What is it? some might wonder… well first of is a tool only for animators, actually its so “only for animators” that you can only make use of it in pose mode, I wish we could take advantage of it in object mode for animated objects, but for the most part, it’s pose mode where you’ll use it.
It’s a tool that aids ad quickly creating in-betweens by blending two poses on a percentual way, so let’s say you have two key poses
A (0%) :
the breakdowner can give you 100 possible mixes of this poses so 0 which will be the first one, and 100 which is the B pose, and all in between is a percentage mix of one with the other.
So select any control, or many, or even all of them in pose mode, that already has two poses or key-frames, and step in-between them like in the example:
Now hit Shift+E with your mouse over the 3D view, and you’ll see your mouse turning into two arrows pointing left and right, and also in the header you’ll see “Breakdown:” and some percentage, that’s the mix amount. This tool maps 0% to the left side of your 3d view and 100% to the right side, so you just move the mouse and when you’re happy with the pose that you see in the screen you Left Click and it stays… also you can input the numbers and hit enter and that works too.
Afterwards you can key it, and you got yourself a new breakdown.
This I use quite a lot mostly when I’m in the process of blocking my shot, so I know where i have moving holds and such…
If you come from Maya, this is very similar to the tween machine and also some of the tools of the aTool plugin.
Hope you learned a new way to improve your animation workflow!