Previewing Animation in a Flipbook
After you have captured animation, you can view it as a flipbook. Unlike animation played back using the Playback panel, a flipbook always plays back at the defined frame rate, provided you have enough memory for the cached images.
There are three ways to view a flipbook:
• Using the standalone flipbook — see this section.
• Using the media player native to the file format you choose.
• Using the Image Clip Viewer — choose Image Clip Viewer from a viewport’s Views menu.
You can export flipbooks in a variety of standard formats, such as AVI and QuickTime (see).
Loading Animation in the Flipbook
You can use the standalone flipbook to view cached images as a flipbook. The standalone flipbook is useful for viewing high-resolution images that use a lot of RAM. You can launch the standalone (flip.exe) from the Start menu, a command prompt window or Linux shell, or from within the Softimage interface.
To launch the standalone flipbook from outside Softimage
Do either of the following:
• On Windows, choose Flipbook from the Start > Programs > Autodesk > Softimage program menu.
1. In a command prompt window or Linux shell, go to the Softimage program’s bin directory.
2. Type flip at the command prompt to open the flipbook window.
3. Choose Help > Command Line Options to see the syntax and options available.
You can also type flip -h at the command prompt to display the list of the options available to run the flipbook from the command line.
To launch the standalone flipbook from within Softimage
1. Choose Flipbook from the Playback menu at the bottom of the Softimage window.
2. In the Open Images dialog box that appears, set the options as you like.
For a description of each option, see the[ ].
3. Click OK to load the image sequence and open the flipbook window.
The flipbook window is resized if the loaded image is larger than the current size.
• If you’re rendering a sequence, you can quickly check it in the flipbook by right-clicking on the name of a render channel on the Output page of the pass render options property editor and choosing Run Flipbook.
• You can open the Open Images dialog box later by choosing File > Open Images or pressing Ctrl+O in the flipbook.
If you’re constantly making changes and testing the same image sequence, leave the flipbook open and press Ctrl+O and then Enter to reload the sequence. This way, all the settings in the dialog box stay the same.
Creating a Shortcut for the Flipbook
To set up a shortcut for the flipbook
1. Copy the file xsi.bat in the Softimage\Application\bin folder (or create a new batch file) and call it flip.bat.
2. Edit the flip.bat file and replace xsi.exe in the second line to flip.exe so that the file looks something like this:
@echo off call "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack\Application\bin\setenv.bat" start "" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack\Application\bin\flip.exe" "%1" "%2" "%3" "%4" "%5" "%6" "%7" "%8" "%9"
3. Drag the flip.bat file onto your desktop as a shortcut.
Setting Up the Flipbook View
In the flipbook window, you can set up how you want the images to appear using commands from its View menu:
• Display different RGB or alpha channels using the commands in the View > Channel menu. Press the R, G, B, A, and C (all channels) keys to display the respective channels.
• Set the zoom factors using the options in the View > Zoom menu.
• You can have non-square pixels appear correctly on the computer monitor, which has square pixels by choosing View > Correct Aspect Ratio. For example, NTSC images have a pixel ratio of 0.9, meaning the pixels are not square.
To set the flipbook’s background color
• Choose View > Background Color to open the color property editor in which you can set the color.
To set the flipbook’s display options
• Choose View > Display Options to open the [ ] from which you can set options for the pixel ratio and OpenEXR/HDR images.
Playing the Flipbook
After you’ve loaded the images and set up the flipbook, you can play back the images using the playback controls, as well as set up and adjust the playback rate using the flipbook window’s menu commands.
Range control changes the range of frames that you can play back:
• Click+drag either of the end bars to change the start/end frames.
• Click+drag in its middle to slide the time range.
• Double-click in it to reset it back to the entire range.
Playback controls let you play the flipbook like a typical animation. These controls and their keyboard shortcuts are the same as found below the timeline in the Softimage interface — see for information.
Current frame number is displayed when you play back the flipbook.
To set the playback rate
• Choose Tools > Rate (NTSC, PAL, FILM, etc.) or press Ctrl+R.
• You can also choose View > Play Real-time or press T to display the images in realtime.
To adjust the playback rate
You can adjust the playback rate by 1 fps (frame per second) increments within the range of 24 and 30 fps.
• Choose Tools > Increase Rate or press + (plus) on the number pad to increase one frame per second.
• Choose Tools > Decrease Rate or press - (minus) on the number pad to decrease one frame per second.
To play the animation in ping-pong style
1. Choose View > Ping Pong or press P. This changes the directions of playback at the ends of a looped sequence.
2. Click the loop icon in the flipbook’s playback controls.
3. Play the sequence: at the first and last frame, the sequence changes directions.
4. To stop the playback, press the space bar.
To pan in the flipbook
• Click+drag across the view area. This pans the image when it is bigger than the display area.
To go to a particular frame
• Choose Tools > Go to Frame or press Ctrl+G in the flipbook window.
To clear the flipbook window of the current cached images
• Choose File > Clear Flipbook.
To close the flipbook window
• Choose File > Exit or press Alt+F4.
Exporting a Flipbook
You can export a flipbook using a number of file formats, as shown below.
Before you export a flipbook, make sure that you have enough room on the disk to where you’re exporting. A warning message will not be displayed if you run out of space.
To export a flipbook
1. In the flipbook window, load the sequence you want to export.
2. Choose File > Export in the flipbook’s command bar or press Ctrl+E.
3. In the File name you want to export and also the Source Range of frames to export.[ ], specify the
4. Select the File Type in which you want to export the file. The list below shows the possible export formats supported.
You can also set other options, such as including an audio file - see[ ].
• QuickTime support on Windows requires that QuickTime is installed.
• QuickTime is not available on 64-bit versions of Windows.
• QuickTime support on Linux requires OpenQuicktime.
5. Click OK to export the flipbook.
Autodesk Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack