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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
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Animating a run: Hip and foot motion


From:

Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

with George Maestri

Video: Animating a run: Hip and foot motion

At this point, we've got the basic footsteps of the run blocked out, so let's go ahead and play what we've got so far. And if you notice, the character's feet are moving okay, but the character really doesn't have a lot of weight. There's not really a sense of the character jumping and falling. There's not a lot of squash and stretch. So let's go ahead and add some of that in. In order to see this a little bit more clearly, I am actually going to go into the side viewport. So I am going to highlight my side viewport, and let's take a look at what's happening with this character.
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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 a run: Hip and foot motion

At this point, we've got the basic footsteps of the run blocked out, so let's go ahead and play what we've got so far. And if you notice, the character's feet are moving okay, but the character really doesn't have a lot of weight. There's not really a sense of the character jumping and falling. There's not a lot of squash and stretch. So let's go ahead and add some of that in. In order to see this a little bit more clearly, I am actually going to go into the side viewport. So I am going to highlight my side viewport, and let's take a look at what's happening with this character.

On frame 1, he is about to take a leap; frame 3, he is in the middle of that leap; frame 5, he catches his weight; and in frame 7, he places all of his body weight on that foot. Let's go to frame 3 and animate that pose. So what he has actually done is he has actually pushed himself into the air, but if you notice the motion of my hips, they are actually moving down slightly.

Well, if he's pushing himself up in the air he actually does need to go up, so I am going to grab the hips and move him up a little bit. That should give me a little bit more of a sense of weight. But when he catches himself, he also needs to move down, because what's happening is he is catching his weight. And if you notice, between frame 5 and frame 7 he is actually moving upwards a little bit, and that's really the opposite of what we want, so I'm going to go ahead and push him down a little bit, and I am also going to rotate him forward--just so he feels like he is kind of catching his weight.

So now, he jumps up, comes down. Same thing on the opposite side; he jumps up and then he is going to squash down a little bit and rotate forward. Now let's go ahead and take a look at how this looks in perspective. So now we have got a little bit more up-and-down motion. Now his spine is pretty stiff, but we'll get to that later.

Let's go ahead and do another pass, but this time on the feet. Again, I am going to go into my side viewport because this actually is a little bit easier to see what I'm doing. Watch the motion of this foot as it goes through the run. Now what's happening here is again, he's leaping, but this foot is doing a straight in-between between frame 1 and frame 5, and we really don't want that because what's going to happen is that foot is going to flip up to kind of catch the character's weight.

So it's going to be more like that, and then the character will come down-- we could probably play with it a little bit--and then he's going to land on his toe. And then as he catches his weight, that heel is still up. Well, we need to kind of drop that heel down, so right after that contact position, I am going to go ahead and rotate that heel down to zero.

So it feels like he lands on his toe and then puts his weight right on that heel. And again, I want to make sure it's 0 here, and then as he moves back, that heel is going to lift again. You can see how that heel at least contacts the ground. It gives him a good solid connection with the ground, which is what we are wanting. And let's do the same for the other foot. So I am going to go ahead over and select the left foot and then go to frame 11.

And again, what we are going to do is we are going to flip that foot up, move it forward just a little bit, so he's trying to catch his weight, and I may have to tweak it here. And then I am going to take a look at that heel, and then one frame after the contact position--in this case at frame 14--it goes to 0, stays at 0, and then it lifts up again. So that pretty much should give me a good sense of motion for that lower body, and again, we're just playing with the lower body.

So let's take a look at this. It looks pretty good. In fact, I'm going to turn off the upper geometry, as well as the control, so we can just take a look at what that looks like as just the legs and the hips, which is really all that we've animated; and that looks pretty good. So now that we have all of this in place, we can actually turn on the upper body, which is what I am doing here in the Layers palette, and we can proceed with working with the upper body, which we'll do next.

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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