Tal's Coding 101 - Questions & Help With Directing

Hi! This is the official thread for directing help for my Coding 101 donacoding class.

I’ve been writing on the Episode platform since 2017. Ever since then, I’ve been getting messages from members of the Episode community on a daily basis, asking me how to donacode a variety of things, most of them being very basic. I wondered why there isn’t a solid, educational, easy to understand guide on Episode itself.

So I decided, why not make one myself?

I was a high school math and English teacher for 2 years, and during that time, I went through many professional courses that taught me modern teaching methods. I decided to use these skills of mine to try and create an Episode story that teaches you, through overlays, how to donacode in the easiest, most comfortable way.

I created this thread in order to help people who follow my class and would like to ask questions or need some help. If you’re an expert at directing, feel free to help people as well! I’ll be super happy to see members of the community helping each other!

Please don’t PM me or DM me on Instagram with questions- that’s what this thread is for! I won’t be answering any questions outside of this thread.

Here’s a link to my class, by the way. If that sounds interesting to you, feel free to try it out! :grin:

And here’s a link to my IG post about it, where everything is explained! :smile:

EDIT: I will not be answering directing questions that have nothing to do with the story anymore. As much as I love helping, I opened this thread in order to help people who studied the lessons and still have questions or issues. It’s not a general help thread :heart:

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bump!

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@eliseclairmont get over here ASAP! Now with this you can finally help me! Thank you @TalGordin!!!

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Happy to help :relaxed: :heart:

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Thank you so much for this, @TalGordin! I’ve read all three chapters and it’s helped me a lot, eager to see what else you’ve prepared!

xxx

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Hey Tal! I’ve read all the chapters to your Coding 101 class, and it’s great! I was wondering if you had any tips/ideas on how to code a fighting scene. Currently, I’m coding a scene where one character gives a punch, while the other avoids it by kneeling. The issue is that the character giving the punch hits the other character mid-animation, so it looks like she didn’t dodge the punch. Any ideas on how to fix this?

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So happy to hear that! Excited to create more lessons already! :grin:

I think one of the main things that make fight scenes look great is when everything moves extremely fast- if you use the & symbol instead of @ in your commands and immediately insert a pause for a short time, the fight scenes will look amazing. Here’s an example from my story Catching Coal where I’ve done this countless of times:

&ARDEN is shove_argument_give_angry AND ETUS3 is shove_argument_receive_angry
@pause for 0.7
@ARDEN is punch_fight_give_angry AND ETUS3 faces right AND ETUS3 is fall

As for the kneeling animation, as far as I remember, it’s pretty slow. Try using the standup_neutral animation, as it starts from below, so I doubt it will look like the character was hit :blush: You can also try to make your character start the kneeling animation about half a second before the other character tries to punch, so that it looks like they made it in time. Something like this:

&CHAR1 is reach_kneel_neutral_loop
@pause for .5
@CHAR2 is punch_fight_give_angry

Hope this helps!

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Firstly, I would like to thank you for your Coding 101, it’s amazing! :blob_hearts:
Now to my question: I have a trouble with a scene where two characters are talking during walk. When they enter the screen, just before the first speech bubble there is a short period of time when they didn’t walk properly, I don’t know how to say it, they just move in freezing. When I tap the first speech bubble everything is okay and they are walking normal. Maybe can you help me?

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Any chance that you can send me what your script looks like in this part and a video of what it looks like in the scene? :blush:

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Sure!
This is script:

Summary

@zoom reset
@ERIC changes into ERIC_casual
&pan to zone 2 in 0
sound ambient_jungle_lp2
@MARITTE spot 1.176 -10 4 in zone 1
@ERIC spot 1.367 -10 -48 in zone 1
&MARITTE walks to spot 1.176 114 4 in zone 2 in 0 AND MARITTE is walk_talk_happy_loop
@MARITTE moves to layer 0
&ERIC walks to spot 1.367 190 -48 in zone 2 in 0 AND ERIC is walk_talk_happy_loop
@ERIC moves to layer -1

    MARITTE (walk_talk_happy_loop)
So, how was at work today?

