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Spot directing in different zones (Guide)

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  • Spot directing in different zones (Guide)

    Hey all! I've seen a lot of questions about spot directing lately, especially when it comes to moving characters into different zones. Sorry if this has been done before, I couldn't find anything addressing it when I searched.

    THE PROBLEM
    Some of you may know that you can't spot direct characters INTO new zones.
    For example, the following lines don't work in the script:
    @CHARACTER walks to spot 1.250 50 0 in zone 2
    @follow CHARACTER to spot 1.250 50 0 in zone 2
    BUT, there is a way to get around this, and it only involves a little bit of basic math.

    First, a "zone" is simply the part of a background that is visible on your screen. Within a zone you've got your three basic directing spots: Screen left (1.250 50 0) Screen center (1.250 160 0) Screen right (1.280 270 0)*
    You'll notice that there are 110 pixels of space between each character, and 50 pixels on each end. That means one screen, or zone, is 320 pixels wide in total.
    *NOTE: For classic, The X value is 1.250, not 1.280. Everything else is the same.

    You may have figured out how to place a character off-screen to the right or left by spot directing them outside the 0-320 pixels.
    For example: "@CHARACTER spot 1.250 450 0" places your character to the far right of the zone you're in, since the middle value is higher than 320, effectively placing them in a different zone.
    If you pan or cut to that zone, your character will be there, but they aren't visible from your CURRENT zone. So, if we add up our pixel values, there are 50 pixels from screen right (270, 0) to the end of zone 1 (320, 0) , and 50 pixels from the beginning of zone 2 (320, 0) to screen left in zone 2 (50, 0).

    Basically, your spot values for the next zone to the right are: screen left (370, 0), screen center (480, 0), and screen right (590, 0).
    Moving to the next zone to the left is easier to remember, because it is the same values as the zone you are in, but with a negative value and backwards: screen left (-270 0), screen center (-160 0), screen right (-50 0)

    Basically, if you want your character to be in a certain spot in the zone to your right, add 320 to your middle number, and if you want them in the zone to your left, subtract 320 from your middle number.

    To learn more about basic spot directing, check my video here


    If you want to figure out how to get your character to a specific spot in a new zone, there is an easy way to do this. Start by placing your character at an arbitrary position in the zone you want them to end up in (screen left/center/etc). Also make sure there is some dialogue in place stop the scene from moving on. (I often just have the NARRATOR say "Spot"). Now, use the spot director tool to place the character in the position you want them to end up in.

    For the sake of this explanation, let's say that is spot 1.280 240 0 in zone 2.

    Now, depending on if your character is coming from zone 1 or zone 3, you will either add or subtract 320 from your Y value (that's the 240). If your character is entering the new zone from the LEFT, you add 320 to 240 and your new value is 560. If your character is entering the new zone from the RIGHT, you subtract 320 and your new value is -120.

    If your character is walking across multiple zones, just keep adding or subtracting 320 as many times as there are zones. So if your character is moving from zone 1 to zone 3, you would take your Y value + 320 + 320 to find the new value for zone 3. Moving backwards from zone 3 to zone 1, remember to change those to negatives.

    Now, to add the @follow command, you actually need to use two different lines of script. the first line, direct your character to their new position, but use the & command instead of the @. This will make your character start walking, but allow the next line of script to start before they finish. On the next line, use a @pan command to whichever zone you are sending your character to. Example:

    &CHARACTER walks to spot 1.250 560 0
    @pan to zone 2

    It also helps to add a time so that your character movement and pan match up! Go ahead and add "in #" with the # being an amount of seconds it will last.

    ex:
    &CHARACTER walks to spot 1.250 560 0 in 3
    @pan to zone 2 in 3
    ^ Both the pan and the character movement will take 3 seconds. If you find things off, play around with the times so that either the pan or the character movement is slightly slower. This also helps your characters run fast if you want them to!

    Finally, don't forget that once the character is in the new zone, the Y values change back to normal and will appear from 0 to 320. If you use a value below 0 or above 320, your character will continue to appear offscreen.

    Hopefully this wasn't too complicated to understand! It's a little hard to explain, but I'll try to answer any questions.
    Last edited by EpisodeMichelle; 10-07-2017, 08:50 AM.

  • #2
    Thank you! I understood this halfway through reading! I can't believe I didn't think of this.

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    • #3
      wyverntail once you realize it, it's so simple!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MissDelaney View Post
        wyverntail once you realize it, it's so simple!


        Thank you for this guide!

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        • #5
          ~Just Rebel~ You're welcome I hope it was clear enough...

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          • #6
            Thank you!! This helped me out quite a lot!!!

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            • #7
              WickedClover You're welcome

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              • #8
                MissDelaney do you happen to have any other guides that you have posted? I am a newbie who is crappy with code haha, so trying to read as much as I can. And this one was very informative and simple to follow along with.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WickedClover View Post
                  MissDelaney do you happen to have any other guides that you have posted? I am a newbie who is crappy with code haha, so trying to read as much as I can. And this one was very informative and simple to follow along with.
                  I haven't posted anything else that I can recall, but if you have any specific questions I can do my best to answer them!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MissDelaney View Post

                    I haven't posted anything else that I can recall, but if you have any specific questions I can do my best to answer them!

                    Nothing to to specific, just issues with coding/script for ink is all. Like all the commands and such (not the list of commands they give in the drop down menu under each characters name).
                    Until I read this I was having issues with trying to get my characters in a spot and everyone kinda just trampled each other haha.

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                    • #11
                      WickedClover Lol! Well, as for general good tips:
                      - when someone is walking, you can time how long it takes them to get somewhere by adding "in [# of seconds]" to the end ex: @CHARACTER walks to screen right in 3
                      - you can easily layer your characters by using the code @CHARACTER moves to layer X
                      Do you know much about layering? It pretty much just dictates which characters appear in front of others. If you are just using normal spots (screen right, etc) then the character in screen center will be layers on top by default. The lowest is 0, and it goes up from there.
                      You can use the layering tool alongside an action, like @CHARACTER is hug_rear AND CHARACTER moves to layer 3

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                      • #12
                        MissDelaney Well I know zone 1, 2 and 3, lol I don't know much else. Been relying on guides I can find, but I am noticing that INK is different than Classic scripts so it's causing some issues. Woah I had no idea I could time it by seconds!! That's pretty awesome. I know how to do @CHARACTER enters from left to screen left. But I haven't been able to figure out all the other numbers and stuff yet. Figured since it is my first story I will get it done and try to keep it rather simple. I did an outfit choice with some help of someone giving me a very simple code for it versus the INK sample template that is offered in the script area that only offers 2 choices. I don't understand the difference between the two templates other than the INK template has it so that it remembers what the reader picked (which is slightly confusing as well), I tried to copy that template so I could make more than just 2 choices but the }{ brackets confused me a little. But I am slowly learning the more I read and changing my script as I go along in the app. Lol I even asked for a mentor or writing partner to help me out with my story. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me tips and stuff. I will deffinetely be back to copy them again haha.

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                        • #13
                          Maybe this will sound stupid. But isn't screen right 1.28 50 0 instead of 1.25 50 0? I mean everywhere it is 1.28 instead of 1.25

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by xsweetstasyx View Post
                            Maybe this will sound stupid. But isn't screen right 1.28 50 0 instead of 1.25 50 0? I mean everywhere it is 1.28 instead of 1.25
                            For ink it's 1.28 and for classic it's 1.25!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MissDelaney View Post

                              For ink it's 1.28 and for classic it's 1.25!
                              Oh, I've never worked with classic. Sorry.

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