Object Onion Skinning For Blender 2.9 to 3
Your animation workflow is about to level up.
What’s This About “Onions?”
You may be familiar with the term onion skinning, a traditional animation technique that enables the animator to see previous drawings through the page while drawing a frame. The effect is so essential to an efficient hand-drawn animation workflow that the majority of digital 2D and 2.5D animation packages include onion skinning features natively.
Which, you know, makes total sense. Having a visual reference for previous or later frames, the animator can make informed decisions while toiling away on the current frame. As Jim Gaffigan says, “It’s so simple.”
3D animation applications are often the exception. 3D applications generally forgo robust onion skinning features and animators are expected by their applications to animate ‘in the blind.’
So What Does Onion Skin Tools Do?
Very simply, this:
Onion Skin Tools provides animators with object onion skinning in Blender’s viewport. Visualize the action of your animation instantly without even moving the timeline cursor! No more animating in the blind!
With Onion Skin Tools, you can
Generate onion skinning for any mesh-able objects, even entire multiple-object characters or creatures, on arbitrary frames or over a user-defined frame range.
Make informed posing decisions! Compare poses on previous and later frames side by side while you pose your character or creature rig on the current frame.
Stop guessing! See at a glance the arcs of your action without even changing the current frame.
(Realtime screencast of Blender viewport courtesy of www.pintamonos.cl)
Whether you’re animating characters, creatures, vehicles, text, motion graphics, or something else entirely –
It’s time to take the guess work / incessant timeline scrubbing / pose memorizing out of your animation workflow.
Version 0.2.1 for Blender 2.9 Features
This version brings updates for the much-anticipated Blender 2.8 official release. (new nightly builds may not be compatible). The addon UI has been migrated to the right-side panel of the 3D View.
EEVEE and Cycles viewport rendering.
Character Sets – You can onion skin objects together using a scene-wide list, or onion skin objects individually or in user-defined groups using Character Sets! Character Sets allow you to create sets of objects for onion skinning, and control each set’s generation, removal, and viewport settings independently.
Support for linked rigs (at the moment, this assumes the linked rig has not been duplicated in the scene).
Auto Updating – When enabled, Auto Updating will watch for changes to an Updater object (e.g., a character rig armature) and automatically update the onion skinning according to the changes!
Transparency Range control – An optional range control to display onion skinning only on frames within a specified range around the current frame as you move through the timeline.
Absolute Range and Relative Range modes for setting the frame range. Absolute mode allows you to set specific start and end frames to generate onion skinning (e.g., frames 1 – 100). Relative mode will generate onion skinning on a user-defined range of frames around the current frame.
Current Frame Only – Optional toggle to onion skin only the current frame. This is useful when you want to see only certain frames, such as extreme poses or important breakdowns. Can also be used to remove onion skinning only on the current frame.
On Keyframes Only – Optional toggle to generate onion skinning only on keyed frames, using a user-selected animated object’s keyframes for reference.
Frame Display – Draws frame numbers above onion-skinned frames. This can be useful to remind you of the frame numbers when onion skinning only certain frames.