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Installation & Update
Ghosts is an Onion Skinning Blender addon which aims to compile all the most Onionskin relevant features while keeping it extremely simple.
While looking for such Blender functionality, I had this frustration of not being able to find anything regrouping all at once what I wanted to do.
We have several solutions out there but I thought I needed some sort of BestOf Onionskin addon, one to rule them all 🐨.
- All Keyframes, Direct Keyframes
- Static Range, Dynamic Range (with step)
- Specific frames
- Jump between Specific ghost frames
- Find dependencies (ability to use ctrl armatures and constraints, children objects etc...)
- Force Ghost visibility when object is disabled or hidden (ability to use low/high poly)
- No real object, direct BlenderGL
- Ghost are cached
- Auto Update when inserting / updating Keyframe
- Auto Refresh when changing current frame (making playmode available)
Ghost Shader Tweaking:
- Change before / current / after colors
- Change color transition frame count
- Change look from rim to plain silhouette
- Option to pre write z or cull faces
Installation & Update ⤒
The addon is installed just like any regular Blender addon:
- download the latest version of the addon, do not uncompress it
- go to Blender’s user preferences, from the file menu, or shortcut CTRL + ALT + U on Windows
- open the Addons tab
- click Install add-on from file at the bottom
- navigate to the downloaded file and select it
- the addon is then installed
Most of the time, you should either uninstall the old version first or remove it rather than “Overwrite” it, before installing the new one.
Otherwise internal conflicts may happen within Blender.
In either case, you may need to restart Blender if you experience problems once the new version is installed, to make sure nothing from the old version remains in memory.
User Interface ⤒
Gear button opens the addon preferences window.
From here you can rename the addon N-Panel tab, personal choice goes to “Item” which puts the addon under the existing one.
While the “Update ghosts” button will force a refresh of the current ghosts, most of the time it shouldn’t be necessary.
Updates of the ghosts are automatically triggered by different events such as “changing the current frame” or “inserting / updating a new key”.
You can change the framerate at which these events are listened to by putting your desired one in the “fps” field.
The “Auto” checkbox is related to all events but the “changing the current frame” one.
When a scene has a complex hierarchy or objects are bound by constraints, bone constraints and such, “Refresh Objects Dependencies” button will gather all the necessary information to add the proper UI when selecting an object.
That takes care of a common Ctrl Armature 🔗 Deforming Armature 🔗 Meshes setup.
After pushing that button, selecting the Ctrl Armature will then show all related deformed meshes, allowing to set their ghosts directly from there.
Direct Keys, All Keys
Pretty straight forward toggle allowing to switch between seeing all ghosts for all the keyframes or only adjacent ones relative to the current frame.
You can add as many ranges as you need by clicking on the “+” button.
To remove a specific range, just click on its own “-” button.
Regardless of its own type, each range possesses a “Step” setting to periodically skip ghosts.
In this mode, the ghost range will be relative to the current frame and will change accordingly.
Static ranges won’t be affected by the current timeline position.
Selected mesh will appear here, alongside all dependent ones (after using the “Refresh Objects Dependencies” functionality).
For each mesh, you can add a ghost at a specific frame by using the “+” button.
You can then use the arrow buttons to directly jump between these unique ghosts, which will change the current frame.
To remove a specific ghost, you have to be on the right frame, using the arrows will be very helpful, once the right frame is reached, simply use the “-” button.
Visibility of an object mesh is global and not affecting only specific frames.
You can force the visibility of a ghost when the object mesh is hidden or disabled by cycling the visibility toggle to a red one.
Shader Tweaking ⤒
3 colors are adjustable:
- Before the current frame
- Current frame
- After the current frame
For each “before” and “after frames”, you can change the amount of frame you want to see the transition to the current ghost frame color.
The setting under the current color controls the ghost general look, which can vary from flat silhouette to thin rim.
To add more readability of the ghosts you can choose to Pre Write Z or Cull Back Faces.