&MARITTE is walk_neutral

I have a video but I have no idea how to add it here :pensive:

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First of all, I wanted to ask why you add “in 0” at the end of the walking command :thinking: Theoretically, this command shouldn’t even work but I just tested it and it seems like the script is ignoring this part. Was wondering why you put it there.

And second, your issue is probably because you tell your character to do the animations while walking using the “is” command and not the “does it while” one. There’s an explanation in lesson #9 of Coding 101 to why you need to use “does it while” and not “is” and there’s a demonstration of the issue “is” causes, so feel free to have a look at it and see if it’s the same issue you have in your script :blush:

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Honestly, I don’t know why “in 0” is here. It really doesn’t make sense. :smile:
Thank you so much, I need to come back to this lesson!

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Glad I could help! :blush: :heart:

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I’m sorry to bother again, but I still have this problem.
Here is my script now:

Summary

@cut to zone 2
@MARITTE spot 1.176 -10 4 in zone 1
@ERIC spot 1.367 -10 -48 in zone 1
&MARITTE walks to spot 1.176 114 4 in zone 2 in 2 AND MARITTE does it while walk_neutral
@MARITTE moves to layer 0
&ERIC walks to spot 1.367 190 -48 in zone 2 in 2 AND ERIC does it while walk_neutral
@ERIC moves to layer -1

I tried it also with “@” instead of “&” but it still looks like this.

And here is link to the video how it looks

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I tried the standup_neutral animation instead of the kneeling one, and it looks much better. Thank you so much!

And I’m very familiar with Catching Coal lol. Truly, it’s one of the best written stories on Episode.

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Also, I’m trying to spice up my fight scene by having one of the characters throw a knife (twisting in the air) and the other catching it in her hand. During the throw, I wanted to zoom in on the character throwing the knife and then follow the knife to the character catching it. The problem is that I’m having trouble timing it. For one, there isn’t a good throwing animation, so I figured I’d use the slap animation (weird, I know) and have my overlay appear as the hand raises. Then, I figured I’d make another overlay to show the girl’s fist closing in on the knife. Also, I can’t figure out how to do that in combination with the zoom AND pan. It feels like everything is a mess :upside_down_face: I’d really appreciate your help again lol

Here’s my code:

@overlay POCKET KNIFE create
@overlay 5851790623047680_POCKET KNIFE shifts to 71 250 in zone 1
@overlay 5851790623047680_POCKET KNIFE scales to 0.105 0.105
@overlay 5851790623047680_POCKET KNIFE moves to layer 2

@overlay POCKET KNIFE opacity 1 in 0
&IAN is slapface_give_angry

&overlay POCKET KNIFE rotates 720 anchor point 0.5 0.5 in 1

&ALICE is raisehand_neutral
&overlay POCKET KNIFE shifts to 211 337 in zone 1 in 1

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Hmm… I feel like there’s a part of your screen I’m not seeing the problem with that might be clashing with the walking animation. Did you tell them to talk and put a walking animation with the dialogue as well? Because then you would be giving them 2 different commands at the same time so the script has no idea which one to follow and creates this issue. That’s my speculation, but can’t be sure because you didn’t copy this part from the script to show me.

Also, if you ask me, I’d skip the entire walks to spot command and make them walk in place. It’s a looping background you’re using, after all, right? I see no need for them to enter the scene from the left, especially not with this transition. I’d put them where they need to stand, do a transition and let the person who talks talk while the other one “starts walk_neutral_loop”.

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So glad I could help you! And ahhh, I had no idea you read it!! You’re so sweet :pleading_face: :heart: :heart:

Thank you so much, it helped! Everything is perfect finally. :two_hearts: I’ve complicated everything too much. Sorry for bothering you today! Thank you again, you are doing a great job with helping the newbies like me. :heart: :heart: :heart:

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