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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.
So now let's take a quick look where we're at. I've got this character pretty much animating. He looks pretty good. Well, we've got one more thing to do and that's the head. So let's go ahead and scroll back to Frame 1 and I'm going to go ahead and turn on the head as well as the character's eyes. Now the control that I'm going to use is one called Head and basically it's going to be rotation. Let's go ahead and play this to see how it's working. As you can see, his head is kind of bobbing a little bit, kind of like a pigeon.
It's very stiff from the shoulders up. So again, we need to create some sort of secondary motion for the head to give it a little bit more life. So right here at the front if you notice, he's kind of looking off to the side. He's kind of just moving with the shoulders. So when the shoulders are facing to the right, his eyes are facing to the right and to the left, and so on. So go ahead and select the head control and then use the Rotate tool to actually adjust the head.
So what we want to do is kind of just get him into a position where he is kind of looking where he is going. Now we could animate the head to, you know, he is looking at something else, but in this case let's just go ahead and animate him looking forward. So I'm going to go ahead and just rotate the head so that the eyes look like they're looking forward. I'm going to go ahead and set a keyframe. I'm going to go halfway in to Frame 17 and balance that out, so now we've got him kind of pretty much looking forward.
I'm going to go ahead and copy the keys on Frame 1 and paste them at Frame 33. So now we've got this. Now that looks pretty good, but from the side you still got that kind of stiffness, that pigeon head that you can really notice from the side here. So right here you can see that he didn't have much flexibility, but when that body mass goes down, his head is kind of wanting to stay where it is at, so that neck is going to bend back a little bit and he's still going to be looking forward.
So that gets a little bit more flexibility. Then as he goes up, it's going to go back in the opposite direction and we can do the same on the other side. So when he is down at this point, I'm going to go ahead and move the head up and then do the opposite on the other side. Again, just trying to straighten it out a little bit.
So this will give us a little bit more flexibility in the character. So let's take a look at those eyes. So those are fine, but right here we get a little bit of a bounce, so if you notice those eyes going down and then they are going back up again. So what I want to do is make sure that right there that he doesn't rotate too far forward. So I am going to kind of lift this head up a little bit. So this way and again I've got that a little bit more exaggerated version of that problem here.
So I want to make sure that his head is not to tipping too much. And that kind of smoothes it out just a little bit. It looks pretty good. So those are some of the basics of how to animate a simple walk. Now this is really just a very generic kind of boring walk, but it gives you the mechanics of how to animate a walk, as well as how to get the character moving. Now we're going to go ahead and look at some more exaggerated walks, but they are all kind of based on the principles that we've learned in the past few lessons.
So go ahead and practice animating a walk like this and then we'll go ahead and move on to stuff that's a little bit more exaggerated.
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