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Animating pose to pose transitions

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Animating pose to pose transitions

Once we have the weight of the character moving from 1 foot to the other, we still need to work on the rest of the body. At this point we have the computer in betweening these poses and the computer in-between isn't quite exactly what we want. So let's go ahead and fine-tune and tweak these in-betweens to make this a really strong transition. So let's go through this a frame at a time. It starts at frame 20 and at frame 22 already I am noticing a little bit of problem. Right here there is some interpenetration between the hand and the forearm here and as he goes into this other pose, I am noticing this is kind of a weak transition here.

Animating pose to pose transitions

Once we have the weight of the character moving from 1 foot to the other, we still need to work on the rest of the body. At this point we have the computer in betweening these poses and the computer in-between isn't quite exactly what we want. So let's go ahead and fine-tune and tweak these in-betweens to make this a really strong transition. So let's go through this a frame at a time. It starts at frame 20 and at frame 22 already I am noticing a little bit of problem. Right here there is some interpenetration between the hand and the forearm here and as he goes into this other pose, I am noticing this is kind of a weak transition here.

So we need to cover work on this arm as well. So let's go through this a step at a time. The first thing I am going to do is let's just focus on this outside arm, the right arm because that's the one that's going to move first. It's kind of blocking this left hand from moving. So let's go ahead and just animate that first and then we'll go through the other arm. So thing I am noticing is that we have a little bit of this interpenetration here. So the easiest way to get rid of that is to just grab the elbow on the right arm and just rotate that a little bit out of the way.

In fact, let's just rotate that down quite a bit. Now the other thing is that as this arm rotates down the hand is going to drag, because what we have here is we have this force is moving the forearm in this direction, but the hand also has a joint and it kind of wants to stay put. This is again what we call drag. Now what's going to happen here is that this wrist is going to bend back and actually we can use this to our advantage because what we can do is we can actually make a nice arc.

As we go through these sorts of transitions here, we want to make sure that we have kind of nice poses here. His arm is kind of moving in the nice arc and this gives the audience of visual representation of where it's moving. So if I see an arm in that position, I know that the force is coming from here and that it's moving generally in that direction. So let's go ahead and continue this. We are going to move this arm out again at Frame 24.

This arc that we created here is kind of broken at this pose. So let's go ahead and put that back in. So I am going to rotate that arm out just a little bit more, and again I am going to rotate this hand and again I want to try and create a nice arc here. So now you can see how that's coming out and now as this comes in, let's go ahead and continue this arc a little bit and kind of bring it back and then just kind of straiten it out. So really what we're getting here is we are getting almost kind of a whip action.

So almost looks like we've got kind of a whip action happening here and here we can kind of just tweak this a little bit, and make sure that this hand is in a decent position. So now the right arm is definitely moving a lot better. So let's go ahead and focus a little more on the left arm. So let's take a look at this. So as this arm is moving, we have a very similar situation. I am going to have another drag that's happening on this wrist.

So as we go to say Frame 24, I'm going to move that in and now the arm is coming up and right here we have an kind of an awkward pose. This is really where silhouetting can help you with animation. If I were to silhouette this, you can kind of see this shape here. It really is kind of an awkward shape. We can make that a lot smoother and a lot more elegant just by reposing this a little bit. So I am going to go ahead and move this arm out a little bit and then just drag that wrist back.

So by doing just that little thing, what happens is we get a nice arch. Again we're getting this kind of whip action and in fact we are getting it here in both arms. This is a very strong silhouette and this will actually tell the audience how this is moving. So as he brings that arm out you can see what direction it's moving in. It's a much stronger sense of that motion. Now we have got one more little thing to tweak here. We have got one more major joint that we haven't really touched and that's the head.

So let's take a look at what we can do with this. So the first thing is he's moving forward. As he moves forward, again he moves forward from the hips so the head is going to be the last thing that moves forward. One of things I want to do is maybe just start repositioning these keyframes. So I positioned this as kind of my master pose, but I don't have to keep this pose exactly the way that I have. So one of things I can do is to just move that keyframe over just a little bit.

So now as he comes in, his head is going to rotate down a little bit later. In fact I can rotate that down a little bit more and then as he comes up into this pose, the head will be the last thing because again it starts at the hips, moves through the spine, and the head will be the last thing that moves into position. So I am going to grab the keyframe for the head at frame 30 and move it back two frames to frame 32. Now what this does is it gives me a little bit of overlap. Everything in his body is not all moving at once.

It kind of gives you a much more fluid effect. So let's go ahead and take a look at this. I have got this up to about frame 36, so let's just take a look at where we are at now. So you can see that that pose is looking pretty good. One of things I'm noticing is that I'm getting a little bit of a flop here on this arm. So as he comes in, he kind of just freezes there. So one of things I can do is just move some of these keyframes back.

So I am going to go ahead and select all the keyframes in the arm and Shift+Select and select the right arm's shoulder, elbow, and wrist and just go ahead and move those back as well. So now at this point we are actually into the part of the animation where the character starts to wave and we are going to go ahead and do that in the next lesson. So for this lesson, let's just go ahead and recap what we have done.

We've gone through the automatic in-betweening that Maya has done for these poses and we've fine tuned it so that it's stronger. A lot of this involves making sure that parts of character don't overlap, that we have strong silhouettes, and that when the character's body parts move, particularly the arms, that they move with drag and that they give kind of a whip action to that motion. And then also we've added in a little bit of delay in the joints such as the head to give the sense that the body is not moving all at the same time.

So keep these things in mind as you start to tweak your pose to pose animation. And they can make it a lot stronger and make your transitions a lot more effective.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 9923 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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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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