How to Make Superheros' Fly Characters

This article is about how to get it to look like your superhero character is "moving" during a flying animation in Muvizu:Play. Flying movement is something people have asked a lot about since the Heroes & Villains pack was made available, and the good news it's not only REALLY easy to get this effect but it also doesn't require any software besides Muvizu:Play. No green screening, no outside hocus pocus - just three easy steps using nothin' you, your mouse and Muvizu:Play!

Step 1: The World Below

The first thing we need to do - after opening a Muvizu:Play scene, of course - is create a scene we want our superhero character to fly over. A city skyline, forest treetops... Basically, we want Camera 1 to show what appears to be the tip of what could be a sprawling world below. We're going to use what we see in Camera 1 to build the backdrop that our superhero will be flying against.

In the above example, I've added:

  • A dark night sky ("Edit > Edit Environment" to open the "Environment" window, then in the "Edit" tab you expand the "Sky" category and click the box next to "Sky Texture" to select... Well, a texture for your sky! I've chosen the "Blue Night" texture from the "Skies" category, but you can of course select another pre-loaded texture from the many available OR click the "Import" button to select any image file in an accepted format from your hard drive as a texture).
  • The tops of buildings ("Create > Objects" and then select the "Building (roof)" object from the "City" category). I haven't even went to the unnecessary effort of creating a whole building - only the tops will be seen in my Camera view, so that's all I need to put in!
  • Some snow for a bit of ambience ("Create > Effects" and then choose "Snow").

NOTE: Make sure that everything fits neatly inside your Camera 1 view, EG there are no objects which you can only see a part but not all of. And try to keep everything quite evenly spaced. This is because the background will be repeated later, and seeing only part of a building fly past your superhero could ruin the effect.

Step 2: Here Comes The Science Bit

  1. Create a second camera ("Create > Camera").
  2. Create a backdrop ("Create > Objects", then once the "Objects" window open, select the "Backdrops" tab. Pretty much any of the quadrilateral shapes in here would work fine, but I usually choose the "Super-wide" background).

Right-click on your backdrop and select "Edit". When the window opens for that backdrop, expand the "Properties" category and click the box next to where it says "Image". Once the "Texture" window opens, select the "Textures" tab and click the "(Cameras)" category. In the "(Cameras)" category, double-click the "Camera 1" view to set the view through Camera 1 as the texture of your backdrop.

Now make sure Camera 2 and your backdrop are positioned a good way away from what you can see in the Camera 1 view, and set Camera 2 to point at the backdrop image so that your view in Camera 2 looks much the same as your view in Camera 1, as in the image below:

Now, here comes the clever part! Right-click on your backdrop object and select "Edit" again. Once the backdrop window is open again, collapse the "Animation" section and move the "Speed" slider up by dragging it to the right. The Camera 1 view shown on your backdrop should now begin to scroll from right to left (you can click the "Reverse Direction" checkbox if you want it to scroll from left to right)!:

The faster you want your superhero to appear to be flying, the higher you should set the "Speed" slider.

Step 3: Enter The Hero

Now, create your superhero character. I've used "Beefy" for my example ("Create > Characters", then select "Beefy" from the "Characters" tab). Position the superhero character in front of Camera 2, near the backdrop.

With your superhero character selected, prepare the looped flying animation for that character:

  1. "Prepare > Character Actions", then once the "Prepare Character Actions" window opens you click a box in the Emotideck.
  2. This will open the "Actions" window, and from here you find the looped flying animation by clicking the "Superhero" category and choosing "Flying on spot (looped)" from it).

With your superhero character still selected, direct the looped flying animation for that character:

  1. "Direct > Character Actions", then once the "Direct Character Actions" and "Timeline" windows open you click the big round red "Record" button on the Timeline.
  2. Click the button with "Flying on the spot..." associated with it on the Emotideck.

ALAKAZAM! Similar to what you can see in the above animated GIF, AS IF BY MAGIC Camera 2 should now appear to show your superhero character flying against a moving backdrop! I added another "Snow" effect near my character at this point, just to have snow appear "in front" of the character as well as "behind" him on the backdrop.

Video Tutorial

If you're still having issues getting a "moving" look during flying animations, here's a brief video tutorial on a similar method to achieving a flying effect