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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.
We have the basic moving hold in place. The next step is to animate the transition, the shifting of weight from the character from one foot to the other. Let's take a look at where we are in our animation. So we've got this moving hold and then he does a transition to that wave. So we are going to work on this transition. So the first thing I want to do is let's just take a look at what the hips are doing in this transition. So I am going to go over to my Layer Editor and then I am going to hit this V, which turns off the visibility of the upper body of the head and the eyes.
And let's just take a look at what the hips are doing. So the first thing we need to understand is how the character is transferring weight. I am going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit here on the timeline so we can see what we're doing. Let's just take a look at these hips. At frame 20, the hips are in that standard pose and what's happening here is that the weight of the character is going down the right foot. So that right leg is supporting the character.
What happens is he shifts weight, so over the course of 10 frames to frame 30 he shifts his weight so that now the weight of the body is being transmitted to the ground through the left foot. In order to do that, we have to have this transitional pose. I am going to go ahead and turn off these upper controls, so we can see this even a little better here. So what happens is when the character shifts his weight, the hips drop. Now why is that? Well, gravity.
What's happening here is that he's taken the weight off of this foot and he hasn't put it exactly on to this foot either. So what's happening is that the hips are unsupported, so gravity is pulling those down. And when he moves up into that position, then what's happening is he's pushing up to counteract the force of gravity and now we have another reasonably stable pose. So, the point of this is that as he moves from pose to pose, he's typically shifting his weight from 1 foot to the other and as the character shifts his weight, the hips will typically drop and so this is the major point here, is as a character moves from pose to pose the hips typically drop and this is because when you go from pose to pose, you're shifting the character's weight from 1 foot to the other.
When you block out your poses, one of the things you need to understand is how the character is shifting his weight. You kind of want to have him go from 1 foot to the other as he goes from pose to pose. So that way you have a good weight transfer. Now there's also one other thing in this little animation here. And that is the right foot. If you notice here, the right foot is actually moving as he shifts his weight. So one of the things we can do with this is actually add in a little bit more animation to make it look like he's taking a step.
So we can do this by going here to this first pose here at frame 24 and doing a little bit of a move so we're going to lift his foot at the heel. So I am going to lift his foot up, and then I am going to rotate that foot just a bit. So basically what's happening is he's lifting it at the heel and then let's move halfway between 24 and 30 which will be 27, and then let's just rotate that foot up a little bit. And then at 30, it's going to naturally set down.
So let's take a look at this again. So now we've got a little bit of a step, so let's take a look at this. So this is just the hips. This is just the transfer of weight. We still have a lot of work to do on the upper body. So let's go ahead and take a look at where we're at right now. So you can see that that foot change is pretty good, but we still have some work to do with this upper body. So let's go ahead and finish this up in the next lesson.
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