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Watch as author George Maestri employs the basic principles of animation to bring to life simple 3D characters in Maya. Starting with an overview of the character rig, this course provides guidelines for arranging stock characters into strong poses and explains how to generate locomotion between poses in a modular fashion. The course includes step-by-step instructions on animating realistic gestures, walks, runs, facial expressions, and dialogue, and culminates with an animated scene built entirely from scratch.
Prerequisite courses: Maya 2011 Essential Training.
So now that we've animated some consonants, let's move on to ones where the consonant is after the vowel, such as F and M, as well as other types of consonants, such as S. So we have got some additional ones at the end of the scene, so let's take a look at these. Starting around at frame 85 or so is the rest of these. (Character: F, M, so, no.) So let's go ahead and animate these, zoom in, frame 84 or so, and then zoom in here frame 108, 109, somewhere around there.
So let's go ahead and play this. (Character: F.) So this is F. Typically, that starts with a short vowel, such as 'ah', 'eh' and then goes into this 'F' sound. Now, this is the slider that we need to play with, so let's go ahead and see what this does. Okay, so we have to incorporate this somehow. So we're going to start at frame 91 and then by frame 93, we are going to be into the 'eh' sound. So that can just be the jaw open. (Character: eh) Open that jaw up a little bit, and now we need to transition into this F sound.
But we want to make sure that that jaw is open, so I don't have a keyframe for the F yet. So I want to make sure I set one at 93, and then over the course of two frames, I am going to close this jaw. So I am going to zero that out and then dial in the F sound. So what I am doing is I am going over two frames from this to that. (Character: F.) Okay, so then once we have done that, we can fade it out by bringing that slider to 0 sometime after this end.
So let's see how this works. (Character: F, F, F.) Okay, that looks pretty good. Okay, so let's go on to something very similar, and this is M. So let's listen to this. (Character: M, M.) So, again, we're going to start with the 'eh'. So I am going to go to frame 115 or so, and start with neutral. So I am just setting a keyframe to neutral. And then I am going to go two frames in, so 115 to 117, and again I am just going to open the jaw a bit to get that 'eh' sound.
So the M comes in by about 120. So again, one easy way of doing the M is just to close the mouth. So what I can do is I can just, say around 120, 121, I can just zero out that mouth. (Character: M.) But that doesn't really give me a convincing M. What I can do though is I can actually use another blend shape or whatever I'm using to get more of a tighter lip, almost the same as we did with that B. So I am going to go to this Dialogue slider and I want to set a keyframe when the mouth is open.
So when that jaw is open, it's open at 117. So I am going to go over to this Dialogue slider, set a keyframe at 117 so that it's at 0. As that mouth closes, I want that to kind of tighten up, so now it's got-- (Character: M.) Okay, so now we have got that 'mm' sound, and so we've got the lips a little bit tighter. But also notice that the 'M' sound. It can be a long vowel. Some vowels such as T or D, they are just pretty much a short length, but M, you can do that for a very long time.
You go 'mm' and make a really long M sound, so we need to understand how long this is. So let's play this through. (Character: M.) Notice how it goes 'em', 'ah'. So, there is actually a mouth open right here at frame 125. So, what we want to do is go to 125, continue this, and again zero out that jaw, so this is where he does the 'mm' sound. (Character: M.) Then he does the 'ah', so then we can open up the mouth a little bit and then zero out that Dialogue slider. (Character: M.) Then close the jaw.
Let's see what we have here. (Character: M, M.) So that works pretty well. So the M since we have exaggerated it here, it reads very strongly from a visual context, and then we have a little bit of an open mouth to give that 'ah'. And I don't even need to open it that much, but I do want to see a little bit of space between those teeth. (Character: M, M.) And that works for that. Now, the last one I want to show you is the S, which is something you'll encounter a lot in animation.
I want to make sure that you understand some of the mechanics of animating the letter S. So with S, again, it's like M; it can go on forever. So like with an M, you can go 'mm', then S you can go 'ss'. Okay, so you can do that for a very long time. So if we play this, let's see what we've got. (Character: So.) So we have got a couple of frames of-- So, from 138 to about frame 144, we have got S, and then we have got O. So let's go start at this before 138.
So, I am going to start at 137 and set everything up. Then by about frame 140, that S can be really heard, so let's go ahead and dial in an S sound. So I am going to use my Dialogue slider and get that kind of teeth open, and then we're going into S to O. So somewhere around 143 or 144, I want to make sure I still have a keyframe for this. So now I am going to have to open my character's mouth and make him say the letter O. So I am going to go to my Jaw slider. Make sure I have a keyframe there.
Now, I want to understand where that mouth is open the most. It's going to be open here at 145. You can even see it. (Character: So.) So I want to make sure I get into an 'O' shape, O, here, but I also want to open my jaw a bit. (Character: So.) Then the 'O' goes into the 'oo', and then that jaw closes down.
So I am going to keep it in that 'O' shape until almost the end, and then I am going to fade it out at the very end by typing in 0. So let's see what we have. (Character: So, so, so.) Okay, there is a bit of a hop there. Let's see what we have got. Okay, right there you can see how this Dialogue slider is moving over, and I want to keep it there on that S. Let's try that again. (Character: So.) There we go! Okay, let's try that again. Let's see how that plays.
(Character: So, so, so.) Okay, there is a bit of a hop here, too. Okay, so again, I want to make sure that that Dialogue slider is at the bottom corner when it does that 'oo'. (Character: So.) I am going to see how this works. (Character: So, so.) So by now, you've gotten used to animating consonants and vowels at the same time.
So now that we have a little bit of practice in this, let's go ahead and move on to actually animating some dialog.
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