Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started
Viewed by members. in countries. members currently watching.
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.
So now that we have the first pose in place for our run, let's go ahead and move on to our second pose, which will be a contact position--and this is where the right foot swings forward and contacts the ground. So we're going to start by moving the time slider to frame 5. It's eight frames per step, so we're going to go halfway through that first step, which is four frames forward to frame 5. The next thing we need to do is to move the foot forward.
So I am going to go ahead and grab this right foot, and the first thing I need to do is to kind of unwind it and first of all, unrotate it. So I am going to select Rotate X and type in 0, and that puts the foot exactly flat. Then I'm going to move, hit W for move, and we are going to set that foot on the ground. If you notice here, these are going towards 0. In fact, if we just type 0 in for Translate X and Translate Y, we'll have it exactly on the ground.
Now, we need to move this foot forward. Now, how far forward is going to determine your stride length, or how far the character moves with each step. So, for this particular walk, I am going to move it forward pretty far. This is actually going to be a reasonably long strike length. We can do longer or shorter, depending upon the demands of the scene, but I am going to move it forward exactly 48 units. This will give me a nice round number to work with.
I'll make sure I have a key set for that. So now I've got that foot with a keyframe on frame 5, and it's 48 in Z. If you notice when I move this forward, it totally stretches that foot, and the foot really loses contact with those controllers. What we'll have to do is we'll have to move the hips forward as well. So I am going to go ahead and move these hips forward and a little bit down. In fact, I want to move the hips a very precise number as well.
I want to move the hips 36 units forward in Z, and that will give me a nice round number, and it will be exactly 12 units behind. Then I'm going to go ahead and adjust Y so that foot is almost exactly perpendicular there. If you notice here, I have got this a little bit off. I want to make sure that Translate X is at 0, and then I am going to adjust my leg. But as I adjust my leg, remember, this is very similar to walk, and in a walk, as we reach that contact position, when the right foot is forward, the right hip is also forward.
So we need to do a little bit of a rotation here. So I'll make sure I rotate that hip forward, and then I am going to go ahead and move it up so that I've got a pretty straight leg there. Not exactly straight, but just a little bit shy of perfectly straight. Then I also want to work with the heel a little bit, because what's happening is, as that foot comes down, it's actually going to land on the toe. Remember, when people run, they actually run on the balls of their feet.
Most of the time, they won't contact with the heel. They'll contact with the ball of their feet. So I am going to lift that heel up just a little bit to make sure that the ball of the foot hits first. So you can see, I have got a little bit of a gap there, and that will help with selling this particular run. So now that I have all of these in place, I want to make sure I have keyframes for all of these. Then all I have to do is worry about this left foot, which is really just kind of pushing off into the run.
So basically, what's happening? This foot is contacted, but basically what's happening is it's pushing the character forward. We'd have a point of contact here again on the ball of the foot, so what we want to do is push the body forward while rotating that foot. So the first thing I am going to do is just go and get my final position here. So I am going to rotate this foot and move it pretty much into the position I want, which is pretty much right about here--almost kind of coming up under his rear end there.
I want to make sure that I have this heel at 0. So now what I what I have got here is I have got--well, I really don't have what I want. I have got a good pose here, but I don't have a good in-between. So what we need to do is in between this foot to make it look like it's pushing the character forward. Well, what's going to happen here is that as this foot comes off, it's going to push off at the toe. So I am going to go ahead and select the right foot, move it back, and rotate it, almost as if he's pushing off of that toe.
So you can see that as I scrub this, it looks like he is pushing off of the toe. So when I push, and then I want it to, on this frame, frame 3, I want it to kick back, almost like it has pushed off. So what I have got is a nice roll. So I've got from frame 1, frame 2-- in fact, I can probably push that back just a little bit--and frame 3. So it looks like he is kind of a pushing off of that toe and then coming back into this position.
It gives a much better in-between. Now, there's one more thing I want to do and that's actually play with that toe total here. So as he pushes off, I want to do a little bit of rotation with this toe. The first thing I want to do is maybe rotate the toe down a little bit, give a little bit contact, and then as he kicks off here, I want to kind of drag that toe back, give a little bit of drag to that joint. It's right there.
It feels like right there I actually need to rotate that around just a little bit more. There we go! So now, I've got my first step. So you can see that I've got my two major poses: my passing position, and my contact position. Now we need to animate the second half. Well, what's going to happen here in the second half? Well, this foot will come forward, and we'll have almost a mirror image of this position again, another four frames forward.
So we are going to go to the next position, which will be at frame 9, and then we are just going to mirror what we did before. So we are going to go ahead and do this in the next lesson. We are going to go through and we are actually going to mirror the poses to get the second step of the run.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya.
Here are the FAQs that matched your search "":
Sorry, there are no matches for your search ""—to search again, type in another word or phrase and click search.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.