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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
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Animating a run: Left arm motion


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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

with George Maestri

Video: Animating a run: Left arm motion

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.
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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: Left arm motion

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.

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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