When placing a character at a size smaller than default (1.280%), the commands @CHARACTER enters and @CHARACTER exits create an undesirable visual effect. This is because the commands @CHARACTER exits / enters expand characters to 1.280% scale and move them down the Y-axis to the default of 0 as they walk on- and off-screen.
To make a character exit at the same scale and along the same Y-axis as their spot position, they must walk to to a position off-screen with the same scale and Y-axis value.
Walking to a Spot Syntax:
@CHARACTER spot % X Y in zone # at layer X
@CHARACTER walks to spot % X Y in S
*CHARACTER’s % and Y values stay the same
Let’s contextualize this difference with a few examples…
Open the story “Advanced Directing Guide” and click button “2.3 Walking and Spot Placement” to see the 2 examples below staged in the app.
*To follow along in the script, open:
Then jump to “label twothree”
Example A: John is at a scale smaller than 1.280% and walks off-screen using an @CHARACTER exits right command. John’s scale expands to 1.280% and John moves down-screen to the Y axis coordinate of 0 as he exits.
Example B: John is at a smaller scale than 1.280% and walks off-screen to a spot position at the same scale and Y-axis using a @JOHN walks to spot .8 360 200 in 2.5 command.
To have a character start off-screen and exit left/right (walk across the screen from one side and exit to the other), you have to set the X-value at -100 or more or 420 or more. This is because of the X coordinates of a single zone being between 0 and 320 (refer back to the first image in section 1.5). If you don’t want the character to show, 100 pixels is the necessary amount of space to place the character off-screen. However, you’ll notice that this also depends on the size of your character. If the character is at 1.5% in scale, he’ll have to be placed further off screen. If the character is at 0.8%, he may need to be placed as far off screen. This will be something you just have to play around with.
Also, the speed at which a character walks to a spot to enter/exit may need to be adjusted. The S-value (seconds) determines the speed at which a character walks between two points. Setting a correct S-value is crucial to creative natural-looking walks. Each spot/scale calls for a unique S-value, so experiment with different speeds until you find one that looks right.
Finally, it’s not inherently bad to use the @CHARACTER exits command (rather than walking to a specific spot to keep them at the same scale and Y-axis). Sometimes you’ll find that it provides nice depth to have a character expand to that 1.280% scale and move down-screen to the Y axis of 0 as the character exits.