06. Reflect

    Using the Reflect Command

The reflect command is used to replicate objects that are symmetrical on the model,
for example, eyes, hands, ears, pigtails etc. 
It starts with copying one object that is already functioning properly, flipping the copy, and adjusting the association of parameters.

To move an object from one side to the other, select it and right click to bring up the quick menu.
Click on [Reflect] at the very bottom. 

Reflect Settings

The [Reflect] dialogue window has some options, let's look at them:

  • Reflect Settings
    You can flip the object vertically (top to bottom), horizontally (right to left), or both.

  • Reflect Parameters
    You have the option to also invert the way the parameters respond, to match the movement of the object in the new location.
    as a general rule, if you flip the object horizontally, you will most likely need to also reflect the parameters on the X Angle, and if you flip the object vertically you will reflect the parameters on the Y angle.

  • Other
    Cancel auto-adjusted Culling: Culling is when the object disappears when flipped, this is useful when modeling, but not ideal when you are flipping the object on purpose.
    Culling can also be controlled through the Drawing Object [Options] button on the [Edit] palette.

Mirror Properties

The placement of a mirrored object depends on the type of deformer and the parent:
  • If the object is a Curved Surface deformer, it will be mirrored according to the grid. (top menu: show → show the grid)
  • If the object is a Rotation deformer, it will be flipped to the other side of the fulcrum (the pivot point represented as a dark dot at the center of the rotation deformer).
  • If the parent is the Reference Plane, it will be mirrored with respect to the location on the canvas.

    Example: Creating Identical Eyes 

The first step is to create a fully functioning object, in this example, it is the character's Left Eye.
The deformers and parameters will be copied as well, so make sure everything about the left eye is working properly before you start the mirroring process.

Follow the example below to mirror a copy of the left eye into a right eye:
(In the following example, the model's eye and pupil objects are joined in the same parts group labeled [Eye]. other templates may have separate  [Eye] and [Pupil] groups. You may either move the parts to a single group, or reflect each group separately)

1- Start with going to the [Parts] palette, click on [Parts Settings] button and select the [Left Eye] group.
click on the bottom button labeled [Duplicate] and rename the copied parts to [Right Eye]
In the picture below, the original [Left Eye] is hidden (and locked) and the copied parts, now named [Right Eye] are shown.

2- Select the highest parent deformer in the group, for example, the deformer to control the whole eye, not just the pupil.
Once it is highlighted, right click it on the canvas, and select the [Reflect] command at the bottom of the menu.

3- The Reflect Properties dialogue window will pop up.

Select the following options:
[Reflect Horizontally] to move the eye from the right hand side of the screen to the left.
Check the marks to reflect the following parameters: [Angle X] and [Eyeball X]
And click the [OK] button at the bottom of the dialogue.

Now the object which was on the left of the face, has gone to the right, and is fully functional in terms of deformers and parameters!
And because the parent deformer was a rotation deformer [Neck Rotate], it was possible to relocate the eye to the exact other side of the face without the need to touch up.
If the object is not responding the way that is explained in this step, you may not have chosen the highest deformer in the parent-child hierarchy.

4- Show the Left Eye and see how they look together.
Move the head around, and play with the parameters to check for any problems.
If everything is working correctly, you are done!

In this example, everything is working well.
However, the gleam in the eye doesn't look good when it is mirrored like this, so we will change the locations of just the gleam.

Select the deformer of the [Highlights], usually it is the child of the [Pupil] deformer.
Right click it, and select [Reflect]

In the Reflect Settings window, select the [Reflect Horizontally] option, and click [OK].

Now this looks much better!
The gleam, or highlight, is already controlled by the mirrored deformer of the pupil, so it should work just as well as before.

This way, we created two identical eyes while only spending our time working on one of them!

    Changing Parameter Association

It's not required to do this when working with the Mirror function, but for some objects, such as eyes and eyebrows, you might want to separate the parameters of the left and right objects.
This is to allow for more expressions in the animating process.
Other objects, such as hair and clothes, do not need to have separate parameters, and do not require the following process.

In the example above, we copied the [Left Eye] into a [Right Eye], but they are still using the same parameter slider to open and close both at the same time.
Another Parameter slider they share is the [Left Eye Smile] which controls how both eyes smile.
In the following example, we will separate the right eye, and right eye smile functions from the left eye, and left eye smile functions.

While using the Arrow tool to select drawing objects, go to the Parts palette and select all the parts under the Right Eye tree, spicifically, the [Drawing Objects] tree.
You can select multiple objects by clicking on the first one, pressing SHIFT continuously on your keyboard, and selecting the last object at the bottom.
This will select and highlight all the Drawing Objects in the right eye.

Then, click anywhere on the parameter slider for [Left Eye], you will see the quick parameter window pop up, click on [Change] on it.

Because some objects were not assigned to the parameter, you will get a confirmation dialogue.
Click OK to accept the change.

The [Change Parameter] dialogue will show the current available parameters,
select the one that will receive the moved Key Forms, [Right Eye] in this example.
Click the OK button to confirm.

We will do the same for [Left eye smile] to move the smiling key forms to the [right eye smile] parameter slider.

Select the parts of the right eye, click on the parameter slider, and click [Change] on the quick window.

Move the key forms to [Right Eye Smile] parameter set, and click OK.

Depending on how the deformers are laid out in your model, you may need to do this to the eye sparkles or highlights as well.
Select the deformers that control the gleam, named [Highlights], you will see if they have activated parameters controlling them or not.

This character's highlights are controlled by parameters that move them when she blinks or smiles, so we will need to change them as well.
As explained before, select them → click on the parameter slider → [Change] → [Right Eye] and [Right Eye Smile] → OK

When you change the [Right Eye] and [Right Eye Smile] parameters, only the right eye will move.