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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
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Animating moving holds


From:

Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

with George Maestri

Video: Animating moving holds

At this point, we have the animation blocked out, and we're starting to in-between the poses, but we really don't have any moving holds, which is what we'll do in this lesson. So let's go ahead and play what we have, and then let's start working on it. (Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom!) Now, as we've said before, this animation looks little floaty. It's not really holding any of the poses that are important to this animation. So what we want to do is take all of the key poses and extend them a little bit so that they hold long enough for the audience to actually see them and so that they read.
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  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
6h 6m Intermediate May 20, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Using screen-drawing tools for Windows and Mac
  • Quickly posing characters with custom MEL scripts and layers
  • Understanding forces and their role in creating lifelike animation
  • Sequencing and timing pose-to-pose animation
  • Fine-tuning transitions
  • Animating a character's gait and run
  • Crafting realistic facial expressions
  • Syncing speech to animated dialogue
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation Character Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Animating moving holds

At this point, we have the animation blocked out, and we're starting to in-between the poses, but we really don't have any moving holds, which is what we'll do in this lesson. So let's go ahead and play what we have, and then let's start working on it. (Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom!) Now, as we've said before, this animation looks little floaty. It's not really holding any of the poses that are important to this animation. So what we want to do is take all of the key poses and extend them a little bit so that they hold long enough for the audience to actually see them and so that they read.

So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to select everything in my character, and I'll see that I have all of these poses blocked out on the timeline. So let's work through this one pose at a time and add in moving holds as they are needed. So the first moving hold we need to do is for this very first pose. So I've got this pose here at frame 1 where he's looking offscreen, and I want to make sure that registers. If I just keep it the way it is, he is going to start moving into that 'ha' before he even says it, and I don't really want that.

So I'm going to go back to frame 1 and just copy all of the keyframes-- now remember, I have everything selected here--and then just paste. And again I'm just right-clicking on the timeline. Now he doesn't start moving up into that 'ha' until frame 4. So we have a couple of frames where we're holding this first pose. Now in order to get a little bit more realism, I like to actually have a moving hold. So what I do is I select this last frame and I figure out where are the hips going.

Now typically the hips will tend to sink a little bit, and it could actually also act as a little bit of anticipation to what comes next, which is where it comes up. So the character is moving up here, so I want to move him down to contrast that beforehand. So I'm going to move him down and maybe even just tilt him forward just a little bit. So now he moves up. Now when he says, "Ha," again I want to hold him at the top of that.

So I want that pose to read. So I'm going to select everything in that character. You can see it starts of frame 8 and then the word 'ha' and somewhere around frame 11 or 12. So let's go ahead and copy, right- click, Copy, go to frame 12, and paste, and again, I just want him to be up in that position here. Now this is a little too much. It actually to feels a little frozen, so I'm actually going to go ahead and drop his hips down just a little bit, so he is going to kind of jump up and then sync down a little bit, which will give him a little bit more of a natural motion.

Then he moves almost immediately into what I call an anticipation, which is the pose that he has before he comes up into this proud pose at 24. Now, this is a very important pose, and I want to hold this for a longer period of time. So I'm going to make sure I select everything in the character, copy this, and then paste it a little bit further down of a timeline, which should hold that pose. So let's see how this scrubs through.

If feels like this is actually coming a little too slow into this pose, and we can actually hold this pose for longer. So what I'm going to do is just Shift+Select the pose at 24 and slide it over a little bit, to either 21 or 22. Let's just go ahead and scrub through this. So, this looks pretty good. I can actually hold this a little bit longer. So I'm going to select keys at 28 and drop them back to about 30.

So that feels about right in terms of an in-between, but now I've got this really long space where I've got this important pose here where he has got his finger up. Then the next pose is where he has got his foot off the ground. Now, I really don't want that to in- between over a course of about 30 frames. I would like to actually have him come up into this pose a lot more quickly. So again, I'm going to do a hold, and I'm going to make sure I have everything selected, copy the pose at frame 36, move to about frame 60 or so, and paste.

So now he is kind of holding this. So now we've created some moving holds which should allow the animation to read better. Let's take a look at what we have now. (Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom! Ha!) So this looks pretty good. We have our poses reading better. So let's go ahead and add the next layer of refinement onto this animation.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya.


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Q: Where can I download the Linktivity Presenter drawing tool?
A: Linktivity Presenter is no longer available since the recording of this course. An alternative on-screen drawing tool is VB Doodle, which works with most 3d rendering software. Download VB Doodle here.
 
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