View Pane -> Character Tool, or by clicking on the Character Tool icon in the main toolbar.
Here are five core UI components of Character Tool:
- Viewport – here the loaded character will be shown.
- Assets - here you can locate character related assets: characters, skeletons, animations and compression settings.
- Scene Parameters – here the scene is defined. Here you can see the selected character, animation layers and animation parameters that are used to preview assets.
- Properties – here you will see properties of assets, like Character Definition, Skeleton Parameters or Animation Settings.
- Playback – here you can see the playback options and timeline. It is used for animation playback and animation events editing.
Note that all of the panels are dockable and can be moved out.
The Viewport uses Sandbox standard navigation: WASD for movement and RMB for camera rotation.
You can change various viewport settings on the "Display Options" panel, it can be located on the toolbar:
The Assets panel is the core of the Character Tool UI. It is placed on the left side of the window by default:
It gives an overview of all Character-related assets.
As soon as you select an entry of your interest, its properties will appear in the properties panel on the right side.
Each item within the tree has a context menu with available actions, for example for animations you will see:
There are multiple ways to filter the tree in the Assets panel:
- By name – it is possible to specify multiple strings separated by space to look for substrings, i.e. "walk relaxed" will look for any name that contains both "walk" and "relaxed".
- By type.
- Using advanced filtering options, like presence of events or location of the file.
You can have multiple instances of the Assets window open. To create a new one use the "Split Pane" button in the title of the Assets panel:
Note that a right click on the tree header (where the "Name" string is shown) opens a context menu that allows you to show additional columns like Size, Pak and Audio Events:
A Scene is setup only for previewing purposes and consists of:
- Character name – you can use this entry to load a new character (by clicking on the "Folder" button).
When you have a character loaded you can use the button to select a CDF (so you don't have to locate it in the Assets tree every time).
- Animation Layers – here the played animations are set up. Whenever you select an animation in the Assets tree one will be assigned to the active animation layer (highlighted with a bold text and pressed button).
You can add new animation layers by using the little button located next to it.
You can remove animation layers through the context menu (RMB on the number left to the layer button).
Blend spaces, aim- and look-poses expose additional settings.
- Blend shape – show blend shape sliders, when the character contains blend shapes
- Audio Setup – options here are used to preview sound foleys and footsteps
- Run Feature Test – this option allows programmers to quickly add and run project-specific tests.
On the top of the panel you can find a toolbar with undo/redo buttons and actions available for the selected asset. These are the same actions available through the context menu in the Assets tree.
The rest of the panel shows properties of the selected asset. For characters it is CDF content with character attachments and for animations you will see compression settings and animation events.
The Playback panel can be used to scrub the timeline and provides playback options like looping of animation and playback speed.
The state of the Character Tool UI is preserved when you leave it, but nevertheless you can define and save your own UI layout for your specific need. You can use the layout menu to do so: