Release Notes

This page documents the latest features, improvements, and bug fixes made to Keyframe Animation.

Keyframe Animation 1.8.2

Released on October 10, 2012

Unbelievably, version 1.8.1 introduced a worse bug than the one it tried to fix. It fixed a bug scaling objects, but it made rotations buggy fairly often. Now rotations are back to normal, and scaling and translations work too. I think this update got everything straightened out.

Keyframe Animation 1.8.1

Released on October 5, 2012

Version 1.8.0 had a bug where objects were not interpolated correctly in some cases. It occurred in rare situations, when scaling was involved.

Keyframe Animation 1.8

Released on September 3, 2012

Version 1.8 has a great new feature. You can now animate the size of objects. Make them grow, shrink, or stretch them in different directions.

Basically, any change in the scale of objects will now be interpolated between key frames. The scaling can be uniform, or non-uniform. You can combine a translation and a scaling, so that the object moves and changes size at the same time. Rotations and scaling can be combined if you rotate and scale about the same point. The tweens will interpolate the scale, same as the key frames, so the animation can be exported to a movie.

Here is a quick demo.

Keyframe Animation 1.7

Released on May 25, 2012

Toolbar Settings Button Scene Propreties Web dialog

Click the new Scene Settings button Scene Settings Button on the toolbar to display the Scene Settings dialog. It allows you to set both the transition time and delay time for each scene. There is also an input field to set the frame rate. So, all the scene settings can now be updated from a single dialog.

Settings are saved as soon as the textbox loses focus. The bell will beep to indicate the value changed.

The dialog stays in sync with the model. If you change the name of the scenes, add them, delete them, reorder them, etc., the changes are reflected simultaneously in Scene Settings dialog.

Best of all, this Web dialog is scrollable, so it won't run off the screen when you have more than 20 scenes like the old SketchUp input box did.

Menu

Now that all the workflow features are accessible from the toolbar, the menu has been simplified to access the other stuff. It has an item to toggle the toolbar visibility. You can also get the toolbar from View > Toolbars > Keyframe Animation.

License Info dialog

There are two new information related dialogs. Free Trial Info displays details about your free trial status. License Info displays your license ownership details, or lets you register a serial number if you don't have a license.

As far as changes to the workflow, version 1.7 provides two ways to specify which objects are recorded. If some objects are selected when you click the record button, then the current scene will update the position data for those selected objects only. This provides a fine-grained approach that lets you control exactly what is recorded. If no objects are selected, then it works the way it always has: the position data for all the objects in the active context will be recorded.

So, to sum it up, version 1.7 has improvements to the user interface and work flow. And, one more thing, you can get a new free trial, whether you had one previously or not. The latest release is available on the Download page.

Keyframe Animation 1.6.2

Released on March 28, 2012

This release fixed a bug that had been around since version 1.6.0. The bug occured if there were any scenes (key frames) that did not save the Visible Layers property. It would prevent the tweens from being created. Fixed.

Keyframe Animation 1.6.1

Released on February 21, 2012

The need for this minor update became apparent a couple weeks ago when a "Keyframe Animation Error!" was posted on the SketchUcation forum. The problem was that Keyframe Animation could not save the SketchUp model to a location specified by the user because the file path contained non-ASCII characters.

OK, if you are still with me, the question you may have is, what's a file path? Followed by, what's an ASCII character? Well, here is a typical file path on the PC, from a French speaking user in Canada:

C:\Users\Joël\Documents\comp2.skp

The model is named comp2.skp, and the folders that contain it are separated by backslashes "\", all the way up to the C: hard drive. The path shows the location of the file, comp2.skp.

All of the letters, and punctuation marks, in English are ASCII characters. But other languages employ some non-ASCII characters. Most often they are accented letters. In this example, the ë in Joël is not an ASCII character.

Anyway, these non-ASCII characters are a problem for SketchUp plugins. SketchUp plugins rely on the SketchUp API, and the SketchUp API relies on Ruby 1.8, and Ruby 1.8 can't handle them. In this case, Keyframe Animation could not save the tweens model to a location specified by the user because, like the example above, the file path contained non-ASCII characters.

So, to get to the point, version 1.6.1 provides a workaround. If the file path is not valid, the tweens are created anyway, and then the user is prompted to save the model through the GUI. The Ruby code can't save it, but you can save it from the menu using, File > Save As. It is a little kludgy for the script to ask the user to do something that the script should do itself, but it is better than nothing.

I checked the Google Analytics stats, and half of all Keyframe Animation downloads are by non-English speakers. So, I suspect that this "bug" affected a lot of people. If you ever had a problem creating the tweens, and got the message, "This filename contains illegal characters", just download and install this update, and you will be back in business.

Keyframe Animation 1.6.0

Released on December 1, 2011

Version 1.6 has a new feature that lets you control the visibility of objects in your animation. Objects can be made visible or hidden by putting them on layers, and then turning those layers on or off for each key frame. This allows you to make objects appear or disappear at any point in the animation. The tweens generate the objects with the same visibility that they had on the key frames. The animation can then be exported to a movie.

This feature is useful for animating a construction process. The demo below shows how parts are assembled to construct a bookcase. Initially, the parts are hidden. Each part stays hidden until it is required for assembly. Then its visibility is turned on, and it stays visible for the rest of the animation.

There are a few other improvements. I found a way to reduce the size of the tweens model by about 25%. Also, now you can generate tweens that don't save the camera property. It happens automatically if you don't save the camera property for the key frames. This lets you change the camera location for all of the tweens, on the fly, without having to regenerate the tweens first. You can also change the shadow settings, and the style settings, for all of the tweeens at once, without having to regenerate them. Finally, this update fixes a compatibility issue with Shaderlight V2.

Keyframe Animation 1.5

Released on September 1, 2011

In version 1.5, the record feature takes a more selective approach. Only the instances in the active model, group, or component, are recorded. For example, if the model is active, then all the instances in the model will be recorded, but not their subcomponents.

To record the subcomponents, just open the parent component for editing by double-clicking on it. That makes it the active component. Now, when you click the record button, all of the subcomponents will be recorded. You can open a series of nested components to record the subcomponents at any depth.

This seems like a more sensible workflow for animating subcomponents because now you can record them, right after you move them, while the parent component is open for editing. Instances outside of the active context are not recorded, which is probably what you would want, since you can't move them anyway.

With this new approach, far fewer instances are recorded and tracked, which improves the performance. This resolves a rare issue, for very large models, that caused the application to hang when it tried to record the position data. The animations may appear smoother now because fewer instances have to be processed. Finally, if you save your old animations after opening them in version 1.5, the file size will be smaller.

Keyframe Animation 1.4

Released on May 11, 2011

Keyframe Animation version 1.4 introduced a new toolbar to facilitate the workflow. Now, most of the features that you need are conveniently located just a click away. A complete overview of the toolbar can be found in the user guide.

Keyframe Animation Toolbar