Hi Episode buds! I noticed this thread had not been copied from the old forums and since I know all of that stuff will get deleted eventually, I thought I’d share it here as well.
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.
What is a zone and how do I use them?
A “zone” is simply the part of a background that is visible on your screen. Within one 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)* If you look at the bottom of the screen, or the screen editor in the portal, you’ll see these numbers show up and change as you drag your characters around the screen. They are reflecting the size and position of the character.
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.
Placing a character “off-screen” without them exiting
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). (Don’t forget to put the size value first!)
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
Walking to spot placements in a new zone
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.
&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.