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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 that we have the lower part of a character walking, we can move on to the upper body. But before we do that I'm actually going to do a little trick that will get the character to be walking in place and this will actually help us down the road when we're tweaking the character to make sure that he is symmetrical. So if you notice, this character has this big circle here and this is called the character root and what this does is really just allows us to place the character wherever we want. So if I want him over here or wherever, we can actually move him in two position.
Now we can also animate this master node in order to get him to walk in place. So as he walks forward, we are going to take this and move it backward. So we are actually going to kind of create a treadmill effect. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go frame 1, make sure all of my translate values are zero for character root, and just set a keyframe. He is going to start walking forward, but we want to pull him back to zero.
So we know that the character is taking 16 frames per step and he has taken two steps. So all we need to do is move him back and an equivalent amount. So 16 times 2 is 32. So we move him back 32 or -32 units and we make sure we set a keyframe for that so now he walks in place. Now the reason to do this is to get that symmetry between the right and left side.
Another reason is if you do want to actually cycle him, you can do that. Now one reason to do this is to actually check the symmetry of your character's walk. So let's go ahead and actually go into another viewport. I'm going to go into the right viewport here and we can check our symmetry. So I am going to go ahead and scrub this. Let's go to the recoil position where the character moves down and recoils into the walk. Now what I can do is I can actually take my screen drawing tool and I can check my angle.
So all have to do is draw that angle of each leg. Now I know that four frames into the first half of the walk, those are the angles of the legs. Now if I scroll forward, the middle of the walk is 17 plus 4 is 21. So if you notice here, I've got a little bit of a discrepancy. So the walk isn't exactly symmetrical. So what I can do is I can take the hips, move them into place.
I can also take the heel and move that up so that the angles are actually equal. So now I've got a lot more symmetry in the walk. So I'm going to go ahead and erase this. Now as you can see this can really be helpful for checking symmetry of your character. Now let's go ahead and move on to the upper body.
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