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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.
Now, we're in the homestretch of the run; all we have to do is get the arms moving and we should pretty much be done. So at this point, we've got the legs, hips, spine, and head pretty much working all together. If you notice, those arms are still pretty stiff; they're just sticking straight out. So let's go ahead and start working on those. When we start working with the arms, we really should animate the extremes. But in this case, we kind of started in the middle.
We started in a passing position where the arms are actually also passing the hips, so we need to go to an extreme. We have two extremes here. We have frame 5, which is where the right foot makes contact right here, and then 8 frames past that, at frame 13, we have the left foot making contact. So those two extremes will also apply to the arms. So let's start at frame 5, and we'll also start with our left shoulder.
So I am going to select the left shoulder, and let's kind of figure out what's happening here. Well, the right foot is forward, so that means the left shoulder needs to be forward, which it is, and so let's go ahead and dial in that pose. So what happens? Well, the arm is going to swing forward, and the elbow will go ahead and bend into position, and that hand will be in front of the characters. So let me just go ahead and kind of tweak in this pose.
So I am turning the shoulder, and I am also going to turn that wrist a little bit. And also, when people run, they really don't run with their hands straight out like that, so I am just going to go ahead and curl in the hand. So, that's a pretty good pose here. I may actually have it a little too far forward, so something like that. So what I've got is I've got the arm is pretty much coming in front of the torso. So I want to make sure I set keyframes for all of those.
So I can set a keyframe for the elbow, the wrist, and the shoulder. So that's my first key. So let's go to the other extreme where the left foot is forward, which means the left arm will be back. So I am actually going to go ahead and select the shoulder, and the first thing I am going to do is I am going to kind of zero out the Rotation here and then just rotate it back again. And then I am going to select the elbow and straighten it out, but I am not going to straighten it out all the way, because what's happening here is that arm is moving back.
Now, this elbow and the hand will drag behind that. So they're actually doing secondary motion. This is pulling this, so this will drag behind this by a couple of frames. See how that works. That looks pretty good. We have another thing that we need to worry about, and that is at frame 7 he is collapsing--he is kind of squashing down. So when he does that, I want to bend that elbow up just a little bit to kind of accentuate that squash, like that. And then as he comes up, that elbow is going to straighten out just a little bit.
Now, I don't want to straighten it out more than it is at frame 13, so I want to make sure that frame 13 has about that same angle. So that looks pretty good. So now that I have this, I have got basically from frame 5 to 13, but I don't have the outer edges. I don't have the keyframes or the positions for the rest of it, as it starts to move forward. Now, remember, what's happening here is this arm is rotating back, and then after frame 13, that shoulder is going to start rotating forward again.
So, let's go ahead and rotate it forward to a middle position almost. As this rotates forward, the elbow will drag back, so this is where we start to straighten out the elbow--and that wrist will also drag back as well. So now we should get something like this. So what I'm going to do now is select all of these frames, so this is my new pose for that middle position, for the passing position.
Copy, paste, and then do the same for the elbow and the wrist. So again, I am going to copy and paste. That should be pretty close. Okay, so I have got this wrist as a little bit off here. So again, copy and paste, and there we go! So now, I should have a pretty good cycle. So let's take a look at this.
So all I have to do now is do the opposite side for the right arm.
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