All About Spot Directing 🎬 :blob_sun:

Hello! Since I saw quite a few people are struggling with spot directing, I decided to create this thread. If you are new to spot directing, come here! This thread contains:

  • What is Spot Directing?
  • Making characters do some animation while Spot Directing.
  • Entering and exiting using Spot Directing.
  • Following characters using Spot Directing.

What is Spot Directing?
Spot directing also known as Spot Positioning allows the director to determine the exact position and size (scale) of a character on-screen. Syntax for spot directing:

@CHARACTER spot 1.000 22 7

Here, "1.000" is the scale/ size of the character. As the size of the character decreases, this value also decreases and vice versa. "22" is the X coordinate of the character – that is, it determines the horizontal position of the character. "7" is the Y coordinate of the character – that is, it determines the vertical position of the character.
If you want to move the character towards left or right (sideways), you need to change the X coordinate. If you wish to move the character up or down, change the Y coordinate.

NOTE:

  • The X and Y coordinates can have any value. They can be negative or positive and is measured in pixels.
  • The default size of your character is 1.280

Using zones in spot directing
As we know, Episode backgrounds are divided into 1-3 zones. Each zone has a width of 320 pixels. Thus, if you write:
@CHARACTER spot 1.000 400 7 in zone 1
Then the character will be spotted in zone 2.

Making the Character do an animation while spot directing
To make a character do some animation while moving to a spot use CHARACTER does it while animation command.
For example, our character is to walk to spot 1.280 50 4 in zone 1 while doing the animation “run_athletic_neutral_loop”. To do so we need to write:
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.280 50 4 in zone 1 AND CHARACTER does it while run_athletic_neutral_loop
Alternative method:
@CHARACTER walks to spot 1.280 50 4 in zone 1 AND CHARACTER is run_athletic_neutral_loop

NOTE:

  • If the animation is not mentioned the character will move to the spot while doing the walk_neutral_loop by default.
  • The character will do the animation only for the time it takes to move to the spot given and then it will start doing the action in the next line of the script.

Entering and Exiting using Spot Directing
We already know we can make a character enter screen by using
@CHARACTER enters from side to position
You can mention the spot position of the character in position part of the above code and the character will enter from the side you mentioned and walk to the given spot.

But what if the size of the character is greater or less than the default size (1.280)?
In that case it may appear weird to have the character suddenly enlarge or shrink to get to the spot.
So you will have to spot direct the character somewhere outside the frame first.
Take for example you want @CHARACTER to enter from left and walk to spot 0.950 30 7 in zone 1.

0.950

As you can see, here the character is scaled to 0.950 which is less than 1.280. So naturally, if you write @CHARACTER enters from left to spot 0.950 30 7 in zone 1 the character will appear to shrink as they walk to the given spot.
So you should first spot direct the character outside the frame. Since we are in zone 1 we can write:
@CHARACTER spot 0.950 -100 7
@CHARACTER walks to spot 0.950 30 7
This will make the character walk from the spot outside the zone to the specified spot without appearing to shrink because the character is already reduced to that side and we are just changing the horizontal position (X coordinate) of the character.
Note that I kept the Y coordinate same as well because I want my character to move in a straight line. But you can change it depending on the direction in which your character is to enter.

This same rule applies for exiting too. Example:
@CHARACTER spot 0.950 30 7 in zone 1
@CHARACTER walks to spot 0.950 500 7 in zone 1
Here the character will walk to a spot in zone 2 so the readers won’t see where they went unless you pan/ cut to zone 2.

NOTE: I mentioned the zone in both to make it clear. In case you don’t mention the zone then the script will take the coordinates for the zone the camera is looking at.
I mean suppose you are in zone 3. Then if you write the X coordinate as -40 or just 40 then the script will take it as a point with respect to zone 3.

Following characters using Spot Directing
You can make the camera follow a character to a particular position like screen left / screen right / upscreen left / upscreen right / screen center by using:
@follow CHARACTER to position in zone #
However, you can not use spot directing in the position for following a character.

So you will need to pan and make the character walk to the spot at the same time. For this write:
&pan to zone # in t
@CHARACTER walks to spot % X Y in zone # in t
Here, % is the scale of the character, X is the X coordinate, Y is the Y coordinate, # is the zone number and t is the time (in seconds) in which you want the character to walk to the spot.

The “&” symbol is used in the panning command because we want the character to walk to the spot and the camera to pan to the zone simultaneously. This tells the script to continue on to the next line before the action in the line where the “&” is used is completed. Hence the actions panning and making character walk to a spot can take place simultaneously.

NOTE: Sometimes you need to adjust the timing in which you pan or make a character walk. In some cases the panning might be faster than the character and vice-versa. In such cases you have to adjust the timing by trial and error method.

If you have any further questions post them as a reply to this topic or feel free to message me personally at @Adrija here on the Forums. :blush:

If anyone wants to add anything that I missed feel free to do so.

Hope this helps you. :blue_heart:

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Really helpful for beginners! :star_struck::heart:

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Yep! I spent a whole week trying to figure out how the Spot Directing works by going through guides and videos but all the parts were scattered. Like I couldn’t find the following character part in the beginning and had to figure it out on my own. I later found out that the method to do so is in replies mostly, and I was searching for topics :joy: (I was new then). So I thought of grouping these together! (:

2 Likes

It will be very helpful for begginers like me as i was also confused of the coordinates and the scale sizes ,now i understood it very well …Thanks so much :blush::blush::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Glad to hear it was helpful! :pleading_face: :blob_hearts:

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Bump. :upside_down_face:

Bump :blob_turtle:

:blob_sun: